Update for Cambridge schools on May/June exam series 2020 - 01 April


Cambridge Assessment International Education would like to reiterate our thanks to schools for their support and feedback on our decision not to hold our international examinations in the May/June 2020 series, and to the updates we sent on 26 March.

We are endeavouring to provide as much clarity as we can as quickly as possible. In these unprecedented circumstances, it is important for us to make sure all our students obtain the fairest outcome possible, with the quality and integrity they would expect from Cambridge.

Please see below further updates on providing grades for students, private candidates, our discussions with universities and other questions.

Thank you for your patience. Further details will be sent to schools on Tuesday 7 April.


FAQ sections:

Entries and withdrawals
Support for teachers
Applying to university



How will Cambridge assess grades for June 2020 series?

It is vital to Cambridge International to ensure that all our students studying in many different countries and contexts around the world receive a fair, valid and globally recognised qualification.

The process we will use to provide grades for students will be a collaborative one with schools.

The decision on grades to be awarded to candidates will be made by Cambridge, using our own evidence combined with evidence from schools.

Our approach will be to ask schools to collaborate with us as we make evidence-based decisions about grades for each candidate in each subject they have entered for in the May/June 2020 exam series for Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level and Cambridge Pre-U.

We are now asking schools to consider what evidence they will be able to gather to support these decisions. The evidence should consist of examples of work candidates have done to prepare for their May/ June 2020 exams.

The types of evidence that might be available could include but will not be limited to:

mock exams (see FAQ below)
coursework (complete or incomplete)
AS Level results for ‘staged-route’ A Level candidates
grades in previous sittings for candidates re-taking exams.
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.

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.

We understand that centres may not be able to access all of this evidence remotely. At this point, we ask centres to begin to consider what evidence they have available.

All of the evidence that you gather must be authenticated (that is, your centres must be satisfied that it is the candidate’s own unaided work). Heads of centre will be responsible for vouching for the authenticity of the evidence gathered about every candidate.

Please do not send any of your evidence to us at this time.

In due course you will be asked to process the evidence you have gathered. More details of the processing we will ask you to do will be shared on Tuesday 7 April.

We know that gathering and processing this evidence will take time for you to do, and you will have approximately two months to do it. Exact deadlines will be circulated later.

Your centre will be asked to send us some, or possibly all, of the evidence gathered for our auditing purposes. This request will be made at a later date, so centres must retain all of the evidence they consider, even after they have completed their processing.

Where a centre works with us via a Cambridge Associate, including the British Council, the centre itself will be responsible for gathering, processing and retaining the evidence.

We will support you throughout this process, and give you clear guidance about how to work with us, what information to submit, how and when.

We will give more detail on Tuesday 7 April about next steps and how we will use evidence.

Private candidates

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 a candidate has not been taught at the centre handling their entry, centres must carefully investigate what evidence of the candidate’s work can be obtained and authenticated. Evidence from a candidate’s previous school is likely to be acceptable. Evidence from parents or from the candidates themselves should not be accepted. Evidence from tutors needs to be considered in the individual context.

Heads of centre will be responsible for vouching for the authenticity of the evidence gathered about every candidate.


Entries and withdrawals

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.

Will Cambridge charge late / amendment fees?

No. We will accept entries and entry amendments made up to 17 April 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.  

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.  We will update schools before 10 April.

If you have withdrawn entries for June 2020 but now wish to re-enter you can do so using Cambridge International Direct up to 17 April 2020, or 10 April for British Council schools. You will not be charged late fees or amendment fees for making these entries. You can only withdraw candidates for a complete syllabus, not for a single component. Entries will not be accepted after 17 April.

Your school will receive a credit to the value of each entry withdrawn.  If the entry you are withdrawing incurred a late entry fee, the late entry fee will also be credited.  This credit can be used against the cost of any entries or any of our services and is not limited to the next series.  A credit will be applied to your account which you can use for this or any future series entries. The credit is not time limited and will be applied against any outstanding invoices.

Marks can be carried forward to the next series in line with our normal processes.  If June 2020 was the final series for which marks could be carried forward it is possible to apply for an exemption by email under certain circumstances.

Will we still be able to carry forward marks from AS Levels into future series?

We are working to set up the new process for providing June 2020 series results. We will update you on this shortly.

What if we have already withdrawn candidates for the June 2020 series?

If you have withdrawn entries for June 2020 but now wish to re-enter you can do so using Cambridge International Direct up to 17 April 2020.  You will need to enter different candidate numbers for these entries. You will not be charged late or amendment fees for making these entries. You can only withdraw candidates at syllabus level, not at component level.