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REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES,


TERTIARY EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Quality Assurance and Inspection Division

Findings on National Assessment Grade 9 -2018

State Secondary Schools

QAID, MOERHTESR
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgement ………………………………………………………………… 1

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….. 2

English Language…………………………………………………………………… 3

French Language…………………………………………………………………… 12

Mathematics……………………………………………………………………… 20

Computer Studies/ Literacy………………………………………………………… 28

Entrepreneurship Education……………………………………………………… 39

Visual Arts……………………………………………………………………… 44

Chemistry…………………………………………………………………………… 48

Physics…………………………………………………………………………… 52

Biology……………………………………………………………………………… 55

QAID, MOERHTESR
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We wish to express our gratitude to all resource persons who have contributed in the drafting of
this paper. This endeavour would not have been possible without the invaluable contribution of
Educators, Senior Educators, Deputy Rectors and Rectors.

We would also like to thank all those who helped in one way or the other in the preparation of the
paper.

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Introduction
In the context of the implementation of the Nine Year Continuous Basic Education reform, the
National Assessment Grade 9 (NAG 9) is paving the way for the forthcoming National Certificate
of Education. The aim of the NAG 9 is to take stock of the progress in learning that has taken place
after three years spent at the lower secondary level.

The NAG9 provides an insight into the developmental process with regard to competencies
acquired by students, while allowing schools to evaluate the performance of students and make
necessary adjustments in pedagogy.

The findings of the NAG9 2018 is the result of a quantitative and qualitative analysis of
performance of students in all subjects assessed at NAG9. The analysis is based on raw data
obtained from State Secondary Schools and schools falling within the purview of MGI schooling
in Mauritius. A sample of scripts was collected for the exercise and a benchmark of 40 marks was
taken as pass rate.

A team of professionals comprising resource persons from the Ministry of Education and Human
Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research collaborated in drafting the paper.

The findings provide Educators with a valuable tool to diagnose learning difficulties in the
implementation of the curriculum. It will also help in addressing the diverse pedagogical needs of
learners in order to achieve expected learning outcomes.

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ENGLISH

Section A: Reading
Passage 1 -20 marks
The first passage was about the life and struggle for freedom of Nelson Mandela.
Question 1 (a, b & c)
These three questions were explicit and straight forward. Part (a) required students to say whether
statements were true or false and provide justifications to support their choices. Most students
answered the first part correctly. However, providing correct justifications for the answer given
proved problematic for few students who lifted the wrong sentences from the passage. This
resulted in loss of marks. Parts (b) and (c) asked for the identification of information and
rearranging of sentences. Most students were able to answer all parts correctly. This is a clear
indication that they were well prepared to answer these types of questions.

Question (1 d)
This question required students to explain why the name ‘Rolihlahla’ was an appropriate name for
Nelson Mandela. The question was an inferential one and a significant number of students were
unable to come up with the right answer. In fact, they failed to make the link between Mandela’s
name ‘Rolihlahla’ and his character and struggle. Incidentally, the difference between literal and
figurative meaning still remains a problem for most of our students.

Question 1 (e and f)
Question 1(e and f) were direct questions about how Mandela’s parents influenced him to fight for
his people and about Mandela’s protest against quality of food while he was at University. Most
students fared well for these questions as they only required students to pick the right answers
from the text.

Question 1 (g)
For this question, students had to pick two pieces of evidence from the text to show how apartheid
was unfair. Selecting the appropriate information from the text was easily tackled by students.

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However, some of them could not find appropriate evidence on the unfair treatment of the Non-
White South Africans.

Question 1 (h)
This question required students to explain the circumstances that led to the setting up of
‘Umkhonto We Sizwe’. The answer to Question 1 (h) was implicit and required students to use
inferential and reasoning skills in order to give the correct answer. This resulted in a significant
number of students failing to identify the information that led to the correct answer. The answer to
the question was at the beginning of the paragraph (line 17) whilst the name ‘Umkhonto We Sizwe’
was situated in line 19. Many students failed to link information from the beginning of the
paragraph to reach the correct answer. This reveals that in depth reading is a skill that is yet to be
acquired among many students.

Question 1 (i & j)
These two questions were correctly attempted by most students as these were explicit and fairly
easy. Question 1 (i) required students to find evidence that Mandela was badly treated in jail. Most
students were able to lift appropriate pieces of evidence from the passage. For question 1 (j),
students had to explain why Mandela was considered as the father of the nation. This question was
well answered. However, it is to be noted that, once again, some students could not come up with
a valid inference.

Question 1 (k)
This question required students to say whether they agree with Mandela’s use of violence to end
apartheid. Very few students were able to provide their own thoughts and justifications for their
opinion. Many students could give their point of view, but were unable to sustain their ideas. Many
tried to lift from the passage to provide justification for their answers. It was also noted that some
students did not understand the question, hence could not answer it. This question reveals that very
few students are able to think out of the box and relate their personal opinion /experience to a
particular context.

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Question 1 (l)
This question was about the death of Mandela and students had to give their personal opinion as
to why the whole world mourned his death. As with question 1(k), many students were unable to
use their general knowledge and express their opinion. Many students could not come up with a
valid inference as to the international interest of the death of Mandela. The fact that the answer
was outside the passage added a further difficulty for students.

PASSAGE 2 -20 marks


The second passage was based on the story of a young Indian boy called Pi who was stranded at
sea with three dead animals and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Many students seemed to find
this narrative text more challenging than the non-narrative Passage 1

Question 2 (a), (b) & (c) required students to give reasons for the feelings, actions and decisions
of Pi as he struggled to survive on the boat. These questions were well answered by many students
though quite a few did not score full marks for 1(b). Some students did not attempt this question.
Others scored only one out of the two marks for this part when they gave only one reason instead
of two. Marks were also lost when students copied sentences from the passage without re-
formulating them to address the question.

Question 2 (d) was a literal comprehension question which was fairly well answered. However, a
significant number of students did not score any mark when they failed to describe what had
happened to Pi’s missing shoe.

Question 2 (e) required students to explain why the author used the word ‘crept’ instead of ‘went’.
This question proved to be very challenging for most students as it necessitated an understanding
of the inference conveyed by the word ‘crept.’ Correct answers focused on how it was crucial for
Pi’s survival that he does not make noise and move silently.
However, in many scripts, including those of high scorers, this question was not attempted. No
credit could be given to answers which simply said that Pi could not walk or was afraid. Students
will benefit from class discussions on the appropriateness of vocabulary used by writers in
conveying layers of meaning.

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Question 2 (f) & (g) were literal comprehension questions and the majority of the students were
able to provide the right explanations for how Pi created the bait and why Pi expected ‘easy’
success. Answers to these questions were almost always given in the words of the text.

Question 2 (h) was an inferential question asking students to explain the reaction of Pi when he
touched the turtle. It also required a personal response but the majority of students ignored the
rubric and merely lifted sentences from the passage or simply answered that the turtle swam away.
It is to be noted that many students did not attempt this question.

For Question 2 (i), the majority of the students were able to select the correct reasons for why Pi
thought the tiger would eat him next. However, some simply lifted the sentences from lines 24 to
27. Here no credit was given to answers which did not distill the information.
Question 2 (j) necessitated an understanding of the inference conveyed by two phrases. Some
students failed to recognise that these phrases were part of the thought pattern of Pi who was
reflecting on the dangers of being eaten by the tiger. Such answers showed poor reading skills as
well as limited analytical skills. Here, students need to be directed in their reading to understand
the difference between literal and figurative language and be given more practice in answering
such questions.

Question 2 (k) required students to circle two adjectives that best describe the character of Pi. This
was answered correctly by the vast majority. Students seemed to have understood that it is
important not to circle more than two of the five alternative words. However, quite a few students
did not provide any justification for their choice of adjectives, and hence, could not score full
marks. In some cases, students wrote the expected answers by choosing the correct adjectives but
gave inappropriate justifications.

Question 2 (l) was fairly well answered but many students failed to observe the rubric which
demanded that they choose three words from the given list and give their meanings. Quite a few
students provided answers to all five Question words.
Students who gave two answers for the same question word or who used the root word in their
answers did not score marks. In some cases, students wrote whole and lengthy sentences where

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the meaning was not clear. Some students who were not well prepared did not attempt this question
at all. Students would benefit from practice in answering this kind of vocabulary question.

Section B: Grammar and Writing (60 marks)


Question 3
That exercise required students to rewrite two sentences, paying attention to the transformations
to be brought to nouns, pronouns and verb tenses. It was generally well attempted by students.
However, those who did not score well had difficulties in using the appropriate verb tenses.
Transformation of the verb ‘hide’ to the past tense proved to be difficult for some students.

Question 4
This component was to test the students’ ability to juggle with different punctuation marks in
context. Some students had difficulties in the use and application of punctuation marks. The
following difficulties were noted:
1. The appropriate use of inverted commas
Many students were not able to break the sentence and close the inverted commas at the right
place, e.g “What a lovely day” instead of “what a lovely day! Shall we go to Blue Bay for
sightseeing?”

2. The correct use of capital letters


Many students failed to capitalise the letter ‘u’ in the word “Uncle” and to insert a capital
letter after the exclamation mark.

3. The use of exclamation mark


Many students did not use the exclamation mark after “day”.

Question 5A
Question 5A required students to correct mistakes that had been underlined and printed in bold in
the text.

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Students had to correct mistakes pertaining to verb tenses, the plural form, spelling and find the
appropriate word form. The word “thiner” confused many students who changed it to “thined”
“thin” or “thinered”.

Question 5B
The component required students to identify and correct mistakes on their own.
The exercise proved to be challenging for students since they could not identify the mistakes
thereby making unnecessary changes and were consequently penalised. Common difficulties
identified were:
1. Identification and spelling of the word “wholes”.
2. The subtle changes in verb tenses, e.g “found” to “find” “look” to “looks” were not
identified by many students.
3. The word “ones” was changed into “one’s”
4. The word “lantern” was changed.

Question 6
For this exercise, students had to transform five sentences into direct speech. This exercise proved
to be challenging for most students as they failed to apply basic rules of transformation in verb
tenses, pronouns, punctuation marks and time markers related to Direct/Indirect Speech.

Question 7
This question required skills in word formation namely adverbs and nouns.
Very few students managed to obtain full marks for this component. The word transformations
expected were very subtle and required a good mastery and exposure to the language. Therefore
the exercise proved to be confusing for most students.
Some common mistakes were as follows:
1. “history” into “historical or histories”.
2. “company” into “companies” or “compagnon”
3. “ancestry” into “ancestors” or “ancestries”.
4. “night” into “nighty” or “nighties” or “nightmare”

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Question 8
Students were required to produce a guided piece of writing of 100 words imagining that they
planned an end-of- year party.
Students had to abide by instructions given for the 5 questions and a scoring answer had to consider
all aspects of the rubric.

(i) Relevance of ideas


This criterion was based on the clarity of ideas expressed and the organisation of same.
Most students were relevant in their answers and the highest marks were awarded to those who
kept their focus constantly on the requirements of the question. However, others disadvantaged
themselves by systematically digressing from the set of questions.
It was easy to identify good pieces of writing and an overwhelming number of scripts showed
sound organisation of ideas. Only few scripts were partly or totally unclear.
Language (Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary)
This criterion was primarily focused on grammar. The students had to show ability to produce
a piece of writing that was free of grammatical errors. However, it was observed that
grammatical mistakes were recurrent and subject–verb agreement was identified as a major
difficulty. Appropriate use and application of tenses and the conjugation of verbs were
identified as common weaknesses.

(ii) Creativity
This criterion looked into the students’ ability to use creative details that add to the reader’s
enjoyment. That proved to be a difficult skill for most students.
A high percentage of students scored poorly in creativity. Few scripts could retain the reader’s
enjoyment and interest with wide ranging real and imaginary description and narration.
Although the scenario involved a common experience, students failed to use their imagination
and therefore a large number of students’ answers were predictable.

Question 9
The responses to the three essays were widespread although the three titles attempted were not in
the same proportion.

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The narrative, like previous years, was the most popular question to be attempted by a majority of
students and most of them made a good attempt at writing a story on the given sentence.
The descriptive essay was attempted by many students. However, in many cases, rather than
adopting a descriptive approach, they exaggerated on the narrative aspect and this gave little credit
to the piece of writing. The lack of extensive vocabulary pertaining to adjectives prevented many
from scoring high marks for this essay.
While the informative/argumentative essay was the least attempted of all, students provided quality
content along with well formulated sentences for this topic.

A vast majority managed their time well and most avoided rubric infringement with a good deal
of imaginative and accurate writing. The linguistic ability was still strewn with strengths and
weaknesses just like in previous years. The use of the wrong register like slang words, text message
language and sloppy language did no credit to many attempted essays and could have been best
avoided. Interference of Creole and French Language was quite noticeable among students’ essays
and this seriously affected the quality of writing. Moreover, in some essays, coherence and unity
were not achieved due to poor or inexistent paragraphing.

Detailed review of students’ answers


Essay 1.
Describe a day in your life you will always remember.
This was a popular title among students who could easily pool in ideas to write their essays. The
description was elaborately explored and sustained in high scoring essays while poorly written
essays limited themselves to the narrative aspect of what happened ignoring the description of
feelings and emotions. This resulted in marks deducted for inadequacy of the descriptive element.
In some poorer answers, the use of tense was problematic and this did not pay dividend to the
writing. Poor vocabulary and syntax were recurrent in these scripts. These essays abound with
colloquial expressions and spelling mistakes.
The essays which were generously rewarded encompassed detailed and vivid descriptions of the
day while evoking strong feelings which made the day worth remembering.

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Essay 2
Many parents complain that their children do not read enough. What are your views on this
issue?
This Question was attempted by a fewer number of students. Ideas were few, disorganised and
lacked elaboration. Many merely listed the reasons why children don’t read without showing the
implications.
Organisation was satisfactorily handled in some scripts. Conversely, some poor scripts showed no
sign of organisation, as a result of which, ideas failed to show coherence and were jumbled across
which made reading and understanding difficult. Conclusion was missing and vocabulary was
limited in an overwhelming number of scripts.

Essay 3
Write a story which includes the following line:
He said, “The game’s over” and left.
This essay was by far the most popular title. The scope provided an infinite array of ideas and
scenarios. The best essays were those which could build up the story around a suspense evoking
strong emotions such as anguish, uncertainty, fear, apprehension, incomprehension, and confusion
to achieve a gripping impact.
Some excellent responses disturbed the chronology while choosing to narrate the story in a
flashback mode and others opted for a linear development. The weakest responses were those
which restricted their writing to merely narrating what happened without exploring the feelings of
the characters’ emotions. Description of atmosphere, setting and feelings would have done more
credit to the writing which was successfully explored by some very good scripts.
On the whole, most students could successfully embed the given sentence at the right place thus
achieving maximum effect on the reader with a few exceptions which unfortunately affected the
narrative development. A few students chose to end the story on a suspense note and managed to
build and sustain the tension till the very end. But there were still a handful few who were totally
irrelevant and failed flatly to show what led to this incomprehension.

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FRENCH

COMMENTAIRES GENERAUX

Le questionnaire comprenait deux parties. La partie A, qui comprenait deux questions, avait pour
objectif d’évaluer l’aptitude des élèves à lire, à comprendre et à répondre aux questions sur deux
textes: un texte informatif et un texte narratif.

La partie B comprenait six questions. Les questions 3, 4, 5 et 6 avaient pour objectif d’évaluer les
connaissances grammaticales des élèves et leur aptitude à appliquer les règles de la grammaire.
L’objectif de la question 7 était d’évaluer la capacité des étudiants à utiliser la syntaxe appropriée
et à faire preuve d’un certain degré de créativité et d’imagination.

La question 8 avait pour objectif d’évaluer la capacité du candidat à écrire une rédaction narrative,
descriptive ou argumentative. Pour cet exercice les élèves devaient démontrer leur capacité
créative, leur connaissance de la grammaire, du vocabulaire et de la syntaxe.

SECTION A- COMPREHENSIONS
Cette partie avait pour objectif d’évaluer l’aptitude des élèves à lire, à comprendre et à répondre
aux questions sur deux textes: un texte informatif et un texte narratif.
Les élèves devaient être en mesure de démontrer leur capacité à lire et à comprendre les textes, à
y retrouver des informations élémentaires mais aussi à analyser, à interpréter et à relier les éléments
d’information du texte.

Compréhension 1 :
Le texte informatif évoquait les traitements des chagossiens lors de leur évacuation de leur île
natale.
Question 1: Généralement réussie, mais certains étudiants ont eu des confusions ou ont mal
compris la question. Ils ont donc proposé des réponses comme ‘Océan Indien’, ou ‘base militaire
américaine’

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Question 2 : Beaucoup d’élèves ont eu des difficultés avec cette question et ont été évasifs dans
leur réponse ou n’ont pas su faire le lien avec la phrase précédente dans le passage où se trouve la
réponse.
Question 3 : Généralement réussie. Cependant, dans beaucoup de copies on a noté une mauvaise
orthographe du mot Afrique ou l’utilisation du mot anglais Africa.
Question 4 : Cette question n’a pas été répondue par bon nombre d’élèves. On a aussi noté que la
consigne de ‘relever un mot’ a été mal comprise. Il y a eu à la place beaucoup de citations ou de
reformulation de toute la phrase.
Question 5 : Cette question n’a pas été bien répondue par bon nombre d’élèves. Beaucoup d’élèves
ne sont pas parvenus à faire le lien entre la violence et la déportation de l’époque coloniale et
l’expérience de l’exil forcé des années soixante.
Question 6 : La question était directe et généralement bien réussie.
Question 7 : Cette question a posé une certaine difficulté. On a vu des réponses incomplètes et des
omissions de détails pertinents ; par exemple : ‘mise en place d’un bail’/ ‘l’évacuation’ tout court
au lieu d’une réponse complète.
Question 8 : Les élèves ont éprouvé des difficultés à dégager les éléments de réponse et /ou de les
reformuler. Certaines réponses n’étaient pas assez concises par exemple - ‘par l’intimidation’ la
majorité des étudiants ont répondu par la conséquence des stratagèmes : ‘…les derniers habitants,
obligés à s’entasser sur un navire avec le strict minimum.’
Toutefois on a aussi noté une certaine confusion dans les réponses 7 et 8 pour beaucoup d’élèves.
Question 9 : Plusieurs élèves ont eu des difficultés à répondre : ils ont démontré de
l’incompréhension par rapport à la formulation de la question ‘pourquoi’ et conséquemment ils
n’ont pas répondu à la question. Pour ceux qui ont essayé de répondre, il manquait de détails
pertinents comme ‘ les Britanniques les présentent …’/ ils sont présentés comme…
Question 10 : Question non-répondue par plusieurs élèves. On a repéré un problème
d’incompréhension ou de confusion par rapport aux noms abstraits, par exemple
expulsion/déracinement, appauvrissement, émergence.

Compréhension 2
Le texte narratif racontait le dernier voyage du bateau école ‘Baquedano’ et du passager clandestin
qu’il transportait lors de ce voyage.

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Question 1 : Généralement réussie, sauf pour quelques erreurs fréquentes telles que : ‘marine’,
‘baie’, ‘Cap Horn’.
Question 2 : On a constaté une certaine incompréhension de la question chez les élèves pour qui
« bateau » veut dire « voyage ». Des exemples de mauvaises réponses sont : ‘voyager’, ‘naviguer’,
‘à un navire’.
Question 3(i) : On a constaté une mauvaise compréhension de la question. Il y a eu le non-respect
du temps verbal ‘arrivera’. Des exemples des erreurs fréquentes sont: ‘est désarmé’, ‘le
gouvernement l’a désarmé’
Question 3(ii) : Réponses incorrectes ou incomplètes, étant la conséquence même de
l’incompréhension de la question 3 (i).
Question 4 (i) : Généralement réussie par la majorité des élèves.
Question 4 (ii) Les étudiants ont éprouvé des difficultés à relever la phrase voulue. La consigne,
‘relève’ a été mal comprise - Certains élèves n’ont pas cité du texte et ont expliqué en leurs propres
mots.
Question 5 : Question non-répondue par les élèves. Le mot ‘réduit’ n’a pas été compris d’où la
difficulté à répondre. On a noté l’incompréhension de la question et les réponses telles que –‘un
grand coup de vague’, ‘le mauvais temps ’ ont été notées. Il y a eu aussi beaucoup de lifting direct
par exemple ‘il se mit à penser à la nuit …boucle avec chaîne et cadenas.’
Question 6 : On a constaté l’incompréhension de la question : les réponses fréquentes ont été –
‘chaînes’, ‘cordages’, ‘le mauvais temps’. Beaucoup d’élèves ont décrit la difficulté du bateau et
non celle du garçon.
Question 7 : Pour cette question, on a souvent eu une réponse correcte sur deux. Il y a eu beaucoup
de répétitions ou de reformulation du même élément, par exemple ‘vomir’ et ‘mal de mer’.
Question 8 : Question non-répondue par plusieurs élèves. En général, ils n’ont pas fait de référence
à l’état physique du garçon qui était ‘robuste’ et donc pour qui le mal de mer était passager. Dans
beaucoup de copies, la phrase ‘il vomit jusqu’à ce que son estomac fut vide’ a été donnée comme
réponse.
Question 9 : Les élèves ont fait preuve d’incompréhension de la question – la raison du chagrin
n’a pas été évoquée. Cependant la description du chagrin a été faite : ‘un nœud dur et amer dans
sa gorge’, ‘une douleur vive’. Une mauvaise formulation de réponse a été observée ainsi que le
lifting : ‘se mit à penser à sa mère’.

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Question 10 : Cette question posait de difficulté pour la majorité des élèves. Il y a eu l’absence de
l’élément de comparaison dans la réponse -beaucoup n’ont donné qu’une partie de la réponse. ‘Il
… serra une corde de toutes ses forces’.
Question 11 : Pour cette question, on a observé une certaine confusion sur la signification du mot
‘occupation’, – les étudiants ont pensé à un métier (‘occupation’ en anglais) et ont donc donnés
les réponses comme ‘il travaillait au lycée’, ‘professeur’.
Question 12 : La consigne ‘Trouve dans le texte…’ n’a pas été comprise et les élèves ont donné
une explication personnelle. Parfois le choix de mots était mauvais. Plusieurs élèves ont confondu
le nom et l’adjectif ou se sont basés sur le champ lexical pour donner des réponses.
Question 13 : La question a été particulièrement difficile pour la majorité des élèves. Ils n’ont pas
compris des éléments de la difficulté du voyage et d’un voyageur clandestin. Les réponses
fréquentes sont : ‘le garçon’, ‘l’histoire d’un garçon’, ‘un voyage’, ‘un voyage en mer’.

GRAMMAIRE (QUESTION 3-6)


Question 3(i)
Les élèves devaient effectuer des accords appropriés par rapport aux changements que requiert la
question, c'est-à-dire en remplaçant le pronom sujet «il » par « elle ».
Pour cet exercice, certains élèves ont fait des erreurs par rapport aux accords des noms au
féminin, du participe passé et de l’adjectif qualificatif.
La majorité des élèves n’ont pas eu de difficultés à trouver les réponses pour cette question.
Suite à l’analyse des copies, les erreurs suivantes ont été relevées :
(i) Pas d’accord pour les mots ‘Un et Connu’
(ii) Mauvaise épellation des mots ou réponse basée sur la perception phonétique du mot de
substitution : inspecteuse / Inpectrise / Inspectrisse /Inspectrist.
(iii) Mauvaise Orthographe : Elégente / chaleureause / chalereuse
(iv) Méconnaissance du mot de substitution : chaleure.

Question 3(ii)
Cet exercice consiste à évaluer la compétence des élèves à substituer un temps verbal en apportant
des modifications qui s’imposent. On devait remplacer les verbes au passé simple par le passé
composé. Quelques exemples des erreurs sont :

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(i) « Perdé/ a perdit/aperdité/ perdit/a perdi » au lieu de « a perdu ».
(ii) « A fit/ fit/fit tomba/ avait fait/ a fu/fut » au lieu de « a fait »
(iii)« volé/vola/omission/est volé/s’est volé» au lieu de « a volé ».
(iv) « se coupé/ a coupé/ s’est coupée » au lieu de S’est coupé
(v) « est aidé/ l’avait aider/ avait l’aidé/à l’aidé/l’a aidé/s’est aidé. » au lieu de « l’a
aidé »

Les élèves n’ont pas compris la consigne et ont recopié le texte sans apporter les changements
requis pour les temps verbaux. La présence des erreurs de terminaison démontre une confusion
entre le passé simple et le passé composé et la connaissance des notions par rapport aux valeurs
des temps verbaux et leur emploi. Certains élèves n’ont pas démontré de cohérence au niveau du
choix du temps

Question 4
L’objectif de cette question était d’insérer dans une phrase les formes de ponctuation correctes.
Les élèves devaient identifier : l’usage d’une virgule, d’une lettre majuscule pour un nom propre,
un point final pour marquer la fin d’une phrase, une lettre majuscule pour introduire une phrase et
un point d’exclamation.
Les erreurs fréquentes observées étaient comme suit :
(i) Virgule au lieu du point après parents
(ii) Absence de majuscule à quelle.
(iii) Beaucoup ont omis le point d’exclamation à la fin de l’extrait.
(iv) Certains ont ajouté des guillemets.

Question 5
Pour cet exercice les élèves devaient au préalable avoir :
 Une connaissance des classes grammaticales afin d’assurer la transformation,
 Une maîtrise de l’orthographe des mots en faisant la transformation d’une classe à
l’autre.

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Les transformations attendues étaient :
(a) D’un verbe a l’infinitif à un nom commun (glisser-glissement)
(b) D’un nom commun à un adjectif qualificatif au féminin pluriel (meurtre-meurtrières)
(c) D’un nom qui dénote le moment à un autre qui dénote la durée (matin- matinée)
(d) D’un nom à un adjectif qualificatif. (Japon- japonais)
(e) D’un nom à un attribut. (vigilance- vigilant)
Les erreurs les plus récurrentes sont comme suit :
(i) La transformation du verbe au substantif a démontré l’ajout ou l’omission du pluriel.
Certains n’ont pas pu transformer le mot de manière appropriée et ont répondu comme
suit : glisse, glissant, glissée, glissages, glissemants.
(ii) La transformation du nom à l’adjectif : « Meurtre » transformé en : meurts, meurtrié,
meurtant, meurté, meurtal, mortelle, mourantes, mondiales, meurtrueux, meurtrieles,
meurable.
(iii) Pour cette transformation on dénote les erreurs fréquentes comme suit : matinalle, matiné,
matinne
(iv) La transformation du nom à l’adjectif qualificatif (Japon- japonais) : les élèves ont
démontré qu’ils ne connaissaient pas la règle concernant l’adjectif dénotant une
nationalité. D’autres ont fait des erreurs d’orthographe- japonnais.
(v) La transformation « vigilance-vigilants » a subi des changements erronés suivants :
vigilancer, vigilances, vigillant, vigillané, vigilante,vigilent.

Question 6
Cet exercice était composé de deux parties : La première partie consistait à corriger les erreurs
d’orthographe, d’ordre lexical et grammatical déjà soulignées.
Dans la deuxième partie, l’élève doit repérer les erreurs, les souligner et les corriger.

Question 6(i)
1. En général, les élèves n’ont pas eu de grande difficulté à faire la transformation du
féminin au masculin pour l’article « la ».
2. La majorité des élèves ont reconnu l’usage de l’infinitif, c.à.d. « dormir » au lieu de
« dormi ». L’erreur le plus souvent commise, est « dormis ».

17
3. Beaucoup d’élèves n’ont pas maîtrisé les temps verbaux. La réponse attendue était
« passait » donc un imparfait au lieu du présent « passe ». Les mauvaise réponses
reçues sont : « pass, passée, passer, passa, passaient ».
4. Les erreurs d’ordre lexical ont été repérées, par exemple : « Soiré » a été remplacé par
« soir, soirés… ».
5. Des erreurs d’orthographe et grammaticales ont été commises pour remplacer l’adjectif
« vieux ». Les élèves ont écrit : « vieuet, vieill, vieu, vieil » comme réponse.

Question 6(ii)
Le niveau de difficulté était plus élevé pour cet exercice : dans un premier temps les élèves
devaient relever les erreurs et les corriger dans un deuxième temps. Certains élèves n’ont pas pu
relever les erreurs correctement. Beaucoup ont souligné les mots bien écrits.
1. Certains élèves ont souligné les mots « blottit », « pleuvait » sans faire la correction.
D’autres qui ont trouvé que « pleuvait » était une erreur, n’ont pu donner la bonne
réponse. Plusieurs ont donné la réponse « Plevaient »
2. La notion de la valeur de l’imparfait est problématique.
3. On note aussi les erreurs par rapport au participe passé par exemple pour « l’avait
posé » les élèves ont répondu « l’avait posé » sans faire l’accord.

Questions 7 et 8 - Production Ecrite


Cette partie du questionnaire a pour objectif d’évaluer la capacité de production écrite des élèves.
L’utilisation de la syntaxe appropriée ainsi que la créativité des élèves étaient aussi évaluées.
Nombreux sont les élèves qui ont eu des difficultés à formuler des phrases grammaticalement
correctes.

Question 7
Des lacunes constatées en parcourant les copies des élèves sont :
 Une mauvaise maîtrise de la syntaxe et le problème récurrent au niveau des genres par
exemple « la sac ».
 Des phrases qui contiennent des incohérences : « si je remporte la loterie, j’aurai perdu ».

18
 Des erreurs d’omission en occurrence l’absence de « se »dans la forme pronominale « se
brosser ».
 Confusion entre l’auxiliaire « avoir » et « être » il « a tombé » tout comme la phonétique
: il « été »malade au lieu de « était ».
 Mauvaise maîtrise de la conjugaison au passé simple : « j’arriva » et l’accord du participe
passé : « les voleurs ont tués des gens ».
 Des fautes d’inattention : « J’était », « le vole s’est produit ».

Question 8
Les élèves devaient choisir entre la rédaction narrative, descriptive ou argumentative. La rédaction
narrative était l’option la plus choisie alors que la rédaction argumentative reste encore une fois la
moins populaire.
Les très bonnes rédactions narratives étaient surtout ceux des élèves qui ont élaboré d’une façon
satisfaisante sur chaque aspect de la question pour construire une histoire cohérente.
Certains élèves ont choisi la rédaction descriptive, ils se sont contentés de répéter les mêmes
phrases- (champ lexical réduit, manque de créativité). Certains élèves ont écrit des phrases sans
aucun lien avec le sujet. On a pu constater beaucoup de maladresses au niveau de l’écriture et une
certaine incohérence a été notée au niveau de la syntaxe.
Très peu d’élèves ont choisi la rédaction argumentative. Un bon nombre de rédactions étaient bien
structurées avec des arguments pertinents mais les élèves ont laissé passer beaucoup de fautes. Les
copies démontrent que les élèves n’arrivent pas à exprimer leurs idées de façon claire, cohérentes
et concise.
On a aussi observé beaucoup de fautes d’inattention, dans l’utilisation du genre approprié « un
voiture » et par rapport à l’utilisation correcte des pronoms personnels « j’ai décidé de lui aider ».
Par ailleurs, de nombreuses fautes d’anglicisme ont été constatées : «view» «glass». En général,
une bonne maitrise de la grammaire a été constatée dans très peu de copies. Les erreurs
d’orthographe, de syntaxe et de l’utilisation de temps de verbes sont les problèmes les plus
courants.

19
MATHEMATICS

Comments on Specific Questions


Question 1(a)(i)
This question was generally well answered.

Question 1(a) (ii)


Most students handled this question reasonably well. The following mistake was a recurrent one
30
“ 30 % 𝑜𝑓 250 = 250 × 100 ”.

Question 1(a)(iii)
Many students made a good attempt in evaluating the question. However, there were still some
students who had no notion of BODMAS and hence wrote ‘25 − 3 × 4 = 22 × 4 = 88’.

Question 1(b)
This part was generally well answered except for the incorrect conversion of grams into kilograms
such as ‘235×10’ and ‘235×1000’.

Question 2(a)
This question on subtraction of fractions was successfully answered by many students. There were
still some wrong LCM of 7 and 5 as 40 and some weak students subtracting the numerators and
3 2 1
denominators ‘( 7 − 5 = 2 )’.

Question 2(b)
There was a significant number of students who were unable to answer this question correctly. It
was surprising to observe that many students arranged the numbers in increasing or decreasing
order but did not state the largest value and thus scored no mark. Other common mistakes observed
were taking the smallest value 0.047 instead of the largest and taking 47% as the largest value,
thereby ignoring the % sign.

20
Question 2(c)
This question was well attempted but still a few incorrect answers were observed, for example,
‘50×50,√50 , 500 and 502’ .

Question 3(a)
This straightforward question on evaluation of indices was generally well answered. However,
arithmetic errors like ′20 = 2, 20 = 0 and 23 = 6’were commonly seen.

Questions 3(b) (i) and 3(b)(ii)


The students generally demonstrated good understanding of L.C.M and H.C.F of two numbers.
However, a few students swapped the procedures to find L.C.M. and H.C.F.

Question 3(b) (iii)


Students who were able to answer the first two parts of question 3 well, managed to obtain the
correct ratio. The most common error was to write the values obtained as L.C.M and H.C.F. in
ratio form, for example ‘12: 6 and 18: 8’.

Question 3 (c)
This question on sequence of numbers was well answered.

Question 4 (a) (i)


In this question there were several students who were not able to simplify the expression and the
1
most common mistake was to cancel out the b’s as if they were dividing to obtain ‘2𝑏2 𝑥 2.’

Hence, students need to improve their understanding of algebraic multiplication.

Question 4 (a) (ii)


Responses to this question indicated that many students had difficulty in simplifying the four-term
algebraic expression. The careless mistakes that occurred included ′4𝑥 + 6𝑦 = 10𝑥𝑦 and 7𝑥 −
3𝑥 = 10𝑥′.

21
Question 4(b)(i)
There were some students who were unable to rearrange the equation with ‘c’ as the subject of
𝑐
formula. Generally, they had difficulty in eliminating the division by 2 from the term ′ ′. Many
2

sign errors were also observed.

Question 4(b) (ii)


𝑐
Several students used the original equation ‘𝑏 2 = 2 + 3𝑎’ when it was simpler to use the equation

obtained in part 4(b) (i). Many arithmetic errors were left by students in this question.

Question 5 (a)
Students understood the requirements of the question. The common mistake of many students was
to take ‘half an hour’ as ‘one and a half hour’.

Question 5(b)
This question was either poorly answered or not answered at all by students. Students were unable
to tackle average with both years and months included. The most common attempt of many
students was simply to subtract the given average age of the 5 pupils from the given average age
of the 6 pupils, showing no conceptual understanding. Even those who attempted to find the total
ages for 5 pupils and the total age for the 6 pupils committed mistakes in handling years and
months.

Question 6(a)(i)
This question on factorisation of four-algebraic terms was not attempted by many students. Many
students tried to pull out common variable from 2 terms but were unable to rearrange the terms
before factorizing.

Question 6(a)(ii)
The factorisation of the quadratic expression was poorly attempted by many students. The
common wrong answers observed were′𝑎(𝑎 − 12)’ and′(𝑎 − 3)(𝑎 + 4)′. There were also a
considerable number of students who used 𝑥 instead of 𝑎 in their answers.

22
Question 6(b) (i)
A significant number of students attempted the question well. However, some struggled to
eliminate the negative sign from the x-term especially with the coefficient 3 also present in the
−14′
term. A common wrong answer ′𝑥 ≤ was also seen.
−3

Question 6(b) (ii)


This part proved to be challenging for students in general and was unattempted by many. Proper
understanding of the verbal statement in the question was a major difficulty for many students.
Among those who correctly attempted part (b)(i), there were some who took 4 as the smallest
14
possible integer to satisfy the inequality ′𝑥 ≥ ′.
3

Question 7(a)
A significant number of students could not score the full marks allocated for this question on
conversion of currencies in a real context. They struggled to understand the problem in the context
which was to convert the ‘rest of the money into Euros’ but they converted the ‘amount spent into
1 1
Euros’. Some common mistakes were values of ‘3 × 240 and × 7200′ as final answers.
3

Question 7(b)
For this question, students were required to calculate the discount value when the discounted price
of a sofa set was provided. Some students calculated the discount by simply taking 15% of
𝑅𝑠 17 000 and others calculated the original price of the sofa set instead of the discount.

Question 8
This question was well attempted, with many students scoring at least 2 marks in it. It was observed
that some correct answers were given only in the diagram.

Question 9(i)
Many students attempted to illustrate the given information in the Venn diagram but could not
complete it as they had difficulty drawing the subset in it.

23
Question 9(ii) (a)
This question on intersection of sets P and Q was generally well answered except for some students
confusing intersection with union.

Question 9(ii )(b)


The most common error committed by students was to omit the complement sign and to take
𝑃′ ∪ 𝑄′ simply as 𝑃 ∪ 𝑄. This showed their inability to handle complement.

Question 9(iii)
A significant number of students were found to list the elements of the set instead of finding the
cardinal number.

Question 10
This question on simultaneous equations was well answered by many students. Most students
used the elimination method. Those who were unable to answer this question left numerical errors
when eliminating one variable.

Question 11
There were a large number of students who struggled with this question on perimeter and area of
a shape made up with a square and a semicircle. Some students did not attempt this question at
all. Others took radius as 14 cm and some were unable to recall the formulae of area and arc length
of a semicircle. There were also students who wrongly calculated perimeter of the shape as ′14 ×
4′ and some also swapped the formulae for area and circumference of a circle.

Question 12(a) (i)


This hybrid question on mensuration and quadratic equation proved to be challenging and tricky
for many students. There were a significant number of students who either did not attempt the
question at all or scribbled surface area formula of a cuboid without obtaining any concrete result.
Using wrong formula or formula for volume to calculate total surface area were commonly seen

24
in students’ scripts. Even for those students who were able to form the equation in x, numerical
and algebraic slips were frequently noted.

Question 12(a) (ii)


This question was left unanswered by many students as it depended on the correct formation of
equation in part (i).

Question 12(b)
This question too was rarely attempted by students as it depended on the correct evaluation of the
equation in part (ii).

Question 13(i)
The students found it more challenging to find mean, mode and median for a set of numbers
including both positive and negative integers. Concerning mode, the common mistake was to take
modal value as 5 since students interpreted ‘5’ and ‘– 5’ as the same value. Another mistake noted
was giving ‘8’, the largest value in the data set, as the mode.

Question 13(ii)
Some students wrote median = 0 without re-ordering the numbers. There were also some other
students who confused median with mean and thus they used the procedure to find mean instead
of median.

Question 13(iii)
This question was reasonably well attempted by students. However, common arithmetic mistakes
were observed in some students’ scripts when summing the values especially in the presence of
negative numbers. There were also students who confused mean with median, mainly those who
confused median with mean in part (ii).

Question 14(a)
This word problem proved to be challenging for many students. Some failed to understand that
the question involved inverse proportionality. There were also several students who were able to

25
use inverse proportionality but then did not find the number of extra workers required. This
question revealed that understanding a problem in context can be challenging for many students.

Question 14(b)
This question was not correctly answered by many students. There were also a considerable
number of students who did not attempt this question. From those who attempted, the following
2 2 4 2 2
common incorrect answers or methods were seen: ‘ 5 , × 2, ÷ 5, 1 − 5’and ‘5 × 7’.
5 5

Question 15(a) (i)


This question proved to be difficult for many students. The ratio given confused many of them.
There were some students who failed to recall that the sum of each interior angle and each exterior
angle is equal to 1800 in a polygon. They used 3600 instead.

Question 15(a) (ii)


This question was mostly well done by students who answered part (a) correctly. There were some
students who assumed that the number of sides of the polygon is 5 simply by adding the ratio 3:2.

Question 15(b)
This question was hardly answered by students. It was clear that students had poor mastery of the
properties of parallel vectors.

Question 16(i)
This question was generally well attempted except that numerical mistakes were observed.

Question 16(ii)
The concept of matrix multiplication was not well mastered by many students. Some students
simply multiplied the corresponding elements of the two 2 × 2 matrices to arrive at the
−2 −6
result ′𝐴𝐵 = ( ) ′. Arithmetic errors were also observed when multiplying rows of the
−15 −20
first matrix with columns of the second matrix.

26
Question 17(i)
Students generally stated the equation of line properly. However, they struggled to use surds in
finding the gradient and y-intercept.

Question 17(ii)
This question was not attempted by many students and some scribbling of sine ratio and cosine
ratio were observed without concrete results.

Question 18(i)
Generally, this whole question was not well answered by many students. In part 18(i), several
students were confuded with regard to the depth of water in the cylinder. They took the height of
water as 75 cm instead of 50 cm. However, many students correctly divided by 1000 to convert
into litre.

Question 18(ii)
This part also was poorly attempted by several students. Wrong use of formula for surface area
was common.

27
COMPUTER STUDIES/LITERACY

The paper comprised two sections: Section A and Section B. Section A focused mainly on the
content knowledge questions whereas Section B was on application of basic computer skills.

Section A was well done by the majority of students. However, students’ responses to open-ended
questions were too general and the quality of answers was another major area of concern.
Questions 1(6), 1(10) 5 (ii), 8(a)(iii) and 8(a)(c) were poorly answered in section A.

Section B was satisfactorily answered but a large number of students had major difficulty in
writing formulae in the Excel questions. The task for identifying the word features/commands
proved to be very difficult and was beyond many. Students showed no particular preference for a
specific option amongst the four provided to them. A balanced choice of options was observed.

SECTION A

Question 1 – Multiple Choice Questions (10 marks)

A significant number of students responded well to parts (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) ,(vii) and (ix)
while the remaining parts (i), (vi) and (x), which required higher order skills, were poorly
answered.

No Objectives/Skills Comments
This low order question was not well answered by most
Identify unit of storage students. Majority of students failed to identify Kilobyte as
Q1(i)
measurement capacity the correct unit of measurement of memory storage
capacity. A common wrong answer was Kilohertz
Q1(ii) This question was fairly well answered with some students
Acronyms of network terms:
confusing Wide Area Network with Wide Access
WAN
Network.

28
Q1(iii) The majority of the students were able to state that
Definition of electronic -
electronic commerce as the name given to buying and
commerce
selling things on the internet.
Q1(iv) Mostly well answered. A common wrong answer was
Definition of search engine
“hyperlink” instead of search engine.
Q1(v) Types of computers: Well answered by most students but the term ‘hand-held
microcomputers (PDAs) device’ was not well understood among a few students.
Q1(vi) The majority of students gave an incorrect answer as they
Conversion of one kilobyte
could not recall the exact value for kilobyte. Very few gave
into byte
the correct answer of 1024.
Q1(vii) Fairly well answered with some students missing the
Type of application package
“phrase cells referenced by rows and columns.”
Q1(viii) Most students could easily relate that ATMs are used by
Application of an ATM
banks.
Q1(ix) The majority of students knew that barcode reader was the
Example of an input device in
most appropriate input device used at a cashier’s counter
supermarket
in a supermarket.
Q1(x) This low order question was not well answered by most
Format of an email address students. The inclusion of “http” in the email address was
a major distractor.

Question 2 – Matching question on different input and output devices (5 marks)


The majority of students answered this matching question very well with students scoring at least
3 marks.

Question 3 – Selecting the correct storage devices (3 marks)


Identifying the items which are suitable to store data was well answered by majority of the
students.

29
Question 4 – Classify devices as input or output (8 marks)
This question was fairly well answered by most students. A few students misinterpreted “monitor”
and “plotter” as input devices.

Question 5 – Categorise items given as either hardware or software (5 marks)


This question was fairly well answered by most students. The less able students failed to classify
“anti-virus” as a software.

Question 6 – Choosing word from a list for different descriptions (5 marks)

Generally well answered though the terms “ROM” and “RAM” still created confusion among
students. Most students scored marks for part (c) and (e) but wrongly answered part (a), (b) and
(d) because they could not differentiate between the different terms given.

Question 7 – Structured question based on video-conferencing and e-mail (6 marks)


No Objectives/Skills Comments
Advantage of using video- This question proved to be difficult for many students.
Q7(a)
conferencing They showed little knowledge about “video-
conferencing” and “email”. Expressing their ideas in
simple statement proved to be extremely difficult. In
some cases students were trying to reword the terms
Q7(a) Advantage of using email “video- conferencing” and “email” instead of writing
about advantages of using these tools. Many students
only provided one advantage in each case. Better
responses provided at least two advantages.

Question 8(a) – Definition of terms (4 marks)


No Objectives/Skills Comments
In general Part (i) was very well answered with the
Q8(a)(i) Hard disk majority of students identifying the hard disk as
storage for data/software

30
Majority of students gave a correct function of CPU
Q8(a)(ii) Central Processing Unit mainly responsible for mathematical and logical
operations
Part (a)(iii) proved to be a difficult question even for
Q8(a)(iii) DVD writer the better prepared. Some students could not attempt
the question.
Well answered by most students. Common correct
Q8(a)(iv) Monitor
answer: to display data from the computer

Question 8(b) – Listing of types of printers (2 marks)


No Objectives/Skills Comments
There was a good response from the majority of
students giving any two from Dot matrix, Laser and
Q8(b) State the types of printers
Inkjet, but a commonly seen wrong answer was
“plotter”.

Question 8(c) – (1 mark)


No Objectives/Skills Comments
Popular answers included Repetitive strain injury
Give an example of a
(RSI), back and neck pain, eye strain and headache.
potential health hazard
Q8(c) The term “hazard” was not well understood by some
related to the prolonged use
students who gave description of the health hazard
of ICT equipment
instead of the term associated with it.

31
Question 8(d) – Structured question based on tele-working (2 marks)
No Objectives/Skills Comments
Students showed a lack of knowledge of the concept of
Advantage and disadvantage
“tele-working”. A number of students failed to give an
Q8(d) of tele-working to employer
advantage or a disadvantage and some did not attempt
and employee
the question.

Question 9 – Structured question based on e-banking (4 marks)


No Objectives/Skills Comments
Advantages of e-banking to a This question was well answered by well-prepared
Q9(a)
customer students. Weaker students could not score full marks
and the term “e-banking” seemed unfamiliar to them.
Many students only provided one advantage and others
Advantages of e-banking to a
Q9(b) failed to pay attention to the words customer and
bank
bank. Better responses provided more than one
advantage.

SECTION B

Spreadsheet, Database and Program Flowchart were among the popular options. The Spreadsheet
section proved to be the most scoring option among those who attempted this option. On the other
hand, the Word Processing option proved to be the least scoring option in Section B with many
students finding difficulty in expressing their idea.

32
Option 1 – Word Processing

Question 1

No Objectives/Skills Comments
This standard question was a relatively easy one
Assess the application of font
Q1(i) for most students. The concept of ‘underline’ was
style “underline” feature.
well understood.
Insert pictures in the document Majority of the students were able to identify the
Q1(ii)
body correct response.
This question was poorly answered by many
Assess the application of
students. The correct response ‘justified’ was
Q1(iii) paragraph formatting
seldom seen. Common incorrect response ‘left
“alignment”
justified’ was quite recurring.
Insert graphics in the document Most students knew how to insert graphics in a
Q1(iv)
body; word document.
Q1(v) Assess the application of font The concept of font effect “strikethrough” was
effect “strikethrough” fairly well answered.
Q1(vi) Insert page footer Most students did not demonstrate a good
understanding of the concept of a ‘footer’.
Q1(vii) Assess the application of font Students answered this part of the question fairly
style “italic” well. Students demonstrated an awareness of font
style principles in word processing.
Q1(viii) Assess the application of This question was poorly answered by many
bulleting students. The common wrong answer was
“numberings”.
Q1(ix) Apply basic skills to delete a text Most students could not answer this question
correctly. They were confused between the delete
key and backspace key function.
Q1(x) Assess the application of font A large number of students failed to score full
effect “superscript” mark as they confused “subscript” with
“superscript”.

33
Question 2

No Objectives/Skills Comments
Apply basic skills to cut and
Q2(A)
paste
Students with hands-on experience performed
Do find and replace based on
Q2(B) very well. However, some wrote lengthy
keywords
descriptions instead of answering in bullet points
Q2(C) Preview a document
and thus most students could score at most 3
Save a document under a
Q2(D) marks.
different name using Save As
Q2(E) Make use of spell checkers

Option 2 – Spreadsheet

In general, the students performed fairly well in this question. However, students had difficulties
in identifying, writing and executing queries. Those with intensive practical experience scored
well whereas those with a lack of practical experience were unable to complete this section
successfully.

Question 1

No Objectives/Skills Comments
Show an understanding of the The idea that a cell contains a data item was well
Q1(i)
concept of cell understood.
Fairly well answered by those pupils with
Q1(ii) Replicate using Copy & Paste
practical experience.
Students did not fare well in this question. Some
Show an understanding of the
Q1(iii) pupils gave a wrong range while the majority
concept of range of cells
were unfamiliar with the concept of range.
Apply the following skills when A few students did not know how to insert a new
Q1(iv)
using spreadsheets: add a column column, showing a lack of practical experience.

34
Q1(v) Identify cell content: label Many students failed to give a correct example of
label. The term ‘label’ was synonymous to any
text type data including a data item.

Question 2

No Objectives/Skills Comments
Q2(a)(i) These questions proved to be difficult for some
students who could not identify the correct
Use formulae and functions formula to be used. They seemed to lack practical
Q2(a)(ii)
experience in using formulae. Those with
practical experience scored well.
This question was not satisfactorily answered as
students showed a lack of knowledge on range of
Show an understanding of the cells and others who knew what a range is simply
Q2(a)(iii)
concept of range of cells did not pay attention to the word “Row 1” and
gave the incorrect range A1:E1

Q2(b) The majority of students experienced great


difficulty with writing the correct formulae. They
Writing formulae using the built- often missed the “=” sign when writing the
Q2(c) in functions (MIN and MAX) formula. Students were not familiar with built-in
functions MAX, MIN and with the parameters
that these functions required.

Option 3 – Database

Students still have difficulties to understand database terms and writing search conditions
involving logical and relational operators.

35
Question 1

No Objectives/Skills Comments
This question was a relatively easy one for most
State the purpose and give an
Q1(a) students. Most students chose correctly response
example of a database
B.
A large number of students were able to answer
Q1(b)(i) this question correctly. Responses indicated a good
understanding of basic database querying
Carry out simple query search There was a general lack of good response for this
question as a significant number of students failed
Q1(b)(ii)
to carry out compound query. Very few students
scored full marks.
A majority of students did not score full marks in
Show an understanding of the
Q1(c) this question as they were unable to identify the
structure of a database (data type)
correct data type

Question 2

No Objectives/Skills Comments
This question was not well answered by most
Q2(a) State the number of fields students because they did not understand the term
‘fields’
Q2(b) Most of the students who attempted this question
Identify the use of primary key could not score full marks as they could not
describe properly the application of a primary key.
Q2(c) Many students had difficulties in filtering a
database table when applying search conditions
Carry out simple query search
involving logical and relational operators. This
question drew a range of responses. Candidates

36
demonstrating a sound understanding of query
search, correctly gave the expected output. Many
students gave incomplete answers
Q2(d) Most of the students faced problems in writing
search conditions involving logical and relational
Write simple query search
operators which require high order thinking skills
and as a result they could not score full marks.
Q2(e) Writing search conditions involving logical and
relational operators proved to be beyond many
Carry out simple query search students. Students who failed to answer part (b)
were not able to answer this part because the
concept “field” was not understood at all.
Q2(f) This question was not well answered by most
State the number of records students. They seemed to be unfamiliar with the
term ‘records’.
Q2(g) It was a challenge for many students to filter a
Carry out simple query search database table when applying search conditions
involving logical and relational operators.

Option 4 – Flowchart

Question 1

No Objectives/Skills Comments
Q1(i)
The majority of the students gave the correct
Q1(ii) Definitions of flowcharting
answer for part (i), (iii) and (v). However, it is
Q1(iii) terms: flowchart, selection,
noted that even high scoring students had difficulty
Q1(iv) sequence and loop
in interpreting the term ‘selection’ and ‘loop’.
Q1(v)

37
Question 2(a)

No Objectives/Skills Comments
Draw flowcharts (involving the A large number of students failed to draw the
Q2(a) use of sequence constructs) to correct flowchart symbols and could not score full
solve simple problems mark.

Question 2(b)

No Objectives/Skills Comments
This question was well attempted by those who
Dry run flowcharts to determine
Q2(b) scored high marks, but proved to be very difficult
their outputs
for those who were less well prepared.

38
ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

The paper consisted of five questions, ranging from objective questions such as multiple choice
questions, filling the blanks, matching exercises to open-ended questions which tested knowledge,
application and analytical skills of the students.

Question 1 which included both MCQ and a matching exercise was well answered. The remaining
parts consisted of open-ended questions requiring students to define concepts and identify features
pertaining to ‘business organisations’.

Question 2 focused on ‘The entrepreneur as a leader’ and required students to identify and explain
key qualities, responsibilities and managerial functions of the entrepreneur.

Question 3 was based on the concept of ‘communication’ and ‘conflicts’ within an enterprise.
Students had to distinguish between different types of communication and list ways of resolving
conflicts in S &D Craft Design.

Question 4 focused on the concept of ‘market research’ and the ‘elements of the marketing mix’,
with particular emphasis on pricing methods and promotional activities.

Question 5 required students to demonstrate an understanding of the term ‘productivity’ and its
measurement as well as the importance and components of a business plan.

It was generally observed that students had more difficulties tackling questions requiring them to
‘identify and explain’. In many cases, students managed to identify but failed to explain and in
others, they provided vague explanations.

39
Comments on specific questions
Question 1
Section 1 (MCQ)
(a) This question was generally well attempted. However, some students opted for ‘decrease
in costs’ as the word ‘decrease’ had, according to them, a negative connotation and could be
associated to business risk. The ending word ‘cost’ was therefore ignored by the students.
(b) A good response was observed for this question. Even those who scored fewer marks were
able to relate ‘non-disclosure of business matters’ to a sole trading enterprise.
(c) It is observed that some students did not have a clear understanding of the different types
of risks and therefore randomly selected an answer.
(d) This question received a good response. However, in many cases, there was no evidence
of any calculation.
(e) A majority of students successfully attempted this question. It was evident that among the
four options provided, ‘meeting’ was the most obvious example of verbal communication.

Section 2
(a) This part of the question was well attempted. But it was noted that some students could only
provide one disadvantage of setting up a partnership business.
(b) Responses were fairly good for this part of the question. However, some pupils failed to
identify the content of a partnership agreement and they instead focused on the features of
partnership organisations.
(c) This question was successfully attempted by most students, with the exception of a few who
listed two types of companies rather than two features of a company.
(d) Most pupils gave a clear definition of unlimited liability. However, there were some students
who confused between limited and unlimited liability.
(e) This question proved to be challenging. There was some confusion between the different types
of business organisation and students faced some difficulty to give one advantage of franchise
business to S & D Craft Design.
(f) Most students were at ease with the matching exercise and scored full marks. However, some
students failed to select the correct definitions for the terms ‘share’, ‘voting rights’ and ‘worker
cooperative’.

40
Question 2
(a) This question was well answered by most students. The leadership qualities of Dylan as an
entrepreneur were directly derived from the case study itself.
(b) Most students could identify the two responsibilities that Shanaya would undertake as an
entrepreneur. However, many of them failed to provide a clear description of Shanaya’s
responsibilities.
 This part of the question proved to be very challenging for the majority of the students.
Managerial functions were confused with leadership qualities and responsibilities. Few
students did not attempt the question.
(c) Students faced difficulties to explain the objectives of ‘owners’ and ‘customers’ as stakeholder
groups although the objectives were quite well identified. A few students failed to understand
the key term ‘objective’ in the question.
(d) Many students were able to identify two risks. However, they could not provide a detailed
explanation of those risks. Some students identified two challenges that Shanaya and Dylan
may face as entrepreneurs instead of focusing on the risks that they may face.

Question 3
Many students could not answer this question satisfactorily. The concept of communication was
confusing to many.
(a) Few students managed to clearly distinguish between communication and effective
communication. They had an idea of communication in general, but failed to emphasise the
requirement for a ‘two-way exchange of information that is clearly understood’, for
communication to be effective.
(b) There seemed to be some confusion between internal and external communication. Students
failed to score maximum marks from this matching option question. Many students failed to
identify ‘suppliers and customers’ as being external stakeholders and therefore classified these
as internal communication.
(c) Many students scored maximum marks from this question. The answers provided reflected a
proper understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication.
(d) Many students failed to list all the four ways required to resolve conflicts in S & D Craft
Design. However, better prepared students scored maximum marks from this question.

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Question 4
(a) Some students could not clearly define Market Research. The answers provided lacked
important key terms like ‘collection’ and ‘recording of information’ to better understand a
market.
(b) There were good responses for this part of the question. Those who did not score high marks
were able to provide at least one reason for conducting market research.
(c) Many students provided good answers for this question and scored maximum marks. A few
students confused the four elements of marketing mix with the four factors of production or
with the managerial functions.
(d) This question seemed to have posed difficulties to many students. They showed poor
understanding of technical terms such as penetration and premium pricing and therefore could
not distinguish between the two.
(e) Application to the case study which was required in this part of the question was very poor.
Many pupils failed to identify more than two promotional activities. The most common answer
given was ‘advertising’. One common mistake observed was students giving different
advertising media such as ‘posters, radio, newspaper and billboards’, all pertaining to one
method of promotion, that is, advertising and therefore scoring only one mark.
(f) Some students managed to mention one advantage of using e-marketing but were not able to
provide a detailed explanation. The less prepared students did not attempt the question.

Question 5
(a) It was a well attempted question. Most students provided ‘raw materials’ as an example of
input, even though there were many others. A few students differentiated between input and
output using their knowledge of computer studies.
(b) Well prepared students were able to provide a precise definition of productivity. The common
mistake for some students was to assume ‘productivity’ to be the same as ‘production’.
(c) This part of the question proved challenging for many students. Better prepared students were
able to identify at least one method of measuring productivity at S & D craft design as well as
attempt to describe them. It was also observed that a number of students did not attempt this
question.

42
(d) This part was generally well answered. Most students were able to identify at least one
component of a business plan.
(e) Most students were able to identify at least one reason why an entrepreneur should prepare a
business plan. Elaboration on the answers provided was evidenced in the high scoring scripts.
The common reason for preparing a business plan given by many students was ‘to obtain a
loan’.

43
VISUAL ARTS

Section A- Practical Paper


General Comments
Questions were set to test the students’ ability to observe, analyse and record from direct
observation as well as from personal experience. Questions were related to creativity and design
solutions along with technicalities in the handling of media and processes. Both drawing and
painting media were used to render surface qualities as well as art elements and principles of art.
In most cases, preparatory works were not well explored and experimented. Thus, the journey
from the preparatory work to the final work was poor and average. However, those who performed
well, demonstrated systematic, focused and in-depth investigation from a variety of primary and
secondary sources.

Question 1: Drawing and Shading or Drawing and Painting from Observation.


a. Sunglasses
Outstanding: Some good works were seen with a good handling of media and tones. Students
explored a wide range of ideas through consistent research demonstrated through innovative and
creative skills. There was evidence that they drew from direct observation.
Good/competent: Artworks were focused on research and investigation from “limited” primary
and secondary sources. Nevertheless, preparatory work showed relevant use of research to explore
ideas and interpret concepts related to themes.
Limited/minimal: Inadequate drawing and observational skills were observed. Some students did
not submit preparatory works. In addition, lack of commitment was also observed in preparatory
works. Space and layout were absent in most of the artworks. Students failed to understand form
and structure of the object. Most paintings were flat with poor use of tones that produced visually
less appealing artworks.

Question 2: Still life: A group of objects


a. An onion and a tomato on a small plate
A few entries appeared for this question

44
Outstanding: Students meticulously drew forms and structures in perspective with sensitive
attention to minute details and render simple forms in a convincing manner. Use of colour and tone
from direct observation was evident.
Good/competent: The students conveyed the cohesion of the group of objects and made good
attempts to render surface qualities as well as an exploration of a wide range media including
pencil shading, pastel, coloured pencil, painting, pen and ink and mixed media.
Limited/minimal: Most inaccuracies were in the lack of awareness of the elliptical structures of
plates, onions and tomatoes. Poor understanding of the basic structure and tones led to flat
shapeless vegetables and very limited skill shown in the understanding of aesthetic qualities.

b. A stapler and its pins


Few students opted for this question.
Outstanding: Artworks were spatially well composed with accurate use of perspective, illustrating
confidence and maturity, achieved through sound technical and aesthetic training.
Good/competent: Good artworks indicated an understanding of drawing skills.
Limited/minimal: Objects seemed to lack good structure and careful observation of surface
quality. The objects seemed to be enlarged too much as it almost occupied the whole sheet of
paper. Objects were isolated on the paper with no or incomplete surroundings.

Question 3- Interpretative composition


a. Health and fitness
Very few students attempted this question.
Outstanding: Preparatory work showed in-depth research and development of ideas. Skill in
human figure was seen to create a harmonising composition.
Good/competent: Ideas were relevant to the theme showing good painting techniques.
Limited/minimal: Poor understanding of the theme led to lack of research, experimentation and
exploration.

b. In the midst of nature


Outstanding: Preparatory work displayed comprehensive research and development of ideas.
Good/competent: Some students demonstrated good painting techniques.

45
Limited/minimal: Lack of imagination, research, experimentation and exploration was noted.
Backgrounds were also ineptly interpreted.

Question 4: Design on paper


Most entries were obtained from this question and contained some of the best artworks.
A. Repeat pattern
a. Road signs
b. Fruits
Outstanding: Students were proficient in handling media. Compositions were well -balanced and
principles of Art and Design were very well explored. The artworks were eye-catching and there
was good use of colours. Some used collage to enhance their design briefs. Moreover, they had
good planning and time management skills.
Good/competent: Students focused on consistent research and ideas were well organised in a
creative way.
Limited/minimal: There was an over reliance on secondary sources specifically the internet and
magazines whereby existing logos were copied. In so doing, they were unable to show proper
illustrations and typography. Lack of research and creativity led to poor performance. There was
a repetition of same image from preparatory work to final one.

B. Poster for any school event


Outstanding: The events chosen varied from Sports Day, Prize Giving Day to Music Day. Each
student brought in a personal interpretation of the theme and was able to put in the elements of
design. Research work was also helpful in making the poster. These submissions were
impressively confident in the use of materials often innovating with collage elements.
Good/competent: Students designed their own design briefs in the preparatory work. Use of an
appropriate colour scheme was also evident.
Limited/minimal: A basic level of understanding of principles of design. Preparatory work lacked
originality and design development.

46
C. Logo Design

a. A Mauritian sports team


b. A cybercafé
Outstanding: Students achieved a competent level of logo design from primary source. Collage
elements and inventive use of letterforms were used to enhance the design.
Good/competent: Submissions attained a high level of technical skills combined with aesthetic
qualities. However, personal contribution through preparatory work was not fully explored.
Limited/minimal: Images were retrieved from secondary sources. Existing logos were copied.
Moreover, there was a repetition of same image from preparatory work to final one. Poor
consideration of the appropriate use of lettering still remained one of the main limitations in weaker
artworks. Illustrations were based from a very immature awareness of basic shapes. In addition, a
clear record in the preparatory work of development from the original concept to the final piece
was missing.

Section B: Visual literacy/Art appreciation and analysis


Students expressed themselves in a very personal way and their feelings seemed to reflect their
own way of life and culture.
Outstanding: A good sense of analysis and appreciation was observed. A repertoire of art
terminologies related to topics studied was identified. An understanding and appreciation of the
visual relationships of the art elements and art principles were used in an artwork. Analysing
artworks enables us to understand, respond to and interpret meaning about visual images.

Good/competent: Critical analysis and discussions were noted. Students evoked personal
perceptions and made judgment about the artwork. They understood the subject matter, category,
art elements and principles and the materials, media and techniques used.

Limited/minimal: The interpretation through personal observations and feelings expressed in an


artwork was minimal. Students lacked art terminologies. They also experienced language
problems. Many could not understand concepts and express their ideas while writing in English.

47
CHEMISTRY

Comments on Specific Questions

Question 1
Question 1 comprised six multiple choice questions which tested students’ ability to recall and
their thinking skills.

Most students correctly identified the diagram representing particles in an element in part (1), the
compound in part (2) and the physical change in part (3) of question 1.

Part (4) was correctly answered by some students. The most common mistake observed for this
part was ‘calcium’ instead of ‘potassium’ which was the correct answer.

The majority of students could correctly give ‘chromatography’ as the answer in part (5). It was
noted that many students were confused by or were not aware of the term ‘centrifugation’.

Part (6) was a higher order question on reactivity of metals. Many students were able to give the
correct order of reactivity of the metals.

Question 2
For question 2 (a) students had to complete a table by giving: the missing names, chemical
formulae and solubility of salts. Few students could score full marks.

Most students correctly named the salt ‘zinc chloride’ and stated its solubility. Many students
correctly stated that ‘barium sulfate’ is insoluble and wrote its chemical formula.
Many students did not score the marks for solubility of lead (II) nitrate as they wrongly stated it
as insoluble. Some students wrongly wrote the formula of lead (II) nitrate as ‘PbNO3’ instead of
‘Pb(NO3)2’.

48
In question 2(b) students were assessed on their ability to count number of atoms in two chemical
formulae. A majority of students scored no marks at all. Calculating the number of atoms in
formulae with brackets proved to be difficult to many students.
Students were required to balance two chemical equations in question2(c). It was noted that
students found it difficult to balance equations.

Question 3
For question 3 (a), students were required to match three compounds from Column A to a selection
of four statements from Column B. The question required students to recall basic facts about these
compounds. Few students scored full marks. A large number of students wrongly matched
Nitrogen Oxides to the destruction of the ozone layer.
Question 3 (b) was based on the preparation of an insoluble salt (zinc carbonate) by precipitation
method. The experimental procedure was already outlined and this question proved to be difficult.
In question 3 (b) (i) students were required to give the names of the two salts. Many students were
unable to answer this part. For question (b) (ii), some students gave only ‘Funnel’ as answer for
which no marks was allocated.

Question 4
Question 4 proved to be quite challenging to the majority of students.
Question4 (a) (i) was a simple recall question where students had to state the colour of litmus paper
in milk of magnesia. Most students correctly answered this part.
For question (a) (ii), students were asked to write a balanced chemical equation for the reaction
between magnesium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Few students were able to write the
balanced chemical equation correctly.
In question 4 (a) (iii), students were required to name the type of reaction between an acid and an
alkali. Responses like ‘filtration, chromatography, distillation and displacement’ were seen in
many answers. Many students seemed to be confused between methods of separation and type of
reaction.
Question 4(b) consisted of two sub-parts based on the carbon dioxide gas. Many students scored
no marks for this question. Question 4(b) (i) required students to name a solid used to prepare
carbon dioxide by reaction with an acid. A few students were able to name a Carbonate. In question

49
4(b) (ii) students were required to state the test for carbon dioxide. Many students stated the test
for oxygen or hydrogen instead of carbon dioxide.

Question 5
Question 5 consisted of three parts and assessed students on ‘Metals and the reactivity series’.

Question 5(a) was based on the burning of magnesium in a gas jar containing oxygen. Few students
could score one mark for the observation asked in this experiment.

Question 5(b) required students to identify the gas liberated during the reaction between
magnesium and sulfuric acid. Only some students gave ‘Hydrogen’ as the correct answer.

Question 5(c) was based on displacement reaction and students had to recall knowledge obtained
from demonstrations carried out in class. However, many students could not recognise
‘displacement reaction’ in the diagram 2. It should be noted that this type of question has been
recurrent for the grade 9 assessments. A minority of students scored full marks in this question.

Question 6
For question 6(a), students were asked to select the most appropriate techniques for separating
given substances from four different mixtures. The majority of students scored at least one mark
and few scored the maximum of four marks. Question 6(a) (4), required students to state that steel
can be separated from junk by Magnetic Separation. Some students could not answer the question.

Question 6 (b)(i) required students to give two substances necessary for rusting and the majority
were able to provide ‘water’ as one of the conditions. In question 6 (b)(ii), students had to give a
suitable method to protect moving iron parts of machinery from rusting. The majority of students
scored one mark. Most students scored no marks in 6 (c) where students were asked to give a
reason for the apparent lack of reactivity of aluminium.

50
Question 7
Question 7 was a high order question where students had to interpret a given graph to answer the
questions related to global warming. Many parts of this question proved to be quite challenging.

Question 7 (i) was well answered by the majority of students. Only few students could give the
correct answer for question 7 (ii). Many students wrongly gave the year ‘1850’ as answer, where
there was a slight increase in temperature. Thus, they ignored the word ‘drastic’ that would have
led them to the right answer.
Some students were able to give the correct answer in question 7 (iii), which required them to use
the graph to predict the rise in temperature. Students had problems in extrapolating information
from the graph.
For question 7 (iv), some students correctly identified carbon dioxide as answer. Question 7 (v),
(vi) proved to be quite difficult. A majority of students scored no marks for question 7 (v), where
they were required to explain how the gas causes a rise in temperature. Question 7 (vi) had many
acceptable answers but only a few students could score the mark.

51
PHYSICS

Comments on specific questions

Question 1
This question consisted of 5 multiple choice questions. Most students scored 3 marks out of 5.
Questions 1(a) and 1 (c) were well answered by most students. A majority of students could not
provide correct answer to question 1 (b).

Question 1(a)
For this question students were required to identify a non-luminous object. Most students correctly
identified a shiny mirror as being the correct answer.
Question 1(b)
This question tested the ability of students to use the equation for potential energy in a situation
where an object had been moved diagonally. The majority of the students failed to answer the
question correctly. Some students were confused by the meaning of the alphabet “m” since it was
used both as a variable for mass and as a symbol for metre. Others interpreted “mgxy” as being
“mg” multiply by “y”.

Question 1(c)
This question required students to identify the correct formula relating current, charge and time. It
was well answered by most students.

Question 1 (d)
This question tested the ability of students to identify a body moving with decreasing acceleration.
Students did not have the required mathematical skills where knowledge of gradient related to
curves was needed to reach the correct answer.

52
Question 1(e)
In this question two aspects had been tested, namely, reading a Vernier Scale and finding volume
by displacement method. Several students failed to give the correct answer.

Question 2
This question was about the formation of the mirror image of an object placed in front of an
inclined plane mirror.
In question 2(a) they were required to draw the image formed. Several students, who were
unfamiliar with inclined mirrors, made incorrect reflections in size and orientation.
Most students managed to measure the angle of incidence in question 2(b) however they had
difficulty in drawing the reflected ray in question 2(c).
Question 2 (d) involved recalling 2 properties of mirror images and most students scored at least
1 mark out of 2 allocated to the question.

Question 3
Students were expected to identify an appropriate measuring instrument to measure the
thickness of a pile of glass sheets.
For question 3 (a), 10 glass slides had been shown in the diagram. Some students were unable to
estimate the thickness of one glass slide and wrongly stated a ruler as the appropriate measuring
instrument.
Question 3(b) (i) was correctly answered by most students. However, in question 3(b) (ii) they
could not state the precaution to be taken to avoid the error mentioned.
Question 3 (b) (iii) was poorly answered by most students as they were unfamiliar with the term
“accuracy’’ in measurements.
For question 3 (c) many incorrect answers were seen as students failed to realise that refraction is
taking place.

Question 4
In this question students had to deduce the ratio of two velocities using the equation for kinetic
energy. The question proved to be challenging for students as it required the application of
mathematical and higher order thinking skills.

53
Question 4 (a) was left unanswered by many students. Several students did not even realise that
they had to start with the equation for kinetic energy before reaching the ratio V/v.
Most students gave wrong answers for question 4 b (i) and b (ii), since these parts were related to
part (a). Higher order thinking was required making it beyond the reach of many students.
Several students were confused while answering question 4 (c)(i), since they were more familiar
with ‘’V’’ as final velocity and the question used “V” as initial velocity. They were further
confused by the negative index notation (ms-1 and ms-2) used for units in the question.
In question 4 (c)(ii) very few students managed to score full marks. Most students had limited
graph drawing skills. Those who could not calculate the initial velocity in 4(c) (i) automatically
lost 1 mark in 4 (c)(ii).
In question 4 (c) (iii) students had to calculate the distance covered by calculating the area under
the graph. Students who could not plot the graph in 4(c) (ii) went on to lose the 3 marks allocated
to 4(c) (iii). Several students attempted to calculate the distance covered using the equation
distance = speed x time.

Question 5
This question provided a brief description of a variable resistor. Students seemed unfamiliar with
the device and failed to understand its structure and functioning.
In question 5 (a) (i), several students did not convert the unit for distance into metre before
calculating the work done.
In question 5 (a) (ii), many students did not notice that the unit for time had to be converted into
seconds before finding the power. Many students also used the work done in question 5 a (i) to
calculate the power rather than the value given in the question.
In part (b) (i), several students lost marks as they were not acquainted with the use of Voltmeters
and Ammeters. Most students were not familiar with circuits having a combination of parallel and
series arrangement. Students seemed to have been confused by the inclusion of a variable resistor
in the circuit. This question had a high level of difficulty and many students did not attempt this
part. Those who attempted the question could not obtain the correct answers resulting in a large
number of students scoring zero marks.

54
BIOLOGY

Students performed well in low order questions such as multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks and
matching exercises. Students faced difficulties in answering questions requiring higher order
thinking and application skills. Similarly, questions relating to practical work, interpretation of
graphs, analysis of data, synthesis of concepts/ideas, and applying ideas to new situations proved
to be problematic.

For example, in Question 2 (b) many candidates were unable to apply their knowledge on
menstrual cycle learnt in class in order to identify the correct phases on diagrams. Similarly,
Question 4 (b) dealing with transmission / life cycle of malaria was not answered correctly by
many students. They were not able to grasp and represent the notion on transmission of malaria
from infected person to uninfected one by mosquitoes on a flow chart.

Requiring interpretation of biological data from table and graph, questions 4 (a) and 5 (b) were not
attempted satisfactorily. Similar level of difficulty was noted in Question 6 whereby in 6 (a) very
few good definitions of “alien invasive species” were obtained. This demonstrated poor ability to
apply ideas to new situations and to recall basic biological concepts.

Comments on Specific questions


Question 1

Question 1.1
This question on cellular parts was well answered by most of the students. However, few students
wrongly chose the chloroplast as possible answer.

Question 1.2
This multiple choice question on function of phloem proved to be particularly challenging for
students with only a minority of them giving the correct answer. It demonstrated that learners still
have confusion between the functions of xylem and phloem.

55
Question 1.3
This question was the most successfully answered one as ‘shortness of breath’ could be easily
associated with tobacco smoking.

Question 1.4
Whilst the many students answered this question correctly, still, a significant number found this
question difficult and so were not able to identify correctly the equation representing aerobic
respiration.

Question 1.5
For this question, the correct answer was mostly observed in the high scoring scripts. However,
other scripts revealed a wide range of incorrect answers.

QUESTION 2
Question 2 (a)
Only a minority of the students assessed were able to perform all the matching correctly. The extra
incorrect option ‘the growth of the ball of cells into a zygote’ confused some students.

Question 2 (b)
This question on the menstrual cycle proved to be challenging for most students.
The question indicated that there were three potential dates for ovulation (instead of day 14 as the
most likely one) and thus added a further difficulty to the question. Consequently, only a minority
of students scored all the three marks while a large majority of students could not score any mark.

Question 2 (c)
The question required a simple recall of knowledge on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and
many students managed to score at least one of the two marks allocated for this low-order question.
The most common correct answer cited for a named STD was HIV- AIDS.

56
QUESTION 3
Question 3 (a) (i)
A wide range of answers was obtained for this question on transport in plants but few were correct
Students were confused with the words ‘transpiration’, ‘osmosis’ and ‘diffuses’ as all of them are
related to the movement of water / water vapour. The two extra (incorrect) options ‘loss’ and
‘condenses’ made the question more challenging.

Question 3 (a) (ii)


Naming a factor that affects the movement of water up a plant was straightforward for most of the
students. However, only high scorers were able to provide clear explanation on the way the named
factor brings about its effect.

Question 3 (b)
Few students were able to correctly identify and label the phloem and xylem tissues of the stem
and root. Labeling of the transverse section of the root was found to be more difficult than labeling
the stem.
Surprisingly, many students labeled other parts than the vascular bundles to represent the xylem
and phloem.

QUESTION 4
Question 4 (a)
Few students obtained full marks on this part of the question. For 4 (a) (i), many vague answers
were observed. Only those students who provided a clear explanation of why diabetes is a non-
communicable disease scored the mark allocated.
It is satisfying to note that many students were able to correctly identify the age group from the
table given for question 4 (a) (ii) (1), thus demonstrating the ability of students to identify key
aspect of the question by “localizing” the age group with the highest figures in the table.
For 4 (a) (ii) (2), a variety of correct answers were quoted showing that students have satisfactorily
grabbed the concept of factors causing diabetes.
Question 4(a) (iii) was more challenging and only few students were able to suggest correct
answers to explain why sufferers do not know that they have diabetes.

57
Question 4 (b)
The concept in this question proved to be difficult for many students and only a minority managed
to score the full marks. When completing the flowchart, credit was given to those students who
provided concise description of the events instead of using single word answers. Many students
left this question unattempted. The question focused more on the life cycle of Plasmodium (with
use of the term ‘female and male forms of Plasmodium’) instead of transmission of malaria. It is
to be noted that ‘female and male gametes’ after liver infection could have been credited as this
was the method through which the first Anopheles mosquito was infected.

QUESTION 5
Question 5 (a)
This item tested students’ scientific inquiry and problem solving skills on pulse rate and exercise.
This question required students to be familiar with the concept of pulse rate. However, it was noted
that it was poorly answered.
For question 5 (a) (i), very few students were able to explain what should be done before starting
to cycle to have reliable results.
Question 5(a) (ii) and (iii) very few students grasped the idea that resting is needed to prevent the
previous count of the pulse rate to interfere with the one being recorded. Furthermore, only a small
number of students had a notion that repeats in experiment are needed to obtain average / mean
and to increase reliability.

Question 5 (b)
Many students left this question unattempted indicating their lack of skills and confidence in data
interpretation and application of knowledge to new situations. It is worth highlighting that the
question asked students to ‘explain’ the graph instead of ‘describe’ the graph. This confusion led
to loss of mark.
For question 5 (b) (ii), full marks was given to students who quoted the concepts of aerobic
respiration or energy for muscle contraction in their answers. Some students were unable to use
the information given about the function of red blood cells to answer this part of the question
attesting that many find it difficult to apply knowledge to new situations.

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QUESTION 6
Questions 6 (a), (b), (c) and (d) proved to be the most difficult parts of the paper for the majority
of students as they were unable to synthesise ideas, to apply knowledge to new situations or to
recall simple information.

Question 6 (a)
Many students found it hard to provide a clear and concise definition of the composite term
“invasive alien species”, highlighting the inability of many students in recalling complex
biological terms and concepts. An example of a wrong answer quoted was “species that come from
outer space”. However, partial credit was given to those students who only mentioned “species
that was introduced in Mauritius” without quoting the idea of their damaging effects on the
ecosystem.

Question 6 (b)
Only a few students were able to provide a concrete explanation of the impacts of invasive alien
species on the biodiversity. This showed a lack of deep understanding of not only the concept of
alien invasive species but also of biodiversity in general.

Question 6 (c)
In this high-order question which required synthesis skills, only a few students were able to score
full marks. The major difficulty encountered by students was their inability to interpret the term
“deadly duo”. Credit was given to those learners who managed to state the impact of global
warming on biodiversity, even though they could not relate clearly the effect to alien species.

Question 6 (d)
A wide variety of answers was quoted by students in this section and marks were given to answers
that were directly related to practical measures that can be used to manage invasive species. A
common answer cited was “to eliminate the invasive species”.

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Question 6 (e)
This open-ended question with several possible answers allowed the majority of students to apply
logical thinking and biological concepts. Thus, this question was answered correctly by a majority
of students. However, a student would not score the mark allocated in part 6 (e) (ii) if part 6 (e) (i)
was wrongly answered.
Furthermore, question 6 (e) (ii), requiring students to provide explanation to the named threat to
biodiversity was challenging, and thus confirmed the trend that students are at ease with using
single word answers rather than answers requiring elaborated responses.

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Panel of Resource Persons
SUBJECT NAME OF RESOURCE PERSON
Mrs. AUCKBUR Hema Nitee
ENGLISH Mrs. GOPAUL-NUCKCHADY Nandhini
Mrs. BEEDASSY Aruna
Mrs. DABEEA Usha Devi
Mrs. SANTCHURN Chandni
Ms. BHOYROO Rita Devi
FRENCH Mrs. PHOOLCHUND Dorita
Mrs. BRELU BRELU Gilberte
Mrs. POOROOYE Pomundakinee
Dr. JAWAHIR Ravi
Mrs. MOHUMUDALLY_BEEBEEJAUN Shamima Naheed
MATHEMATICS Mr. ELAHEE Iqbal
Mr. COTHUNDARAMEN Soondiren
Mr. MUNGUR Neechal
COMPUTER STUDIES / LITERACY Mr. AUBDOOL Abdool Feizal
Mr. RAJUB Lavind
Mr. JEEWOOTH Chandraduth
Mr. CHANDURSINGH Vikash
Mr. DHURMEA Ved Arya
ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION Mrs. RAMNAUTH-JUDDOO Medha
Ms. KISTNASAMY Joylena Kavimanee
Mr. BHEERGOONATH Anil Kumar
Mrs. DOMUN Neetabai
Mrs. BANDHOO Shirley
Mrs. SHIW-PURSAD Samanta
VISUAL ARTS Ms. RAMCHURN Kaushalya
Mrs. VEERASAMY Saradah
Mr. BISSOONAUTH Ajay kumar
Mrs. ALLGOO Sangeeta
CHEMISTRY Mr. REEDOY Harrish
Mr. RAMBURRUN Poormanand
Mr. DUTTOO Jagdish
Mr. TEGALLY Farhad
PHYSICS Mrs. RENGASAMY Hema
Ms. NOWJEE Premika
Mrs. RUGHU Prima
Mrs. SUJEEBUN Namrata
BIOLOGY Dr. PULTOO Anand
Mr. LONG Patrick Bernard Gabriel

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