What is the IGCSE curriculum?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is based on the British curriculum (GCSE) but it is adapted more to the internationally-focused student-body. This curriculum is mainly examination-based and is assessed through the examination board chosen by the school. The most well-known are the Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel. It offers over 70 subjects which also includes 30 languages as the IGCSE Curriculum aims to be as inclusive as possible to students from a wide range and variety of linguistic backgrounds. It also enables students to continue studying in their own language. 


The IGCSE Curriculum is developed by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) where it is the world’s most popular international qualification choice for students aged 14 to 16-years-olds. This curriculum is taken by students in over 140 countries around the world and over 2,500 schools in the UK are now teaching the IGCSE as it continues to gain more popularity and enrolments.


What are the benefits of the IGCSE?

When choosing universities, most of the international universities would prefer students who have at least one IGCSE Certification. With the problem-solving skills, time management skills, practical and oral skills, initiative and application of skills, knowledge, and understanding, this checks off the assessment techniques that the international universities are looking for. Moreover, the IGCSE Curriculum also gives an international perspective to studies and it is compelling as well. It is more like a leap from State level to an International level as the State board is more traditionally rote learning whereas for the IGCSE Curriculum, is it more to application-oriented learning.


How many subjects are students allowed to take?

The IGCSE Curriculum allows students to take a minimum of five subjects and a maximum of 14 subjects with its “core” curriculum to consist of a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics, and one or more subjects in the area of science. The IGCSE Curriculum core subjects are English, Mathematics, and Sciences. Moreover, students can also choose to study other subjects ranging from Social Science to Arts and Technology. For schools, the IGCSE Curriculum also proves to be very flexible and comes with excellent resources and training. For each subject, one IGCSE Certification will be awarded. For instance, if a student takes up five subjects, five certifications will be awarded. However, the number of subjects needed to be taken may vary from school to school. 


How is it different from the GCSE?

As some might be curious about how different the IGCSE Curriculum is from the GCSE, the main difference between these two is that the IGCSE Curriculum sets the curriculum in a more international context. For instance, when students take up Geography GCSE, it will practise map skills that are based on the UK maps, whereas, in the IGCSE Curriculum, it could be based in another country. Moreover, the IGCSE Curriculum also offers a wider range of subjects compared to GCSE, particularly on languages, as the IGCSE Curriculum aims to be as flexible as possible to different contexts.


Another difference between these two is that the GCSE has a compulsory practical coursework component which features in the final examination. However, in the IGCSE Curriculum, this coursework component is optional as it is designed to accommodate the fact that in some countries or contexts there might be complications in performing lab experiments or taking fieldwork excursions. Not only that, in the IGCSE Curriculum, students sometimes get to cover more topics, depending on the subjects. For instance, in Mathematics, integration and sets; two quite in-depth and conceptually demanding topics are added. This will lead many to believe that the IGCSE Curriculum is more challenging than the GCSE, which is not necessarily the case.


Why choose IGCSE Curriculum?

With its application-based and more practical programmes, the IGCSE Curriculum helps students to prepare themselves for admission to international universities. The IGCSE Curriculum is designed to support both teachers and students whereas the assessment in Cambridge has been determined to create a framework to support them. Students from alternative education and adult students are also allowed to sit for the examination. Moreover, there are also Cambridge schools that allow private students to sit for the IGCSE examination.


Not only that, but the IGCSE Curriculum is also flexible and easy to adapt as this programme is designed to encourage students to come up with fresh new ideas and resources. As the teachers provide the foundation of the syllabus, students are expected to analyse the subject matter to develop a better understanding. This will also teach the students to become more independent with minimal supervision as the IGCSE Curriculum does not promote rote learning. Hence, the IGCSE Curriculum is ideal for students as they do not need to sit with a stack of notes to memorise. It is also for students who are keen on planning to relocate and pursue higher education in foreign countries.