Battle Royale: Cambridge vs. HSC
Not long ago my peers were plagued by this issue. Local Universities have a quota based system that hinders the admission of students that belong to a foreign board of examination such as Cambridge or IB. Fair or not, out of 2005 seats only 93 seats were allocated to Cambridge and 1462 are reserved for HSC (NED university prospectus 2016). To overcome the situation it is highly recommended to take the local board examinations as it increases your chances of getting into local universities and with relative ease.
Another advantage in favor of students from local boards is when equivalency certificates are issued the percentages are lowered on purpose which affects the students who have scored all B’s or less because the eligibility to get into universities is 60%. Equivalency has a similar effect on engineering students as they are placed lower in the merit list and rarely get the chance to get into a discipline of their interest. All A’s in O’levels does not guarantee all A’s in A’levels due to the strict and lengthy curriculum. Multitudes of brilliant students have had their dreams shattered when they realized that due to equivalency they are no longer eligible to apply in any reputable university as their equivalent percentage falls below 60%.
Yet another pro in favor of local boards is the expense. Today students have to invest approximately 1 million Rupees to get through their A’levels program as opposed to just Rs.150000-200000 for the local counterpart. The difference can easily pay for at least a semester of med school and probably the complete undergrad program of engineering.
It does not really matter which high school or local board of examination you appeared for because nobody cares which high school you attended once you enter your professional career. Hence for kids who have appeared for O’levels and have not been able to score well and those who want to increase their chances of getting into med and eng. school multi-folds, it is highly recommended that you take the HSC 1st and 2nd year exams instead of Cambridge A’levels.