What is equivalence and how is it calculated?


What is the equivalence?

Everyone who has taken CIE or Edexcel or any other foreign board exam in a country like Pakistan or India know that there are no marks in this international system, rather only grades.  While the Pakistani education system is based on Matric and FSc scores; matric scores are numerical values, calculated out of 900, and FSc scores are numerical values calculated out of 1100, over here there are no grades.  But all undergraduate/bachelor programs in most colleges and universities require, in one way or another, a conversion of your O/A Level grades into these numbers. So how are your grades from the British educational system translated into Matric/FSc marks?  The answer is simple: equivalence.
After you complete your A Level, you will be going to the IBCC (Inter Board Committee of Chairmen) board office for having equivalence certificate made, which is basically the conversion of your grades to marks of Matric and FSc, so your results can be assessed as per the local educational system. All of your grades are converted as follows:
F (before June 2010)
G (before June 2010)
Marks (outof 100)

So even if you achieve the highest grade you can achieve, the glorious A* (which we all know is no piece of cake), in both of your O and A Levels, the maximum percentage you will achieve will be no higher than 90%. That might sound like a lot, but there are Matric/FSc Students who easily get beyond 95%! It sure is unfair when we consider all the hard work we put into achieving our grades, but there’s no way you can avoid it if you want to study in Pakistan.

How is the equivalence calculated?

Now, coming towards the conversion itself, if you’re a local Pakistani student, eight O Level subjects will be counted. Of these eight, the five compulsory subjects are English Language, Urdu (doesn’t matter if it’s First Language Urdu or Second Language Urdu), Mathematics, Pakistan Studies, and Islamiyat. The other three are elective subjects you choose depending on which category you fall in, for example, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry for pre-medical students. At A Level, three subjects are counted, which are, again, outlined in different categories, for example, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry for pre-engineering students.
The Matric marks are calculated simply by adding up all of the eight O Level subjects’ equivalent marks, dividing the sum by eight hundred, and then multiplying the answer by nine hundred to render it out of nine hundred. For example, if a student gets 4 A*s, 3 Bs, and 1 C, the total of all of these will be:
(4 x 90) + (3 x 75) + (1 x 65) = 650
Upon dividing 650 by 800, we get 0.8125, which, when multiplied by 900, gives the equivalence for Matric as: 0.8125 x 900 = 731.25 marks out of 900.
The FSc marks are calculated in a more straightforward fashion. All they do is add up your eight O Level subjects’ marks and add to them your three A Level subjects’ marks. The answer will be your FSc marks out of 1100. For example, if the same student continues to get 2 As and 1 B at A Level, his/her FSc marks are:
[(4 x 90) + (3 x 75) + (1 x 65)] + [(2 x 80) + (1 x 75)] = 885 marks out of 1100.
If you read this carefully, you would have noticed that your equivalence majorly depends on your O Level grades. Not only are your Matric marks, obviously, calculated by your O Level grades, but even in the calculation of your FSc marks, your O Level grades take up 8/11 of the final marks. This is a significant point, the importance of which will become clearer later.
More details about the entire ordeal of equivalence can be found at http://ibcc.edu.pk/equivalence-detail.php.

Different universities and colleges for different programs in Pakistan use the equivalence in the calculation of your aggregate differently. However, all of them do take this into consideration as it is a useful means of assessing where you stand with reference to the enormous pool of Matric/FSc students that will be applying alongside you.


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