Aitchison College, Lahore.
August 12, 2020

Principal's Letter August 12

Dear Parents,

After analyzing the senior Cambridge results, we believe the majority of boys will be happy or relaxed with the outcome. Of course, some may be disappointed. It is, however, important to note that Cambridge will not allow individual student appeals this year. It is the College that makes an appeal on behalf of a cohort’s subject results only, and only if it believes an error has occurred in Cambridge’s application of statistical standardization, which takes into account individual student rankings within a subject and a school’s past three years’ Cambridge results within the context of global scaling.

Now this is the key point. While we are satisfied that our overall subject results are generally consistent with past years on a percentage basis, we feel obligated to pursue speedy resolution on some perceived aberrations and inconsistencies in some subjects. This should not take long.  We know our boys. On top of this, we appreciate these are challenging times and particularly stressful for senior students with dreams and ambitions. The best panacea is to provide options and ways forward that enable the individual to have control over their own fortunes. Dismay has been expressed worldwide on assessed grades and Pakistan is by no means alone. If after our resolution with Cambridge an individual student is still unhappy with his result, his only option is to retake a subject or subjects in the October/November session. Of course, this does not apply to AS Level, which is explained below.

Our recommendation for each year group is as follows:

C1 boys may appear for exams in May/June 2021 with the other subjects (End of C2)

For C2, the best option for boys who are unhappy is to consider two choices:

(1) Retake papers in October/November. If they take two or more, we suggest they revert to a full A Level.

(2) Retake two or less papers and stay with AS Level. In this case, think carefully about how you would handle the workload.

For H1, the AS grades will not be contributing towards the final A-levels grade. They should work on the A2 syllabus and get their grades up. They will be able to sit for all components in H2 or just A2 components for their final A level grade. This is an excellent option and justifies why we opted for AS Levels several years ago. There is no carry forward of AS Level this year. If boys are concerned about early entry grades, we will hold an optional examination block in September, so boys may improve their applications prior to the November deadline.

For H2, they should contact their universities through the counselors and then make up their mind about the retake in the Oct/Nov session. Our Guidance Counselors will assist where possible. My view is that all major offers should hold.

I wish to also make the point that too many parents overestimate the role of O Levels/IGCSE in university placements. AS and A Levels are crucial. If a boy has been awarded A instead of A* or a B instead of A, move on and concentrate on higher work. It is our recommendation that boys who have been awarded C and upwards should stay with their results. 

All those applying for the Oct/Nov session retakes kindly visit Exam Office from August 17 to 28 August between 9am -1 pm for forms and payment. Only one person will be allowed to enter.

No school has found this an easy or comfortable process, but the challenge facing Cambridge and other providers has been immense. We know that our boys improve as the year goes by and some may well have been disadvantaged by this. The positive thing is that boys still have options.


Warm regards,


Michael Thomson M.A., Dip. Ed., M.A.C.E