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CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS ... · PDF fileCAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS ... Advises and processes applications

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  • CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONALEXAMINATIONS HANDBOOK FORPARENTS & STUDENTS

    B y E m k a n Ed u c a t i o n

    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 www.emkaneducation.com/cambridge.

    Alternatively, you can email us at : [email protected]

  • MORE SPECIFICALLY EMKAN:

    21

    Offers expert advice to ensure

    that registrations are processed on

    time and with appropriate codes to

    ensure students sit for the right

    papers.

    Ensures that students

    receive statements of entries

    with their exam calendar. All

    students need to do is focus on

    the exams.

    1 2

    INTRODUCTION TO EMKAN EDUCATION

    WHAT ROLE DOES EMKAN PLAY IN THE CAMBRIDGE EXAM CYCLE?

    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 capabili-

    ties 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.

    Emkan aims to support all its schools in facilitating procedures relating to

    registration, conducting exams and processing the distribution of results and

    enquiries.

    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.

    Distributes login details to

    enable students to download

    their results. In case students

    want to request a remark or

    recheck, Emkan processes an

    enquiry of results (EAR) applica-

    tion.

    Ensures that teachers have full

    access to the CIE Teacher Support

    site which provides full access to

    past papers, mark schemes, exam

    reports, discussion forums and

    syllabus related questions.

    EMKAN EDUCATION ACTS AS A 'ONE-STOP SHOP' FOR ALL MATTERS

    RELATING TO CAMBRIDGE EXAMINATIONS

    3

    4 5

  • A*

    A

    B

    C

    D

    E

    90-100

    80-89

    70-79

    60-69

    50-59

    40-49

    INTRODUCTION TO SCHOOL EXAMINATIONS

    AGE GROUP

    CURRICULUM CONTENT

    Cambridge

    International

    Examinations is owned by Cambridge University. Cambridge offers a suite of assess-

    ments from primary to secondary grades. This booklet focuses on Cambridge Second-

    ary 2 (IGCSEs) and Cambridge Advanced ('A- & AS Levels') courses.

    COURSES OFFERED

    GRADING

    IGCSEs and international 'A Levels' are interna-

    tional 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.

    43

    HigherEducation

    Cambridge IntAS & A Levels (16-19)

    Cambridge Secondary 2(14-16) IGCSE and O Level

    Cambridge Secondary 1 (11-14)

    Cambridge Primary (5-11)

    Figure 1: Factsheet at cie.org.uk

    Cambridge provides syllabi and assessments for all school years

    from 1-12. Many schools offer the full set of courses and assess-

    ments. However, schools are free to select the syllabi and assessments that they wish.

    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-

    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.

    AS and A Levels are designed for 16-19 year olds but, as

    with IGCSEs, can be taken by students of any age. In the

    UK students generally take 3 or 4 AS and A Level

    courses.

    Cambridge examinations are widely recognised

    as evidence of learning and suitability to the

    labour force by academic institutions and

    employers around the world.

    Cambridge offers a wide range of subjects. The table below

    lists most popular subjects at different Levels.

    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 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

    used as a preparation for A- and AS Level, International

    Baccalaureate and US Advanced Placement courses. Letter

    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.

    Grade C in IGCSE English (both First Language and Second

    Language) satisfies the English proficiency requirements of

    many universities in the UK and other countries that follow the

    UK education system.

    Cambridge also holds an annual celebration of their most

    successful students in each major city. These are high profile

    events and the receipt of such an award adds tremendous value

    to students 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

    best across a range of IGCSEs and A levels. They look great on university applications.

    SESSIONS

    IGCSEs

    AdvancedSubsidiary (AS)

    Advanced (A)

    SUBJECTSHOW MANYSUBJECTSTO TAKE

    YEAR OFASSESSMENT

    2 times per year

    2 times per year

    2 times per year

    7-9

    2-4

    2-4

    Grade 10

    Grade 11

    Grade 12

    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

    Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Studies, Accounting, Economics and Business Studies

    A Levelgrade

    PUMrange

    Figure 2: Cambridge factsheet at cie.org.uk

  • 65

    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 devel-

    ops 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 universi-

    ties 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 specifi-

    cally 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 (www.cie.org.uk).

    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 universi-

    ties 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 certificate