Thursday, 9 August 2012

Guide to the recognition and acceptance of CIE qualifications in Pakistan for university admissions

Universities in Pakistan recognise and welcome Cambridge international qualifications.
The government of Pakistan recognises Cambridge qualifications and provides equivalence to the local system of education in order to ensure smooth progression for students who choose to pursue their education in Pakistan.

The government body responsible for issuing equivalence conversion is the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). O Levels and IGCSE qualifications are equated to the local Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and A Levels to the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC).

To qualify for equivalence at the HSS level, IBCC has given a list of compulsory and elective subjects that must be studied at both O Level, IGCSE and A Level. You will find this at www.ibcc.edu.pk 

GCE O Level

GCSE and IGCSE are considered equivalent to Secondary School Certificate (SSC) subject to meeting the following requirements:
Pakistan based examinations(local exam): Eight subjects including English, Urdu, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies, Mathematics and three electives.


To qualify for Science Group it is necessary to pass Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Computer Studies.

Students who do not qualify for the Science Group will be placed in the General or Humanities Group. Students with a qualification in Computer Studies or ICT in place of Biology will be granted Science Group equivalence but will not be granted equivalence to HSSC (Pre-Medical Group), even if Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects are passed at A Level.

GCE A Levels

GCE O and A Level are considered equivalent to Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) subject to meeting the specified requirements for various groups:

Pre-Medical Group:

Eight O Level subjects (including English, Urdu, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology) and three A Levels (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) with minimum E Grade. 

Pre-Engineering Group:

Eight O Level subjects (including English, Urdu, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology or Computer Science) and three A Level subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) with minimum E Grade.

General Science Group:

Eight O Level subjects and three A Level subjects are required to qualify for the general science group. There are five possible combinations, details are available on the IBCC website, www.ibcc.edu.pk.

Please note that students taking these combinations will not be eligible for admission into Engineering and Medical Colleges.

Humanities Group:

Eight O Level subjects including English with three A Level subjects (not eligible for admission into Engineering and Medical Colleges). Always check the IBCC web site for updates on equivalence www.ibcc.edu.pk

When choosing any post-16 qualification, students should contact university admissions offices to check that the qualifications are recognized and accepted.For more information about the entry requirements of universities outside Pakistan, including the UK, the USA, New Zealand and Canada, please check the CIE recognition database at www.cie.org.uk/recognition


By: Zafar Ali Khan
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Zafar Ali Khan [ZAK] is an O/A level Computer Science Pakistani educator, entrepreneur, and former programmer. He supports a free online education platform www.zakonweb.com to impart O and A level resources. His resources include notes, video lectures, online discussion groups, an artificial intelligence based virtual assistant, upcoming Android and IOS based apps and a website.

ZAK is teaching a wide spectrum of learners, mainly focusing on Computer Science 2210 and 9608. ZAK has a stellar online following, which is evident from his 50,000+ online followers. These exist wherever CIE is offered.

ZAK has taught in many auspicious and renowned institutes throughout Karachi for the past 18 years. His teaching methods coupled with his most innovative digital resources helped students achieve outstanding grades including distinctions in CIE. ZAK is an associate of The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), which is a Parastatal body, working under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources of Mauritius. ZAK's yearly seminars and one-day marathon classes are very famous among the learners.

Before opting for a full-time teaching profession, ZAK has had the privilege of being associated with renowned public and corporate organizations. He has worked in a diversified array of the large local and international corporations both as a part of them and as a consultant. This wide array of organizations commence from Pakistan Army Engineering Corps to the Galileo Emirates, Dubai and The Acutus NY, USA. Industries that ZAK has experienced with, before opting for a teaching profession, are engineering, pharmaceutical, digital video R&D and customer reservation system (CRS). His expertise as application developer, IT administrator, project manager and IT teacher in a wide variety of business applications has always helped him in innovating teaching styles and resources.

ZAK can be reached at:

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