Some 11,000 students who took SSEE will need remedial work
Stabroek News
July 8, 2004

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Some 11,000 or 62.7% of children who wrote this year's Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (SSEE) received 400 or fewer marks, which means they will "need to do much remedial work as they are admitted to form one of a secondary school."

Based on information supplied, of the 17,000-odd candidates who wrote the examination this year, only around 6,000 or 37.3% obtained scores above 400.

Of the 11,000 who scored 400 and fewer marks, some 5,000 pupils earned less than 300 marks.

For those children who obtained less than 400 marks, Secondary Schools Reform Project (SSRP) Administrator Walter Alexander said in a release, it must be emphasised that they must master their reading skills in order to grapple with the various subjects in their secondary school. And once their mathematics score was less than 100 marks, it means basic mathematics is yet to be mastered.

Explaining the conversion of raw scores to the highest possible score at this year's SSEE, Alexander said the highest possible score was 562.

According to the SSRP administrator, even if a child answered every question wrong in the whole examination he/she would still receive a score of 288.

This is because, over the past 20 years, the Measurement and Evaluation Unit of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) has been using a method of `Standardised Scores'. This method sees the actual or raw score converted, by means of a formula, to a standardised score.

The formula takes into account the mean or average performance in each subject of all of the candidates.

The raw-score total for the four subjects - English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies - was 288; when the formula was applied, the converted score was 562. The raw score for English was 72, converted score 147; Mathematics 72, converted score 140; Science 71, converted score 134; Social Studies 73, converted score, 141.

According to Alexander, a total score of less than 425, which corresponds to a raw score of 30 per subject or a total raw score of 120, indicates that the pupil has on the average answered less than half of the questions correctly. Therefore, he said, a score of 425 or more indicates that on the average the pupil answered at least half of the questions correctly.

A score of less than 356 marks means that on the average a candidate answered less than a quarter of the questions correctly. On the other hand, a score of 500 marks or more means the pupil gave correct answers to about 75% of the questions.

Alexander extended congratulations to the pupils and teachers who did well in this year's examinations. Parents, too, he said must be commended.