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19 August 2010

FAQs: CIE grading system

Information for students in Pakistan

Some students in Pakistan are disappointed with their exam results and are wondering if University of
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) has changed its grading system this year. We would like
to reassure you that CIE has not changed the standards required to achieve a particular grade in our
exams. The grade standard is exactly the same as in previous years.

We would like to give you some more information to help you understand how grades are awarded at

Has CIE changed its grading system?

No. The standard required for a particular grade in June 2010 is exactly the same as in previous
years. A grade in June 2010 is not worth less than in the past, nor is it harder or easier to achieve.

Has the introduction of Grade A* changed CIE’s grading system?

No. The introduction of Grade A* is an addition to CIE’s grade scale. The standards for Grades A to E
are exactly the same as they were before the introduction of Grade A*.

Did students in Pakistan perform worse in 2010 compared with last year?
No. The grades achieved in Pakistan in the June 2010 exam session are perfectly in line with the
grades achieved by students in Pakistan in the June 2008 and June 2009 exam sessions.

Is the grading system the same for every Cambridge student around the world?
Yes. For example, the standard required for a Grade B at Cambridge International A Level is the same
for a student in Pakistan as it is for a student in another country.

Has CIE changed its method for reporting percentages on statements of results?
Yes. From June 2010, the method for reporting percentages on your statement of results has changed
in line with UK practice.

However percentages are not shown on your certificate. They also do not, and never did, affect the
grade that you receive in your exam. They simply give you extra information about your performance.

Why does CIE give a percentage as well as a grade on the statement of results?
The percentage gives you extra information about how you performed. It shows whether you are in the
middle of your grade, near the top or near the bottom.

Why did CIE change how it reports percentages in Pakistan?

The change was made so that percentages are calculated in exactly the same way for students in
Pakistan as they are for students in other countries where CIE provides this particular information.
This information is also provided in the UK by other exam boards.

The change to the way percentages are reported on your statement of results does not affect the
grade you receive.
Will the percentages on my statement of results affect my chances of getting into university?
No. Universities around the world recognise your grade. IBCC equivalence is also based on the grade
you achieve.

Has the IBCC changed its equivalence scale for Cambridge qualifications?
Yes. The IBCC has extended its equivalence scale upwards with effect from June 2010 following the
introduction of Grade A* to Cambridge International A Level. The Grade A* for Cambridge O Level,
Cambridge International A Level and Cambridge IGCSE will now have an equivalence of 90 marks.

This is good news for Cambridge students because it increases the total possible marks for Higher
Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) equivalence from 935 to 990 out of 1100.

Grades IBCC marks

A* 90
A 85
B 75
C 65
D 55
E 45
F 40
G 35

What should I do if I am unhappy with my results?

There is a formal process for enquiring about exam results. An enquiry about exam results is a review
of the marking of a students’ exam script(s).

Students should contact their school as soon as possible if they wish to make an enquiry about their
exam results. Private candidates should contact their nearest British Council directly. All enquiries for
the May/June 2010 exam session must arrive at CIE by 30 September 2010. In cases where a grade
change has resulted from the enquiry, the enquiry fee will be refunded.