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COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information for schools

Article published 5 March 2020, last updated 23 June

Links to our updates to schools can be found here:

FAQ sections:

Results
Entries and withdrawals
General
Support for teachers
Applying to university

Information for schools preparing for the November 2020 series and subsequent series can be found in this article.

Results

Will candidate grades or candidate marks be used to calculate Cambridge International A Level results in the November 2020 series? 

Marks from our assessments provide the most reliable and valid measure of a candidate’s performance. We will use any AS Level marks relevant to the candidate’s entry option to calculate their A Level result, in preference to using the A2 only option*. This includes AS Level marks from the June 2019 series for candidates entering staged ‘June carry-forward’ options. This is an exception to our usual 13-month rule for carrying forward marks.

We will soon be providing more detailed information about carry forwards on our website.

* The A2 only option is only available to candidates entering a ‘June carry forward’ option in the November 2020 series and who had a valid AS Level entry in the June 2020 series.

Will Cambridge International A Level candidates receive a PUM (percentage uniform mark) in the November 2020 series if candidates in their region usually do so?

Candidates completing their full A Level in the November 2020 series should be aware that PUMs will not be available under the ‘A2-only’ route. The A2-only route is available to candidates entering for the ‘June carry-forward’ option for the syllabus who have no relevant AS marks from the June 2019 series. If a candidate needs their PUM, they should enter for the linear A Level option. 

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards (Updated 19 June)

With the June 2020 examinations not taking place, we are unable to provide our Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards for this series. 

Cambridge awards recognise outstanding achievements and are issued to those learners who have attained the highest standard marks in a subject, providing that the minimum grade and standard mark thresholds for the award category have been met. While we are able to issue grades for those who entered for the June 2020 series, these grades are being issued without marks. Without these marks we are unable to fairly calculate and distinguish high achievers. 

We understand how special our awards are to our students and schools, as they recognise exceptional learner achievement in Cambridge examinations around the world. We look forward to presenting our students with awards in future series.

What has changed for results information in June 2020? (Updated 28 May)

We will provide Statements of Results and Certificates for all candidates entered in the June 2020 series. Our results transcript service for candidates in the USA will also be available. Our June 2020 results documents will provide candidates with a syllabus grade for each syllabus for which they are entered. It is important to be aware that, as all June 2020 results will be issued using syllabus grades, information will not include references to marks or component level marks / grades. 

Is it possible to include examples of results information that will not be available for June 2020? (Updated 28 May)

We will not have marks available for the June 2020 series, so there are some services we cannot provide. This includes:

  • PUMs (Percentage Uniform Marks)
  • Component Mark and Component Grade Reports
  • Syllabus Report by Component
  • Compensatory AS Level grades*
  • Results Analysis
  • CEFR certifying statements.

*In a normal series, a compensatory AS Level grade is where a candidate did not reach the standard required for Grade E(e) at A Level, but we award an AS (Advanced Subsidiary) Level Grade a(a), b(b), c(c), d(d) or e(e), if their performance is good enough in the relevant components.

Are predicted grades the same as the predictions that UK schools have provided to UCAS? (Updated 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?  (Updated 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.

Carrying forward marks to a future exam series 

As we explained previously, in the absence of AS Level marks in June 2020, students will receive a grade for Cambridge International AS Level, but will not be able to carry forward their AS Level result to A Level in the usual way. Therefore, we have put in place alternative arrangements. See our website for the latest information about carrying forward marks. 

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.

Can students find out what information schools submitted about them, e.g. predicted grade?

We recommend that students request this information directly from their school. After results day, schools are able to release this information and it is likely to be the easiest and quickest way for students to obtain it. Schools will also be able to provide additional context and explanations to help students understand the information.

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

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

What do I do if my teacher or my school has shown bias in working out my predicted grade or rank order this year? (new 12 August 2020)

If bias or discrimination affected your predicted grade(s) or rank order position(s) for the June 2020 series, this could be a form of malpractice. If you think malpractice has affected you, then in the first instance you should discuss this directly with your school or college, and raise a complaint through its complaints policy. 

If you feel your school has not addressed your concerns, you could then consider raising your concerns about malpractice with us. You can contact us here. This would not be an appeal, but an allegation that malpractice occurred in relation to your centre assessment grade(s) or rank order position(s). Such allegations would be serious, and taken seriously.

 

Entries and withdrawals

Information about Statements of Entry for the November 2020 series (Updated 2 July)

We are also asking you to use the electronic Statements of Entry generated on Cambridge International Direct. Please do not use hard copy Statements of Entry forms from previous exam series. Where your region has told us that it is critical for you to receive hard copy Statements of Entry, we will continue to send them to you in hard copy. 

Entry and withdrawal deadlines for the November 2020 series (Updated 2 July)

For schools outside the UK our final entry deadline for the November 2020 series is 16 August. Fees for late entries will be charged as normal. However, a school will receive credit for any withdrawals made before the end of the day on 30 August. This is to support schools who may be uncertain about making entries because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.  

Non-standard entry profiles (Updated 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. 

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.

Can I carry forward marks from a series before June 2019? (Updated 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? (Updated 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.

Information on Cambridge ICE (Updated 2 July)

This update is for students for whom the November 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their Cambridge ICE certificate. 

We recognise that some schools may need to plan their academic year differently due to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore we will allow an exemption for Cambridge ICE students to the usual rule that candidates must complete all elements within 13 months. 

The exemption will apply if November 2020 would have been the final series for the candidate for ICE (that is, they are also using syllabus grades from a previous series within the last 13 months). 

If candidates meets this criteria, they can count grades awarded from the November 2021 series instead of November 2020 series.   It is still the case that the candidates may only use grades from a maximum of two series.  

If a candidate has already been entered for November 2020 you have until 16 August to withdraw them and receive a credit for the entry. 

This exemption is in addition to our previous announcement for candidates who were due to complete Cambridge ICE in June 2020 series. 

 

General

Will June 2020 question papers be available online for centres who didn't receive them? (new 26 June 2020)

We plan to make June 2020 question papers and mark schemes available on the School Support Hub to support learning and revision. No candidate sat exams in the June 2020 series and this means there will be some differences in the materials we can share with you for these question papers.

We will inform centres when the June 2020 question papers become available on the School Support Hub.

What is the timeline for making entries for the November 2020 series? (Updated 11 June)

You can find the timeline here.

What are your plans for the November 2020 exam series? (Updated 11 June)

We plan to run exams in the November 2020 series. We have added additional syllabuses for the November 2020 series only. See our website for more information.

Advice on running exams in your centre in November 2020 (Updated 23 June)

Some centres have asked us if we can provide advice on running exams in their centre in what may be different circumstances from usual. We are writing guidance for centres and will publish soon in a future update for schools.

We continue to monitor guidance from government authorities about school closures and re-openings. Our priorities remain to protect the health and safety of students and teachers, and to help students continue with their educational journeys as soon as possible.

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.

ICT Starters

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

 

 

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.  

Great Teaching Toolkit (Updated 19 June)

Cambridge International has partnered with Evidence Based Education (a UK-based research organisation) to produce the Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review. The report aims to help teachers identify the areas they can work on in their own professional development that will have the most impact on their learners’ outcomes. Professor Rob Coe and his team at EBE have examined over 100 studies on the links between teacher performance and student outcomes. In this report, they highlight the common areas that have been proven, around the world, to have the potential to transform learning.

View the Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review report. Please share widely with your teachers.

Teaching and learning when school is closed

You can find a range of resources to help you deliver teaching and learning outside the classroom. This leaflet gives an overview of the support available. Many of the resources in this section of our website will also help teachers to incorporate remote learning into the physical learning environment when they return to classrooms. Please share it with your teachers.

 

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.

What grade predictions should schools submit to universities?

There are different requirements and processes for submitting predicted grades to Cambridge International for the June 2020 series, and submitting grade predictions to universities.

The grade prediction for a university 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. A school can issue a grade prediction to a university and, if needed, the student can know what it is. In such a case, the school should make it clear to the student that the prediction issued to a university has been produced to meet that requirement, and the grade may or may not be the same as the predicted grade submitted to Cambridge International.

We have produced a template letter to help schools explain the Cambridge International grading system to students and parents, including the requirements for predicting grades.

Under no circumstances should any school share the predicted grades they have submitted to Cambridge International with their students.

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