KCPE PAST PAPERS 2012 SCIENCE REPORT
The KCPE Science Syllabus consists of concepts in Agriculture, Science, Home Science and Emerging issues like environment and HIV/AIDS. 2012 was the seventh time the Syllabus was being tested. The questions were sampled from all the topics in the syllabus with all cognitive levels tested.
GENERAL PERFORMANCE OF CANDIDATES
The table below gives a summary on the candidature mean raw mark and standard deviation in Science for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
GENERAL PERFORMANCE OF CANDIDATES
From the table, the year 2012 KCPE Science performance was slightly lower compared to the year 2011 however, there was an improvement in the standard deviation compared to the years 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007. This is an indication that the paper fairly discriminated the different abilities of the candidates. The candidature increased by 5.87% in 2012 compared to a 3.66 % increase in 2011.
The number of items per topic is determined by the number of lessons allocated to each topic in the Primary Science Spiral Syllabus.
ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE IN SCIENCE ITEMS
The figure 6 below shows the facility index of each of the 50 Questions offered in 2012 KCPE Science.
Any item scored by 30% and below of the candidates is considered as having been poorly performed. in the 2012 KCPE Science, three items had a facility index below 30%. The three questions and the percentage of candidates choosing the correct response for each are shown in the table below.
Question with a facility Index of 30% and below
The following arc statements about how different simple machines make work easier.
(i) Making the slope gentle.
(ii) Reducing the effort applied.
(iii) Changing direction of the force applied.
(iv) Reducing friction.
Which of the statements apply to a single fixed pulley?
A. (i) and (iv).
B. (i) and (ii).
C. (ii) and (iii).
D. (iii) and (iv).
Single fixed pulleys are taught in class eight under the topic Making Work Easier (Sub-topic Simple Machines). Learners are required to investigate how single fixed pulleys make work easier. A single fixed pulley only makes work easier by changing the direction of the force applied, it is easier to pull the load downwards than upwards because of the force of gravity. The effort applied is equal to the load if friction is completely eliminated at the axle. Otherwise more effort than load is applied if some friction exists in the pulley.
Many candidates went for an incorrect response (option C) although (ii) (reducing the effort applied) makes the option wrong. The effort applied in an ideal pulley is equal to the load.
In the key (option D), (iv) (reducing friction) is correct because the pulley rotates at (he axle with the main aim of eliminating friction. Fewer candidates (25.58%) chose the correct response but those who selected it were the very bright with a raw mean mark of 34.78.
Instruction in schools should target the objective which clearly states that the candidates are required to know the principle on which a single fixed pulley works. Performance on this item indicates that the objective may not have been adequately addressed during instruction.
Which of the following practices will NOT result in a person getting an electric shock?
The Question was from the topic Energy (sub-topic Electricity). Learners are required to investigate good and poor conductors of electricity, and describe safety measures when dealing with electricity. Many candidates also went for an incorrect response (option B) including the very bright ones as indicated by the high raw mean mark of 33.22 compared to 32.87 of those who selected the correct response (option C). Most pencils are made of wood and graphite. Wood is a poor conductor while graphite is a good conductor. Most candidates could have looked at a pencil as wood and ignored graphite leading to the selection of the incorrect response.
On safety measures, the learner is required to describe safety measures when dealing with electricity. One of the safety measures is not to put pencils into sockets. The likely description to accompany it is that it can cause electric shock and damage the socket.
Candidates may have missed these details during instruction and this could have led to the observed performance on the item.
Which one of the following statements is TRUE about manures? They
The Question was from the topic Soil (sub-topic Manures). Most candidates (68.5%) went for an incorrect response (option 13). Manures do not release specific nutrients. They release a variety of plant nutrients that are not specific. This is the main difference between manures and inorganic fertilizers which should be emphasized during instruction. However, the correct response was chosen by the bright candidates.
Generally 2012, KCPE Science was well done with a Mean raw mark of 32.02 out of the possible 50 marks. The Mean raw mark for females was 30.30 compared to 31.99 in 2011. The one for males was 33.67 compared to 35.55 in 2011. Teachers should strive to bridge this gap by using approaches that motivate female pupils towards sciences at an early stage in learning. The gap should be adequately addressed at this level to ensure that it is not carried to the next levels of learning.
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