When making your entries (and any resit entries), it’s essential you plan carefully, taking the entry and certification rules into consideration.
You will need to check unit combinations are valid using the entry codes booklet and resit rules will not be broken.
All current Cambridge National qualifications (from September 2022) require students to complete three units:
You must make an entry for each of these units in the series they are taken, in January or June. See making entries.
You must make a certification entry in the final series, sometimes referred to as ‘cashing-in’. The certification entry acts as a term-time checkpoint and lets OCR know the candidate needs an overall qualification result in that series to be able to progress.
If the certification entry is not made before results are issued, centres may use the post-results late certification process.
A terminal assessment rule or terminal rule applies to the examined unit for all Cambridge Nationals for first teaching September 2022.
Take a look at our terminal rule guide for examples of how the terminal rule works for Cambridge Nationals. If your scenario is not included and you would like some advice, please contact us.
If a candidate takes the exam before their final assessment series, this will not contribute to their final qualification grade and will be considered as a ‘practice’ attempt. The candidate must take the exam again in their final assessment series and that exam result will be used towards the final qualification grade.
We will still accept the entry and mark the exam. However, it’s important candidates understand it will only count as a ‘practice’ attempt.
The following resit rules apply to all current qualifications:
The result achieved in the exam taken in the final series will be used towards the final grade, even if the result is lower than a previous attempt. The ‘best result of the last two attempts’ does not apply for these qualifications.
There are no resit rules for the non-examined assessment (NEA) units. However, please note the following:
A candidate can have as many attempts at a qualification as they wish.
The first overall certification is used for performance tables – see Early entry and discounting below.
When retaking the qualification, the candidate must meet the terminal rule again by taking the exam. Candidates cannot retake a non-examined assessment (NEA) unit and certificate again without resitting the exam.
Candidates can retake a qualification by:
For examples, please see page 6 of our terminal rule guide.
The early entry rule is applied to qualifications that count towards key stage 4 performance tables. It helps define which qualification will count when two qualifications which discount each other are taken by a candidate or where the same qualification is taken more than once by a candidate. For Cambridge Nationals the early entry date is the date we award the full qualification. Cambridge Nationals full qualifications can be claimed in a January or June series. Awarding takes place shortly after the series:
For Cambridge Nationals, it is the grade from the examination taken in the final series and the best grade of all non-examined assessment (NEA) units taken (including any permitted resubmissions) that counts towards the final grade.
For all Cambridge Nationals, it is the date of the award of the first overall certification result that is reported to the DfE and used for the performance tables.
Full details of the discounting rules, the list of key stage 4 discount codes and the early entry guidance for schools can be found on the DfE website.
Our legacy Cambridge National qualifications have now been withdrawn.
A resit opportunity for the examined unit only is available in the January 2024 series.
If candidates are resitting a legacy examined unit in January 2024, a certification entry must also be made in this series. This is the final opportunity to request certification.
The legacy qualifications have resit rules which are detailed below:
When considering these rules, please be aware January 2024 is the final series, available for examination resits only.
The legacy qualifications have rules for retaking a qualification.
When considering these rules, please be aware January 2024 is the final series.
When considering these rules, please be aware January 2024 is the final series for legacy qualifications.
For legacy Cambridge Nationals, candidates may certificate for the Award and Certificate concurrently, or they may certificate for a qualification of one size and later certificate for a larger qualification, with the units used towards the first qualification being reused towards the subsequent qualification(s).
For current Cambridge Nationals, there is only one size qualification (the same size as the legacy Certificate qualification).