For a second year, the number of candidates that registered to participate in most of the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) suite of exams has fallen.

Dr Nicole Manning, Director of Operations, Examination Services Division, revealed the statistic at the Official Release of Results for the June/July 2021 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) in Guyana this morning.

About 27,750 candidates registered to write CAPE in 2021 compared to 30,398 in 2020.

Manning said this was the lowest number of CAPE candidates in four years.

Absentees also increased to 8.83 per cent.

About 1,251 students applied to sit the exam at another time.

For CSEC, 103,445 students wrote the exam in 2021 compared to 122,248 in 2021.

About 11.23 per cent of candidates did not show up for one or more of their exams.

CXC received 15,179 request from CSEC candidates to take the exam in 2022.

Manning revealed that 4,179 students chose to sit the exam in January 2022 and 7,720 will sit in June.

Over 3,200 students have not selected a time.

Candidates writing the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) increased to 9,043 in 2021 from 5,852 in 2020.

But the number of subjects taken by the collective dropped to 10,811.

Absentees decreased from a high of 70.3 per cent in 2020 to 19.8 per cent in 2021

Manning noted that staging the exams were challenging since candidates battled several issues, including being locked out of their countries.

But CXC was able to accommodate the students.

“We are trying as best as possible to increase electronic testing,” Manning remarked as she spoke about CXC’s four-year strategic plan to modernise education in the Caribbean.

Ministry officials and chief invigilators have been trained on how to manage electronic testing.

About 27 per cent of CAPE and 84 per cent of CSEC candidates used some type of electronic testing this year.

Internet access, power outages and issues were the secure browser were among the challenges encountered. But Manning noted “no candidate would have been affected negatively”.