2020 Exams Cancelled: Schools React

The IB May 2020 and all IGCSE and A Level exams are cancelled. But what happens now? WhichSchoolAdvisor.com speaks to international schools in Singapore to find out...
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Thousands of students in Singapore will be affected by this week’s decision to cancel the IB, IGCSE and A Level exams. It's been another turbulent week in education as the government has also made it clear that schools are highly unlikely to reopen on April 20 as previously planned.

Read more: IB Exams Are Cancelled and Cambridge International, AQA and Edexcel Cancels IGCSEs, A Levels

Students are looking for answers as they come to terms with the news that the May 2020 exams for the IB Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme – and all AQA, Pearson Edexcel and Cambridge International IGCSEs and A Levels – are cancelled. Questions being asked include, will students still receive a grade? How will this affect students’ university applications?

The IBO has said that, depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigour and quality control already built into the programmes. More information regarding grading will be released by the IBO by March 27.

All GCSEs have been cancelled by the UK government. IGCSE and A Level exams are operated by a number of different exam boards worldwide, and Cambridge International, Oxford AQA and Pearson Edexcel exam boards have all cancelled IGCSE and A Level exams. 

As international schools deal with the aftermath of these decisions, we ask what will happen next?

Tanglin Trust School, which offers IGCSEs, A Levels and the IBDP, was quick to reassure students.

The head of senior school Allan Forbes said: "Learning is far more than exam grades, it’s about obtaining knowledge. For subjects that no longer sitting a final exam, students should focus on completing outstanding coursework.

"Tanglin will be taking a universal assessment of student attainment. This will include internal assessments, mock examinations and teacher expertise to combine both the objective data with the more instinctive and subjective personalised understanding of a student to ensure that a holistic and accurate professional judgement is made.

"We have large amounts of historic student performance data which we can use as a guide to actual examination performance. Combine this with the experience of my colleagues and a strong personalised knowledge of our students, I am confident that we are well placed to make fair and true judgements."

In a letter to parents, Elizabeth Bray, head of UWCSEA Dover, and Graham Silverthorne, head of UWCSEA East, responded to news of the IB exams being cancelled.

“This is a significant disappointment for our students in terms of completing their year. However, all students will be receiving the UWCSEA High School Diploma (which is accredited by CIS and WASC) to mark the completion of their studies in the College, and we are looking at ways to celebrate their achievements.”

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