What is IGCSE?
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is one of the most recognised
qualifications around the world. IGCSE courses are renowned for developing vital educational skills,
including recall of knowledge, oral skills, problem solving, initiative, team work and investigative
skills. The resulting qualification provides a foundation for higher level courses, such as A and AS
Levels, the Advanced International Certificate of Education, the North American Advanced
Placement programme and the International Baccalaureate. IGCSE caters for different levels of
ability with a choice between core and extended papers in many subjects. The core curriculum is
based on an overview of the subject and is suitable for students expected to achieve grades C to G.
The extended curriculum is more challenging and designed for students who are expected to achieve
grades A* to C. Grades achieved through either route have the same value.
IGCSE offers a flexible course of study that gives candidates the freedom to choose subjects that are
right for them, whilst providing them with a broad knowledge base and lifelong skills. Where is IGCSE
accepted and recognised? IGCSE is a high profile qualification. It has exactly the same value in
admitting students to institutes of further education and employment as the UK equivalent – GCSE.
• IGCSE is comparable with GCE O Level and the UK GCSE
• IGCSE has an excellent reputation amongst international schools worldwide
• IGCSEs are recognised as a reliable record of attainment which counts towards entry to
universities and colleges around the world
• A good grade (i.e. C or above) in IGCSE English as a Second Language is accepted for entry by
almost all universities in the UK and many in the USA, Canada and Australia as evidence of adequate
competence in the English language.
Who can take IGCSE?
IGCSE is designed to be taught as a two year course for students aged 14 to 17 years. In some
countries IGCSE courses last just one year and there are no formal age regulations. In most subjects
there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making IGCSE suitable for a wide range of
abilities. Students can enter for the level that is most appropriate for them and this need not be the
same across all subjects.
How is IGCSE taught?
At school, students are encouraged to study a wide range of subjects at IGCSE level, at the same
time. In order to follow a broad and balanced curriculum, many students take courses from each of
the IGCSE groups (see subjects listed overleaf), particularly if they’re aiming to go on to further
education. This can lead to the award of the International Certificate of Education – an additional
qualification that recognises students who pass exams in seven or more subjects, including two
languages and one subject from each of the other groups. However it is also possible to study a free
choice of IGCSE subjects. The syllabus is set by Cambridge, but the exact way it is taught will depend
on your school or college. The course differs for each subject, but throughout there will be a mix of
assessment methods, including coursework, practical exercises, oral and listening tests, projects and
written examinations. Examination Information IGCSE courses usually take two years to complete
and exams are taken at the end of that period. Examinations are held in June and November each
year with results issued in August and February respectively. Students must enter for IGCSE through
a registered CIE Centre.
Why choose Cambridge?
Cambridge International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of international education
programmes and qualifications for learners aged 5 to 19. We are part of Cambridge Assessment, a
department of the University of Cambridge, trusted for excellence in education. Our qualifications
are recognised by the world’s universities and employers. Cambridge IGCSE® (International General
Certificate of Secondary Education) is internationally recognised by schools, universities and
employers as equivalent in demand to UK GCSEs.
Why choose Cambridge IGCSE?
Cambridge IGCSEs are international in outlook, but retain a local relevance. The syllabuses provide
opportunities for contextualised learning and the content has been created to suit a wide variety of
schools, avoid cultural bias and develop essential lifelong skills, including creative thinking and
problem-solving. Our aim is to balance knowledge, understanding and skills in our programmes and
qualifications to enable candidates to become effective learners and to provide a solid foundation
for their continuing educational journey.
Cambridge IGCSEs are considered to be an excellent preparation for Cambridge International AS and
A Levels, the Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) Group Award,
Cambridge Pre-U, and other education programmes, such as the US Advanced Placement program
and the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme.