The Cambridge O’ and A’ Levels June 1 exams will not take place this year along with local board exams. Local FSc students are, however, being automatically promoted and granted grace marks. The CAIE has decided to treat students according to a different process.
Shahid Ashraf, the deputy country director for Cambridge Assessment International Education in Pakistan explained that they had a different system. An estimated 270,000 students sat the exams in Pakistan, according to 2018 numbers.
“We have drawn on our wealth of assessment expertise to develop this process of grading students,” he told SAMAA TV. “Working with schools we will be following a four-step process to provide each student with their grades. We believe it is the most valid, fair and effective approach in these unique circumstances.”
The CAIE is asking teachers to use evidence and professional judgement to predict grades for each student in each subject they have entered for in the May/June 2020 exam series, based on what the student would have achieved if normal teaching had gone ahead. “This is to ensure students are not disadvantaged,” said Ashraf. “The final decision on grades to be awarded to students will be made by Cambridge International, using the evidence from schools combined with our own evidence.”
The process has four steps:
He added that they have engaged with different entities worldwide to develop this approach, including other awarding bodies, governments and universities. “As such, we want to reassure our students that all qualifications awarded in the May/June 2020 series will carry the same currency as they have in any other year, enabling them to move forward with their future study and career plans.”
Cambridge International has also offered schools and students the option to defer their entry to the November 2020 exam series, if they would prefer to sit their exam as they had originally planned.
He added that it is not possible to compare a system that will provides marks to students, with Cambridge International’s approach which will be giving students a total grade for their qualification not individual marks for each exam they would have taken.
Ahmed Saya who teaches O’ and A’ level classes privately and is a co-owner of Córdoba College, Karachi, explained the policy like this: There will be evidence-based grading. Students will be graded on their tests, mock exams, performance throughout the year. The teacher with then grade them according to that. He added that students can opt for sitting exams in Oct/No and CAIE has transferred their exam fees of June to that session already.
Schools have given students options. A student at Foundation Public School said that they had a vote. Most students opted for sitting exams in the next session. So FPS, for example, will start with regular classes on Zoom from June 1. They will have their mocks online too.
Universities have also eased their admissions procedures. IBA’s minimum grade requirement is reported to be down to 3Cs, IoBM is said to have made A2 students eligible for admissions. They have also given the student an opportunity to reappear in Oct/Nov 2020.
What is the procedure for withdrawal of entries for May/June 2020 exams series?
British Council will send an email to all schools early next week outlining the detailed process of withdrawal.
Is it possible for a school to withdraw some subjects for a candidate?
Yes, partial withdrawals are possible.
Will British Council refund the fee for withdrawn entries?
The British Council will provide schools with a credit note that can be used for entries in any future Cambridge exams series. More details on this will be shared with schools shortly.
Can a school request that registrations from the May/June 2020 series be automatically transferred to the October/November 2020 series?
Unfortunately, our systems do not allow an automatic transfer from one exams series to another exams series. Schools will need to withdraw their entries and re-enter students for the next series.
What will be the deadline for re-registration for the October/November 2020 exams series?
The British Council will announce the exact registration timelines for October/November session in due course, but we expect it to be around August time as normal.
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