Preparing for 2003 National Third Form Examination

Guyana Chronicle
December 1, 2002

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Today, we begin a series of articles aimed at helping students and teachers prepare for the National Third Form Examination.

THE National Third Form Examination (NTFE) has been established to help individual students, their teachers and parents/guardians to be aware of the individual studentís specific learning needs as s/he prepares for the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) at the end of their period of secondary schooling.

The NTFE is usually administered during the last week of June, for English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, and all Form 3 students must be adequately prepared for this national examination.

The NTFE is based on the learning objectives of the Levels 7-9 National Curriculum Guides in which the learning objectives have been identified in terms of the skills, knowledge, understandings and attitudes that are required to provide the foundation needed for a successful completion of the CSEC by the end of Form 5. The Ministry of Education, through its Book Distribution Unit and Regional/Georgetown Education Departments, has distributed copies of the curriculum guides to all secondary-age schools nationwide.

The NTFE has three components which provide students with a range of opportunities to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do. The format and weightings of each of the three components are as follows:

Component Format Weighting

Paper 1 40 x Multiple Choice Questions 30%

Paper 11 Max. of 6 x Structured/Essay Questions 45%

Paper 111 School-based Assignment (Project 25%

Students have a choice of projects, for each subject, to provide opportunities for the individual student to undertake an investigation in an area that is of interest to the student. Parents should support their children in their choice and the completion of their projects.

Projects are designed to enable students to find out something for themselves. Finding out for oneself requires the individual student to put together a number of skills in a structured way in order to solve a problem. The role of the teacher is that of a facilitator, helping the student to develop the key problem-solving skills of Planning, Implementing and Reporting (PIR).

The guidelines for the supervision of School-based Assignments/Projects should help teachers to monitor their studentsí progress in completing their projects in a systematic way and on time.

The student checklist should enable the individual student to keep focused on developing the key problem-solving skills (PIR) in order to successfully complete his/her project in the time allocated - 12 weeks - between February 1 and April 30, for this component of NTFE.

Next week, we will consider guidelines for the supervision of School-based Assignments/Projects.

Guidelines for Supervision of school-based assignments/projects

1. Planning how to complete the assessment
Has the student made the best selection of topic/theme for his/her assignment?

Do the parents/guardians support the studentís choice of assignment?

Does the student know and understand what s/he has to do and by when?

Does the student know the value of the assignment towards his/her overall performance

Has the student developed an action plan of how s/he will complete the assignment?

Does the action plan indicate both the (i) tasks to be completed and (ii) target dates for the completion of each individual task?

Has the teacher negotiated and agreed on the date and time, with the student, when s/he will be reviewing the studentís progress in completing the assignment?

If the assignment is a team effort, has each team member been assigned an adequate role?

Has the action plan been recorded, by the student, in his/her report file?

2. Implementation of the Action Plan
Is the student working according to the agreed action plan?

Has the studentís progress, matched against the agreed action plan, been recorded by the teacher?

Is the student making the progress expected from the action plan?

Can/should the action plan be revised to improve the rate of progress?

Is the student recording, in his/her report file, what s/he has done and the evidence obtained?

If the rate of progress in terms of implementation is very slow has

the student been informed of the consequences of this situation and (b) his/her parents/guardians been consulted to find a strategy for improving the studentís rate of progress?

What support does the student need to improve his/her rate of progress and how can this be achieved?

3. Preparation for the final report
Has the student submitted the first draft of the agreed section(s) of the report for review by the teacher?

Did the student participate in the review process?

Has the teacher provided feedback to the student on the first draft of the agreed section(s) of the report?

If a second draft has the date and time for its submission been negotiated between the student and teacher?

If the rate of progress in completing the final report is very slow, has the studentís parents/guardians been consulted and/ or revised completion dates agreed?

Does the report state the evidence obtained from the assignment, e.g. data?

Is the evidence adequately and appropriately displayed?

Are any conclusions drawn?

Are the conclusions drawn based on evidence?

Does the student provide any suggestions/recommendations for improving the quality of outcomes of the assignment?

Are references, sources of information and support provided recorded and acknowledged?

Has the report been written in the studentís own words?

Next week, we will publish the studentís checklist for the completion of school-based assignments/projects.

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