WHAT IS IGCSE?
Cambridge IGCSE (The International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide, and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 25 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide.
IGCSE is an academically rigorous, internationally used, specialized, English language curriculum which is offered to students to prepare them for International Baccalaureate and CIE A-level (which is recommended for higher tier students). It is based on the GCE O-Level and is recognised as being equivalent to the GCSE. The IGCSE was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations in 1985. The examination board Edexcel offers its own version, the Edexcel International GCSE. The term "IGCSE" is the registered trade mark of the University of Cambridge and is used under licence. Recently, Edexcel have renamed their IGCSE as the Edexcel International GCSE.
The IGCSE is an international alternative to many popular national curricula. However, unlike many school-leaving qualifications in many countries, the IGCSE is not a group award or "certificate of education". It is a qualification based on individual subjects of study, which means that one receives an "IGCSE" qualification for each subject one takes. For this reason, schools worldwide have different expectations about how many IGCSEs students should take. Typical "core" curricula for IGCSE candidates include a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and one or more subjects in the Sciences. IGCSE candidates then choose a number of additional courses ranging from Social Sciences to Creative Arts.
The IGCSE is predominantly exam-based, meaning they are not actual certified "courses", but rather exams that test knowledge in individual subjects in the same way as Advanced Placement exams and SAT Subject Tests. For this reason, it is also a viable option for many home-schooling educators or in Adult education, when one is seeking a qualification but has no time to attend full-time school classes. The IGCSE prepares students for further academic study, including progression to AS Level and A Level study, Cambridge Pre-U, IB Diploma Programme and other equivalents. It is recognised by academic institutions and employers around the world and is considered by many institutions as equivalent to the standard GCSE.
Cambridge IGCSE provides a broad and flexible study program and covers subjects from a variety of areas: Languages, Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Creative, Technical and Vocational. Most IGCSE subjects offer a choice of tiered examinations: Core or Extended papers (in Cambridge), and Foundation or Higher papers (in Edexcel). This is designed to make IGCSE suitable for students with varying levels of ability. In some subjects, IGCSE can be taken with or without coursework. Cambridge IGCSE allows teaching to be placed in a localized context, making it relevant in different regions. It is intended to be suitable for students whose first language may not be English and this is acknowledged throughout the examination process.
features of the IGCSE Curriculum
- The development of oral, aural, written and practical skills in a range of subjects.
- An investigative approach.
- The use of initiative to solve problems.
- The application of skills, knowledge and understanding.
- The ability to undertake individual projects, and to work as part of a team.
- The IGCSE aims to provide a valuable educational experience for all students, and to reward them for positive
- Achievement – what they know, understand and can do -rather than penalise them for what they do not know or get wrong.
IGCSE subjects include:
- Art and Design
- Business Studies