07 May 2020
This update contains guidance on the following matters: support for schools; submitting grades; and university recognition.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind our schools where to find all the Cambridge International updates, FAQs and resources related to the arrangements for the June 2020 series. These pages continue to be updated regularly, so please bookmark them for your reference.
Some centres have asked about our plans for the November 2020 series. We are planning for exams to go ahead. At the same time, we all recognise that the covid-19 pandemic will continue to create uncertainty this year, in different countries at different times. We are developing our contingency plans so we can keep teachers and students safe, help students get on with their education, and support schools. We will keep centres up to date in the coming weeks and months.
As always, we thank our school community for your support and send our best wishes.
Support for schools
We are committed to supporting you through each step of the awarding process for the June 2020 series.
Last week we published our video and guide on gathering and using evidence to set predicted grades. We are now pleased to share with you a new video on predicting grades. The video answers the key questions we are receiving from schools on this topic.
Later this week we will publish a video on rank ordering, covering topics such as ranking large cohorts and ranking school candidates alongside private candidates.
There is an accompanying guide with practical suggestions for determining predicted grades and rank orders which you can download now. You can find these resources on our Awarding grades for the June 2020 exam series page.
Through our blog we continue to share the experiences and reflections of students and teachers during this challenging time, to support your teaching and learning while school is closed:
We are developing an online system for you to submit your predicted grades and rank orders. The submission window is planned to run from 29 May 2020 until 16 June 2020. We will provide a range of support on our website, including a ‘How to’ guide and video. You will be able to access this support and the online system the week before the submission window opens so that you can set up access for the Head of Centre and any teaching staff that need to upload the data.
Exams officers will be able to download a separate .csv file for each syllabus, pre-populated with candidate and syllabus details. They will only need to add the grade and rank order. Many centres will be collating this information already.
To help centres prepare effectively, we want to share with you how and in what order the information will appear on the system. Following the same order and using a .csv spreadsheet to record your predicted grades and rank orders will mean you can upload the information more smoothly. The information will appear in columns in this order:
- centre number
- syllabus code
- candidate number
- candidate name
- date of birth
- predicted grade
We will contact you with more information, including a link to the support page, in the week of 18 May.
As scheduled, we will release results for Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Level on 11 August and for Cambridge Pre-U on 12 August.
Our Global Recognitions team is working hard with universities and key stakeholders around the world to explain our process for awarding grades in the June 2020 exam series, and to assure them about the validity and reliability of our awarding standards. Universities are being as flexible as possible to ensure Cambridge International students are not disadvantaged, and we are very encouraged by the responses we have received.
We have received statements of support from a large number of universities in popular destinations, including the UK, US, Canada, China, Australia and South Africa. We have published a selection of these statements on our website to reassure schools and students. Here are some examples:
- The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities including Cambridge and Oxford, has confirmed that Cambridge International students can progress to university in the usual way: ‘…students can rest assured that results provided through these [grading] processes will be treated exactly the same as in any other year by our members.’
- The University of California (UC) System, which consists of nine colleges including UCLA and UC Berkeley, has confirmed that Cambridge International students will continue to receive the same credit as in previous years. UC will continue to award credit for designated Cambridge International A Level subjects passed with grades of A, B or C.
- The University of Toronto has said: ‘Rest assured that changes in grading processes or alternative methods of assessment will not negatively affect an offer of admission we have already made.’
- The University of New South Wales, Sydney, has said: ‘…there will be no change to our requirements for students completing Cambridge International A Levels.’
Universities understand that this is an unsettling time for applicants, so they are pleased to address these concerns. In most instances they are contacting offer-holders and applicants directly. Our advice is that students check university websites for regular updates. If students have not heard from their chosen university, they should consider contacting them directly.
Staying in touch
You can find our advice on our website. If you have any questions, you can review our frequently asked questions, or contact us via: www.cambridgeinternational.org/help
We will update schools again in the week commencing 13 May. We wish everyone in the Cambridge International community well at this difficult time.