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Cambridge is offering IGCSEs in Mathematics, First Language English and Literature in English for first examination in June 2017. Here is how we will to set grade boundaries for these new qualifications.
How will grading work for 9-1 Cambridge IGCSE?
The grading process for 9-1 IGCSEs will, in most respects, be the same process we use to grade all our syllabuses.
Grade 9 represents a new standard so setting the grade 9 boundary requires a new approach.
Like the GCSE boards, we will use a new approach (called the “tailored approach”) for grade 9. The tailored approach uses an equation to determine how many candidates should receive a grade 9, and allows us to set a grade boundary. The tailored approach equation is:
Proportion of those achieving at least grade 7 who should be awarded grade 9 = 7% + (0.5 × (percentage of candidates awarded grade 7 or above))
The equation was initially developed by researchers at Cambridge Assessment and takes into account the ability of the candidates entered for the exam. For example, if candidates taking an IGCSE were more able on average than those taking GCSE in the same subject, the standard of performance required to get a grade 9 would not be affected.
Where necessary, we will use other methods alongside the tailored approach to identify the grade 9 boundary.
We are likely to use the same approach to grade 9-1 IGCSEs with first examination in June 2018.
Once the standard of grade 9 in the first year of examination, we will carry that same standard forward to subsequent years. Carrying forward an established standard is part of our usual grading process and holds no new challenges for us.