The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE ) is an internationally recognized qualification for school students, typically in the 14–16 age group
The IGCSE is an international alternative to many popular national curricula. However, unlike many school-leaving qualifications, the IGCSE is not a group award or “certificate of education” as in many countries. It is a qualification based on individual subjects of study, meaning one receives an “IGCSE” qualification for each subject one takes. For this reason, schools worldwide have different expectations for their students as to how many IGCSEs should be taken. Typical “core” curricula for IGCSE candidates include a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and the Sciences. IGCSE candidates then choose a number of additional courses ranging from Social Sciences to Creative Arts.
Its academic worth is comparable to many Secondary School curricula worldwide. 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 examination: 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.
The IGCSE is graded on an 8-point scale from A* to G with a 9th grade “U” signifying “Ungraded”. International schools around the world normally allow students to study anywhere from 5 to 14 IGCSE subjects. Cambridge IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:
- Subject content
- Applying knowledge and understanding to familiar and new situations
- Intellectual enquiry
- Flexibility and responsiveness to change
- Working and communicating in English
- Influencing outcomes
- Cultural awareness
To read more about IGCSE and various subjects, kindly visit www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/middlesec/igcse