The coronavirus epidemic has created economic anxiety not just among workers, labourers and business owners – it has also dramatically changed the lives of students across the world. Most impacted are students who were in line to give board examinations; these unfortunate youngsters were at risk of losing a whole year of their academic lives.

Students studying through the Cambridge Assessment International Examination (CAIE) system have been particularly affected since their exams were scheduled to be held during the months of May and June. The lockdown now makes it impossible for people to assemble in an examination hall. CAIE’s announcement that it would cancel all examinations in May/June and allocate grades based on predicted assessments had caused much dismay. Not only did it disrupt plans for students who had taken private tuition in order to improve their grades for the final exam, but also abandoned private students, not registered through any school.

Luckily, the body has announced measures to ensure that students’ academic progress is not hindered and they can move forward with their future study and career plans. They have made it easier for schools to register their students to sit in the October/November 2020 exams and extended the list of subjects one can give so that students can have many options.

While this arrangement is still not ideal and the batch of 2020 is certainly more unfortunate than others, these small compensatory measures need to be taken to ensure that this year’s results should not be seen in light of just missed examinations. The lives and progression of students cannot be put to a halt. The epidemic has caused us all to revisit our plans and adjust accordingly. The only focus now should be on combatting this epidemic so that examinations in October/November also do not have to be postponed. Perhaps students can make good use of this delay by focusing their efforts towards better preparation.