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We have recognised the impact of Covid disruption on students when grading our June and November 2022 exams. To reflect that we are in a pandemic recovery period, we will move gradually from the June 2021 standard of school-assessed grades back to the standard of exams in 2019. We will do that in two equal steps – first in 2022 and then in 2023.
The standard of exams in 2022 will be at a midpoint between 2019 and 2021. From June 2019 to June 2021, grade inflation was between half and two-thirds of a grade. Setting the standard at the midpoint between 2019 and 2021 means the grades we award in 2022 will be more generous than those awarded in June 2019, and less generous than those awarded in June 2021.
The grade thresholds (also known as grade boundaries) we choose in 2022 will generally be lower than in 2019 and higher than in 2021. This might not always be the case though. Grade thresholds change each year to reflect any differences in the difficulty of the question papers.
It is important to note that we are talking about global averages – standards for Cambridge centres as a group. Grades at an individual centre could be the same as, or better than, in 2021 if the cohort at that centre is significantly stronger; or the same as, or lower than, in 2019 if the cohort at that centre is significantly weaker. For most centres the percentage of candidates awarded a grade A or higher will not be exactly halfway between the centre’s 2019 and 2021 percentages and, in some cases, it may be significantly different.
Centres that awarded more generous school-assessed grades than the average in 2021 will experience a larger adjustment in standards in 2022 as they return to a standard shared by all centres. Similarly, centres that were less generous than the average in 2021 will typically experience a smaller adjustment in standards in 2022.
We grade portfolios of evidence in the same way that we grade exams and make sure that standards in the portfolio of evidence are aligned to those of the equivalent exams.
We align the standard of our qualifications to the standard of similar qualifications in England, so Cambridge International candidates will not be advantaged or disadvantaged by taking our qualifications rather than UK qualifications. Ofqual provided this guidance on its approach to awarding grades in June 2022. Ofqual have also produced this article where they explain that November 2022 grading will be aligned with the standard in June 2022.
To find out how we mark and grade exams, visit this webpage: www.cambridgeinternational.org/marking-and-grading
We recommend you share this information with school leaders and teachers at your centre well before results day.
You may receive questions from candidates and their families – we have produced a factsheet (PDF, 247KB) about our grading approach in 2022 that you can share with them.
We have also produced a short video that explains how we have set grade standards in the June 2022 series and how this compares to the standard in 2019 and 2021. This video also applies to our November 2022 series. You may like to share this video with your candidates and their families.