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A Level exams 2021: Record 1.5 million grades issued by Cambridge International

a level exams 2021
“In a year like no other, our students have overcome the many challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures and learning from home, to gain their qualifications," Christine Özden, Chief Executive of Cambridge International, said. Source: Farooq Naeem/AFP

Cambridge International issued more than 1.5 million grades — its most ever — for its A Level exams 2021 series in June, despite challenges wrought by the pandemic.

Around 90% of student entries proceeded with in-person exams held with “extensive measures” to ensure safety, according to a February announcement.

Exams did not go ahead at a “very small” number of countries and regions which had to comply with directives from national and local authorities — students switched from exams to a teacher assessment approach using student work.

“In a year like no other, our students have overcome the many challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, including school closures and learning from home, to gain their qualifications,” Christine Özden, Chief Executive of Cambridge International, said.

“These results are the outcome of the hard work of all involved, often in very challenging circumstances and I hope they will give our students and their teachers the encouragement to continue achieving great things,” Özden wrote in the press release.

In Pakistan, more than 25,000 students received their AS and A Level exam results 2021 today. Pakistan’s Country Director for Cambridge International, Uzma Yusuf, noted that students have “shown incredible strength to persist with their studies and exams despite the challenges.”

Yusuf appreciated both the teachers and the students for their flexibility and for embracing the “new normal.” She applauded the efforts of school leaders and parents “who made it possible for their children to continue with their education without delay.”

In January, Cambridge International announced that exams will go ahead in June 2021 where “permitted and safe.” “We know exams are the fairest and most accurate way of assessing students’ performance.”

Adjustments to aspects of assessments, exemptions from components the pandemic makes harder to run, as well as more special considerations were put in place.

a level exams 2021

During the span of Cambridge International A Level exams 2021, Pakistan was in a nine-day nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Source: Rizwan Tabassum/AFP

A Level exams 2021: What to do if unhappy with grades

The Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK AS & A Levels by leading universities worldwide. The former is also comparable to its UK counterpart — however, processes differ.

To amend a grade and review your grades, you will need to go through your exam centre. Candidates, parents or legal guardians cannot request directly.

There are three types of post-results checks and appeals. The first two pertain to whether there were any clerical or administrative errors, or more substantive concerns about “the judgement that the centre has made about the quality of the work produced by the candidate in their portfolio of evidence.” Your centre will determine this.

Students hold placards as they protest outside Codsall Community High School near Wolverhampton, central England on August 17, 2020 to demonstrate against the downgrading of A-level results. The Cambridge International A Level  exams are eqSource: Paul Ellis/AFP

The third service is “Review of Quality Assurance decision.” Available for whole cohort requests only, it is a “review” of Cambridge International’s “judgement during the Quality Assurance process.” It is conducted by its Assessment Specialist.

“If the reviewing Assessment Specialist concludes that our original judgement was not reasonable, we may issue revised grades based on the reviewer’s judgement,” according to its guidance. The process is different for UK A Level exam candidates.