An Analysis of the November 2016 Ordinary Level Examination Results

1.0     Introduction

This report presents pass rate statistics for the November 2016 Ordinary Level examination results. The year under review had no subject reseats as a result of examination question paper leakages.

The grade cut-off points for all the subjects were comparable to those of the previous years. There were no major changes in the grade thresholds and the grades are comparable to those of previous examination sessions. Any rise or fall in candidate performance in any subject would therefore, be attributed to teaching and learning processes in schools.

The statistics were analyzed and presented by candidate type and gender. Provincial pass rates were presented by subject and gender and the year- on- year comparisons were made to show trends in pass rates. The report, finally presents subject grade statistics by gender and province and Special Needs Candidates statistical analysis.

2.0 National Pass Rates

This section reveals national pass rates by candidate type, gender and location. It also presents a comparative analysis of the November 2015 and 2016 examination results.

Table 1: 2016 National Pass Rate by Candidate Type: Grade C or Better

Candidate Type Entry Number of candidates who wrote 5 Subjects and above Number of candidates who passed 5 or more subjects with Grade C or better % Pass Rate
School Candidates 174 394 155 492 46 587 29,96
Private Candidates 116 612 21 747 2 914 13,40

 The table reflects the total number of school and private candidates who sat for the November 2016 O level examination. School candidates who wrote five or more subjects were 155 492 and 46 587 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, yielding a 29,96 % pass rate. Private candidates who wrote 5 or more subjects were 21 747, and 2 914 obtained Grade C or better in 5 or more subjects, which also translates into a percentage pass rate of 13,40.

Table 2: 2016 National Pass Rate by Gender and Candidate Type

Gender Entry Number of candidates who wrote 5 subjects and above Number of candidates who passed 5 or more subjects with Grade C or better % Pass Rate
Female School Candidates 87 462 79 513 22 140 27,84
Female Private Candidates 68 365 12 213 1 401 11,47
Total Female Candidates 155 827 91 726 23 541 25,66
Male School Candidates 86 931 76 079 24 447 32,13
Male Private Candidates 48 247 9 334 1 513 16,2
Total Male Candidates 135 178 85 413 25 960 30,39

The table shows that the total number of female candidates was 155 827 and, of these, 91 726 wrote 5 or more subjects with 23 541 passing 5 or more subjects, thus translating to a percentage pass rate of 25,66. The total number of female school candidates was 87 462 of these, 79 513 wrote 5 or more subjects and 22 140 obtained 5 or more subjects giving us a percentage pass rate of 27,84. There were 68 365 private female candidates of which 12 213 wrote 5 or more subjects resulting in 1 401 obtaining 5 or more subjects yielding a pass rate of 11,47%.

The total number of male candidates was 135 178 and of these 85 413 wrote 5 or more subjects and 25 960 passed 5 or more subjects translating to a percentage pass rate of 30,39. The total number of male school candidates was 86 931 and 76 079 wrote 5 or more subjects and 24 447 passed 5 or more subjects translating to percentage pass rate of        32,13%. Male private candidates were 48 247 and 9 334 wrote 5 or more subjects and of these 1 513 obtained 5 or more subjects resulting in a percentage pass rate of 16,2%.

The results show that males performed better than females. The overall pass rate for males was 30,39% and that of females was 25,16%. A similar trend was observed in the November 2015 examinations where male candidates performed better than females.

3.0 Year on Year Comparisons of National Pass Rates for School Candidates

Pass rate statistics from 2012 to 2016 were presented to show the trend in performance.

Table 3: Pass Rate Trends over 5 years

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
% Pass Rate Grade C or better 18,4% 20,72% 22,38% 27,86% 29,96%

The table and the graph above show national pass rates for school candidates from 2012 to 2016. There is an upward trend in performance from 2012 to 2016. There was an increase of 2, 10% from 2015 to 2016 resulting in 2016 candidates performing better than the 2015 cohort.

Table 4: Year on Year Comparisons of national pass rates by candidate type for 2015 to 2016

  Number of Candidates who wrote 5 or more subject Number of Candidates who passed 5 or more subjects with grade C or better Percentage Pass Rates
School Candidates 2016 155 492 46 587 29,96
2015 156 418 43 581 27,86
Private Candidates 2016 21 747 2 914 13,40
2015 23 235              2 791                  12,01

The results shown in the table and the graph reflect that examination results for November 2016 were better than those for November 2015. In the November 2016 examinations, a pass rate of 29,96% was recorded for school candidates as compared to 27, 86% for the same type of candidates in 2015. Therefore, there was a rise of 2,10% percentage points from the November 2015 results. The same scenario is also noticeable on private candidates.

Table 5: Year on Year Comparison of School Candidates by Gender 2015-2016

  Number of Candidates who wrote 5 or more subjects Number of Candidates who passed 5 or more subjects with grade C or better. National Pass Rates
YEAR 2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
FEMALES 79 372 79 513 12 738 22 140 25,33 27,84
MALES 77 046 76 079 15 772 24 447 30,47 32,13

Results reflected in the table and the graph reveal that male candidates performed better than female candidates in both the November 2015 and 2016 examination sessions. The difference in performance was significant across the examination sessions under comparison. The reasons could be attributed to biological factors were issues to do with maturity come into play. There is need for research to be conducted to establish why male candidates perform better than their female counterparts.

4.0 Subject Pass Rates:

Table 7: Subject Pass Rates by Candidate Type

Subject code Subject name Candidates Status Candidates who took the exam Grade C or better per Subject % percentage pass rate of candidates who got Grade C or better
1122 ENGLISH LANGUAGE School Candidates 162 239 40 297 24,84
Private Candidates 63 632 14 555 22,87
2013 LITERATURE IN ENGLISH School Candidates 12 090 6 749 55,82
Private Candidates 482 156 32,37
2042 RELIGIOUS STUDIES A School Candidates 33 489 9 434 28,17
Private Candidates 4 434 838 18,90
2043 RELIGIOUS STUDIES B School Candidates 6 366 3 686 57,90
Private Candidates 602 181 30,07
2167 HISTORY School Candidates 113 334 51 163 45,14
Private Candidates 20 138 6 746 33,50
2248 GEOGRAPHY School Candidates 128 414 55 762 43,42
Private Candidates 31 573 12 007 38,03
2252 SOCIOLOGY School Candidates 309 172 55,66
Private Candidates 68 37 54,41
2283 ECONOMICS School Candidates 1 769 880 49,75
Private Candidates 238 103 43,28
2292 LAW School Candidates 6 0 0
Private Candidates 8 0 0
3011 FRENCH School Candidates 192 139 72,40
Private Candidates
3155 NDEBELE School Candidates 23 128 12 920 55,86
Private Candidates 2 532 1 070 42,26
3156 TONGA School Candidates 1 287 571 44,37
Private Candidates 114 44 38,60
3159 SHONA School Candidates 120 586 64 648 53,61
Private Candidates 19 989 9 060 45,32
4030 MATHEMATICS

 

School Candidates 129 489 26 918 20,79
Private Candidates 77 453 19 691 25,42
4033 ADDITIONAL MATHEMATICS

(Non-calculator)

School Candidates 1 0 0
Private Candidates 1 1 100
4034 ADDITIONAL MATHEMATICS

(Calculator version)

School Candidates 246 162 65,85
Private Candidates 17 4 23,53
4041 STATISTICS School Candidates 710 644 90,70
Private Candidates 14 4 28,57
5006 INTEGRATED SCIENCE School Candidates 151 717 60 043 39,58
Private Candidates 53 944 24 035 44,56
5008 BIOLOGY School Candidates 23 138 13 204 57,07
Private Candidates 2 348 576 24,53
5009 PHYSICAL SCIENCE School Candidates 7 915 5167 65,28
Private Candidates 614 309 50,33
5034 AGRICULTURE School Candidates 48 571 30 116 62,00
Private Candidates 25 1 4
5055 PHYSICS School Candidates 6 767 4 140 61,18
Private Candidates 197 41 20,81
5071 CHEMISTRY School Candidates 6 842 5 268 77,00
Private Candidates 229 103 44,98
5097 HUMAN AND SOCIAL BIOLOGY School Candidates 428 231 53,97
Private Candidates 575 274 47,65
6015 ART School Candidates 1 768 999 56,50
Private Candidates
6020 MUSIC School Candidates 317 259 81,70
Private Candidates
6035 WOODWORK School Candidates 3 741 2 050 54,80
Private Candidates
6045 METALWORK School Candidates 2159 938 43,45
Private Candidates
6051 FASHION AND FABRICS School Candidates 21 893 12 674 57,89
Private Candidates
6064 FOOD AND NUTRITION School Candidates 4 946 3 327 67,27
Private Candidates
6078 HOME MANAGEMENT School Candidates 61 27 44,26
Private Candidates
7014 COMPUTER STUDIES School Candidates 5 763 4 577 79,42
Private Candidates
7035 BUILDING STUDIES School Candidates 9 630 5 301 55,05
Private Candidates
7049 TECHNICAL GRAPHICS School Candidates 2 416 1 273 52,69
Private Candidates
7103 COMMERCE School Candidates 90 185 33 032 36,63
Private Candidates 28 698 12 431 43,32
7104 COMMERCIAL STUDIES TYPING School Candidates 33 27 81,82
Private Candidates
7105 COMMERCIAL STUDIES PROCESSING School Candidates 122 93 76,23
Private Candidates 2 0 0
7106 COMMERCIAL STUDIES ARITHMETIC School Candidates 6 1 16,7
Private Candidates 1 1 100
7112 PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTS School Candidates 32 540 21 146 64,98
Private Candidates 7 841 3 702 47,21
7166 BUSINESS STUDIES School Candidates 4 552 3 052 67,05
Private Candidates 887 489 55,13

 The table reflects percentage pass rates for different subjects offered at Ordinary Level.

 Science Subjects

Table 7: Year on year comparison of Science Subjects

SUBJECT YEAR
2015 2016
Geography 2248 38,92 43,42
Mathematics 4030 26,17 20,79
Integrated Science 5006 31,52 39,58
Biology 5008 53,57 57,07
Physical Science 5009 71,57 65,28
Physics 5055 85,73 61,18
Chemistry 5071 57,63 77
Human and Social Biology 5097 34,59 53,97

The table shows a notable improvement in pass rates for Science subjects. There was a significant improvement in Integrated Science (39,58%), Chemistry (77%), Human and Social Biology (53,97%) and Geography (43,42%). These improvements are in line with Government thrust in the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

5.0 Provincial Pass Rates

The national provincial pass rates are presented below.

Table 9: National Pass Rate by Province

Province % Pass Rate
Harare 27,77
Manicaland 30,64
Mashonaland East 30,63
Matabeleland North 22,77
Midlands 29,97
Masvingo 31,12
Mashonaland Central 25,68
Mashonaland West 24,39
Matabeleland South 26,44
Bulawayo 25,29

The table and the graph show national pass rates by province. It can be noted that Masvingo had the highest pass rate of 31,12% followed by Manicaland (30,64%) and Mashonaland East (30,63%). Matebeleland North recorded the least percentage pass rate of 22, 77.

Table 10: School Candidates Provincial Pass Rates by Gender

Region: Year

2016

Number of candidates who wrote 5 or more subjects Number of candidates who passed 5 or more subjects with Grade C or better % Provincial pass rates
Harare Female 9026 2 969 32,89
Male 8 228 2 603 31,64
Manicaland Females 12 119 3 667 30,26
Male 12 878 4277 33.21
Mashonaland East Females 9 675 2 955 30,54
Male 9 535 3109 32,61

Matebeleland North
Females 4 745 969 20,42
Male 3 424 953 27,83
Midlands Female 10 377 2 849 27,45
Male 9 341 3 319 35,53
Masvingo Female 10 072 2 948 29,27
Male 10 222 3 696 36,16
Mashonaland Central Female 5 746 1296 22,55
  Male 6064 1842 30,38
Mashonaland West Female 8 312 1 912 23,00
  Male 9 090 2 556 28,12
Matebeleland South Female 4 580 1 167 25,48
  Male 3 096 945 30,52
Bulawayo Female 4 863 1 388 28,54
  Male 3 999 1 127 28,18

 

The table reflects that in the majority of provinces, male candidates performed better than female candidates. Bulawayo and Harare provinces had female candidates performing better than their male counterparts.

Table 11: National Pass Rate by Subject and Province

SUBJECT PROVINCE
  Harare Manicaland Mash

East

Mat North Midlands Masvingo Mash

Central

Mash

West

Mat South BYO
English Language

1122

31,6 22,8 24,8 18,6 23,9 20,8 18,4 20,9 21,0 35,8
Literature in English 2013 53,2 53,7 66,1 55,1 59,1 60,0 65,6 58,9 44,8 43,1
Religious Studies A 2042 21,6 25,5 32,5 24,3 27,0 29,1 25,7 27.4 25,0 30,9
Religious Studies B 2043 48,0 56,2 71,1 51,9 55,1 41,9 73,6 42,6 63,0 39,0
History

2167

38,8 45,8 44,7 39,9 48,4 50,2 42,5 41,8 42,5 34,0
Geography

2248

41,8 44,9 42,2 37,6 43,7 47,2 38,8 39,4 41,8 39,5
Sociology 2252 59,5 18,8 23,2 50 73,3 66,7 46,5 58,3 96,3
Law 2292 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Economics 2283 39,8 62,1 43,5 33,0 67,5 50,9 35,2 30,8 36,4 64,2
French 3011 71,1 83,9 66,7 66,7
Ndebele 3155 37,5 100 50 53,8 50,4 54,5 25 57,0 53,7
Tonga

3156

44,5 55,6 34,4 0
Shona 3159 47,3 54,1 50,3 54 58 61,7 47,8 44,8 45,8 57
Mathematics 4030 23,2 24,8 24,3 71,1 23,7 23,8 20,9 20,5 17,2 21,0
Additional Maths( Non-caculator) 4033 100 100
Additional Maths (Calculator) 4034 64 74,4 55,7 80 34,4 84,2 77,8 46,2 71,0 50
Statistics 4041 75 93,1 87,5 100 95,7 83,1 50 100 100
Integrated Science 5006 43,3 43,5 41,3 33,1 42,4 43,0 38,9 38,3 33,6 38,3
Biology 5008 47,3 59,6 66,9 40,6 59,4 56,2 56,1 53,9 41,9 48,7
Physical Science 5009 60,5 63,0 68,5 55,1 68,0 67,0 71,4 66,2 51,6 28,8
Agriculture 5034 49,2 64,4 60,9 59,2 64,3 71,7 53,2 56,7 65,2 56,9
Physics 5055 41,8 76,4 73,2 55,2 62,2 55,1 71,6 65,4 54,5 39,3
Chemistry 5071 62,8 87,1 88,1 70,6 80 70,7 81,7 76,5 72,4 62,1
Human and Social Biology 5097 48,1 45,5 56,1 47.1 68,5 51,7 48,1 57,1 28,8 48,0
Art

6015

68,1 61,0 55,6 68,5 67,1 40,6 59,7 69,7 53,9 42,9
Music

6020

87,7 88,5 63,6 53,6 75,9 100 93,3 81,8 54,5
Woodwork 6035 50,9 50,2 61,8 50,8 57,1 61,7 54,0 30,0 48,2 57,8
Metalwork 6045 25,3 69,6 55,1 25 59,8 50,7 47,5 45,3 73,8 43,2
Fashion and Fabrics 6051 52,2 59,5 54,3 48,7 58,3 66,3 54,2 51,4 61,7 69,3
Food and Nutrition 6064 54,9 77,2 73,8 64,4 74,4 82,7 69,8 56,3 89,9 53,0
Home Management 6078 65,2 14,3 62,5 31,3
Computer Studies 7014 68,1 83,9 85,8 81,7 83,9 78,5 79,5 80,3 78,4 57,8
Building studies

7035

37,3 65,2 53,8 39,2 53,0 67,1 57,4 43,8 48,7 15,2
Technical Graphics

7049

41,2 66,3 77,7 50 62,8 42,1 82,7 46,5 48,7 45,3
Commerce 7103 41,4 40,6 35,9 32,9 40,1 42,5 35,3 35,3 34,8 32,3
Commercial Studies Typing

7104

81,8
Commercial Studies Processing 7105 100 42,1 95 52,9
Commercial Studies Arithmetic 7106 0 100 20
Principles of Accounts

7112

51,8 70,2 67,5 66,5 65,7 70,6 64,3 59,6 69,4 51,4
Business Studies 7116 62,5 81,3 62,2 84,5 70,6 67,7 64,7 65,8 70,7 45,6

The table shows subject pass rates by province. It can be noted that some subjects recorded 100% pass rates while others had very low pass rates. This however can be misleading if comparison is made by considering percentage pass rates. The subjects however should be grouped according to candidature, so that high entry subjects are compared on their own, followed by medium, low entry, and very low entry subjects. The reasons for difference in performance across subjects could be established through research.

6.0 Special Needs Candidates

This is the first time ZIMSEC is reporting on Special Needs Candidates’ performance for the November series, so there is no comparison with any other results.

Table: Performance of Special Needs Candidates

Category Entry Number who wrote 5 or more Number who passed 5 or more Pass Rate
Enlarged Print 52 36 13 36,11
Braille 46 32 9 28,13
Hard of Hearing 151 114 6 5,3

 

From the table above it can be noted that Enlarged Print Special Needs Candidates performed better than Hard of Hearing and Braille Candidates.

7.0 Conclusion

Generally, candidates performed better in the November 2016 examination as compared to 2015.

 

S. NHANDARA

Director

Zimbabwe School Examinations Council



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