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Caribbean Examinations Council decisions for 2021 Regional Examinations Strategy

June 29, 2021

Original Article:

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC®) has engaged with regional governments and other key stakeholders from across the region on the conception and planning of the 2021 regional examinations and registers its appreciation for their enriching contributions.

A Special Meeting of Council was held on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 and members reviewed and accepted a report from CXC’s School Examinations Committee (SEC), that made recommendations on the strategy for the 2021 regional examinations, which emanated from discussions at CARICOM’s Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) 28th Special session on 12 May 2021.

After careful deliberation and consideration of all the pertinent issues, Council (made up of Governments from across the region), agreed that the revised strategy for the 2021 regional examinations shall be as follows:

1. To maintain the administration of all papers

CXC® will administer the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination® (CAPE®), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate® (CSEC®) and Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence® (CCLSC®) Examinations in their original format; that is, for CAPE® and CSEC® Papers 01, 02 and 031 (School-Based Assessments [SBA]) or Paper 032 for private candidates, and for CCSLC®, Paper 01 and the SBA.

2. To delay sitting of the regional examinations by a further two weeks

This will provide candidates with extra time to prepare for the examinations. Therefore, examinations will commence on Monday, 28 June 2021.

a) Exam Duration – CAPE®/CSEC®- 28 June 2021–30 July 2021.
b) Release of Results – Last week in September to the first week in October, as previously communicated.

3. Extension of Submission of School-Based Assessment (SBA)

The deadline for the submission of SBAs will be extended to 30 June 2021 for all CSEC® and CAPE® examinations.

The Special Council Meeting took note of the Concessions that CXC® has already put in place to date, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it is important to note that further consideration will be given during the grading process, to account for the likely psychosocial impact on students’ performance, to further ensure that they are not disenfranchised.

On-site Moderation

CXC® has also introduced a new level of flexibility for the delayed conduct of on-site moderation, with an absolute deadline now set at 31 July 2021.


The Concessions which have already been put in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  1. School Based Assessments (SBAs) – CXC® reduced the SBA requirements by as much as 50 per cent in some subjects.
  2. Delayed Examinations – Examinations have been delayed by 6 weeks. A further delay of two weeks to 28 June 2021.
  3. Submission of SBAs – The deadline for the submission of SBAs has been extended by 6 weeks.
  4. Release of Broad Topics – CXC® released the Broad Topics on Monday, 10 May 2021 and territories have submitted queries, to which CXC® has been responding. In this regard, a review is currently underway.
  5. Option to Defer – Candidates have the option to defer some or all of their Examinations to either January or June 2022. CXC® has further extended candidates’ opportunity to indicate their intent for deferral to 31 May 2021.
  6. Acceptance of SBAs in January/June 2022 from deferred candidates – For the first time, CXC® will accept SBAs in January 2022 for candidates deferring to sit examinations for subjects offered in that period.
St Vincent & the Grenadines

Council also noted that CXC® continues to work with representatives from the Ministry of Education in St Vincent & the Grenadines to ensure that its candidates will not be disenfranchised as a result of the volcanic eruption.

Council believes that these decisions are made in the best interest of our stakeholders across the region at this time and will continue to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that there is equity and fairness for all candidates, that the integrity of the regional examinations remain intact and that the health and well-being of our stakeholders remain paramount.


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