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CXC Past Papers: A Tool for Exam Success

05.11.21 01:44 PM By Akkeem

CXC Past Papers: A Tool for Exam Success


Using past papers to pass CXC


Exam preparation is back in full swing with exams just a few months away. The increase in global connectivity has made resources for exam preparation more accessible and just clicks away. One such tool is exam past papers. Continue reading to find out if they're right for you. 


The pandemic has forced students to alter their learning styles. It has also allowed them to realize the advantages of using past papers to prepare for exams. The Caribbean Examination Council's (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations are sat yearly by over 10,000 students across the region, with the main exam sitting being in May and June. 


CXC's past papers play a significant role when preparing for these exams. Many students over the years have said that they have helped them be successful in their exams. Educators also use past papers in their lessons as a way to help students prepare. 


Why use CXC past papers?


  1. To better understand the language of the paper.


We are not talking about only CXC English A. However, it is fundamental to know the terminologies used and how the questions are asked. 


Examination bodies like CXC have developed a methodology when writing their questions. People are sometimes confused about how they are phrasing them. As a result, their response may not be suitable or appropriate.


That's why it's necessary to familiarize yourself with what a question is asking you to do. When you know this, you're more likely to provide a favourable response. 


2. To know how to pace yourself


Working on a past paper helps you to know how much time to spend on each question. With that in mind, it allows for proper time management. If you can finish the past paper in the stipulated time, it's good because you would've successfully achieved pacing yourself. If not, you would need to practice to lessen the time it takes you to complete it.


3. To understand how the paper is marked


Knowing the allocation of marks for each question indicates what you're required to do. For example, in CXC Math, a question may require showing all the work instead of just the final answer. Therefore, not showing all the work may result in losing marks for that question. As such, the marks allocation can guide the appropriate response for each question. Therefore, never put yourself in a position to do unnecessary work or be disadvantaged by not doing enough. Understand the marks by doing the past paper!


4. To know the answers


Doing a past paper for each CXC subject is beneficial as questions repeat very often. Over the years, questions have been repeated for the various CXC subjects multiple times. Therefore, going through the paper will help you to know the answers. When the questions are repeated, you can spend a little time responding. The feeling of knowing that you secured marks in the exam because something repeated is a great one. 


 How to practice using a CXC past paper


  1. Do it using the instructed examination conditions


Practice makes perfect. Even though you aren't sitting the real thing, completing an examination under the stipulated conditions will allow you to focus and prepare for when the real-time comes. 


Standard examination instructions may include:

- Cheating is prohibited and, if caught, may result in the student being penalized. 

If caught cheating in a CXC examination, you may be penalized for all your exams. The reality is that only you would know that you cheat, and that's why you need to be disciplined enough to avoid cheating. Again, practice makes perfect. 


- No devices allowed.

You're at home or school doing a past paper. Who cares if you have your device, right? It's a problem; not only can you get distracted by the constant pinging, but you might get the urge to find an answer, especially if you don't think you understand it well. 


Additionally, using your device in a CXC exam will also result in penalization. 


-Using the proper writing instruments. Your favourite colour ink may be pink; however, under examination conditions, when writing an exam, you should aim to use black or dark blue ink and, for example, 3B pencils when answering multiple-choice. Not following these instructions may impact your exam even if you thought you answered every question correctly.


Practice indeed makes perfect. 


2. Do it using the time outlined


CXC exams are timed, and whether you use the online method or physical one, each exam has a stipulated time in which candidates must finish and submit their work. 


In a timed exam, candidates must know how to manage their time well to cover all the questions by submitting appropriate responses. 


When practising, ensure that you try to answer each question sufficiently. If you don't know an answer, move on to the next one, then return to it.


You will be calm in the actual exam because you know the timeframe and what you need to do. 


3. Do it sitting properly


Online learning has caused many to get used to not properly sitting to complete an exam. Instead, they're able to lay in their bed or sit in what they deem to be a comfortable position. 


Students aren't allowed to sit as they please in the CXC examination as they must conform to the seating arrangements outlined by the respective centre.


As such, practising to do the examination sitting the right way will allow you not to have a problem when the real thing comes along. 


Other tips after completing a past paper:


- Create a list of topics you don't fully grasp based on your responses.

-Try to identify the topics where you spend more time even if you understand them well.

-Compare various past papers in regards to the styling of the questions.

-Think about your studying habits and if they adequately prepared you to complete the paper.


Preparing for CXC Exams

Have you started your exam prep? You still have time. However, doing past papers isn't the only way you can prepare for exam success. It also requires understanding the concepts and applying yourself accordingly. With a Skills Gap Test, you'll be able to know your gaps in your CXC subjects and access a personalized online learning experience that includes past paper questions and answers. You can also get premium access to On-Demand Self-Paced Video Courses, Live Classes, One on One Tutoring, and Academic Coaching.


OneX by One on One provides the best solution for your CXC exam preparation! We are ready to help you every step of the way because, with One on One, it's that personal.