How to Transition from Pakistani Board System to GCE

October 17, 2020 | Boards of Education | 0 comments

There are two major educational systems in Pakistan for high school students. One is the local Pakistani Board system, known as BISE, while the other is the Cambridge Education System known as the GCE. 


Before entering the 9th class, students often make the decision to either pursue the local Pakistani education system with the matric and intermediate exams or to opt for the Cambridge Education System with the GCE O Levels and A Levels final exams. 


However, in some cases, students make the decision to switch midway. For example, a student may complete their matric exams in the local Federal Board education system, and then decide to switch to GCE A Levels for their 11th and 12th class final exams. 


This is not an uncommon occurrence. However, it can often be confusing and difficult to smoothly transition from the local board to the GCE examination system. To make the process easy for you, here are tips to help you effectively transition from Pakistani BISE to GCE educational boards. 


Understand Education System

In the local intermediate final exams, students undergo exam preparation and appear for final exams in 8 subjects, 5 of which are compulsory and 3 of which are elective subjects. However, the system is different in GCE. For A-Levels, students often study for only 3 subjects but may take 4 if desired. These 3 subjects are taken in accordance with the career path that students desire. For example, a student who would like to become an engineer may choose physics, chemistry, and mathematics in their A-Levels.

Obtain the Syllabus

While the subjects may be the same, the syllabus often differs between the Cambridge Education System and the local BISE system. Therefore, it is important to obtain the updated and correct GCE A-Levels syllabus for each subject. This way, students will have a clear understanding of the topics and chapters that will be included in the final exam.

Conceptual Learning

The GCE education system is designed to prepare students for practical applications of each subject, therefore it assesses the conceptual learning on the final exams. In simple words, it does not award marks for rote memorization in its final examinations. Instead, it assesses the level of conceptual understanding of the student. This can be difficult for BISE students, as they are encouraged to memorize information for the final exams.


Therefore, in order to score well on the physics final exam, you must take the time to conceptually learn each chapter. There are a variety of exam preparation tools that can be used to boost conceptual understanding, such as lecture videos, book notes, and solved past papers,

Solved Past Papers

The questions that appear on the A-Levels final exams are conceptual and require the application of concepts. This is a change from the questions that appear on the Pakistani education board’s final exams. Therefore, students will be required to prepare for the A-Levels of final exams by learning how to attempt application-based questions.


For this, you will need to practice from the solved past papers. Obtain the previous five-year solved past papers for all subjects and practice solving the questions. Also, consult the past papers solutions in order to learn the correct pattern and format for attempting questions on the final exams in GCE.


Make New Friends!

Finally, the best way to effectively transition from the Pakistani Board System to the GCE system is by making new friends! Good friends can help you learn the ins and outs of the Cambridge Education system. Moreover, they can help you with exam preparation and provide moral support while you navigate your way through the new educational board.


By following these steps, you should be able to smoothly transition into the GCE education system with no difficulty! Remember to study well, prepare from the solved past papers, and make good friends that can help make the transition easier. For more study tips and effective exam preparation resources, be sure to check out for success on your GCE final exams!

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