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Today’s update shares more information about our exam series in March and June 2021, namely:
A majority of our schools have told us they want Cambridge International to give students the opportunity to sit exams on the full syllabus if they can. They also want us to help them manage the impact of the pandemic in a way that is fair to everyone. We continue to prepare for the March and June series to go ahead as planned.
We are monitoring the situation carefully in different countries and listening to our schools. We will continue providing measures to help our schools manage the impact of the pandemic.
We are very grateful to you for working patiently with us through this challenging period. We encourage you to keep in touch with us if you have questions or would like advice.
On 5 January we sent a statement to all our schools following the UK government’s announcement of new restrictions for schools in England and cancellation of its national exams for June 2021. You can read our full statement here.
We work with schools in 160 countries and most of our schools are telling us they want to run exams in June 2021 and expect to be able to do so, in line with guidance from their national and regional authorities.
We share the belief of our schools that exams remain the fairest and most accurate way of assessing student achievement. Therefore we continue to prepare for the March and June series to go ahead.
We will continue to monitor the situation for the March and June 2021 series very closely and keep our schools informed, but we expect exams to continue as planned where it is permitted and safe. Our priority continues to be to keep students safe and to make sure they can progress with their education.
As stated in our Code of Practice, the awarding standards of our exams are aligned to those of equivalent qualifications in England. There is no change to this position in June 2021. Students will not be disadvantaged by taking exams.
We are fully committed to helping you manage the impact of the pandemic on exams, and the challenging and changing circumstances you and your students are facing. We continue to look at what more we can do to help schools making exam entries this year. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any questions on this or about the wide package of support measures we announced in December to support schools as they prepare for exams in 2021.
In December, we sent schools details of our policy on exemptions. We have now created an Exemption regulations supplement that outlines Covid-19 exemption regulations for the March and June 2021 series. Please use this, as well as the Cambridge Handbook, if you are running exams.
As a reminder, please see below our policy on adjustments and exemptions:
We published a package of measures in December to support schools as they prepare for exams in 2021. Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions we have received in recent weeks.
Yes, you can continue to use component adjustments alongside any application for a component exemption.
We have looked carefully at every syllabus to see where we can offer adjustments whilst retaining a fair, valid and reliable assessment. The adjustments we make cannot compromise the knowledge, skills and competencies we are assessing in the syllabus. This limits the adjustments and/or exemptions we can assess in some syllabuses.
No. You can select individuals or groups of students for exemption from a component. This allows flexibility in circumstances that may not affect all students – for example, if some students are learning remotely and others learning in your centre.
There is a full list of the available exemptions on our website.
When applying for exemptions, you must tell us why your students cannot take the full assessment. We are not asking for further evidence. However, you must have explored how you could prepare candidates for the full assessment before you apply for a Covid-19 exemption.
If your candidates complete other components in the syllabus, we will calculate an assessed mark for the exempted component. An assessed mark is an estimated mark based on the candidate’s performance in other components in the same syllabus in the current series. We combine this with the marks they gained in the components they were able to sit and produce a syllabus grade. The weighting of each component remains unchanged.
If you are using one or more approved Covid-19 exemptions but your circumstances change and you can prepare students for a component, then you can withdraw from an exemption. Email us before the exam is taken at email@example.com with the subject line ‘March 2021/June 2021 Covid-19 exemptions’ and an explanation of your request.
We cannot tell you which option(s) to choose and we trust schools to act in the best interests of their candidates. We appreciate that there is a lot to consider when applying for adjustments and exemptions. Your candidates should take as much of the assessment as possible. However, we know this may be challenging and we are providing schools with as much information as we can to help them make an informed decision.
No. We will make sure all students receive a grade that reflects their attainment.
You can find all our advice on our website
If you have any questions, you can review our frequently asked questions, or contact us via our Help website.
We wish everyone in the Cambridge International community well at this time.