What is IGCSE?
IGCSE is the abbreviation of International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is world most popular international certification for end of secondary school (also known as O-Level or fifth form or year 11 in respective countries and schools), before one proceeds to Advanced Level (A-Level or sixth form or year 12&13) or pre-university studies.
IGCSE was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations (in short CIE) in 1988. University of Cambridge has been the UK local examination board since 1858. The term “IGCSE” is a registered trademark of University of Cambridge. Generally, when one mentions IGCSE, it is understood as the Cambridge IGCSE from the CIE board.
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IGCSE is currently being offered in private international schools and independent schools in over 120 countries. IGCSE certificate is being recognized by all major universities and colleges. It also satisfies the entry requirement of institutions and universities in many countries. Therefore, students may enter university after finishing IGCSE. Nevertheless, majority of them still prefer to continue to A-Level.
IGCSE is also popular among home schoolers, and adult students. Though IGCSE is being taken by students typically in the age group 14-16 (or 15-17 depending on primary 1 entry age), it also allows students from alternative education and adult students to sit for the exam and continue personal education advancement.
IGCSE offers more than 70 subjects. Students are required to take a minimum of 5 or maximum of 14 subjects. The core subjects are First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and Sciences (Physics, Biology, and Chemistry). Students can also choose other subjects ranging from Social Sciences (commonly Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Sociology) to Arts & Technology (commonly Computer Studies, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Art & Design).
Student is awarded with one IGCSE certificate on each subject. If you take 5 subjects, you will be awarded 5 IGCSE certificates. The number of subjects need to be taken is varied from school to school, and also depends upon individual preference.