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General Comments May/June 2007
The standard of the paper was comparable to that of previous years. the essay topics were within the competence of candidates: letter writing, magazine article, debate and story-telling The comprehension and summary passages were on topics which the candidates should have been able to understand easily and tackle without difficulty.
Contrary to expectation, the performance of the candidates was awfully poor. Some of the candidates scored zero in the whole paper, having failed to write an answer that could earn a single mark in any section of the’ paper. It appears that a good number of schools registered illiterate and unqualified candidates for this test.
General Comments Nov/Dec 2007
This paper was well within the experience of the candidates and the standard compared favorably with those set in previous years. The candidates’ performance, however, was generally disappointing, especially in the areas of Expression and Mechanical Accuracy. Many Candidates with high scores under Expression have repeatedly scored zero under Mechanical Accuracy. It is obvious that the source of the candidates’ poor performance is inadequate preparation and this manifests in many forms like, poor spelling and poor punctuation. There was abundant evidence that most candidates merely translated the vernacular expressions into English, as a result of inadequate exposure to idiomatic forms of English. There was also a show of lack of familiarity with the required formats.
General Comments May/June 2008
The standard of the paper compared well with those of the previous years. The topics for composition were similar to those set in recent years – letter writing, newspaper article, debate and story-telling. Similarly, the passages for comprehension and summary exercises were on very familiar topics. On the whole, the questions were within the competence of the candidates.
However, despite the deliberate attempt to give the candidates tests within their experience and capabilities, the performance of candidates did not show any improvement on previous years’ performance. There was, instead, a degeneration of standards in some areas especially the summary test in which many candidates recorded a ‘zero’ score.
General Comments Nov/Dec 2008
The Chief Examiners reported that the standard of the paper compared well with those of previous years. The composition questions covered the usual topics – the two types of letter-writing, i.e., formal and informal, a newspaper article, a debate and story-writing. The comprehension and summary passages were on familiar subjects that were within the experience of school certificate candidates.
Candidates exhibited an appreciable degree of competence in tackling the questions, especially in the comprehension section where the number of ‘zero’ scores were fewer than usual. However, many of the answers in the summary section showed the perennial weakness of copying the passage indiscriminately. Generally, candidates’ performance was about the same as those of previous years.
General Comments May/June 2009
The standard of the paper compared favorably with the previous years. The composition topics were similar to those set in the past - one formal and one informal letter, an article for the school magazine, a debate on a very common topic and story writing.
Similarly, the comprehension and summary passages were very easy to understand and the questions on them were not ambiguous. On the whole, the paper was within the competence of the candidates.
However, the overall performance of the candidates was worse than those of previous years.
General Comments Nov/Dec 2009
The standard of the paper compared very well with those of previous years. The questions covered the usual essay topics – letter writing, newspaper article, debate and story – telling. The comprehension and summary passages were on familiar subjects.
Generally, candidates’ performance was slightly better than those of previous years.