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Special consideration is a post-exam adjustment that we make to a candidate's mark. We do this to make allowances for some adverse circumstances, for example illness, bereavement, temporary injury or disruption to an exam.
You can submit applications for different categories of special consideration:
The following instructions apply to these categories of special consideration:
Alternatively, you can download and then complete the relevant form(s) from the 'Support Materials' area of Direct and email back to us.
If a candidate is absent from a component for an acceptable reason we may calculate and award an assessed mark for the missing component. You can find more information, including some of the unacceptable reasons for special consideration, in section 5 of the Cambridge Handbook.
For the November 2022 series we are again expanding our special consideration process for candidates who unexpectedly, for an acceptable reason, miss some components they were entered for. As long as these candidates have taken at least one eligible component, they can receive a grade. This is a temporary measure in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We cannot calculate an assessed mark for the following:
Usually, the minimum requirements for calculating an assessed mark are that the candidate should:
Please apply using the relevant form rather than via Direct:
If you need help please refer to section 5.5 of the Cambridge Handbook.
We know many of you have questions about special consideration and we have created a supplement (PDF, 489KB) to support you with this and help answer your queries.
There is more information about how we calculate a mark on our Calculating assessed marks page.
Yes. In our Code of Practice, we say that candidates will be treated fairly in all circumstances (aim 5.2). To treat candidates fairly, our special considerations will not give a candidate receiving them an advantage over other candidates (5.2i).
The method we use to produce assessed marks reflects a candidate’s position relative to the other candidates for the components they have all done. This means it is designed to make sure that achieving each assessed mark is neither easier nor harder than achieving the same mark through completing the exam.
Of course, we strongly recommend that candidates plan to take all the components they can – it is better educationally, fairer for candidates, and reduces the risk that a candidate misses every component and cannot be given a grade.
Do assessed marks give candidates the same grade they would have got if they had taken the component? We are confident that grades awarded where candidates have assessed marks are appropriate because the way that they are produced does not give candidates an advantage or disadvantage.
There are syllabuses where performance on the different components does not always correlate strongly. It may be that some candidates perform better on paper 1 than on paper 2, while other candidates perform better on paper 2 than on paper 1. Where this is the case, it is possible that a candidate’s grade using an assessed mark might not be the same as the grade they would have got from taking the component. However, to treat all candidates equally, we award an assessed mark that reflects a candidate’s position relative to the other candidates for the components they have all done.
Example: you may have candidates taking a syllabus that has three components: