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You won’t lose Pakistani university admissions over bad A-level grades

Varsities relax admission criteria for A-Level students

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 12, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Aug 12, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

ART: Abdullah Zafar for SAMAA Digital

The Cambridge International Examination results that came out on Tuesday left many students disheartened and distressed. Most didn’t get the results they expected, putting their chances of getting into the varsity of their choice in danger.

Hamza, a final year A-Level student scored Ds in all his subjects this year. These grades play a key role in determining what university a student gets enrolled into.

Most Pakistani and international universities have a minimum criterion for applicants to meet. If a student fails to meet these criteria, their admission is cancelled.

“I feel like the world has ended because my dream of getting into a good university has been shattered,” Hamza said, adding that all his hard work throught the year has also gone to waste.

Many other A-Level students have also raised concerns over the matter of policies that will be followed by universities in the wake of the result situation.

Haris Tohid, the senior manager of Corporate Relations and Communications at the Institute of Business Administration, told SAMAA Digital that admissions of students who have already been admitted in the varsity on the basis of their AS-level grades will not be terminated over their A2 results.

“No matter what their A2 result is, their admission will remain intact on the basis of the results of the first year,” he said, adding that the varsity had already relaxed its admission criteria because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tohid added that they had also altered their admission process by giving more weight to extracurricular activities while admitting students.

The Institute of Business Management has also relaxed its admission requirements. Lecturer and head of media department Nabhan Shah Karim said the university will not cancel admissions of A-Level students who couldn’t make the required minimum Cs in their CIE exams.

“We will give them a chance to improve their grades in the November-October session and join IOBM as first semester students from Spring 2021 starting January,” he said.

Habib University, on the other hand, is drafting a policy for its students. The varsity’s Admissions Deputy Manager Zeeshan Zain told SAMAA Digital that students can email their requests and concerns to

“They should make sure they add their application ID and a picture of their provisional results,” he said. “Our admissions committee will get back to them within a day.”

Zain added that the university has reduced its entry level criteria to a passing grade in A-Levels this year.

Later, HU issued a statement saying that it it took a number of proactive measures to ensure students are able to pursue their academic goals in the COVID-19 pandemic while safeguarding their well-being.

The statement said HU decided those students who had applied during the first round of admissions would be offered admissions in the Class of 2024 based on receiving a passing grade in the CAIEs. There would be no other grade requirement.

“Realising that those students, who would have wanted to take part in our second round admissions, might hesitate or be over awed by the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 situation, and keeping the health and well-being of students foremost, we went a step further by waiving the admissions test for applicants from CIE applying in Round 2,” the varsity said, adding that it decided to accept O Level grades and A Level grades (if available) to fulfil admission criteria.

The CIE announced the results for their O and A-Level exams taken in May-June on Tuesday. An evidence-based grading system was used this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. A lot of students were worried after they got grades way less than what they had expected.

International applications

A lot of A-Level students in Pakistan aspire to apply to universities and Ivy League colleges abroad. According to reports, every year around 10,000 A-Level students leave for their higher studies abroad.

However, these candidates are now worried if they will get their admissions easily because of these grades.

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university, admissions, cambridge examinations, O-level, A-level, grades, Habib University, IBA, IoBM, universities, abroad
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