Expectations hurt, the only phrase used by thousands of students that had recently got their CIE results. Already, the ongoing pandemic had a great impact on the normal lives of all us across the whole world. Along with it, the education sector is one of them which had been adversely affecting student lives and their career. It also had a great impact on the teaching methodologies and also the whole grading had been revised. A similar effect had been observed in the case of A levels results announced by CIEs in May-June and the students are very much affected after their disappointing results.
Approximately 95, 0000 students from 139 different countries appeared in the exams and were awarded grades under the grade prediction method used by Cambridge in their May/June session. The day turned out as a nightmare for most of the students as their obtained grades were not the same as they were expecting based on the result submitted by their schools and teachers to the international board. One of the students said, “My mock results were four As and a B,” and now this result has ruined the self-esteem of him as well as his parents.
Last week, the system came under heavy examination after many students saw their decreased grades. After getting such disappointing results the students along with their parents started protesting against the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) examination results in various countries of the world. All the students, schools, and colleges were in anger as 40% of A-level grades awarded were lesser than the predictions of the teachers’. In England, 36% of the students had a lower grade than the grade predicted by their teachers and 3% were even down two grades in CIEs results after exams were canceled due to this pandemic. Now many School and college heads are calling for a review.
The protesting students in different countries claimed that they have been discriminated from the students of England and Scotland. They said that in England after receiving such a disappointing result the government has made a statement for students to either choose between the awarded qualifications, their mock result or they are free to retake the exams. The students also added that as the situation is not ideal, the exam boards of various countries and the United Kingdom government has given the right to students to try and to do whatever they want to reach the best possible solution.
However, many students even professed that the international students from some 160 countries including students of Africa and South Asia have been treated differently. They said that most of the international schools had received the expected grades, but in some cases, students that are expecting A* grades received F grades from CAIE. The students further added that they were not given the same level of consideration as given to the international students by the CAIE and these students even don’t have the right to appeal on an individual basis.
According to the father of a protesting student, the CAIE shared a statement on the social media platform Facebook about their grading system and how their grading system works but still, they are trying to ignore students’ objections. He said that these students have no voice and that’s the reason why the CAIE carries on with their business as usual without considering how their unfair and biased treatment affected the lives of thousands of students. “These kids will have to suffer and face all the consequences for the rest of their lives,” he said.
He further added that CAIE may be behaving opportunistically as they downgraded students in their exam results knowing that many of the students will have to retake the expensive exams and for that students and their families will have to pay. They also suspect that the income received in such a way will increase their amount to many millions of pounds with some additional profit.
According to an education analyst, this is a strange year for A-level results in every way, as the students received the grades for their CAIE exams that were never taken before. Usually, every year CAIE results break the records of top grades with almost 28% getting A*s or As. But this year it has been a day full of uncertainty. Almost two out of every five student’s results were lower than that of their predicted grades by their teachers. But, at the same time, those students who were trying to get admission in different university might be able to get in even with lower grades than that of the previous years as many universities have promised of “super-flexible” admissions.
According to the evidence-based grading system, all of the students were awarded grades according to a four-step assessment system. Even the CAIE asked teachers to use various other evidence and professional judgment to predict the grades for each of the students in each subject they have entered in the 2020 exam series. According to them, they have awarded accurate results to the students based on their mock results but the students still complained that their grades fell even more than what they are predicting and what they had previously scored. Students were so much frustrated that they started comparing the Cambridge grade prediction method with other boards and their grading systems and they started blaming their governments for their worst results.
Due to these poor results, the students were expecting that they can’t take admission in renowned universities. They are expecting that the universities should have to be more accepting of students this year. In this situation, Oxford University’s Worcester College is the first institution in the UK to claim that it will honor for them to offer seats to all the UK students, regardless of what grades they obtained in their A-Levels. The universities need to be more flexible and have to accommodate as many students as they can to remove the feeling of disappointment from the minds of the students who are already disappointed with their bad grades.