CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS

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1 CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS By Emkan Education This guide is meant to provide parents and students with the necessary information about the Cambridge programme and Cambridge examinations. It also provides answers on Frequently Asked Questions. For more information on the contents of this guide or other matters related to the examinations, go straight to our website at Alternatively, you can us at :

2 INTRODUCTION TO EMKAN EDUCATION Emkan Education is an education advisory and school development company based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with offices in Riyadh and Dubai. We provide a wide range of educational services to private and public institutions; we work with school operators, educators and investors alike supporting them with the development of schools, establishment of new schools, building capabilities of schools and providing training services. We also specialize in developing curriculum and customizing educational content. We work closely together with our partner Cambridge to deliver quality programmes, qualifications and other services for Cambridge schools. WHAT ROLE DOES EMKAN PLAY IN THE CAMBRIDGE EXAM CYCLE? Emkan aims to support all its schools in facilitating procedures relating to registration, conducting exams and processing the distribution of results and enquiries. 3 Advises and processes applications to Cambridge for students with special needs through access arrangements. If children have dyslexia, autism and/or other conditions that mean they need extra time, Emkan can process an application, with appropriate medical evidence. 4 Distributes login details to 5 Ensures that teachers have full enable students to download access to the CIE Teacher Support their results. In case students site which provides full access to want to request a remark or past papers, mark schemes, exam recheck, Emkan processes an reports, discussion forums and enquiry of results (EAR) application. syllabus related questions. EMKAN EDUCATION ACTS AS A 'ONE-STOP SHOP' FOR ALL MATTERS RELATING TO CAMBRIDGE EXAMINATIONS 1 MORE SPECIFICALLY EMKAN: Ensures that students Offers expert advice to ensure 1 2 receive statements of entries that registrations are processed on with their exam calendar. All time and with appropriate codes to students need to do is focus on ensure students sit for the right the exams. papers. 2

3 INTRODUCTION TO SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS Cambridge International COURSES OFFERED Cambridge offers a wide range of subjects. The table below lists most popular subjects at different Levels. Examinations is owned by Cambridge University. Cambridge offers a suite of assessments from primary to secondary grades. This booklet focuses on Cambridge Secondary 2 (IGCSEs) and Cambridge Advanced ('A- & AS Levels') courses. SESSIONS HOW MANY SUBJECTS TO TAKE SUBJECTS YEAR OF ASSESSMENT AGE GROUP Cambridge provides syllabi and assessments for all school years from Many schools offer the full set of courses and assessments. However, schools are free to select the syllabi and assessments that they wish. IGCSEs Advanced Subsidiary (AS) 2 times per year 2 times per year Arabic 1st, Arabic Foreign English 1st, English 2nd, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Studies, Accounting, Economics and Business Studies Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Studies, Accounting, Economics and Business Studies Grade 10 Grade 11 The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is designed for 14 to 16 year olds, although students of any age can take them. In the UK students general- Advanced (A) 2 times per year 2-4 Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Studies, Accounting, Economics and Business Studies Grade 12 ly take 7-9 exams. Students wishing to proceed to A Levels should achieve at least 5 IGCSEs and no less than a B in the subjects they wish to take at A Level. Higher AS and A Levels are designed for year olds but, as Education with IGCSEs, can be taken by students of any age. In the Cambridge Int UK students generally take 3 or 4 AS and A Level AS & A Levels (16-19) courses. Cambridge Secondary 2 (14-16) IGCSE and O Level Cambridge examinations are widely recognised Cambridge Secondary 1 (11-14) as evidence of learning and suitability to the labour force by academic institutions and Cambridge Primary (5-11) employers around the world. Figure 1: Factsheet at cie.org.uk CURRICULUM CONTENT IGCSEs and international 'A Levels' are international curricula but also allow teaching to be placed in a localised context, making them relevant to diverse regions around the world. They are also suitable for students whose first language may not be English. 'A Level' Science subjects also include assessment in the laboratory. All Cambridge syllabi focus on developing 21st Century skills. The choice of subjects will depend on factors such as availability at school, choice of job (e.g. for medicine, Biology is a 'must') and parent/student preference. You can check with your school to see which subjects they actually offer, as well as the fees structure. GRADING Grading is on an eight-point scale (A* G) and grades A to E are equivalent to O Level Grades A to E. In some countries, IGCSE qualifications will satisfy the entry requirements for university. In others, they are widely A Level PUM used as a preparation for A- and AS Level, International grade range Baccalaureate and US Advanced Placement courses. Letter A* A grades for A Levels can be given equivalent numerical grades per the table opposite, taken from the Cambridge website (cie.org.uk). PUM refers to the percentage uniform mark. B Grade C in IGCSE English (both First Language and Second C Language) satisfies the English proficiency requirements of D E many universities in the UK and other countries that follow the UK education system. Cambridge also holds an annual celebration of their most Figure 2: Cambridge successful students in each major city. These are high profile factsheet at cie.org.uk events and the receipt of such an award adds tremendous value to student s CVs and clearly assists in applications to university. Cambridge awards are offered to the best in each subject in their city, country and even the world. There are also awards for the 3 best across a range of IGCSEs and A levels. They look great on university applications. 4

4 RECOGNITION AND PROGRESSION TO UNIVERSITY THE CIE EXAMINATION CYCLE The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is the world's most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year-olds. It develops successful students, giving them excellent preparation for their next steps in education, including progression to A- and AS Level, and equips them with skills for employment later in life. Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities and employers worldwide. It is taken in over 100 countries worldwide and is internationally recognised as being equivalent to the GCSE in the United Kingdom. UK high stakes examinations offer an ideal route to universities across the globe owing to their wide recognition. It is no surprise that universities around the world, including US Ivy League universities (such as Yale) and more specifically the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, accept A- and AS Level qualifications. Private universities across Saudi Arabia also offer entrance based on the UK route. For most universities (as in the UK), 3 A Levels are sufficient. Many private sector Saudi universities require 2 'B' grades at AS Level for admission to the preparatory programme or 2 'A' grades at A Level for direct admission to the medical faculty and 2 'B' grades at AS Level for admission to the Business faculty. Saudi universities also require a 12th grade report in all cases. If you would like more specific information on which institutions accept IGCSE, please use the Recognition Search ( Parents and students do need to check whether universities they wish to apply to have their own additional requirements set by their Ministries of Education. There are two main sessions; May/June and October/November. The most popular session for taking exams in KSA is in May/June. Students can spread out their exams over both or more sessions but bear in mind that UK universities like students to take all their exams in one sitting. Statements of results are issued in August. Within a week of the official release, CIE sends Provisional Statement of Results which can be used for university admission. Final certificates are issued 2/3 months later. If any student feels that their release is not valid, they can request through an EAR process, a recheck or remark. Fees are involved here. Parents can get a copy of their child's marked exam script. 5 6

5 FAQS DO I HAVE TO REGISTER THROUGH A SCHOOL OR CAN I REGISTER PRIVATELY? You can make that choice. If your school is part of the Emkan Network, registration will be done for you through your school. If you are not in a school, you can register through Emkan as a private candidate, although some syllabi do require you to be in a school (e.g. A Level Science subjects). I HAVE A CHILD DIAGNOSED AS HAVING SPECIAL NEEDS. DOES S/HE GET EXTRA HELP? Yes, if you present medical evidence when you register your child, Emkan Education will apply on your behalf to Cambridge. Cambridge has an established system in place and extra time can be granted or scribes assigned, depending on medical need and evidence provided. CAN I TAKE CAMBRIDGE EXAMS ANYWHERE IN KSA? Emkan Education conducts exams for its network of schools in Riyadh and Dammam. If you live outside e.g. Qassim, Emkan will assign you to their nearest centre. WHERE ARE THE EXAM PAPERS MARKED? They are scanned and sent to approved Cambridge markers around the world. Marking standards are rigorous. WHAT IF I THINK THE GRADE AWARDED IS TOO LOW? You can ask for a re-check of the arithmetic or a remark thought requesting an EAR (Enquiry About Results). The charge depends on the level of service requested. You can also get back the marked script for a higher fee with marks achieved per question. If the grade is changed after EAR, Cambridge reimburses the fee. ARE IGCSES ENOUGH TO GAIN ADMISSION TO UNIVERSITY? In most countries, you will also need to take higher Level qualifications such as A Levels. IGCSEs are very important since they re the gateway to A Level courses. 7 AFTER EXAMS, I M TRAVELLING AND CAN T TAKE MY CERTIFICATES. WHAT DO I DO? Results are issued online and Emkan Education will provide your login details. Also, you can delegate collection of certificates to a relative or colleague. If you need to send the certificate to a university directly to save time, then Emkan can also process. 8

6 HOW DO I KNOW WHEN EXAMS ARE SCHEDULED? Yes. A Levels are accepted almost everywhere in the world including UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. In the US, all Ivy league universities accept A Levels and high grades may be enough to earn credits in first year degree courses. Candidates registering through a school should consult the school exam coordinator about deadlines for registration as well as submission of coursework and practical exams. Information relating to deadlines for schools will be sent to schools directly and it is their responsibility to ensure that students are provided with this information and comply with it. Many private sector Saudi universities require 2 'B' grades at AS Level for admission to the preparatory programme or 2 'A' grades at A Level for direct admission to the medical faculty and 2 'B' grades at AS Level for admission to the Business faculty. Saudi universities also require a 12th grade report in all cases. Universities have their own specific entry requirements and parents and students are advised to check specific entry requirements when planning progression to university for their children. HOW CAN I CONNECT TO CAMBRIDGE DIRECTLY INSTEAD OF THROUGH OTHER AGENCIES? Cambridge is very active on social media and you can connect on their: WHAT ARE THE REGISTRATION DEADLINES FOR FOR PRIVATE CANDIDATES? All deadlines for registration for the May/June 2018 session will be announced in November, They will be posted on the Emkan Education website as soon as we have received the dates from Cambridge. 9 10

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