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A Comprehensive Guide to IGCSE Board

19th June, 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to IGCSE Board: Let Your Child Fly High With an International Learning Concept

The concept of international education in India has firmly set its foot. This approach has been widely accepted and favoured throughout the country by education authorities and parents alike, due to its focus towards developing global skills and competencies. And the concept is now here to stay, keeping in mind the increasing demand for globalization and the world connecting at a rapid pace.

An International Curriculum Is The Need Of The Hour

In India too, as soon as children begin schooling, their parents want them to have an educational foundation that includes robust learning which an international curriculum offers. These curricula have evolved over the decades and have their own strengths.

In present India, there exist many flourished international schools in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi which aim inclusiveness and a broad spectrum of knowledge-sharing to its learners.

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is one such content-rich programme created to prepare students for further studies no matter where they are located across the world. 

The IGCSE curriculum is unique in many ways – with its flexibility of subject choice, real-life learning, practical correlation of subjects and objectivity. Students wanting to pursue higher education in both India and abroad can benefit from this kind of learning experience. 

Today, we are going to explore precisely what the IGCSE is and how it can contribute to a child’s growth and development.

What is IGCSE Board?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an international curriculum designed to encourage high academic standards. Run by the Cambridge International Examination, the programme has a comprehensive curriculum made to meet global needs with an assessment system approach. 

It consists of a two-year syllabus finishing with an external examination at the end of class X. The curriculum offers students an excellent opportunity to prepare for post-secondary education anywhere in the world. The acquired knowledge and skill facilitate them to become efficient global citizens. 

IGCSE provides an excellent platform for students who are willing to enter universities in India, US, UK or anywhere else. The subjects offered cater well to academic, creative and vocational areas. 

The content structure of the syllabus is approved by the UK Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). Ensuring quality education, the students are encouraged to become competent and independent learners. 

  A few essential facts about the IGCSE Board:

  • The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a globally acknowledged board/qualification. It is similar to the Class 10 examinations of the CBSE and ICSE boards.
  •  IGCSE is a world popular international qualification for 14 – 16-year olds. 
  • IGCSE is a two-year programme, spread over Class 9 and 10, leading to the final examinations every year in May and November.
  •  Cambridge IGCSE is recognized overseas as equivalent to UK GCSE qualifications. It leads straight to A/AS Levels or employment. It is also available within national education systems in many countries. 
  • IGCSE board curriculum is taken in more than 100 countries worldwide.
  • IGCSE is recognized by CBSE, ICSE and other State Education Boards in India as a qualification for entry to class XI or other higher secondary education courses. 
  • The IGCSE curriculum evolves and brings in local economies and cultures within a global context.

Benefits of Making Your Child Study in the IGCSE Board

In terms of content knowledge, the IGCSE board lays an excellent foundation. 

  • The IGCSE curriculum develops vital educational skills, problem-solving, recall of knowledge, and initiative.
  • The IGCSE programme has a global status and credibility. The board is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) for being equivalent to CBSE, ICSE boards.
  • The IGCSE curriculum is balanced and gives an international perspective to studies.
  • Students can take advantage of the Cambridge Checkpoint, an assessment that pinpoints students’ strengths and weaknesses in major curriculum areas.

IGCSE Syllabus Details:

  • Primary Curriculum

The Cambridge IGCSE Primary Curriculum is for learners within the age group of 5 to 11 years.

The program gives an understanding of English, Maths & Science. The structure of the program is entirely need-based, and the feedback provided throughout the program is comprehensive. 

 Though assessments are entirely optional, teachers recommend to take Cambridge Primary Progression Tests, conducted internally by the school.

  • Secondary 1 Curriculum

The Cambridge Secondary 1 Curriculum is for learners of 11 – 14 years.

Secondary 1 Curriculum tries to develop skills and knowledge in English, Mathematics & Science for the first three years of secondary education. The curriculum is need-based and can be customized for studies in English or English as a second language.

  • Secondary 2 Curriculum

IGCSE Secondary 2 Curriculum is meant for students of 14 – 16 olds ( Class IX & X ) and offers two programs of learning. Students have an option of studying for the Cambridge IGCSE Certificate or the Cambridge O levels.

Cambridge IGCSE certificate:

There are more than 70 subjects under Cambridge IGCSE certificate, including 30 languages. Different schools can offer these subjects in any combination. 

The focus of the IGCSE is to offer a broad range of choices to students, including those whose first language is not English.

The curriculum allows students to take a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 subjects. The IGCSE core subjects consist of English, Mathematics and Science. Furthermore, students can also choose to study other subjects ranging from Social Sciences to Arts & Technology. 

Though the IGCSE syllabus is designed with a global outlook, it tries to retain a local relevance in each region it thrives.

You can get the details of IGCSE syllabus and subjects here.

IGCSE Extended

Cambridge board curriculum offers the option of taking the core or the extended curriculum. While the core curriculum is within the ability range of a majority of students, the extended curriculum covers additional concepts and goes more in detail. 

IGCSE Assessment System

A variety of assessment methods are used, suitable to the various subjects, such as oral and listening tests, practical and course-work. These contribute 30-50% of the final grade in all subjects, in addition to written examinations.

An external written examination takes place at the end of class X. In grade IX, students go through an internal examination in the same pattern as Cambridge. Most of the subjects have 2 to 3 papers but might differ for students who choose core and extended. Some subjects may have papers, including objective-type questions. 

Cambridge conducts IGCSE examination twice a year, in May and in November. Results are declared in August and January.

Students are awarded grades that are benchmarked using eight globally recognized grades ( from A* to G). Each grade has a clear set of guidelines to explain the standard of achievement.

Tips To Prepare Your Child For IGCSE Board Exam

The IGCSE Examinations prepares school students for life, helping them develop curiosity and a never-ending quest for learning. 

Nevertheless, even the IGCSE examinations can be stressful for the students just like any other board exams. Here, you as parents can come to their rescue. Let us see how.

  • Make a proper schedule for your child, balancing study and leisure.
  • Pay adequate attention to their nutrition and sleep.
  • At times, your child might feel demotivated or overwhelmed. Talk to them, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in finding a solution.
  • Help your child prepare a subject-wise study time table.
  • If your child needs any study support, help them.
  • Do not let them get influenced by any peer pressure. 

A Ticket To Connect Better With The World

Making your child study in one of the best IGCSE schools acts as a passport to the best international universities in the world.

If you plan to send your kids abroad and want them to apply to the best colleges, the IGCSE curriculum will equip them with the necessary skill set required for an international university. 

India’s metro cities have some of the reputed international schools. If you are looking for the best IGCSE schools in Bangalore for your kids, then you may safely consider Asia Pacific World School.



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