Data Report 2021: Key observations from 2021 CSEC results

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***Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of stories analysing the Education Data Report 2021.***

The Education Data Report 2021 contains detailed information on Cayman Islands students’ scores on Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams (CSECs), run by the Caribbean Examinations Council.

Typically, CSEC scores are released in the fall after the spring exams are taken. However, 2021 scores were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Data Report provides the first opportunity to examine Cayman’s scores in the context of Caribbean peers and compare them to prior years.

Here is a summary of our key observations about the 2021 CSEC results:

+ Cayman Islands Year 11 students outperformed the Caribbean average in Mathematics but underperformed in English.

On the 2021 CSECs, 67% of Cayman’s Year 11 public school students achieved Level 2 or greater passes in English, and 43% in Maths.

Around the Caribbean, 74% of students passed English and 41% passed Maths.

The CXC provides examinations to 16 jurisdictions in the Caribbean. Several territories do not publicize their overall results on CSEC exams. Others have not yet published results from the 2021 exams, possibly due to COVID-related delays in the finalisation of scores by CXC.

For example, SKNVibes reported that the St. Kitts and Nevis education minister said results were not available because they were missing some subject data from CXC. The country's CXC registrar said the government had been given the full results in April.

Regional CSEC results, 2021

 EnglishMathsEnglish (+/- Region)Maths (+/- Region)
St Vincent78%50%+4+9
Cayman Islands67%43%-7+2

+ Cayman's Year 11 scores in English and Maths dropped sharply compared to the prior year. However, the Year 12 pass rate continued to rise.

Education officials have cautioned against comparing 2020 results (when the tests were administered differently) to other year. Cayman's Year 11 stores fell in line with the country's established range of scores in English and Maths. The Year 12 scores (which include passes by students in the prior Year 11) continued to increase compared to previous years.

+ It was the third time that Cayman’s Year 11 students beat the Caribbean average in Maths.

Cayman's Year 11 students typically perform better in English than in Maths, which conforms with the regional trend.

+ Cayman's Year 12 students out-performed the regional average in both Maths and English.

+ Nearly two-thirds of Year 12 students met the ‘national expected standard’ of passing 5 or more subjects (including English and Maths) on CSECs.

Including scores from 2020 CSECs while the cohort was in Year 11, the overall pass rate for Year 12 students was 64%, the highest on record.

Following the increase in 2020 scores, the overall pass rate for Year 11 students dropped to 40%, in line with the average for the past decade.

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