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Understanding the BGCSE Grading


Who Introduced the Seven Point Scheme? When? Why?

In 1993, The Ministry of Education’s testing and Evaluation Section, in conjunction with the University Of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), introduced a seven point grading scheme for the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examination.

The seven point grading scheme reports the performance of the candidate under seven grades, all of which indicate a measure of positive achievement. Remember, the BGCSE examinations are designed to show what candidates know, understand and can do.

The BGCSE seven-point grading scheme used by Cambridge’s IGCSE AND GCSE examinations. In England these examinations have replaced the London Ordinary Level examination (O-Level).


The BGCSE examination assesses candidates’ grasp of key concepts, knowledge, skills and competencies required by the syllabus. Here’s what each of the seven grades mean:

A Candidate shows an excellent grasp

B Candidate shows a comprehensive grasp.

C Candidate shows a good grasp.

D Candidate shows a fairly good grasp.

E Candidate shows a moderate grasp.

F Candidate shows a limited grasp.

G Candidate shows a very limited grasp.
(Each BGCSE subject has more specific grade descriptions)


The Ministry of Education and UCLES have determined that the grades A – C awarded in the BGCSE examination are equivalent, grade awarded in the previous London Ordinary Level examination.

The G.C.E ‘O’ Level examinations assessed the performance of only a select group of students – a mere 15 – 20 % of 12th graders preparing to enter college.

The BGCSE examination assesses the performance of ALL students in the twelfth grade; the seven point grading scheme does not affect the standard of the examination but gives a true picture of the achievement of each candidate.

Since 1993, the University of Cambridge has endorsed the BGCSE grades and has advised tertiary institutions overseas that the grades A – C
Satisfy the matriculation requirement for the four year programmes at college offering post secondary school programmes.

Advantages of the Seven Point Grading Scheme:

The BGCSE seven point grading scheme ensures a sharper distinction between the quality of performance at each grade. Thus tertiary institutions and emplolyers will be more clearly informed about each candidate?s level of achievement.

Grades are categorized as follows:

A,B, and C(Above Average)

D (Average)

E,F, and G (Below average)

U is not a grade – it indicates that the candidate did not register any positive achievement with respect to the requirement of the syllabus.

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Testing & Evaluation Services

The following services are available through the Testing and Evaluation Centre:

• Development and administration of national examinations.
• Conduct of school Entrance Exams Eg. SAT, GRE, Mcat
• Conduct of college level and professional exams: e.g.
• GCE ( A Level) LLB & Degree course , ACCA, (Accounting Exam)
College of Estate Managers, (COEM), Pitman, City and Guild, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry Examination.
• Sale of past examination papers and syllabuses.
• We also facilitate replacement of lost or stolen BJC certificates (after 5 years).
• Student Record Services
• Verification of students’ attendance at government schools.
• Provide information to institutions in the Caribbean, USA (NCAA Clearing House.
• Liaise with colleges abroad.
• Administer final Exams for Home Study.

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Test Taking Hints & Strategies

How to prepare yourself for the examination?

• Practice good study habits.
• Avoid last minute cramming.
• Make sure all coursework assignments and practicals are completed on time.
• The night before the examination check to ensure that you have all the necessary materials/supplies needed (including two or more pens.)
• Make sure that you get sufficient rest/sleep.
• On the morning of the examination, get up early avoid the rush.
• Get a good breakfast
• You should be seated fifteen(15) minutes before the examination is scheduled to begin
• Relax

Test Taking Strategies

• Write your school/centre number and candidate number in spaces provided on the examination paper and the answer booklet.
• Read and follow instructions carefully.
• Answer ALL compulsory questions.
• Skip difficult question and return to them later
• In choice sections, do not answer more questions than are required.
• Read questions more than once to ensure that you understand what is expected of you.
• Note the Mark allocations of individual questions( this should assist you with the amount of information required).
• Work out the amount of time required to answer each section. Adhere to recommended time for each section.
• Questions usually start with a word which is a directive to the question make sure you are familiar with terms such as State, list, explain, discuss, describe, compare, calculate. Compute, evaluate,etc.
• Watch out for these key words in questions
• Short answer questions should be answered concisely, providing only the information requested.
• Plan essay questions in rough, preferably on the answer sheet. The rough notes can be crossed out later.
• Do not plan entire essay in rough.
• If you run out of time in an essay question, write your facts in note form.
• Try not to be vague
• Avoid repeating the same information. It can only be credited with marks once.
• Read over your paper to ensure that you have answered all questions correctly. If your answer is not relevant it will not score any marks.


• Write clearly and neatly
• If the script cannot be read, it would be difficult to mark it accurately.
• Poor presentation can also affect the ease of adding up marks and checking.
• Write the number of the questions in the left hand margin
• Do not write any other information in the margins.

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CHA Grants for Teachers

The CHA Foundation Professional Development Scholarships are available for full-time employed industry professionals who wish to enhance their current level of education by taking relevant hotel courses or by participating in apprenticeship work attachment or other specialized programs.

These awards are intended to provide industry professionals, not currently enrolled as full or part-time students, with the opportunity to further their education, career opportunities and enrich the work experience of their employees by enrolling in short courses and other specialized programs.

For more information, visit:

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Tourism Taskforce on Education

The recent National Tourism Conference focused attention on a number of critical human and physical infrastructural challenges facing The Bahamas.

As an outgrowth of the session on Education, the Bahamas Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism has established two working groups; the first, called the Tourism Task Force on Education, which is engaged with the Ministry of Education to initiate a comprehensive review of the education curriculum to ensure it is relevant to the needs of the industry; and the second, which is working with the College of The Bahamas Research Unit to undertake a Hospitality Industry Human Resources Needs Assessment.

Both of these exercises are related, in that the needs of the industry, measured against the gaps in the existing labour pool, should provide direction into the content and type of curricula offered at all levels of the education and training continuum.

The conduct of these two undertakings requires professional expertise and coordination assistance, as well as logistical and other project expenses, beyond that which can be reasonably provided by educators, industry volunteers and existing personnel within the Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Hotel Association.

Plans for both undertakings are well underway, with the curriculum review process commencing with workshops for educators and industry during the last week in April and first week in May.

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Curriculum Guides

According to the Ministry of Education, the instructional programmes in all government schools are based on the National Curriculum guidelines for each subject. These guidelines have been developed by the Curriculum Officers in collaboration with teachers and members of the community.

The Curriculum focuses on development of intelligence, attitudes, knowledge and values of the student, articulating what they are expected to know and to be able to do in their school lives and is based on the expectation that all students can achieve the learning goals at all levels.

Each curriculum promotes opportunities for teachers to respond to students? intelligences learning styles and preferences. The curriculum includes recommended teaching and learning resources and activities and suggested assessment practices.

Developing the curriculum for the thirty-three (33) subjects being offered in our schools is the responsibility of officers in the Humanities, Technical/Vocational, and the Science and Technology Sections.

The humanities subjects are: Language Arts, Visual Arts, Spanish, French, Social Studies, Religious Studies, Health & Family Life, Performing Arts, History, Geography and Civics.

Subjects in Technical/Vocation are Commerce, Accounts, Typewriting, Technical Drawing, Carpentry, Electrical Installation, Auto Mechanics, Plumbing, Welding, Masonry, Home Economics, Hospitality & Training, Cosmetology, Computer Studies, Office Procedures, Economics, Electronics, Small Engine Repair and Cluster/Modular Program. Mathematics, the Sciences, Agriculture, and Physical Education.

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Testing & Evaluation

Parents and Students need to know the scoring process, how it works, and how to optimize the scores, where to get BJC and BGCSE Results and how many subjects are minimum requirements for higher education.

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Edu Corner

This is a posting of position papers, speeches and briefs from various events, with a sub-section for CARIBEAT, a regional look at what other Caribbean countries are doing. 

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Tech Corner

Educators need to understand how technology is changing the tourism industry and its operations, in order to effectively advise students. 

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