Follow

Novel coronavirus - Information for schools about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak

Article published 5 March 2020, last updated 13 May

Links to our updates to schools can be found here

FAQ sections:

Results
Entries and withdrawals
Forecast Grades
General
Despatches
Coursework
Additional syllabuses in November 2020
Syllabus-specific
Support for teachers
Applying to university

 

Results

Are predicted grades the same as the predictions that UK schools have provided to UCAS? (new 13 May)

No. The prediction for a UCAS application is the grade an applicant’s school/college believes they are likely to achieve in positive circumstances to help universities understand the applicant’s potential. These grades are generally aspirational. 
 
The predicted grade Cambridge International is requesting is new information that we have asked you to submit, together with rank orders, as part of the new process for the June 2020 series. Predicted grades should stem from a centre’s judgement about each candidate, and combine all the evidence a centre wants to consider, including any predictions previously submitted to UCAS.   

How will A level grades be calculated this year?  Will A level grades in June 2020 be stand-alone qualifications or will the mark from the AS grades last year be combined with the predicted final grade from the schools?  (new 12 May)

If a candidate has taken a Cambridge International AS Level and planned to carry their mark forward as part of a Cambridge International A Level in the June 2020 series, you can use their AS Level performance as evidence when you predict their A2 grade. Their performance in a previous series will give you a strong indication of how they would have performed if the June 2020 exams had taken place. 

Normally, we carry forward the marks from the AS Level and calculate the A2 mark based on the marks from all of the components. As candidates will obtain a grade rather than a mark in the June 2020 series, the AS Level mark cannot contribute to the overall result – it can instead be used as evidence for the A2 predicted grade. 

You can find more information about this in our Gathering evidence factsheet and also in our Carry forward infographic.

What are the dates for submitting predicted grades and rank orders? (new 04 May)

We can now provide centres with the planned dates for submitting their predicted grades and rank orders to Cambridge International.

The submission window is planned to run from 29 May to 16 June. For more information on the process we will follow to grade students, please see Awarding grades for the June 2020 exam series.

Submitting grades and rank orders (new 21 May)

Centre will use the Grade Submission System to submit predicted grades and rank orders for each syllabus. This infographic on our website sets out the key dates for awarding grades in the June 2020 series.

You can also now find a step-by-step 'How to' guide on our website that explains the process you will need to follow.

Guidance about avoiding bias (new 21 May)

We are providing extra information on objectivity in predicting grades and deciding on rank orders to help schools play their role in ensuring this year’s results are as fair as possible. This is based on existing research and analysis about how centres can assess candidates as objectively as possible. You can find our guidance here.

When will Cambridge International ask us to submit evidence? (new 21 May)

As we explained in our guidance about awarding grades, we may ask you to send us the evidence you have considered in making your professional judgements. If we ask you for evidence, it is likely to be for a sample of your candidates, and we will identify the candidates whose evidence we would like to see. When we contact you with the request we will provide clear instructions on how to submit your evidence to us, which should be via electronic copy. We will make any initial requests for such samples to schools from 1-22 June. Follow-up requests may extend beyond 22 June. Please do not send any evidence to us at this stage.

How will Cambridge assess grades for June 2020 series?

Please visit our awarding grades page for information on how we will award grades for the June 2020 exam series.

Does this mean a student’s grade will be the same as their mock exam result?

No. Mock exam results are just one of several pieces of evidence to consider. We know students work very hard between mock exams and the actual exam, and performances can improve.

You do not need to set students fresh work to gather evidence – for example, you do not need to set new mock papers, set assignments or ask them to complete unfinished coursework.

When will Statements of Results be published for the June 2020 series? (new 21 May)

We expect to provide hard copies of Statements of Results to centres from the end of August.

Should students stop working?

No. It means you can of course continue to set assignments to candidates to support ongoing teaching and learning while they are at home. You do not need to set new mock papers set assignments or ask candidates to complete unfinished coursework for the purposes of gathering evidence. However, if you are able and feel this would help your evidence then you are free to do so. Please visit our awarding grades page for information on how we will award grades for the June 2020 exam series.

 

Private candidates (updated 14 April)

As explained previously, we will treat private candidates in the same way as school candidates, in that all the grades we award will be based on evidence.

Where centres have accepted entries from private candidates, those students should be included if the head of centre is confident that the head and their staff have seen sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement.

Where a candidate has not been taught at the centre handling their entry, centres need to carefully consider what evidence can be authenticated. Evidence from education institutions and previous schools may be acceptable.

As with schools, heads of centre will be responsible for vouching for the authenticity of the evidence gathered about every candidate.

Unfortunately, we recognise that some centres may not able to find enough evidence for some of their private candidates. It is unlikely to be possible therefore to give grades to all private candidates, some of whom may instead need to take exams in the November 2020 exam series to get their grades. If centres cannot supply a predicted grade for a candidate through lack of evidence, we will not charge the exam fee.

Private candidates with questions about this process should contact the centre with which they have registered their entry. 

 

Entries and withdrawals

Non-standard entry profiles (new 13 May)

We will provide details on our statistical standardisation and post-results procedures after the window for submitting predicted grades and rank orders closes (see Submitting grades above), but before we release results on 11 August. We regret that we cannot provide details of how these procedures might affect individuals or centres any sooner, and thank you for your patience on this matter.

COVID-19 update to transfer process for June 2020 series (new 7 May)

We are making an amendment to our transfer process for the June 2020 series due to the impact of COVID-19.  You can normally ask to transfer a candidate to another Cambridge centre up to 10 working days before the candidate’s first exam in the series.  For June 2020 series entries we will only be able to accept transfer requests until 10 May 2020.  The details of the process and the forms required can be found in the Cambridge Handbook section 2.1.3. or on our website here.

Will Cambridge provide an extra series (for example in September)?

We have no plans to deliver an additional series of examinations. Our November series is expected to go ahead as normal. We are reviewing if it will be possible to provide additional syllabuses which are not currently available in the November series.

New deadline for withdrawals and amendments (Updated 4 May)

The entry deadline day was the 1st May 2020, and therefore we are not accepting any amendments or new entries for the June 2020 series. 

Will Cambridge charge late / amendment fees? (Updated 17 April)

No. We will accept entries and entry amendments made up to 1 May 2020 for the June 2020 series and no late fees, or amendments fees, will be charged. For schools attached to the British Council or another Cambridge Associate, an earlier deadline may apply therefore please contact them directly.   

Our centre has had its invoice from Cambridge - when will we receive our final statement? (new 21 May)

We aim to send statements to centres by 29 May. They will reflect any credits due to your centre.

Moving entries to a future series

If it is the right decision for your school, you can withdraw some or all entries from the June 2020 series and then enter these candidates in a later series such as November 2020.  Schools can enter candidates for this exam series from mid-May. We are reviewing if it will be possible to provide syllabuses in this series which are currently only available in the June series.   

Can I carry forward marks from a series before June 2019? (new 27 April)

No, you will not be able to carry those marks forward to June 2020 or November 2020. This is in line with our usual 13-month rules for carry forwards. 

Can I carry forward marks from June 2019 to November 2020? (new 27 April)

Yes, in the following circumstances:

  • you were entered for the relevant syllabus in June 2020, irrespective of whether you were later withdrawn
  • the syllabus has a carry forward entry option for that component.

This is an exemption from our usual 13-month rule.

We will provide you with the entry options for each syllabus that will allow June 2019 marks to be carried forward to November 2020. 

How will Cambridge International AS Level grades from June 2020 count towards Cambridge International A Level in future series? (updated 23 April)

For students who want to carry forward their Cambridge International AS Level result from June 2020 to a future Cambridge International A Level, we have looked at a specific technical challenge: it is the AS Level mark students normally carry forward, not the grade. In the absence of AS Level marks in June 2020, students will receive an AS Level grade but will not be able to carry forward their AS Level result to A Level in the usual way. Please see the update provided to schools on 21 April for further information.

How will Cambridge AICE Diploma rules apply with the grades awarded in June 2020? (updated 23 April)

The grades we award for Cambridge International AS & A Level in June 2020 will count towards the Cambridge AICE Diploma we award in June 2020 and future series as per our normal processes.. For students for whom the June 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their AICE Diploma, we will allow an exceptional exemption to our usual 25-month time limit rule, whereby students must normally complete all elements of the Cambridge AICE Diploma within 25 months. Please see the update provided to schools on 17 April for further information.

How will Cambridge ICE rules apply with these grades in June 2020? (updated 23 April) 

The grades we award for Cambridge IGCSE in June 2020 will count towards the Cambridge ICE we award in June 2020 and future series as per our normal processes..

For students for whom the June 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their Cambridge ICE certificate, we will allow an exceptional exemption for Cambridge ICE students to the usual rule that candidates must complete all elements within 13 months. Please see the update to schools on 22 April for further information.

 

Forecast Grades (new 8 April 2020)

Do we need to submit forecast grades as we have in previous years?

No, you do not need to submit forecast grades if you have not already done so. 

Can I amend forecast grades that I have already submitted?

No, there is no need to amend forecast grades. 

Do we need to submit internally assessed marks?

No, you do not need to submit internally assessed marks.  However, internally assessed marks should be taken into account, if available, when determining predicted grades. 

Are predicted grades the same as forecast grades?

No. A predicted grade is new information that we will ask you to submit, together with rank orders, as part of this new process. Predicted grades should stem from a centre’s judgement about each candidate, and combine all the evidence a centre wants to consider, including any forecast grades the centre has previously submitted to us.

The predicted grade should be the grade that, in the professional opinion of the teacher, the candidate would have been most likely to achieve if the June 2020 exam series had taken place.

 

General

Is there anything our school should be doing now?

Please visit our awarding grades page for information on how we will award grades for the June 2020 exam series.

Checkpoint May series cancellation

The May 2020 test series for Checkpoint will no longer go ahead (6-24 April) and we are not offering assessed grades, so candidates will not receive a statement of achievement. This applies to all subjects, including Global Perspectives. As an alternative, Cambridge International schools can access our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Progression Tests and mark schemes to support their students. 

Progression Tests and mark schemes are available for English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics and Science. You can access these on our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary support sites. If you have made entries for the May 2020 test series, you need do nothing further at this point. We will withdraw your Checkpoint entries automatically and credit your account for the entries you made.

Will there be an alternative assessment model for Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Checkpoint as there is for Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge International AS & A Level?

We provide diagnostic feedback for Checkpoint tests and so the alternative assessment model we will be using for Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge International AS & A Level, which awards grades, is not appropriate for Checkpoint tests. Instead, you can use our Progression Tests and mark schemes to support your students.

Progression Tests and mark schemes are available for English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics and Science. You can access these on our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary support sites.

The reporting service on these support sites allows you to use learners’ test results to produce feedback reports analysing their performance and progress.

You can use the information in a variety of ways:

  • to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual learners or learner groups
  • to track results of learners and learner groups
  • to report back to learners, parents and teaching staff
  • to reflect and enhance teaching and learning in your school.

The next series of Cambridge Checkpoint in October 2020 will continue as planned.

Can schools use their students’ Progression Test results to provide an indication of what they would have achieved (sometimes referred to as an indicative result) if they had taken the Checkpoint test?

Our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Progression Tests provide a valid assessment of knowledge, skills and understanding in English, mathematics and science. They are not available for Global Perspectives. The tests provide detailed information about the performance of each learner for stages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. They enable teachers to give structured feedback to learners and parents. The tests come with clear guidance, standards and mark schemes and can be used at any time in the year. Using the test results, teachers can produce reports to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of students and results can be compared within a class, against a school or other schools around the world.

How can we best explain to parents that there is still value in students continuing their Cambridge Primary or Lower Secondary programme even though they will not get their Cambridge Checkpoint statement of achievement?

Assessments form an optional part of our Primary and Lower Secondary programmes. The Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary programmes develop skills in ten subjects including English, Mathematics and Science. They are designed to help schools deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that suits their context, culture and ethos.

The curriculum sets clear learning objectives and focuses on developing knowledge and skills in all subjects, providing excellent foundations for the next stage of education. The curriculum is flexible, so schools can offer any combination of the subjects available.

Schools can choose to make entries in the October 2020 or May 2021 test series. As an alternative, they can use our Progression Tests and mark schemes to support students.

Our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary Progression Tests provide a valid assessment of knowledge, skills and understanding in English, mathematics and science. They are not available for Global Perspectives. The tests provide detailed information about the performance of each learner for stages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. They enable teachers to give structured feedback to learners and parents. The tests come with clear guidance, standards and mark schemes and can be used at any time in the year. Using the test results, teachers can produce reports to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of students and results can be compared within a class, against a school or other schools around the world.

You can also use our Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary guides for parents, available on the communications toolkit page of our website, to help you explain the benefits of the programme to your school’s parent community.

ICT Starters

ICT Starters has been suspended until further notice. We will let you know when it becomes available.

Will we be able to make Enquiries About Results and appeals?

We are working to set up the new process for issuing results for the June 2020 series. We will update you on this as soon as possible. 

 

Despatches

Will we still receive exam papers? 

We have already despatched question papers to schools so it is possible you will receive these despatches. If it is safe and you are happy to accept the consignment, please do so.

If you do not intend to take the delivery or are unable to, please get in contact with Customer Service so that we can make arrangements with the courier. 

Coursework

Should we send you the practical P.E. evidence for our students as normal? (new 5 May)

Subject teachers should use all of the evidence available, including evidence for P.E. practicals, to determine candidates’ predicted grades and come to a judgement that is as objective and accurate as possible. Please retain this evidence. You do not need to send it to us unless we ask you to submit your evidence for sampling. 

Can I use non – examination work prepared for June 2020 in the November 2020 series? (new 27 April)

Candidates’ work prepared for non-examination assessments, such as coursework or speaking tests in the June 2020 series, may be submitted instead for the November 2020 series. This only applies where the component did not have pre-release materials or early exam stimulus materials that are unique to each exam series. Schools must make sure they have followed the guidance for non-examination assessments (Handbook, section 3.4).

This means you will not be able to submit work that was originally produced for June 2020, and which used unique June 2020 stimulus material or exam paper, for a November 2020 entry.

The syllabuses and components with series specific assessment materials can be found here.

The syllabuses and components with NO series specific assessment materials can be found here.

Should we submit candidates’ coursework?

Please retain all coursework. We are happy for you to continue to receive coursework from students where it is safe to do so. You do not need to send it to us. 

What will happen to artwork which has already been submitted? 

Normal procedures for returning artwork will apply and we will let you know when this procedure is back in place.

Should we complete speaking tests if we are able to do so?

There is no need to complete speaking tests.  If you have done them already please do not send them in to us.

 

Additional syllabuses in November 2020 (Updated 20 April)

Further to our recent communications and requests from schools, we are pleased to confirm that we will provide a number of syllabuses in the November 2020 series that are normally only available in the June series. The list of syllabuses is provided below.

We understand that some students will have hoped to see more syllabuses here. However, we have reviewed this in depth, and considered which syllabuses have the most entries and what we can realistically achieve in the short time available.

We will confirm the dates when schools can enter candidates for the November 2020 series as soon as possible.

Additional syllabuses available for November 2020 series:

Syllabus Syllabus Code Administrative zone(s)*
Cambridge IGCSE Bahasa Indonesia 0538 4 and 5
Cambridge IGCSE Chinese - First Language 0509 4 and 5
Cambridge IGCSE Chinese - Second Language 0523 4 and 5
Cambridge IGCSE Malay 0546 4 and 5
Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Chinese - Foreign Language 0547 4 and 5
Cambridge IGCSE Pakistan Studies 0448 3 and 4
Cambridge O Level Global Perspectives 2069 4
Cambridge O Level Urdu - First Language 3247 3 and 4

 

* Each location is allocated to one of six administrative zones. You must ensure the additional syllabuses listed above are available for your administrative zone by checking the final column of the table. Please check your administrative zone and key time

 

The additional November syllabus that my candidates want to take is not available in our centre’s administrative zone. What can we do?

It may be possible for your candidates to sit a syllabus that has been added to the November 2020 series, even if it is not available in your centre’s administrative zone. You should apply directly to our Compliance team, who will consider each application on a case by case basis.

Be aware that entries for additional November 2020 syllabuses in another administrative zone will only be considered if the syllabus would normally be available in the June series in your own administrative zone.

 

Syllabus-specific (Updated 11 May)

How can I predict grades for syllabuses that have been reviewed (for example, 0500, 0400, 9479, 9694, 0475, etc.) and for which the marking and grade thresholds would have been different from previous exam series?

To provide predicted grades, you should take a holistic approach to assessing candidates' performance. You do not need to try to collect evidence that is directly equivalent to all of the requirements of the assessment. For example, you are not expected to conduct detailed marking of each component. Instead, you should evaluate the evidence of the candidates' performance that is available to you and provide a predicted grade based on how this evidence demonstrated the objectives of the course.

In some subjects, the June 2020 examination may include some changes from previous years, for example different syllabus content and revised assessment objectives and criteria. However, the performance standard required to achieve each grade is the same as in June 2019. You should look at this performance standard rather than trying to assess candidates by providing marks for the evidence available and then trying to convert these marks into grades. 

Some 2021 syllabuses have new or different content. Can candidates entering exams in 2021 continue to study the syllabus content specified in the 2020 syllabus, instead of studying the content of the 2021 syllabus?

You should prepare candidates entering the November 2020 exam series  using the prescribed content (for example, set texts, prescribed topics, etc.) shown in the syllabus for November 2020; and you should prepare candidates entering any of the 2021 exam series (March/June/November) using the prescribed content shown in the syllabus for each appropriate 2021 series. This is because some schools have already started preparing candidates for the November 2020 and the 2021 exam series using the prescribed content in the syllabus that is applicable to each of these series.

You can find support materials on the School Support Hub, including Schemes of Work (SOW) to help your teaching. These provide detailed advice on lesson activities and appropriate resources for the entire syllabus content. 

How can I predict grades for syllabuses that are new in 2020?

If the syllabus is new for June 2020 and has not been assessed before, you should use the syllabus and support materials available to you to help you make your judgements. You can find the support materials for the subject on the School Support Hub. These materials include specimen question papers and mark schemes. We are not expecting you to give these specimen papers to candidates and mark them, instead you should use them as a guide to the kind of questions the new syllabus will be asking.

To provide predicted grades you should take a holistic approach to assessing candidates' performance. You do not need to try to collect evidence that is directly equivalent to all of the requirements of the assessment. For example, you are not expected to conduct detailed marking of each component. Instead, you should evaluate the evidence of the candidates' performance that is available to you and provide a predicted grade based on how this evidence demonstrated the objectives of the course. You should look at the performance standard rather than trying to assess candidates by providing marks for the evidence available and then trying to convert these marks into grades. 

Should I submit a separate predicted grade for an endorsed component such as speaking endorsements for language syllabuses?

In the June 2020 series, we will be issuing syllabus grades to candidates. We will not be issuing grades for any endorsed components, such as the speaking endorsement for IGCSE English - First Language (0500 or 0990) and IGCSE English as a Second Language English (0510 or 0993).

You should submit predicted grade and rank order information for your candidates that shows what you would expect them to achieve for the main syllabus. You do not need to submit any separate information to us for the endorsed component. 

How can candidates prepare for their science practical exams for the November 2020 exam series?

Practical skills should be taught and practised as an integral part of all science courses.

We recommend that all candidates, whether they are taking practical exams or ‘alternative to practical’ exams, should prepare by doing practical experiments at school, although we are aware that many candidates are not able to carry out practical work in school at the moment.

However, candidates can practise many practical skills remotely. Teachers can provide sample results, either from previous experiments carried out in class or from past exam papers, to enable candidates to practise skills such as graph plotting, data analysis and drawing conclusions. Teachers can also use the experiments described in past papers to develop candidates’ planning and evaluation skills.

Schools may also choose to prioritise the teaching of theory work while closed, and then prioritise practical work when they are able to re-open.

 

Support for teachers

During this difficult time, many elements of our everyday lives have changed. We fully understand how important it is for you to continue delivering learning and keep students motivated and connected. We have been inspired to hear about all the new and innovative ways in which teaching and learning is happening around the world.

Last week, Paul Beedle (Deputy Director, Professional Development) and Andrew Field (eLearning Manager) recorded a webinar called Teaching in a time of crisis - being resilient, adaptive and resourceful. It focuses on supporting teachers as they adapt to a new way of teaching, and shares examples of how technology can be used to enhance learning and change the dynamics of the classroom in a positive way. It also reminds teachers how important it is to be kind to themselves - we are all learning together, and the process of teaching remotely is one of trial and error.

You can watch this webinar, and others, on the 'Teaching and Learning when school is closed' section on our website

This section also signposts you to:

  • Tools to support remote teaching and learning
  • Resources for you and your learners including tips for students and parents on managing stress and learning effectively at home
  • E-books from Cambridge publishing partners

Do you have any easy to access digital resources I can use to support remote teaching and learning? (Updated 18 March)

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is presenting serious challenges for teachers and learners and we want to support you as you deliver online learning for your students. Because of this we have provided access to Resource Plus to everyone in our global community free of charge during this outbreak. Resource Plus includes high-quality videos, ready-made lesson plans and teaching materials for a limited number of English, Maths and Science syllabuses at Cambridge Upper Secondary and Cambridge Advanced stages. You can access these materials directly from this page. We hope providing access to these materials will assist you, helping your students continue to learn and study for their exams.

Our Resource Plus videos are hosted on Vimeo. Please note this may cause access issues in some countries where Vimeo is not supported.

Tips on tools to support remote teaching and learning (Updated 16 March)

Remote teaching creates huge opportunities for effective learning and collaboration outside the classroom. It is important to keep the following in mind before you explore the various online tools available:

  • The focus should be on pedagogy and learning, rather than technology.
  • All the tools still require the skill, experience and expertise of a teacher.
  • They may involve approaches and techniques that you would not normally use.
  • The tools you choose should be in line with any school eSafety policy.
  • The teaching materials you use should respect copyright regulations.

Find out more about the tools that are available to support remote teaching and learning.

Can I share Cambridge International past papers electronically with students studying remotely? (Updated 17 March)

Yes. In Section L of the Handbook we say that to protect our copyright schools must not distribute past papers electronically. However, given the current situation, schools can distribute our past papers electronically to support students studying remotely.

Support from publishing partners during Coronavirus outbreak (Updated 20 March)

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, some of our publishing partners are making their eBooks available free of charge to support remote teaching and learning while schools are closed:

  • Cambridge University Press

    The Press are offering a 90 day free trial of eBooks from Cambridge Lower Secondary through to Advanced level. Available to all, not just existing Cambridge University Press customers. Visit their website for more information.
  • Collins

    Collins are offering eBooks, including endorsed student resources and most teacher resources, free of charge to any school that is closed, regardless of whether they are existing Collins customers. Email Collins for more details.
  • Hodder Education

    Existing Hodder Education school customers who have bought print textbooks can access the equivalent Student eTextbooks, free for one year. Schools who are not Hodder Education customers can have 1 month’s access to Student eTextbooks. Email Hodder for more information.

The details of these offers and how to access them are all slightly different so please refer to the publishers’ terms and conditions in each case.  

 

Applying to university (updated 1 May)

We are in direct contact with universities around the world and they understand our decision not to hold the exams in the June 2020 series. They have informed us that they are committed to being as flexible as they can towards applicants who will not be able to sit their exams due to this crisis. They understand the disruption to teaching and learning experienced by students around the world.

The grades and qualifications that Cambridge International awards for this June series will carry the same value as grades and qualifications for any other series.

We will be working with universities to explain the methodology we will follow to provide grades, and will give them information about the wide range of evidence we will use to provide fair and reliable results. We are doing everything we can to ensure that universities accept grades in the usual way and that applicants are not disadvantaged by the decision not to hold exams in the June series.

Please read our statement of support from universities in key destinations for more information.

Was this article helpful?
21 out of 24 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments