What Is IGCSE?

Many students and parents ask our tutors what is IGCSE? How long does it take to complete IGCSE? What are the subjests and a lot of similar questions. This is when we decided to write up everything about IGCSE in our blog so that the parents and students can easily find out what they need to know. IGCSE is a popular acronym for International General Certificate of Secondary Education, a worldwide international certificate for end of secondary school just before proceeding to pre-university studies or Advanced Level. IGCSE is the equivalent of the UK GSCE, O-Level, fifth form or year 11 in different countries and schools.

The University of Cambridge International Examinations now known as Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) developed IGCSE in 1988. Since 1858, the University of Cambridge has been the Local Examination Board in the UK with IGCSE as a registered trademark. This implies that upon mentioning IGCSE, what comes to mind is the CIE Board’s Cambridge IGCSE.

The examination is rigorous and challenging because the curriculam used is similar to that used in O-Level and not that in UK national curriculums GSCE.


A combination of the Cambridge IGCSE and the Cambridge International A levels are entry requirements that must be met in most universities worldwide, and admission is given to holders of IGCSE Certificate in the UK, Canadian and US colleges. The Cambridge IGCSE is well known and accepted by most state and private universities in Malaysia.

Its popularity extends from homeschoolers to adult students even though students take it within the age range of 14 – 16 years or 15 – 17 years depending on when the student entered primary 1.

What Are The IGCSE Subjects?

What are IGCSE Subjects

The IGCSE offers over 70 subjects. However, the requirement is a minimum of 5 or a maximum of 14 subjects with Mathematics, English, and Sciences as the core subjects. Students can also take other subjects in Arts and Technology (like Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Computer Studies, Art and Design) or in Social Sciences (like Business Studies, Sociology, Economics, and Accounting).

An interesting point to note is that the IGCSE Certificate is awarded with respect to the number of subjects taken. This implies that if 5 subjects are taken, 5 IGCSE Certificates would be awarded. Individual preference, as well as the school, are determinants of the number of subjects taken.

What Is IGCSE Duration?

How many years is IGCSE

Another question that many parents pause to us is: what is IGCSE curriculum duration? In how many years our children can complete it? The answer to this question is that completing the Cambridge IGCSE course usually takes two years with exams taken at the end. These exams are usually conducted in June and November every year and results are released in August and January respectively.

What Is IGCSE Core And Extended Curriculum?

These are two different curricula that help teachers to determine which is most appropriate for their students.

The Core Curriculum for each subject has grades of C to G as the targets for students taking it. Achieving this is made possible because the subjects are within the ability of most students. This is mainly for students who perform below their teacher’s expectation.

The Extended Curriculum, on the other hand, has the supplement in addition to the Core Curriculum, and this is designed for students that are more academically sound. The extended curriculum also facilitates their entry into higher institutions. Grades A* to E are the targets for students taking it.

There are situations where a student would not meet the Core Curriculum Grade G, or the Extended Curriculum Grade E. Such students are usually ungraded (i.e., they are given a grade U)

What Are The Advantages?

  • The Cambridge IGCSE Curriculum is designed to make your child an international citizen of tomorrow. If you are still flummoxed, here are some advantages to help further in your decision making.

  • Learner-Centric Approach: Teaching and learning practices are designed to optimize learning, and as such, the learner is placed at the center of the curriculum. More priority is placed on the individual students’ needs.

  • Inquiry-based Learning: In this program, students are encouraged to investigate, analyze, and develop questions to boost their understanding. The Cambridge IGCSE course uses inquiry, real-life connections, and exploration as learning strategies.

  • Recognition by International Employers: International employers across the globe understand the value of the Cambridge IGCSE as well as the skills that learners are equipped with.

  • A Global Community: Cambridge Learners & Faculty are part of a global network of learners, and as such, resources, tools, and information that aids the learning processes are shared.

  • Rigorous Assessment: Are you after a reliable and trusted assessment system? The Cambridge IGCSE is the answer. The curriculum encourages and promotes conceptual learning that develops a higher order of thinking in students.

What Are The Disadvantages?

It is popularly said that whatever has an advantage must have a disadvantage; this is also the case with the IGCSE program. However, it has a very negligible disadvantage. Several countries do not regard this as a disadvantage. The disadvantage has to do with the level of academic rigor that is expected by the examinations. This may look like a disadvantage, but in the real sense of things, it is to bring the best out of students.

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Our IGCSE tutors are experts, mentors, and role models; they are not only young but bright and successful masters of the curriculum. You can request your IGCSE Tutor in less than 30 seconds. Our tutors have an amazing record of 96.7% A* rate, meaning every 9/10 students score an A*. No registration fee would be charged. Payment would be made for only hours of study. Your timetable is sent to you upon enrollment, and you are free to study at your convenience with a dedicated personal tutor that is always available to answer your questions.

You can also join our free trial classes from the comfort of your home. So what are you waiting for? Join today!

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