Ordinary Level (O-Level)
O Level is the short form of the word ordinary level that is preliminary an examination based qualification with grading system. In UK this qualification was replaced with General Certificate for Secondary Education (GCSE) and International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE).
It was the previous name that was used in UK for exam for 16years old. It was replaced in 1980s by GCSE. It provides learners with excellent preparation for Cambridge Advanced Level (A-Level) as other evolution routes. This qualification is basically designed for intercontinental audience. This qualification is perceptive to the requirements of different countries and for the learners whose original language may not be English.
In some countries school use this qualification as an international substitute or addition to the local government curriculum. The teaching of this qualification is to be placed in localized content making it significant wherever you teach it. The advantage of this qualification is that you can choose from more than 40 subjects with any combinations.
While studying in this qualification learner gets an in depth knowledge of the subjects they choose. In Pakistan this qualification is equivalent to Matriculation. The difference is mostly students do matriculation with the science subjects and the students in this qualification can choose any combination whether it science, arts or commerce.
They get an in depth and detailed knowledge about the subject they are studying and they have a wide variety on the subjects they choose and if they choose science subjects they have the option to have alternative to practical that is a written examination about the practical instead of performing them. Whereas in matriculation students don’t have this choice they have to perform the practical.
It emphasis wide-ranging and reasonable study across wide range of subjects. It develops different skills in learners like creative writing, enquiry and problem solving as the examination is totally conceptual based. Learners get self confidence and ability to be fluent in working and communicating in English. They also develop understanding skills in:
Subject content, applying knowledge and understanding to familiar and new situations, intellectual inquiry, flexibility and responsiveness to change, influencing outcomes and cultural awareness. The curriculum is structured such that it builds practical skills and theoretical knowledge. It is built in such a way that it is compatible with other curricula.
Cambridge provides its faculty each and every guideline and the resources that are in delivering an effective course and develop as professionals. There are plans that suit a wide range of learning methods in different international contents and include:
Syllabuses, text books and publisher resources, example candidate responses and exam preparation materials that include mark schemes, examiner reports, and previous examination papers and result statistics by grade and subject. It enables us to give valuable feedback, to identify learner’s strength and weaknesses before final assessment. There is also a secure school support hub for the Cambridge teachers. That has all the materials needed to teach the syllabus: past papers, mark schemes, examiner reports, lesson plans and scheme of work.
The teachers can also talk to the subject expert and other Cambridge teachers in discussion forums. It is basically an ordinary level that forms the base for the learners to make them ready for the advanced level. There are regular training courses for the syllabuses. The faculty of this qualification is qualified staff that are trained and are given professional development courses so that they can teach the learners in best way and they can answer and handle ever problem easily.
The Cambridge delivers online training for its teachers for this syllabus where there can choose from a range of face to face, online and webinar events. This training helps the teachers to get the efficient skills that are needed to teach the learners in such a way that they succeed in Cambridge. Schools in over countries take this qualification and the Cambridge is the biggest provider of this qualification in the world. It is a global community which creates opportunities for the learners and teachers to work together.
As there is grading at the end of examination series so is the case with this qualification. In this qualification there is a grading system rather than marks assigned for this purpose there is firstly a grading threshold designed so that the learners get fair and accurate marks in their examination and Cambridge publishes grade threshold every exam series. Grade threshold is the minimum number of marks that a candidate needs to obtain a particular grade in the paper or the subject.
The aim is to set these thresholds in the right place to ensure that it is no more difficult or no less difficult to obtain that grade than it was in previous year. After deciding an appropriate threshold the next comes is how to interpret the threshold for this purpose there are threshold table in which there is grade threshold document that shows the threshold taken in particular series of examination for each paper or other component that is marked.
The table also shows the thresholds that are used for the options available. An option is a permitted combination of papers or other components that makeup the overall qualification. A weighing factor may also be applied to the thresholds before they are added up together in order to match what it says in the syllabus about the weight that is given to each paper. These thresholds are basically designed so that fair and accurate marking can do in the examination and the learner gets the grades according the examination attempted by them.
Basically this qualification increases the creative learning of the learner and gives them confidence to get involved in the public as it gives an in depth knowledge of the subjects opt by the learner telling the importance of each combination of the subject they have choose and how they apply the things learned in their practical life and in what fields they can opt to go in the near future. As it is an international qualification so the student also becomes fluent in English.