We are introducing a new ‘near-pass’ unit grade for Level 3 Cambridge Technicals (2016) for students who narrowly miss a Pass on externally assessed units.
Changes to official guidelines mean we can provide a ‘safety net’ for Cambridge Technicals students that exists on other qualifications such as A Levels. Students who just miss a pass on one or more externally assessed units will not be prevented from passing the qualification, providing they have a Pass or above on internally assessed units.
To help you and your students to understand what this means, we’ve prepared a set of frequently asked questions.
The previous rules for Level 3 Cambridge Technicals stated students must pass every unit to achieve the overall qualification. With the introduction of a new near-pass unit grade for the external assessments, students can now achieve the overall qualification if they obtain at least:
The new rules apply to all subjects and sizes of the Level 3 Cambridge Technicals (2016 suite).
The rules come into effect for the June 2018 series. They will also be applied retrospectively to previous exam series.
You don’t need to do anything – where a student is eligible for a full qualification in summer 2018, the qualification results will be issued automatically as normal using the best grade of any multiple attempts. For previous series, we will contact you as soon as possible to tell you whose results have been changed.
Not yet. We are currently updating our systems to show the new near-pass grade for previous series. Interchange will still show unit results as ‘Unclassified’ until we have made these system changes.
We have produced updated grade boundaries for each qualification for all previous series with the new near-pass unit grade (R) included:
Level 3 Cambridge Technicals Near Pass grade boundaries
You can use these together with the candidate unit achievement report to see whether a student will now achieve a near-pass grade for the unit or not, as shown in the example below:
Candidate achievement report example
The near-pass grade is issued at unit level. Students eligible for a near-pass grade will be issued with points depending on the guided learning hours (GLH) of the unit.
The qualification grade is then awarded based on the total number of points for all eligible units.
To reflect the new unit near-pass grade, we are lowering the minimum number of points required for the qualification grade at Pass (also Pass Pass and Pass Pass Pass for the larger qualifications).
The unit points values and qualification points ranges are provided in the following document:
Below are two potential examples of how a new unit near-pass grade could impact on the qualification outcome in a Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (360GLH). Achieving one or more near-pass unit grades does not necessarily limit the qualification outcome to a Pass, depending on achievement in other units.
There is no impact – if your students need to use the additional resit opportunity for externally assessed units in the June 2018 series, they can still do so. More information is available in our overview document.
You can use the resit opportunity to improve existing grades, including the near-pass grade. If you now decide not to use the resit opportunity, please mark the student absent on the attendance list – it is not possible to withdraw them via Interchange/A2C.
If you confirm you will not be using the resit by marking the candidates absent, we will arrange for the entry fees to be refunded and will contact you with more information.
The changes to official guidelines only apply to Level 3 Applied General and Tech Level qualifications.
We will let you know as soon as possible to explain which students have had a unit result changed from Unclassified (U) to a Near Pass (R).
If you have any queries, please get in touch with our Customer Contact Centre. They will not be able to confirm which students are affected and what their new unit and qualification grade might be.