UPDATED: International IB, IGCSE Exams Cancelled

Is your child preparing for IGCSE, A Level, CBSE, ICSE, IBDP, SATs or AP exams in Singapore this year? WhichSchoolAdvisor.com finds out which exams are cancelled, and which will go ahead as planned.
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

All IB, A Level and GCSE exams have been cancelled in and CBSE and ICSE exams have been postponed. Covid-19 has shut down schools worldwide, and it was only a matter of time until exams were cancelled.

Singapore is one of a declining number of Covid-19-hit countries not to issue a nationwide closure of schools. So will international exams be cancelled here too?

WhichSchoolAdvisor rounds up the announcements made so far by exam boards from the UK, US, India and the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

Will the UK’s decision to cancel IGCSE and A Level exams affect international exams in Singapore?

This depends on the exam board, and many international exams still look set to go ahead as planned - if it is safe for them to do so. 

However, this could change after an announcement by the UK today (March 20).

There are 32 international schools offering IGCSEs, 11 local and international schools doing A Levels, and 27 local and international schools following the IB Diploma Programme. Four schools offer Advanced Placement exams, and five schools in Singapore study for Indian curriculum exams.

The British government has said it will set out the details of how GCSE and A Level exam grades will be awarded to students in the UK today (March 20). And the UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson ​has said that students can still expect to receive their grades in August.

"Our aim is to issue people's GCSE and A-levels in August but this will be under different process than we have done in the past," he told the BBC.

Which international exams will currently go ahead in Singapore?

Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, and the Cambridge AICE Diploma has cancelled all exams.

Oxford AQA has cancelled its summer series of international GCSEs and A Levels.

The IBO has cancelled the May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates. Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. 

The AP Exam administration remains as scheduled for schools that are open on May 4–8 and 11–15, with late testing scheduled for May 20–22.

Pearson Edexcel has cancelled its summer series of international GCSEs and A Levels.

Which international exams have been cancelled in Singapore?

The CBSE has postponed the Board examinations which were due to start on March 19 and run until March 31.  The Board will announce the new exam schedule by the end of March after a "re-assessment of the situation".

The changes will affect students at four international schools in Singapore that offer the CBSE curriculum from Grade 10: GIIS SMART Campus, NPS International School, Yuvabharathi International School, and Global Indian International School (East Coast).

The Council for ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and ISC (Indian Secondary Certificate) have followed the CBSE and also now postponed all exams between March 19 and March 31 owing to the threat posed by Covid-19; this affects students at DPS International School. Revised dates will be announced in due course as the situation improves.

The College Board has cancelled the SATs tests on May 2, but tests on June 6 may still go ahead. 

Could this situation change?

Yes, the UK government only announced last night that GCSE and A Levels exams are cancelled – so we are yet to fully understand what the implications and alternatives are. Will all UK students be awarded a special pass grade? Will their marks be based on mock exam results? 

No one knows the answers yet, but whatever is decided in the UK could affect the decision made on exams being taken in Singapore and at other international schools.

Allan Forbes is head of senior school at Tanglin Trust School, where students are preparing to take IGCSE, A Level and IBDP exams.

Forbes told parents today:

"We find ourselves in a dynamic and evolving situation on a global stage and scale but given we are also at the sharp end of our students’ education, we recognise that their and your focus is firmly on the importance of the next few months.

"I will contact you in due course once we have greater clarity regarding the public examinations and UK based exam boards."

What will happen to university applications if exams are cancelled?

Clare Marchant, who heads the UK's Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, said in a statement: "[UCAS] will be working through the implications of today’s (March 18) announcements for students, teachers, universities and colleges over the coming days, which was one of the scenarios we were planning for.

"Flexibility within the admission process will be enhanced and extended to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and the announcement that there will be no exams this year. We are confident that our team and systems are ready to adapt throughout the spring and summer.

"As soon as any changes are confirmed, students will be emailed to explain how this might affect them, so it’s important they keep their email address up to date in Track. We will also communicate further and extend support to all of customers during these challenging times."

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