Amidst the COVID-19 situation, Cambridge International had decided to cancel the May/ June 202 exams in countries across the world, including Pakistan. This includes:
• Cambridge IGCSE
• Cambridge O Level
• Cambridge International AS & A Level
• Cambridge AICE Diploma
• Cambridge Pre-U.
Options given to students by CIE
Students can withdraw entry from May June 2020 CIE Exam Series
Students can register for Oct/ Nov Exam series
Cambridge International has issued an official statement stating that candidates who wish to withdraw from the May June 2020 series will be given a credit refund, that they can use to apply for any of its future exams, including the October November series. The deadline to withdraw from the exams is 10th April, so you don’t have a lot of time to decide.
Does a credit refund mean I will get my exam entry fee back?
You school will receive a credit to the value of each entry withdrawn from the May/ June 2020 series. The credit you will be awarded can be used against the cost of any entries or any of our services and is not limited to the next series ie. Oct/ Nov series. This means that a credit will be applied to your account which you may use for this or any future series entries.
Students can opt for Evidence Based Grading for May June 2020 CIE Exam Series
What is Evidence Based Grading?
Cambridge Assessment International Education will be awarding grades to candidates for the May / June 2020 series using a collaborative evidence based approach to make decisions. For each subject, the candidate will be awarded a grade based on the evidence that is shared by their centres.
What will be used by CAIE for Evidence based Grading?
The types of evidence to be used by Cambridge International will include, but not will be limited to:
• mock exams (see FAQ below)
• coursework (complete or incomplete)
• AS Level results for students who have appeared in AS level Exams and were due to appear in final A Level candidates
• Grades students achieved in previous sittings for candidates re-taking exams.
How will Cambridge assess grades for June 2020 series?
The CIEs will collaborate with your schools to determine what grade you deserve based on your academic performance throughout the year. This will be based on data from your mock exams, assignments, AS results if applicable, and other grading instruments. Students will be evaluated in the following manner.
Steps for awarding grades to students by CIE Centres
• Centre will determine the predicted grade for every candidate for every syllabus they entered for. Subject teachers will predict a grade for their respective subject for every student using their evidence and judgement. These predicted grades do NOT have to be the same as the forecast grades sent to Cambridge international. Teachers are instructed to be accurate and non biased and ensure they retain the evidence. This evidence may need to be submitted to CIE if they request teachers to do so
• Rank all the students in a grade group All students being awarded the same predicted grade will be ranked highest to lowest for each grade bracket. Each student in the predicted grade bracket must have a unique grade
• Validation and forwarding of Grades by Centre heads The heads of centres will ensure that the process of awarding forecast grades by teachers was transparent, fair and strictly based on evidence. The predicted grades and ranks will be forwarded to CIE. This data cannot be shared with teachers and students
• Standardization by Cambridge International Statistical standardization will be carried out by Cambridge to ensure the judgements across different centres are uniform and aligned. The grades of students will be adjusted based what Cambridge International expects but the ranks will remain unchanged.
Pros and Cons of Withdrawing from CIE May/June 2020 Series
Advantages of Evidence Based Grading
Uncertainty of Oct/ Nov Exams taking place
There is a lot of chaos and uncertainty with the number of coronavirus victims increasing day by day. There is a chance that the Oct/ Nov exam series would not take place. CAIE has made no such statements but this is a possibility that you must not rule out
You can always reappear and improve you grades in Oct / Nov 2020
If the grade you are awarded using the evidence based approach is not satisfactory or below your expectations, you can always reappear for the Oct/ Nov 2020 exam series especially if you are not in the final university applying phase. You would still be appearing in Oct/ Nov 2020 series if you opt out of evidence based grading so there is no harm in taking a chance
Admission into university can be cancelled if you withdraw and do not receive a grade
If you are an A2 student, withdrawal may mean not getting into your dream university. That might mean you don’t immediately get the fruit of all the efforts that you may have made. It is recommended to confirm the admissions policy of your desired university in light of the ongoing crisis before making any decision.
Gap year might stress you out
Although there is nothing bad about gap years, there are many people who don’t think very highly of being on a gap year. If you fall into this category then withdrawal would be a bad idea if you are in A2 and your university won’t accept you without A2 results. However, just to make you reconsider, here is one of our articles on why gap years can be an amazing thing: Click Here
Too much workload when preparing for A Level Exam
If you are in AS Level, postponing exams to October November would mean that your preparation will happen when the A2 year has started in your school. This might distract you from giving time to preparing for A2 exams and missing out on the progress that you should have made to your A2 exams instead. Composite Exam is always smore challenging than a staged level approach
Disadvantages of opting for Evidence Based Grading
Students who did not perform consistently well might suffer
If you are somebody who likes to study only after the mock examinations, you will be negatively affected by not withdrawing. Cambridge will give you a grade based on your academic performance within your school. This includes the mock exams, the midterm exams, and the quizzes.
Evidence based grading is happening for the first time so you can’t be sure about the grading policy
At the moment, there is no certainty about how Cambridge will implement its grading system. It seems very arbitrary to rely on the student’s academic performance in their school. Even if they do devise an objective system, we can never be sure if it will be implemented properly. If you are an AS Level student, it is best for you to withdraw from the current exam series. Not only will you get a lot of time to prepare, but you will also have more recent fresh knowledge about the subject when your A2 exams take place.
This is an unprecedented situation. You can rest assured that most of the involved institutions, your school, your desired universities, and Cambridge, will try their utmost to accommodate you and ensure the most fair outcome for everyone. Given that we are in a pandemic, nobody expects you to make the best decisions for yourself. This too shall pass, and if by any chance, you get misfortunate, it is completely alright to make a powerful comeback the next time.
Frequently asked questions
I am a private candidate. How will I be graded?
A: Your grades too will be awarded on the basis of available info about academic performance. Your examination centre will be responsible for gathering information about your performance from previous schools, from the private tutors you may have studied with, and send this to Cambridge where they will judge your grade.
Will my university accept my results if they are decided on this basis?
A: Yes, Cambridge is communicating with universities around the world in order to ensure that flexibility and ease is offered to you as a student. Grades of this May June series will be equally weighted as grades from other series. Cambridge has promised to work to make sure that candidates giving exam in the current series will not be disadvantaged in their university applications.
Should I as a student keep studying and working hard if exams are cancelled?
Continue working hard and follow the directions of your school. Schools may feel the need to attach the extra coursework that you will be doing as evidence and use it to award your forecasted grade.
Do I have to withdraw all my entries?
No, you may withdraw some or all of your entries. That entirely depends on what you are comfortable with
Will my grade be the same as my mock exam result?
No it will not. A lot of student work hard and improve even after mock exams so mock exams alone will not be the deciding factor. Other things such as coursework, class tests etc. will also be considered.
When can I register for October/November 2020 exams series?
This usually takes place in August. No exact date has been announced yet