Information from Cambridge International re: absence of Advance Information for IGCSE MFLs

In February, various schools contacted us to express their concerns that Advance Information had not been provided for CAIE IGCSE in Modern Languages subjects. This, it was felt, undermined the principles of equivalence of experience and equivalence of outcome between IGCSE and GCSE. You can see the letter we wrote here.

On 23rd February, we received a detailed response from Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE). The key points to note are as follows. A full copy of the letter is available to member schools on request (email us).

  • CAIE will not publish Advance Information for IGCSEs
  • This is in the interests of maintaining parity across jurisdictions internationally: “By applying a uniform approach, we can be
    assured that we are treating our schools around the world fairly”
  • However, they acknowledge their commitment to “align the standard of our qualifications to the standard of similar qualifications in England”. They will, therefore “ensure the same awarding standard is maintained […] by considering the difficulty of the questions in each exam paper” and they will also “consider the provision of advance information by other boards”.
  • In other words, we should be confident that pupils sitting IGCSEs will not lose out relative to those sitting GCSEs with the benefit of Advance Information: they say they are “confident” that “learners taking [CAIE] qualifications will not be disadvantaged”.
  • They also confirm that there will be no specific adjustment to grading in French and German IGCSE, to align with the slight adjustment announced in 2019 for GCSE. This is because CAIE say that they have already reviewed inter-subject comparison data, and found French and German to be aligned with other IGCSE subjects.