For the first time, the entries for the March 2016 exam series of the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) have doubled in India this year, indicating that more and more international board students are aspiring to pursue further education in Indian colleges and universities.
The number of entries for the ongoing March exam series has risen to 26,000, while it was just 11,000 last year.
Till last year, only the Class 10 equivalent-Indian General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) was offered in March. But this year, nine subjects of the AS levels (Class 11 equivalent) and A-levels (Class 12 equivalent) were also offered.
The series was started in India last year, after complaints from Mumbai International Schools Association (MISA) that Cambridge students were unable to apply to Indian colleges on time.
Earlier, students could only take the exams either in June or November, while most Indian universities and colleges began their admissions in June itself.
“We introduced the March series in India last year to help Cambridge students meet Indian college application deadlines,” said Ruchira Ghosh, regional director, South Asia, CIE. “It is encouraging to have such a great response, notable through the doubling of entries this year.”
City schools said March series has helped students apply for First Year Junior College (FYJC) online admissions. “Once the exam is conducted in March, students get their results by May and original mark sheets in hand in the first week of June, even before the SSC results are announced,” said Kavita Aggarwal, principal, JBCN International School, Oshiwara and president, MISA.
“So they are able to apply for FYJC online admissions along with the SSC students. Previously, students would have a hard time securing admissions on the basis of their provisional marks.”
Also, on demand from schools, more IGCSE subjects such as history, geography, English as second language, will be added to March series in the next year.