Edition 228 - April 2020

Major international exams suspended

In the context of the current crisis, major international examinations are being suspended.  Such is the case for the International Baccalaureate (IB) and international A levels, due to the disruption following the COVID-19 pandemic. National end-of-school/school-leaving exams usually required for entering university are also being suspended, such as the French BaccalaurĂ©at and the US SAT university placement examination (in response, dozens of higher education institutions in the US are dropping SAT and ACT requirements).

Although it doesn’t come as a surprise for most, the IB exams suspension was announced on 22 March 2020 (exams were to take place in May-June) and international GCSE exams have been suspended following an announcement on 24 March 2020. 10 000 schools in 160 countries use the Cambridge exam and 200 000 take the IB exam. However, students will receive a grade and certificate from Cambridge International accordingly with the knowledge and skills acquired. With many schools having been shut on different dates and planning on reopening at different times, it appeared impossible to hold those examinations that are usually taken around the same time around the world.

Following the movement, the UK government announced on 18 March 2020 that it was cancelling all GCSE and A level exams within the country.

The suspension of these exams should not however cause a disadvantage to students applying for universities since they are taking into account the current situation.

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