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Cambridge Exams Officer eNews


June 2022
Dear Colleague

Welcome to the June edition of eNews.  

In this issue, we share updates on exemptions, adjustments, special consideration and withdrawals for the November 2022 series. We have also published the provisional timetable for the June 2023 series which you can provide feedback on. If you are following the portfolio of evidence route for the June 2022 series, some of the content within this email may not be relevant to you. Please refer to our specific emails about the portfolio of evidence route and visit the website.

To make sure you continue to receive important exams officer updates, tell us if your contact details change. To update your details, click on the ‘My centre details’ link above the main menu bar on Cambridge International Direct. If no one at your centre has access to Direct, please email us.

You can also ask us to send the eNews to other staff in your centre. Previous editions of eNews are available here.

Please get in touch if you need help or advice.

Best wishes

Customer Services Team
 

In this issue

Key tasks and activities

Our key dates cards provide a useful reminder of deadlines. Also see our monthly calendar for things to think about this month. You can download our icalendar (or Cambridge Checkpoint version) to easily add all the dates to your calendar.

They do not include any specific Covid-19 related updates or deadlines - make sure you are reading our email updates and checking our website for these: www.cambridgeinternational.org/covid

Training for exams officers

Getting to know the Cambridge Exam Cycle

We have recently updated our ‘Getting to know the Cambridge Exam Cycle’ course. Refresh your memory or learn the basics with lots of mini-modules, just-in-time learning opportunities, and quizzes to check your understanding. Create your account on the Online Learning Area and use the enrolment key CeC2021 to access it.

This does not include any Covid-19 related updates - make sure you are reading our email updates and checking our website for these: www.cambridgeinternational.org/covid

Exams officer webinars

All our webinars for 2022 are on our Events and Training calendar. You can book onto our next webinars below.

How to make entries for the October Cambridge Checkpoint and November 2022 series

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Join our free webinar for more information about making entries, access arrangements, an overview of important deadlines and an opportunity to look at Cambridge International Direct. You will also be able to ask our Entries team questions.

Book now: 08:30-09:30 UTC+1
Book now: 14:30-15:30 UTC+1
Welcome to being a Cambridge exams officer

Wednesday 6 July 2022

This webinar highlights all the support and resources available to you and gives an overview of the Cambridge Exams Cycle. There is also an opportunity to ask any questions you have about administering our exams, or the exam series. This free-to-access, one-hour webinar is specifically designed for new or inexperienced exams officers, but it is open to all.
 
Book now: 08:30-09:30 UTC+1
Book now: 14:30-15:30 UTC+1
You can check your local timings through websites such as www.timeanddate.com.

Cambridge Primary Checkpoint and Lower Secondary Checkpoint

Packaging materials for pre-exam and question paper despatches

We are changing the packaging materials we use for our despatches. Please see the Other news section for more information.

Phase 2: Entries

Withdrawals

You can withdraw entries until 21 October 2022 (seven days after the end of the test series) and you will receive a credit for the syllabus fee. Until 16 September 2022, you can withdraw candidates on Direct. After this date you need to contact us so we can arrange the withdrawal and credit for you: info@cambridgeinternational.org

Phase 5: Exam Day

Test dates

The test date window for the October series is 3–14 October 2022.

New 2022 Cambridge Progression Tests are live

Our new Cambridge Progression Tests are ready for you to download from the primary and lower secondary support sites.
 
Marked by teachers in your school, you can use them to check learners’ progress during Stages 3 through to 9 in English as a First or Second Language, Mathematics and Science.

In response to feedback from schools, we will now update the tests annually. Learn more about this and all the other exciting changes we are making to Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary.

November 2021

Phase 6: Results & certificates

Certificates

You can ask for a replacement certificate using Results and Certificates – Form 12 but you will be charged. The fee for this service is in our fees list. We can only replace November 2021 certificates until 30 September 2023.

June 2022

Guidance and reminders about running exams

The deadline for submitting candidates' details with approved component exemptions has now passed.

If you have not completed this step. you must email us, otherwise your candidates cannot use their exemptions.

Phase 2: Entries

Withdrawals

We have extended our withdrawal deadline so you can withdraw some or all of your candidates until 17 June 2022 (at 23:59 UTC+1) and you will receive a credit for the syllabus fee. To do this email us and we can arrange the withdrawal and credit for you.

We generate invoices monthly and recommend you pay for the entries you know you have made within normal payment terms and the credit will follow.

Please note: any credit for withdrawals will not include additional fees if the entries were late or very late.

Carry forward rules

We have lots of detailed information on our website to help answer your carry forward questions:

Standards and grading in June 2022

We will align the standard of our qualifications to the standard of similar qualifications in England. For Cambridge International qualifications, this means that our exam standard will return to the pre-pandemic (June 2019) standard in June 2023.

For June 2022, November 2022 and March 2023, we will set standards at a midpoint between 2019 and 2021.

Between June 2019 and June 2021, grade inflation was between half and two-thirds of a grade. Setting the standard at the midpoint between 2019 and 2021 means our June 2022 grades will be generous compared to our June 2019 grades, and less generous than our June 2021 grades.

It is important to note that we are talking about global averages – standards for Cambridge centres as a group. Grades at an individual centre could be the same as, or better, than in 2021 if the cohort at that centre is significantly stronger; or the same as, or lower, than in 2019 if the cohort at that centre is significantly weaker. For most centres the percentage of candidates awarded a grade A or better will not be exactly halfway between the centre’s 2019 and 2021 percentages and, in some cases, it may be significantly different.

Centres who were unable to take exams in June 2021 received school-assessed grades instead. The standards of school-assessed grades varied from centre to centre and from department to department. Centres who awarded more generous school-assessed grades  than the average in 2021 will experience a larger adjustment in standards in 2022 as they return to a standard shared by all centres. Similarly, centres who were less generous than the average in 2021 will experience a smaller adjustment in standards in 2022.

We will grade the portfolios of evidence in the same way that we grade exams, and will make sure that standards in the portfolio of evidence are aligned to those of the equivalent exams.

We recommend you share this information with school leaders and teachers at your school well before results day.

You may also receive questions from candidates and their families – we have produced a factsheet about our exams and standards that you can share with them.

Phase 5: Exam day

Packing and despatching scripts

Pack your scripts by following the instructions in section 5.4 of the Cambridge Handbook. Complete our Script Return Form each time you send a consignment of scripts so we can track them more effectively. See more information on our website.

Make sure you use a reputable major courier with a tracking facility, and confirm their service is available before sending. Cambridge University Press & Assessment has a relationship with DHL, which is helpful when dealing with queries. Use an express service to return scripts to us. This can help to avoid delays.

Unused exam materials

When you return your candidate scripts to us, please do not include any unused question papers, answer scripts or continuation booklets. Sending us unnecessary blank items creates extra work and may delay us scanning and marking your candidate’s scripts. Only send us question papers if your candidates have written their responses on them.

Question paper and answer booklet security

All unused question papers and answer booklets must be stored securely until at least 24 hours after the end of the exam or Key Time, whichever is later. After this time you can dispose of the unused question papers or you can return them to candidates/centre staff if you want to.

Phase 6: Results and certificates

Results release

Results will be available on the following dates:

Cambridge International AS & A Level
Thursday 11 August 2022 from 06:00 BST/UTC+1
 
Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Level
Thursday 18 August 2022 from 06:00 BST/UTC+1

*UTC is Coordinated Universal Time and is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time.
*BST is British Summer Time.

Enquiries about results

Our usual enquiry about results services are available. We will email you with more information closer to results release and share more information on our website.

Appeals

We make sure every centre has the right to appeal the grades it has been awarded, as part of providing a fair and equitable system. Review section 7 of the Cambridge Handbook for more information and the forms you need to use for your appeal.

November 2022

Packaging materials for pre-exam and question paper despatches

We are changing the packaging materials we use for our despatches. Please see the Other news section for more information.

Phase 1: Preparation

Access arrangements

Submit your access arrangements applications by the following deadlines:
  • Modified question papers: 1 July 2022
  • Access arrangements: 21 July 2022

Phase 2: Entries

Cambridge Guide to Making Entries

This guide includes all the information you need to make entries for the November series, including entry option codes. The guide is specific to your administrative zone and can only be downloaded from the ‘Support Materials’ section of Direct. You should already have a copy of the Cambridge Handbook which sets the regulations for our exams.

Withdrawals

You can withdraw entries until 25 November 2022 (seven days after the end of the exam series) and you will receive a credit for the syllabus fee. Until 21 September 2022 you can withdraw candidates on Direct. After this date you need to contact us so we can arrange the withdrawal and credit for you: info@cambridgeinternational.org

We generate invoices monthly and recommend you pay for the entries you know you have made within normal payment terms and the credit will follow.

Component exemptions, adjustments and guidance

To help your candidates receive their grades, we are offering a range of options for centres in the November 2022 series. You can find our latest guidance on theNovember 2022 section of our website.

Component exemptions

We understand that candidates may not be able to work with others, or access certain facilities or equipment. This means they may be unable to complete a component.

By using a component exemption, candidates do not take the component but can still receive an overall syllabus grade. Exempted candidates do not sit the exam for the exempted component or complete the coursework/speaking component. You do not send any candidate work to us for the exempted component.

You can apply for component exemptions from 27 June 2022. The deadline for applications is 21 September 2022 (at 23:59 UTC+1). For more information about what component exemptions are available and how to apply, visit our webpage here.

Component adjustments

Component adjustments are different from the component exemptions explained above. By using a component adjustment, candidates take the component in a way that is easier to manage. They produce a reduced amount of work and you send all the work to us.

You must apply for permission to use component adjustments. You can apply from 27 June 2022 and the deadline for applications is 21 September 2022 (at 23:59 UTC+1). You can read more about what adjustments are available and how to apply here.

Special consideration

Special consideration is a post-exam adjustment that we make to a candidate's mark. We do this to make allowances for some adverse circumstances - for example: illness, bereavement, temporary injury or disruption to an exam.

For the November 2022 exam series, we are again expanding our special consideration process for candidates who unexpectedly, for an acceptable reason, miss some components they were entered for. As long as these candidates have taken at least one eligible component in the exam series, they can receive a grade. This is a temporary measure in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Eligible components are components taken in the exam series and which count towards the syllabus grade.
  • Carry forward components and components that do not have a weighting, e.g. an endorsed component, are not eligible.
  • For Cambridge International A Levels, candidates must take at least one A Level component (A2 Level component) in the exam series to be awarded an A Level grade. Candidates who have taken only AS Level components will receive an AS Level grade.
There is more information about special consideration for the November 2022 series on our website.

June 2023

Phase 1: Preparation

Provisional timetable

The June 2023 provisional timetable is now available in ‘Support Materials’ within the 'Timetables' section of  Direct. Please share this with your Head of Centre. You can send us your feedback on the timetable here by 28 June 2022.

Other news

Sensitivity around topics covered in exams

We have written some guidance about why our question papers sometimes include widely debated topics or content that might be considered controversial or sensitive. Teachers and invigilators may find this guidance useful when preparing for students to sit exams.

What's new – updated and new syllabuses

For the latest information about ‘What’s new’ from Cambridge International, including details of new, revised and withdrawn programmes and qualifications, visit cambridgeinternational.org/new.
 
See our Syllabus changes guide for the full list of revisions and don’t forget to subscribe to our Syllabus update mailing list to stay up to date about future changes to the syllabuses you teach.

Changes to administrative forms

We have made some changes to our administrative forms to help you send us the information we need.

Preparation - Form 4 is a new form for you to tell us about a change of name and/or address. If you want to tell us about a change of school contact details e.g. phone number or email address, please continue to use Preparation - Form 6. Find both forms on Direct by clicking on 'My Centre details' on the homepage.

Preparation - Form 5 is now available to fill in online, rather than in PDF format. You can find the form on the homepage of Direct, under 'Apply for Additional Qualifications'.

Packaging materials for pre-exam and question paper despatches

We send you the following despatches before exams, depending on your entries:
  • Early question papers despatches
  • Entries confirmation despatch
  • Pre-exam despatch
  • Question paper despatch
  • Bar-coded label despatch.
From the October 2022 Cambridge Checkpoint test series and the November 2022 exam series, we are switching from using air-filled plastic pockets to recycled paper to fill our despatch boxes.

We are making this change to reduce our plastic use, and to make it easier for you to recycle our packaging materials where possible.

You may still receive despatches packaged with plastic while we use up our current stock. We intend to start sending despatches packaged with recycled paper from the beginning of July.
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