IGCSE curriculum– IGCSE stands for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education, developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations. IGCSE course is a two-year programme designed for candidates aged 14 to 16 years, starting at the Class 9 level. Students taking IGCSE examinations will be gaining a qualification that is recognized globally.
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. One receives an “IGCSE” qualification for each subject one takes.
There are five subject groups under the IGCSE curriculum–
Group 1: Languages (First Language, Second Language, Foreign Language, etc)
Group 2: Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography, English Literature, History, etc)
Group 3: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc)
Group 4: Mathematics (Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, etc)
Group 5: Creative, Technical & Vocational (Accounting, Business Studies, Computer Studies, Music, etc)
Students are required to take a minimum of 5 or a maximum of 14 subjects. IGCSE is the most sought-after curriculum due to the diversity of the course.
IGCSE and other curricula
IGCSE vs. O Level
- IGCSE candidates are awarded from grades A to G, O Level candidates are awarded from grades A to E.
- IGCSE tests students on oral and practical skills, initiative and problem-solving skills and how the
- students apply those skills, knowledge, and understanding in practical life. On the other hand, the O Level focus is only on reading and writing skills.
- Coursework options are available in many syllabuses in IGCSE, while O Level offers fewer options than IGCSE.
- IGCSE prepares the student in advance for employment or further study. IGCSE also prepares them for International AS and A-Level whereas, O Level is designed to meet local needs.
- There are a lot of practical options available in IGCSE however, in O Level the practical options are restricted.
IGCSE Extended vs. IGCSE core –
Considering the different abilities of every student, the teacher gets to decide the most appropriate level of students. There is a choice between core and extended in some papers in IGCSE.
- The core curriculum is easier than the Extended and targets the majority of students. The grades range from C to G. On the other hand, the Extended curriculum targets more academically able students which naturally leads them into professional training or higher education. The grades in the IGCSE extended range from A* to E.
- In some subjects, the exam covers the complete ability range and there is no choice of Core and Extended papers. For these subjects, the full range of grades is available.
- There is no compulsion on students to follow the same level of curriculum in all the subjects. Moreover, if a student fails to meet the minimum satisfactory requirement of either core (G) or extended (E) curriculum will be ungraded.
*’ UNGRADED’ indicates that the student has failed to reach the standard required for a pass. ‘UNGRADED’ will be reported on the Statement of Results but not on the final certificate.
IGCSE vs. CBSE–
- The attractive feature of IGCSE is the wide variety of options the curriculum offers. On the other hand, CBSE offers fewer options.
- IGCSE curriculum focuses more on critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and adopts a practical approach whereas, CBSE tests a candidate more on his/her theoretical knowledge.
- CBSE has more content but a deep understanding of the content is not required. On the other hand, IGCSE requires in-depth knowledge.
IGCSE vs. IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- IGCSE offers 5 subject groups whereas IB MYP there are 8 subject groups. Therefore, IB offers a wide range of subjects than IGCSE.
- IGCSE is a two-year programme and posts that a student has the option to do IGCSE A or AS Level course. IB MYP is a five-year programme and the students who have completed the MYP are well-prepared to take the IB diploma course.
- IB is more intense and provides great opportunities to settle internationally. The IGCSE curriculum is structured and global in perspective while being nationally relevant at the same time.
- IB focuses more on STEM education. Hence, if your interest lies in STEM you can opt for IB MYP.
What is the concept of ‘Grade threshold’ under the IGCSE?
The grade threshold is the minimum grade or marks that a candidate needs to obtain in every exam he/she has taken. The grade threshold is set after every exam series. The main objective of setting the grade threshold is to set the limit appropriate so as to ensure that the grade is neither too easy nor too difficult from the previous year to obtain. In case the questions in the paper were difficult the threshold is reduced and vice-versa if the questions are easy, in order to make the procedure non-discriminatory.
It’s not an easy process to set the threshold so that each candidate scores fairly and accurately. However, the way in which the grade threshold is set requires a lot of study and examination of the previous trends. So as simplified as it looks, there’s a lot more to it.
Advantages of IGCSE curriculum
- IGCSE curriculum offers 30 languages to choose from.
- IGCSE instils critical thinking and problem-solving attitude in students.
- IGCSE qualification is recognized globally.
- Private candidates can also apply for IGCSE exams.
- IGCSE doesn’t follow a strict pattern and has a set structure. The curriculum is designed as per the local students.
- Rote learning is nowhere in the curriculum. It follows a more practical based approach.