What do I need if I want to go to Overseas Universities?

If you wish to study in the UK or Europe then you will need to have at least three full A-levels along with a suite of AS Levels and IGCSE qualifications (at least 6 subjects are recommended). Many institutions will look at AS levels in combination with the full A-level, but not many mainstream Universities abroad will consider applicants with just AS Levels. Many Australian universities will accept AS-Levels as entrance much the same as South Africa. Most other countries universities will have their own regulations, but will accept CIE IGCSE’s, AS or A levels as entrance to junior colleges and undergraduate studies.

What if I already have A National Senior Certificate (NSC)?

If you are in this position, then perhaps you would simply like to increase your M score or take subjects that you had not realised you needed as specific university requirements and subsequently didn’t choose for a NSC; or alternately you may want to prepare yourself further for university. Do remember that CIE qualifications as well as your NSC points will be added together by the university when calculating your points tally. So, with any additional CIE qualification you should be able to qualify for any course you would like to do!

Can I combine CIE and NSC to get exemption? (South African students only)

Unfortunately not. If you do not have NSC exemption already you will have to get it via one of the routes outlined above; these being a combination of AS or A levels with IGCSE’s.

What if I miss/can’t make an exam?

CIE exam dates are fixed as the exams are sent out globally. No special permissions are granted to write a missed exam. If there are multiple papers, then your mark will be calculated from the total of the other marks you obtain and according to the different papers weighting. If you are ill try to attend the exam and do your best. Supply a doctor’s certificate stating that you were not actually fit to write the exam and CIE will take that into consideration (Max 5% mark allowance for that specific paper)

Can I get special considerations for extra time?

Yes. If you have a condition which requires that you may need additional time to complete your exam e.g. dyslexia, reading difficulty and so forth, then you can apply to CIE for extra time. Do make sure this is done well in advance as CIE will not entertain these requests at late notice. Application for additional time will require medical submissions. In some cases where the student's handwriting is barely legible, students may be apply for permission to use a computer to type. The spell check is disabled when answering an exam by electronic means.

When can I enter the exam with CIE?

Check with CL Education in advance, we will know when the exam entry dates are. Or check on the British Council Website: http://www.britishcouncil.org.za/exams/school-exams

If you think you are going to be ready to write an exam then do enter the exam, if you change your mind closer to the exam then you can always withdraw; this is better than having to wait another year or six months! But, do be aware that you will not get any exam fees back from CIE.

British council - is it possible to do course just through British council or is it advisable that one registers at an institution?

You can by all means simply register to do a course through the British Council. Bear in mind that they will supply no assistance in terms of the course itself.

What qualifications are needed in terms of American homeschooling system to CIE?

You can transfer across to the equivalent year of CIE without any real hindrances. There may be some differences in the syllabus content, but it is essentially the way the work is approached and the emphasis that is placed on certain parts of the work that will be different on the whole. You will need to ensure that the NSC requirements, in terms of the various IGCSE’s and AS range of subjects, are met. Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is regarded as an international qualification and not a foreign qualification for HESA purposes. Do be aware of this when applying to university as applications by foreign qualification students are charged higher study fees. American qualifications are regarded as Foreign qualification in South Africa for purposes of further studies.

Will students have sufficient knowledge to make a transition from for example grade 10 and 11 to AS - level?

The short answer is yes! However, there will be discrepancies but like most things it is the amount of hard work that goes in that will determine whether a student copes or not.

National curriculum/IEB to CIE - what changes can they expect? (South African students only)

Students will find that the approach is slightly different in that there is more application and understanding and contextualisation required by CIE, especially at the AS-Level. The style of examination questions and the marks allocated is in line with CIE expectations.

Practicals (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) where and how can they be done at home?

There is a limit to the practicals that can be done at home for safety and legal reasons. CIE recognises the limitation of this at the IGCSE level, where students can answer an ‘Alternative to Practical’ paper for the sciences.

For the sciences at AS level, it is best if some practical tutoring can be obtained, preferably from a CIE qualified tutor. CL Education can assist you with finding a practical centre closest to. Our courses have practical elements built into them for students to carry out at home, under adult supervision! The tutor will also advise on how to answer the practical paper – probably just as important as the practical work itself.

How does the CIE marking work?

All exams when completed are returned by courier from the exam centre to CIE for marking. Rigorous checks are in place at CIE to guarantee the accuracy of the marking process, double checking of some exam scripts and re marking if the teacher predicted grade varies by more than one grade from the achieved grade, all of which takes time.

How long is the expected delay in receiving results?

Exams marked from the May/June exam sitting can be expected for release by CIE mid-August and the October/ November exams results are released towards the end of January of the following year. The dates will be more or less the same each year.

How can students and parents feel assured to register for new courses due to this delay?

In order to ensure constant progression from one level to the next, especially if bound by a time restraint, it is best advised to go ahead and register. There is little harm in trusting that the student will achieve the grade assuming they have been doing well in the assessments. None of this will, however, guarantee the required result. If the necessary grade is not attained and a student has registered for a course, we will discuss the best option available at that point. For example, a possibility may be a rollover to the next exam session to consider tutoring only, as per split course costing, for the disappointing result and delay the activation of the higher level course.

Can I have access to CIE mark schemes?

Unfortunately not. CIE releases the mark schemes only to accredited and registered schools and specifically state that they are not meant to be issued to students. That said parts that are used in assessments from courses like the ones from CL Education will issue parts of the schemes that have been used, CIE do not mind this.

Can I have access to CIE past papers?

There are a number of past papers available on the web to download direct from CIE and other sites. CL Education will also make past paper available through the website or on CD.

Can you suggest good subject suites to combine and what are must have subjects?

This is best assessed on an individual basis. We prefer to evaluate and then to advise based on the interests, abilities and the courses that the student wishes to pursue. It will also depend on the level, i.e. IGCSE or AS, that the student and parents need guidance with when making subject selections.

In terms of South Africa and obtaining a NSC with exemption, students must have English Language to AS, a second language to IGCSE level (with a C grade pass) and Maths. Additional subjects can be taken or swapped for others, depending on the future interests of the student.

What textbooks are best for individual courses?

This is a fairly subjective choice for a lecturer/teacher/course writer, but may perhaps be quite daunting for parents who are unsure and are ‘new’ to the CIE system. The general rule of thumb is the following: Log on to CIE and select the required subject, click on resource material – any text that is ticked is generally accepted as being satisfactory to cover a course substantially. Textbooks marked as ‘new’ are also worth considering