Chennai: Bringing relief to hundreds of school students across the country, the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) board has agreed to conduct the IGCSE exam series for Class 10 students in March, along with the other boards of education in India.
Students in Cambridge schools in India have so far been taking the exams in May-June or October-November, along with their peers across the world. This had been creating problems for students from international schools as they could not complete the exams in time for admission to schools and colleges.
Ruchira Ghosh, regional director of CIE South Asia, told TOI: "The IGCSE exams can be taken from March 2015, while the AS Level exams (for Class 11) will be held from next March and the A levels (for Class 12) will be held during the same month from 2017."
Class 10 students will be able to sign up for 15 subjects, including popular subjects like English, French, Hindi, ICT, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, accounting and economics at the IGCSE level.
From next year Class 11 students will be given a choice of nine subjects to take their exams in March. Ghosh said that the number of exams will be increased in the coming years.
Students from more than 100 schools have applied for the exams in March this year. As many as 11,000 entries have been made. This includes one student signing up for more than one exam.
Ghosh was in the city to meet Cambridge schools to brainstorm over the best way to form clusters so schools could share best practices, solve problems depending on the Cambridge board, and be able to represent issues to the board collectively.
She said that the current focus of the board is on developing support for the 'A' and 'AS' level students. We are concentrating on the theme 'Getting in and getting on.'
"A lot of students going to international universities are unable to cope because they are used to being spoon-fed. So the focus is to not just get our 'A' level students into good international universities, but also to prepare them for independent study and how to conduct their own research," Ghosh said. This is helpful for Indian universities too, as many are undergoing a transformation, she added.
Ghosh said that the board was also laying emphasis on giving students a global perspective. It's not just for students going overseas to study, but also for those who have to interact with the international community that is coming to India, and work with them.