Environmental Science Past Paper

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CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL

REPORT ON CANDIDATES’ WORK IN THE CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION MAY/JUNE 2003

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Copyright © 2003 Caribbean Examinations Council St Michael, Barbados All rights reserved

2 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CARIBBEAN ADVANCED PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION MAY/JUNE 2003 INTRODUCTION Environmental Science is a two-unit course, each unit consisting of three modules. Unit I, which consists of Fundamental Ecological Principles, People and The Environment and Sustainable Use Of Natural Resources, was examined on open syllabus for the first time during the 2003 examination period. Unit II which consists of the three modules, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy Use, and Pollution of the Environment, was piloted during this examination period. The examination for both units consisted of three papers. Papers 01 and 02 were examined externally by CXC, while Paper 03 was examined internally by the teacher and moderated by CXC. Paper 01 consisted of twelve short-answer questions, with four questions from each module. Candidates were required to answer all questions in this paper, with a maximum of 90 marks contributing 30 per cent to the total assessment. Paper 02 consisted of nine questions, three from each module. Candidates were required to answer two questions from each module, a total of six questions. These were structured essay-type items each contributing twenty marks. In general, this paper was designed to test the candidates’ comprehension and ability to apply knowledge. This paper contributed 40 per cent to the total assessment. Paper 03, the Internal Assessment, comprised of four components. These were a research paper, a journal, a laboratory exercise and a project. While the journal, research paper and laboratory exercise focused on a specific module, the project was required to encompass all three modules. GENERAL COMMENTS UNIT I In Unit I, candidates performed better on Paper 03 but exhibited about the same level of performance on Paper 01 and Paper 02. The fact that candidates performed best on Paper 03 is expected since this is the Internal Assessment, and given the proper guidance, candidates should perform significantly better on this paper than the others which were done under examination conditions. There were too many candidates obtaining less than 50 per cent of the marks available on this paper. The problems identified in candidates’ responses to questions on Paper 02 of the pilot examination still persist. Some candidates demonstrated a high level of knowledge and comprehension as well as the ability to apply and organise this knowledge. Unfortunately, too many candidates failed to demonstrate these abilities. For the most part, items that required application were poorly done. Candidates do not seem to understand what is required when a test item instructs them to discuss, describe or assess.

3 There were a number of test items in Paper 01 and Paper 02 on which many candidates performed poorly. Some candidates showed some knowledge but the depth required to answer these questions satisfactorily was lacking. There was no significant variation in the performance of candidates in Modules 1, 2 and 3. Candidates performed best in Module 1, followed by Module 2 and Module 3. In the pilot examination of 2002, the order was reversed. Generally, candidates’ performance was disappointing. There was some indication that the depth of coverage with respect to certain areas of the syllabus had improved. However, improvement is still needed in the breadth of coverage and in candidates’ ability to organise and apply knowledge. DETAILED COMMENTS UNIT 1 PAPER 01 The more able candidates performed satisfactorily. However, there were many candidates whose responses were inadequate especially where they were required to explain interactions and interrelationships. Candidates performed poorly on Questions 3, 6, 8, 11 and 12. Candidates’ performance was better in...
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