Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)
University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) are administered by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). UCLES is one of the world's leading examining bodies. Established in 1863 it provides examination services in over 160 countries around the world. Although CIE is based in the United Kingdom, and the structure of the CIE awards is the same as the UK awards, its courses are designed for the international community.
CIE offers three general secondary qualifications:
- International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) - usually taken in Year 11
- Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS) - usually taken in Year 12
- Advanced Level (A Level) - usually taken in Year 13
CIE courses are generally assessed through external examinations. The different course components of each subject are assessed by separate examination papers, including practical work in the sciences. Students receive grades and percentage marks for each subject.
Examinations are held twice a year in May/June and October/November. Students will generally sit their examinations in the October/November session. In a small number of courses the May/June session will be selected as the more appropriate.
CIE qualifications are recognised internationally. They can be used as University Entrance qualification in New Zealand and overseas.
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The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
IGCSE (Year 11)
• Provides a foundation for higher level courses, especially AS/A Level.
• Subjects are generally studied at Year 11. Some subjects will be available in Year 12.
• In some IGCSE subjects there are two course levels - Core Curriculum and Extended Curriculum. The extended curriculum offers a more challenging course.
• The following grades are available:
- Extended Curriculum : A*, A, B, C, D, E
- Core Curriculum : C, D, E, F, G, H
A ‘G’ grade is regarded as a minimum satisfactory performance against the learning objectives of each subject.
Advanced Levels (AS/A2)
AS Level (Year 12)
• Are the first half of a full A Level (the second half is known as A2) and are generally studied in Year 12. Some AS levels, developed by New Zealand schools in conjunction with CIE, are only available as Year 13 courses.
• Cover the core, foundation aspects of a subject at an advanced level.
• Are worthwhile, stand-alone qualifications that can be used for tertiary entrance.
• Five pass grades are awarded: A, B, C, D, E. Marks below these are ungraded.
A Level (A2) (Year 13)
- An AS Level can be carried through to a full A Level by completing the second half of the syllabus known as A2. (There is no such thing as a separate, stand-alone A2 qualification).
- A2 courses are available as Year 13 courses and only to students who have already completed AS. A Level syllabuses offer challenging assessments to stretch the most able students.
- Students who have completed their AS course the previous year have the option of re-sitting the AS exam in their A2 year in order to improve their overall A Level grade.
- Five pass grades are awarded: A, B, C, D, E. Marks below these are ungraded.
The Dual Pathway
NCEA and CIE qualifications are available in Years 11, 12 and 13. Students have two pathways to qualification:
- Pathway 1 - NCEA Level 1 (Year 11), NCEA Level 2 (Year 12), NCEA Level 3 (Year 13)
- Pathway 2 - IGCSE (Year 11), AS Level (Year 12), A Level (Year 13)
(Note: Multi-levelling can occur within each pathway.)
For more information about the courses available, please refer to our Academic Programme.
More Information for Parents
For more information about CIE at Avondale College, please download the PowerPoint presentation below.
> Cambridge International Examinations at Avondale College