The Advent of Caribbean Examination Council (CXC)

The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) provides regional and internationally recognized secondary school leaving examinations relevant to the region’s needs. They assist in Common Entrance and other types of examinations; produce teaching materials and trains teachers to use the CXC syllabi, and advise regional governments on education.

CXC was founded in 1972 by an agreement between the Caribbean Community’s participating governments (CARICOM). CXC ensures the Caribbean’s global human resource competitiveness by providing high-quality syllabuses, effective and reliable examinations and certificates of international reputation for students of all ages, abilities, and interests, and cost-effective services to educational institutes in the development of syllabuses, examinations, and examination administration.

Higher education trends show an overall increase in enrollment in many countries. These are extremely impressive numbers for Caribbean Community tertiary education (CARICOM). Many current (and former) Caribbean students pursuing higher education began their journey to success by passing the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam managed by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). This accreditation is administered in 16 countries and allows applicants to most colleges and universities in every CARICOM country—and beyond. The admittance policies of Caribbean institutions for the CSEC vary. The CXC is currently an important part of Caribbean education. It may be difficult for some to imagine life before the CXC.

How CXC has Replaced GCE

The Era of GCE Before CXC

During the 1960s, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados obtained independence from the United Kingdom, while numerous additional nations gained independence gradually throughout the 1970s. Although the countries had gained independence from the British Crown, their educational systems remained heavily reliant on English institutions.

Secondary schools would teach the locally recognized curriculum until the end of the 11th year, when students would appear for the General Certificate of Education – Ordinary Level (GCE-O) test. This was the typical British secondary school leaving examination at the time. If students desired to apply for more prestigious or professional higher education, they would need to complete their Advanced level (GCE-A) examination for an additional two years.

The Advent of CXC

The CXC was established in 1972 when representatives from the 15 CARICOM nations modelled after the United Kingdom convened in Barbados to approve the Agreement establishing the Council. The CXC’s main offices were established in Jamaica the following year. The CXC was designed to replace the Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate in Jamaica, in particular. Replacing British test boards was most likely the same rationale for the other CARICOM members who joined. The original CSEC exams included English, Geography, History, and Mathematics and a pilot course for Integrated Sciences.

Although the CXC tests were gaining popularity in the Caribbean, it was still difficult to convince higher education institutions to acknowledge the applications of students who passed these exams. Several institutions and international admissions boards deemed the CXC I and II grades to be corresponding to the GCE-O A, B, and C grades in 1980. This meant that students who passed the CSEC and CAPE exams might utilize their exam results to get admission to more prestigious universities with no difficulty.

The CXC and its future possibilities only developed from there. Since the initial CSEC exam, more and more examination subjects have been added. The CXC is prospering in the digital age, providing a variety of online services that make it much easier for students to acquire results. At this rate, the CXC will very certainly continue to offer more disciplines to students in the future.

About Immanuel’s High School

Immanuel High School (IHS) established to educate students for GCE examinations used by England and certain other Commonwealth members. GCE examinations have been replaced with Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations.

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