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Every student will submit a different portfolio of evidence and the tasks may be different between different students and different schools. For this reason, it is not possible to write a single mark scheme that covers all the types of work Assessment Specialists will see.
Instead, Cambridge examiners will use exemplar materials which show the performance level expected at regular mark points throughout the mark range. Examiners will compare each piece of evidence in a student’s portfolio against these exemplar materials and make a judgement about which exemplar is nearest to the student’s piece of evidence in quality. They will then judge whether the standard of the student's performance in the piece of evidence is of the same standard as the performance in the exemplar work, or whether it is of a slightly higher or slightly lower standard. They will compare the student’s work with the exemplar materials that most closely match the type of task completed by the student. They will then award a mark to the piece of evidence in line with these judgements.
Our examiners will give a mark to each of the pieces of evidence. These marks will be added together to give a final mark for the portfolio. The types of evidence submitted will be different from different centres. To manage this consistently across centres when marking, all pieces of evidence will count equally in their contribution to the final mark. So, when you submit three pieces of evidence to us for a portfolio of evidence, each piece will be assigned a third of the available final mark for the portfolio.
If you have used a Cambridge past paper or have submitted coursework as your pieces of evidence, Cambridge examiners will not use the published mark scheme. These pieces of evidence will also be marked using exemplar work.
We will use our examiners’ marks to calculate a final grade for each candidate for each syllabus they are entered for.
We have included more information in our frequently asked questions.
We will align awarding standards for students taking exams with awarding standards for students using the portfolio of evidence route, so that no student will be advantaged or disadvantaged by their route to their grades.
We commit in our Code of Practice to aligning our awarding standards to those of equivalent qualifications in England. This means that we will follow Ofqual’s approach of 2022 grade boundaries reflecting a midpoint between 2021 and pre-pandemic grading.