Higher education has expanded rapidly in Pakistan, with the country’s Higher Education Commission now overseeing 218 private and public institutions which welcome both local and international students. All teaching is delivered in English.
Awarding grades during the Covid-19 pandemic
To meet the challenge of the Covid-19 crisis, Cambridge International awarded grades to students using a different assessment methodology for the June 2020 exam series. Universities across Pakistan and the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) treated results in the same manner as those from other series. Check the IBCC website for updates on equivalence.
Applying with Cambridge qualifications
Universities in Pakistan recognise and welcome Cambridge international qualifications. The Government of Pakistan also recognises Cambridge qualifications and provides equivalence with the local education system in order to ensure a smooth transition for students who choose to continue their education in Pakistan.
Qualification equivalence, issued by the Government’s IBCC, is as follows:
- Cambridge O Levels and Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are equated to the local Secondary School Certificate (SSC)
- Cambridge International A Levels are equated to the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC).
To qualify for equivalence at HSSC level, IBCC provides a list of the compulsory and elective subjects that must be studied at Cambridge O Level, Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge International A Level as follows:
Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Level
- Students must take five compulsory subjects: English, Urdu, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies, Mathematics and three electives.
- To qualify for the Science Group, students must pass Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Computer Science / Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Cambridge International A Level
- To be eligible for the Pre-Engineering group, students must pass three Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, along with eight Cambridge O Level/Cambridge IGCSE subjects.
- To be eligible for the Medical group, along with eight Cambridge O Level/Cambridge IGCSE subjects, three Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Chemistry and Biology are required.
- For the General Science and Humanities groups, along with eight Cambridge O Levels, three Cambridge International A Levels in any subject are required to be eligible.
Cambridge grade conversion
||Above 90 (from examination series 2021 onwards)
||NA for IBCC
||NA for IBCC
View further information on the IBCC grade conversions.
Monthly webinar series: Cambridge in Pakistan - Conversations to support a Cambridge learner’s journey
The monthly webinar series, launched in December 2021, aims to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information on how studying Cambridge qualifications can lead to university admissions in Pakistan and abroad. Each month the webinar will bring together panellists who will guide Cambridge learners on most recent information on eligibility criteria, entry requirements, recognition of Cambridge qualifications in universities around the world, how Cambridge learners perform at university and many such topics to facilitate the university admission process for our learners. The webinar series is aimed at students, parents, teachers, student counsellors and anyone who is interested in finding out more about university admissions.
Recordings of all previous webinars can be accessed from the link below.
View all Cambridge in Pakistan webinars
The most recent webinar from February 2023 can be viewed below:
Destination Germany – Guidance for undergraduate admissions in Germany for Cambridge learners