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If you are trying to decide whether to make entries for November 2020 or wait until 2021 it might help to think through the issues below, for example:
We have structured the issues around the phases of the Cambridge Exams Cycle. Open up each section to see the related issues and information to support your decision-making.
The safety of your candidates and colleagues
This is more important than running exams. If it is not safe to hold exams during the November 2020 exam series you should make arrangements for your candidates to take their exams in a future series. To decide if it is safe to hold exams, you should first assess your national and local government regulations and advice.
National and local regulations and guidance
If you decide to hold exams, you must comply with any guidance or instructions from national and local governments, and healthcare authorities.
If you are allowed to meet in groups, it may be possible to hold exams. However, you will need to make sure that you follow any regulations, such as social distancing and hygiene procedures.
We do not offer all syllabuses in every exam series. Check that the syllabus you plan to make entries for is available in the November 2020 series or the relevant series in 2021.
Differences in content between syllabuses examined in 2020 and 2021
We regularly review and update our qualifications to make sure they continue to meet the needs of students and schools. If you defer your entries to a series in 2021, the syllabus being examined may be different from that in the November 2020 series.
For example, the topics in a history syllabus may have changed.
Set works for the year in which the syllabus is examined
If you defer your entries to a series in 2021 the syllabus being examined may have different set works (for example set texts in an English literature syllabus or set works in a music syllabus).
Please be aware that the syllabus may not have changed, but the set works may have changed. Make sure you are following the list for the relevant year within the syllabus.
Access arrangements and modified papers
If you have candidates who need access arrangements you might need to put in place extra provisions when planning exams in your centre. In all cases, you must make sure you follow your national or local government advice.
Every modified paper is made to order, to make sure that each candidate’s specific needs are met. Our deadline for modified paper applications was 1 July 2020 and has now passed. It reflects the time it takes to produce and deliver these papers.
Due to Covid-19, we have also faced our own restrictions and limitations in the production of some of our modified papers. As a result, we cannot guarantee some of the modifications we have previously been able to produce. If we cannot fulfil your request, please contact us. We may be able to work with you to find an alternative.
If you are using an alternative venue to help with social distancing during exams, you must make sure you transport any modified papers to your alternative venue.
Loss of teaching time
We know that many of our centres have concerns about lost preparation and teaching time. We recognise that this may have held back the learning of some candidates, and that this is not their fault.
In the November 2020 series, for some coursework, speaking and practical components, teachers and students will be able to adjust their approach to the course or their administration of the test to meet the requirements of the component.
Some schools have asked us if we can use special consideration in cases where candidates have lost teaching time. However, this is not possible as the purpose of special consideration is to make a small allowance for circumstances on the day of the exam which prevent a candidate from demonstrating fully what they know and can do. It is not to make allowances for a loss of teaching time.
It is important to consider whether your candidates will be prepared to take exams in November 2020 or if it would be better for them to defer to the appropriate series in 2021.
You can find more information on coursework adjustments on our Coursework, speaking and practical components web pages.
For a full explanation of why we cannot offer special consideration to candidates for loss of teaching time see page 8 of our Guidance on running exams in the November 2020 series (PDF, 198KB)
Teaching and learning during Covid-19
We have a range of resources to help, whether you are teaching remotely, returning to teaching in schools or adopting a blended teaching approach.
Teaching and learning when school is closed
Teaching and learning when school returns
November 2020 entry deadlines
Given the challenges of sending question papers to you during this changing situation, it is particularly important that you submit your entries to us by the deadlines below, or earlier wherever possible.
• 16 August (international centres)
• 21 September (UK centres)
• 21 September (international and UK centres)
Fees for late entries will be charged as normal. However, you will receive credit for any withdrawals made before the end of the day on 30 August. This is to support centres that may be uncertain about making entries because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic. We are offering a discount for retake entries in the November series. To receive this discount, please make sure you tick the 'Retake' box when you make your entry. You cannot tick this after you have submitted your entries.
All other fees for November 2020 remain as advertised in your fees list.
Carry forward marks to a future series
We realise that many schools have questions about carrying forward marks. To help you understand the decisions we have made because of the Covid-19 outbreak, we have provided guidance on a range of situations, and details of the rules that will apply. These situations apply either to an individual component (for Cambridge IGCSE™ or O Level) or to a set of components that make up the AS Level stage of a Cambridge International A Level syllabus.
Read our Carry forward marks to a future series guidance.
Check the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries for the relevant series. Exams officers can download the guide from the 'Support Materials' section of Cambridge International Direct
Withdrawing November entries due to national or local restrictions that relate to Covid-19
As you will be aware we have previously informed schools outside the UK that our final entry deadline for the November 2020 series is 16 August. Fees for late entries will be charged as normal. However, a school will receive credit for any withdrawals made before the end of the day on 30 August. This is to support schools who may be uncertain about making entries because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
We acknowledge that there may be circumstances when a school needs to withdraw all its entries after 30 August as a consequence of national or local restrictions that relate to Covid-19. Under these specific circumstances and with supporting evidence, such as a link to a local or national government website to validate the reason for the withdrawal, a credit will be applied to withdrawals made after 30 August and until 30 September 2020. You must first tell us of the need to withdraw entries but keep the entry on our system until you receive instructions from us. We hope this gives you further reassurance at this time.
Adjustments to coursework, speaking and practical components
In the November 2020 series, for some coursework, speaking and practical components, teachers and students will be able to adjust their approach to the course or their administration of the test to meet the requirements of the component. Where a component adjustment is not possible, we have provided relevant guidance.
To help you think through how to prepare for and then run November 2020 exams, our guide includes information on areas such as:
Reading through the guide will help you make an informed decision about whether you can run November exams in your school.
November results release dates
Results for November 2020 exams will be released in mid-January 2021.
See the relevant university websites.
Cambridge AICE Diploma
The grades we awarded for Cambridge International AS & A Level in June 2020 will count towards the Cambridge AICE Diploma we awarded in June 2020. Future series will follow our normal processes.
If the June 2020 exam series would have been the last series for a student to sit exams and gain their AICE Diploma, we have allowed an exceptional exemption to our usual 25-month time limit rule. This means these students do not need to complete all elements of the Cambridge AICE Diploma within 25 months.
Cambridge ICE extention - if June 2020 would have been the last exam series
We have allowed an exceptional exemption for Cambridge ICE students. These students do not need to complete all elements within 13 months.
Visit our web page for more information.
Cambridge ICE extention - if November 2020 would have been the last exam series
We have allowed an exemption to the usual rule that candidates must complete all elements within 13 months.
The exemption will apply if November 2020 would have been the final series for the candidate for ICE (that is, they are also using syllabus grades from a previous series within the last 13 months).
If candidates meet this criterion they can count grades awarded from the November 2021 series instead of the November 2020 series. Candidates may still only use grades from a maximum of two series.
If you have already entered a candidate for November 2020 you have until 30 August 2020 to withdraw them and receive a credit for the entry.