CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL
REPORT ON CANDIDATES’ WORK IN THE CARIBBEAN SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE JANUARY 2008
HUMAN AND SOCIAL BIOLOGY
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-2HUMAN AND SOCIAL BIOLOGY GENERAL PROFICIENCY EXAMINATIONS JANUARY 2008 The 2008 examination was the third January sitting of Human and Social Biology offered at the General Proficiency level. The format of the examination was the same as in previous years. Paper 01 consisted of 60 Multiple Choice items. Paper 02 consisted of ten compulsory structured questions in Section A, each worth ten marks, and four essay questions in Section B, each worth ...view middle of the document...
DETAILED COMMENTS Paper 01 Candidate performance on this paper declined slightly in 2008 over 2007. Candidates experienced difficulties with the following topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Identifying the organelle in which photosynthesis occurs (in a diagram of a plant cell) Processes in which enzymes play a role Function of the bile duct How an intra-uterine device functions Stages of meiosis
Paper 02 Question 1 The question tested candidate knowledge of the characteristics of living things; muscle structure and features that allow for its function, as well as respiration as the means by which energy is supplied for muscle function. Candidates’ performance was good. In Part (a), candidates were able to correctly identify characteristics of living organisms. In several instances ‘breathing’ was incorrectly offered rather than ‘respiration’. This suggests the need for teachers to reinforce that breathing is not the same as respiration; the first being a mechanical process and the second a chemical reaction releasing energy in all cells. Part (b)(i) was generally correctly answered when candidates stated that the muscle ‘contracts’. For Part (b)(ii), features of the arm muscle that allowed for the pulling away of the arm were often not correctly identified. Expected answers were that it consisted of muscle fibres or specialized muscle cells, connective tissue, had a good blood supply and nerve fibres. Explanation of the relationship between structure and function in the teaching of concepts related to human systems is encouraged. For Part (b)(iii), candidates for the most part were able to identify respiration as the process by which energy needed for the movement of the arm was provided. A description of the process in terms of the combination of glucose with oxygen to produce energy, as well carbon dioxide and water as waste was expected. It is to be noted that the term ‘describe’ should prompt candidates to provide some detail in their explanation. In Part (b)(iv), most candidates were able to identify aerobic respiration as the process they had described in the preceding part of the question. Question 2 This question assessed candidates’ knowledge of: (a) (b) (c) Fertilisation as it relates to reproduction The placenta and its role in passing on food to the foetus Parental care following birth
Candidate performance was fair. Few candidates scored full marks on (a)(i).
-4Many made mention of fertilisation in plants instead of in humans. Most responses were vague, for example, the “male sperm and female egg meet”. Nothing was mentioned about fusing or penetration of the egg by the sperm, a key concept in fertilisation. Many of the responses were incomplete. Fertilisation and reproduction were often confused, so too ovary and ova. Some candidates mentioned male cell and female cell, instead of sperm and egg respectively. Although the question specifically stated “as it relates to reproduction”, some candidates completely ignored...