Outline of the CSEC English B 2018-2023 Exam


The English B examination is offered at the General Proficiency level. The Assessment comprises three papers, Paper 01, Paper 02, and Paper 031 or Paper 032.

Papers 01 and 02 are assessed externally. Paper 031 is the School-Based Assessment (SBA) and is assessed internally by the teacher and moderated by CXC.

Paper 032 is an alternative to the SBA and is intended for candidates registered as private candidates.

The CSEC examination, also known as CXC, is a Caribbean-based assessment that includes a wide range of subjects, including English Language and Literature. The syllabus starts in grade 10 and ends in the third term of grade 11, with examinations across the Caribbean islands. The information that is seen below pertains to the 2018 – 2023 syllabus. For more information, go to www.cxc.org.

ENGLISH B (English Literature)

Paper 01: The duration of the exam is 1 hr, 45 minutes (changed from 1 hr, 30 minutes)

  • It is worth 29% of the total assessment (changed from 36%)
  • All questions are compulsory
  • It consists of 3 comprehensions
  • Possible types of comprehensions are: drama / poetry / prose
  • There are 5-7 questions on each comprehension
  • Each comprehension is worth 20 marks
  • Total = 60 marks


The duration of the exam is 2 hrs: 10 minutes (10 minutes added)

It is worth 50% of the total assessment (changed from 64%)


  • Section 1 examines 1 Shakespearean drama and one modern drama
  • This section contains 2 questions (changed from 4 questions)
  • 1 question from the Shakespearean text and 1 from the modern drama
  • Answer 1 question
  • Type of Question- Type A (meaning a single text is used to answer the questions)

Each question is worth 35 marks


  • Section 2 examines poems (from the selection of 20 poems)
  • This section has 2 questions
  • 1 question is generic or based on poems of the students’ choice (from the selection)
  • 1 question names the two poems that are to be compared
  • Answer 1 question
  • Type of Question- Type B (meaning a comparison question- compare two poems)

Each question is worth 35 marks


  • The student is asked to compare a West Indian text with other novels in English OR  to compare West Indian short stories with other short stories in English
  • This section contains 4 questions (changed from 6 questions)
  • 1 question is type A, meaning a single text is used to answer the questions
  • 1 question is from each prescribed novel, equaling 2 questions
  • Next is 2 type B questions, meaning a comparison
  • 1 question is generic or based on stories of the students’ choice from the prescribed list
  • 1 question is based on two named short stories from the prescribed list
  • Answer 1 question
  • Types of Question- Type A & B

Each question is worth 35 marks  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *