The examinations conducted by the CXC (Caribbean Examinations Council) are popular examinations in the Caribbean countries. Spanish is one of the subjects in this examination. Today, we share some details on the pattern of this examination, topics covered, and also talk about ways by which students can excel in their CXC Spanish test (resource references are at the end of the post).
CXC is the regional examining body of the Caribbean that provides educational certifications in 16 English speaking Commonwealth Caribbean Countries, and some Dutch speaking Territories. Its new vision is to “assure the global human resource competitiveness of the Caribbean”
For employers and parents, CXC is about certification, mainly CSEC® or CAPE®. Most Caribbean people see CXC largely as an examining body which issues certifications that have become increasingly recognized worldwide.
The Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) - usually taken by students after five years of secondary school. It is equivalent to the Ordinary Level (O-Levels) examinations and are targeted towards students sixteen and older.
- The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) – taken by students who have completed their secondary education and wish to continue their studies. The CAPE is equivalent to the British Advanced Levels (A-levels).
CXC Spanish examination – CSEC
In this blog post, we will cover the guidelines, exam pattern, the syllabus, and resources for past papers for CSEC Spanish (part of the Modern Languages) and also how one can easily learn Spanish for this examination. In the next post, you will find the same details for the CAPE Spanish exam.
The Spanish syllabus focuses on developing students’ ability to communicate in Spanish. As students develop the competence to listen, speak, read and write in Spanish and interpret aspects of the culture, they acquire the means to facilitate deeper interaction with Caribbean neighbors.
The exam tests candidates on: listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
- Paper 01 – General Proficiency (1 hour 20 minutes) – 60 marks – A 60-item Multiple Choice test in two sections
- Part A – Listening Comprehension (30 items)
- Part B – Reading Comprehension (30 items)
- Paper 02 – Written paper (2 hours 15 minutes) – 100 marks
- Section 1 – Requires candidates to provide written responses to various situations in Spanish
- Section 2 – Choose between writing an informal letter (130-150 words) OR a composition (130-150 words)
- Section 3 – Choose between writing a contextual announcement (80-100 words) OR a contextual dialog (80-100 words)
- Section 4 – Reading comprehension – candidates need to read a comprehension in Spanish and answer the questions in English
- Paper 03 - Oral (10-15 minutes) – 80 marks
- Section 1 – Requires candidates to answer orally (in Spanish) to situations given in English (see some sample papers)
- Section 2 – Read a passage in Spanish aloud
- Section 3 – Answer orally to 4 questions
Candidates should be able to carry out guided conversations based on the following topics:
- Present Continuous
- Past Continuous
- Present Perfect
- **Present Subjunctive
- *Imperfect Subjunctive*
*For recognition at General Proficiency only
The CXC guidelines also list out the detailed topics that students should know such as greetings and responses, farewells, introductions, beginning and ending letters, expressing gratitude, inviting, filling a form, describing weather, expressing opinions, commands, and more!
A detailed list of topics can be found here: http://www.cxc.org/SiteAssets/syllabusses/CSEC/CSEC%20Modern%20Languages.pdf
Preparing yourself for the CXC Spanish examination (CSEC)
Start well in time: The orals begin in April (21st-28th) and the Spanish 1 and 2 exams are in June 11th and May 23rd respectively. Start at least 7-8 months in advance and take one topic at a time. After finishing each topic, solve a lot of past question papers on that topic. Then move on to the next topic. Leave the last 1 month completely for practice.
Get expert help: If you truly want to ace the examination, study Spanish with the help of an expert native tutor. The CSEC Spanish syllabus needs you to develop listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. To truly master the listening and speaking skills, you need interaction with someone who speaks Spanish – and can help you speak it too! An expert will also be able to guide you with an organized study plan, grammar help, regular practice, and more. If you can’t find a tutor in your city, you can take 1on1 lessons with an expert tutor over Skype – from the comfort of your home – at hours convenient for you!
If you haven’t started preparing yet, we recommend taking at-least 3-4 sessions a week along with self-study and practice.
Self study: Along with the tutoring sessions, you should spend at-least an hour studying yourself. You can find some great self-study lessons and practice exercises online on the topics prescribed in the syllabus for the CSEC Spanish exam. We have listed some resources at the end of this post.
Getting expert help from Spanish teachers
CultureAlley offers 1on1 Live Skype lessons with native Spanish tutors to help you ace the CXC Spanish Exam. It is one of the most effective and personalized way to learn Spanish.
The lessons are 1on1 video conferencing sessions with Spanish tutors who can help the students with all aspects of the CXC examination. The lessons are completely interactive and fun, and include all 4 aspects – reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
The tutors personalize the course completely to focus on topics related to the CXC examination, and focus on topics which the student finds difficult. They give regular practice exercises to help with the problem areas.
The lessons include:
- Grammar practice,
- Conversational practice,
- Fun exercises like role playing, reading, music based listening practice, watching videos and understanding their meaning, and more!
You can take these lessons at hours convenient for you. All you need is a Skype account, and you can get connected with one of our tutors for 1on1 lessons from the comfort of your home!
More learning resources:
- More than 70 free audio-visual lessons with interactive practice : CultureAlley Spanish
Covers topics like: greetings and responses, farewells, introductions, beginning and ending letters, expressing gratitude, inviting, filling a form, describing weather, expressing opinions, commands, and more!
- Audio dictionary (English to Spanish): with curated words and audio support so that students can hear the pronunciation
- Past question papers: Refer to our blog post where we have shared a lot of past papers
So start preparing for your CXC exam today!
CXC Official site: http://www.cxc.org/