For performance measurement
To assess the candidates` learning performance and award nationally and internationally recognised certificates at different levels of the school education system, while optimally utilizing the Human and Material resources available to it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I do if I lose my O/A-Level certificate?
- One has to apply for Confirmation of results that goes to the prospective employer or institution of study.
- One can also apply for a Certifying statement of results .This is an official document issued by Zimsec which shows the grades obtained by a student in a given examination session. Certifying statements will be accepted by educational institutions and places of employment as a legitimate record of results.
If I have two or more certificates from different sittings, is it possible for them to be combined into one certificate?
- NO. Each examination sitting has its own certificate and ZIMSEC does not combine certificates from different sittings.
2. Are ZIMSEC Certificates recognized internationally?
- Yes. ZIMSEC certificates are well accepted in Africa and beyond. The demand for ZIMSEC certified O and A-Level candidates is very high in all English speaking countries, e.g. South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. At an average, ZIMSEC gives some 20 results confirmation statements every week to various institutions in Zimbabwe, Africa and the rest of the world.
- Currently, Zimbabwe is ranked number 4 on the list of countries with the most preferred secondary school leaving candidates for enrolment into American universities.
3. Is ZIMSEC able to maintain the standard of examinations as it was with Cambridge?
- Yes. ZIMSEC has maintained and will definitely continue to maintain standards and be a leader in quality assessment in Africa and beyond. To achieve and maintain the standards, ZIMSEC has highly skilled professionals in various subject disciplines that it examines.
- People talk as if Cambridge ever came to run the actual examinations in Zimbabwe at any one time. The truth of the matter is that the Examinations Branch, which was a department of the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, administered all examinations on behalf of Cambridge. It is the same organisation which has been transformed into a parastatal, known as ZIMSEC, which is still running the examinations which are now localized; but not being set by and sent from Cambridge.
- ZIMSEC recruits potential examiners with Degrees/Diplomas in relevant areas plus a minimum of two years teaching experience. For potential examiners with Diplomas, five years experience in teaching is required. Errant Examiners are automatically excluded from the examination system.
- To date, ZIMSEC is a member of the Sothern African Association of Educational Assessment (SAAEA), the Association of Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA), the International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) and bench marked with the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) which monitors examination boards such as Cambridge, among others.
4. What is ZIMSEC doing to improve its Corporate Image?
- ZIMSEC participates in all academic exhibitions and provincial/national agricultural shows.
- It publishes, from time to time, information about the functions of ZIMSEC in the local press and electronic media.
- It participates in radio programmes, where it informs the public about ZIMSEC's functions.
- ZIMSEC has an information website which can be accessed through the following website address: www.zimsec.co.zw
- It helps candidates by producing past examination question and answer booklets at Grade 7, O & A-Levels.
5. What security measures are in place at ZIMSEC to protect our national examinations?
- All ZIMSEC examination question papers are protected by stringent security measures at all points of production, distribution, storage and at all transit points.
- Examination question papers are always guarded at cluster distribution centres and during distribution by state security and ZIMSEC security details.
- The ZIMSEC fleet and courier services that provide question paper transport services for ZIMSEC are on satellite tracking.
- Question papers are packed using double packaging tamper-evident packaging materials and boxed in robust boxing materials, which are further secured with our security seal or tape and strapped for added security.
- The Council delivers examination question papers a few days before the start of the examination to ensure that question papers are not exposed or left vulnerable at centres for long periods before the examination.
- The Council conducts spot checks on centres.
- Marking centres are also guarded by police details and no examiner is allowed to take home scripts and question papers for marking.
6. What are ZIMSEC's future developmental plans?
- Establishment of own printing press.
- Acquisition of better operating premises both at Head Office and in the provinces.
- Introduction of School Based Assessment and Ethno based assessment strategies.
8. What are the causes for the delay in releasing examination results?
- The process of registering candidates is delayed owing to failure by Government to announce examination fees timeously.
- ZIMSEC experiences examination processing problems because equipment has outlived serviceable lifespan.
- Examination programmes are delayed due to lack of adequate funds.
9. Is ZIMSEC getting enough funding for its activities?
- ZIMSEC has not been allowed to charge economic fees since its inception.
- Government made an undertaking to fund the deficit especially the Grade Seven Examination and Capital Budget.
- If Government coffers are dry, then ZIMSEC's activities are negatively affected.
- Government needs to recapitalize ZIMSEC so that it operates efficiently and effectively.
10. What is the relevance of the June examinations and why does ZIMSEC continue to offer the examinations?
- It gives candidates the opportunity to offload some subjects before the main examination session in November.
- Some candidates cannot sit for their examinations in October/November due to work commitments.
- For some candidates, it is a trial session which gives a foretaste of the bigger event in October/November.
- ZIMSEC is also there to meet the demands of its clients, so, for as long as there are candidates who wish to sit for these examinations, ZIMSEC will ensure that they sit for the examinations.
- It would be misconstrued as failure if ZIMSEC discontinued what was offered by Cambridge.ZIMSEC,therefore wishes to carry on with this inherited tradition of the June Examination.
- The June examinations also enable candidates to enter higher institutions that open in September each year.
11. What is the cause for candidates to have missing results?
- Wrong shading of subject code by candidates during registration, e.g. instead of a candidate shading the code 4008 he/she shades 4028.
- Light shading on multiple choice answer sheets that are not personalized.
- Writing or shading wrong candidate number that does not match the candidate's name.
- Wrong labelling on scripts envelopes from examination centres.
12. Is it possible for a candidate to receive results for a subject which he/she did not write?
- A candidate cannot receive results for a subject which he/she did not write.
13.Why is it that during the marking of scripts, markers always threaten to boycott marking for lack of payment, why can't ZIMSEC secure the necessary funds in time?
- ZIMSEC used to rely largely on Government for funding, so ZIMSEC cannot dictate to Government to give it money which will not be there. It is normal for Government not to have money when ZIMSEC needs it, even if Government is aware of ZIMSEC's request. Currently, the government is faced with the enormous challenge of providing funding for all its programs.
However, this problem has virtually been eliminated with the introduction of the multicurrency system which allows ZIMSEC to collect examination fees in US$s.