St. Mary’s College is a secondary school administered by the Spiritians (Holy Ghost Fathers), a Religious Order of the Catholic Church. It is modeled on the English Grammar School System. It is recognized by The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) for the award of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificates (CSEC), and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate (CAPE). These correspond to the former accreditation of Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates granted by The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. The latter body still examines and accredits, but it is limited to very few courses. St. Mary’s College is accredited and financially assisted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The roll is about 1200.
In addition to Religion, the courses followed are those prescribed by The Ministry of Education for Forms1 to 3 and by The Caribbean Examinations Council CSEC and CAPE Syllabi for Forms 4, 5, and 6 respectively. All subjects are examined in English, the native language of Trinidad and Tobago.
The standard of CSEC and Cambridge Ordinary Levels is approximately that of Grade 12 in the U.S.A and Canada. The standard of CAPE is roughly of the same standard as that done in the first year of university in North America.
Passing grades at St. Mary’s range from A through D. Grade F indicates a Fail. For Transcript purposes, a Grade Point Average system is employed by which A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0. The GPA is reported to two decimal places.
Five years of Secondary Education are mandatory in Trinidad and Tobago, at the end of which the CSEC and Cambridge Ordinary Level Examinations are taken. We retain an accelerated stream where some students cover the courses in four years. The average age at the time of the Examination is 16 years old, for the five year stream. In their first three years, our students study as many as fifteen courses/subjects. They then specialize and are entered for nine subjects for CSEC/Cambridge Ordinary Level. Of those, four subjects are compulsory, and five are elective. The compulsory subjects for our students are English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Physical Education and Sport.
Passing grades at CSEC are Grades I, II and III, while at Cambridge Ordinary Levels they are Grades A, B, and C. Passing Grades at CAPE are Grades I, II, III, IV and V.
While our students present nine subjects for Public Examinations, the National average is seven subjects. The National Standard for matriculation is referred to as a Full Certificate. It requires a minimum of five passes. On average, 95% of our students obtain a Full Certificate.
After writing the CSEC/Cambridge Ordinary Level Examinations, about 70% of our students request and qualify to enter Form 6 to pursue studies over a two year period for CAPE accreditation. Here each subject is divided into two units. The CXC Diploma is awarded for the successful completion of at least six CAPE units including Caribbean Studies. The CXC Associate Degree is awarded for the successful completion of at least seven CAPE Units, including Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies. Approximately 98% of our students obtain Associate Degrees.
Throughout their five or seven year stay, students are urged to participate in a diverse selection of co-curricular activities including Sports, Scouting, Debating and numerous Social and Community Service Clubs. Sports are played at Intramural and Varsity Levels. In Form 6, programs for Developing Leadership Skills and Community Service are stressed.
Further information on CSEC and CAPE Examinations may be obtained by writing to: The Registrar, Caribbean Examinations Council, The Garrison, St. Michael, BB 11158, Barbados.