The Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) curriculum was introduced in 1985 by the Cambridge Examination Board and has been around for 37 years. It has made a name for itself in the education sector over the years and about 2 million students from around the world sit for IGCSE every year. Even after being one of the most sought after curricula, there are some things you might not know about IGCSE.
Cambridge IGCSE is a globally recognised qualification, equivalent to 10th standard in CBSE. However, instead of focusing on rote learning like other traditional boards, it offers learners a chance to develop useful skills like time-management, problem-solving, analytical thinking and practical application of knowledge. These skills are preferred in students when they are applying for higher studies, especially in foreign universities. At the same time, the curriculum of IGCSE is designed in a way that it eliminates local bias and prepares learners for an international curriculum that bridges linguistic and cultural differences.
Even if you do not attend a Cambridge school, you can still enter Cambridge IGCSE exams as a private candidate. You need to find a Cambridge school in your country that accepts private candidates and register with them to sit in IGCSE exams. As a private candidate, you will have to make your own arrangements with school and liaise directly with them instead of Cambridge International. One thing to understand is that some subject options are not available to private candidates even when the school is offering them to its regular students. Also, the school’s name will not appear on the certificates issued to private candidates.
The Cambridge IGCSE allows students to choose between IGCSE core and IGCSE extended curriculum. The paper for the former is set in a way that most students taking the course can clear it. The subjects in the core curriculum provide an overview of the concepts. On the other hand, the IGCSE extended curriculum imparts in-depth knowledge on the concepts. The detailed curriculum is targeted towards academically gifted students. Learners who excel at the core curriculum and want to challenge themselves, often take up the extended curriculum.
Many students confuse Cambridge IGCSE with Cambridge O-level since both qualifications are equivalents to 10th board in India. While there are many similarities between the two, they have very different curriculum. While all candidates of O-level get the same exam, IGCSE gives a choice to its students in terms of difficulty. Students can choose the core curriculum or challenge themselves with a more vigorous, extended curriculum. Another difference between the two is the variety of subjects being offered. While O-level offers only 40 subjects to choose from, IGCSE candidates can select from 70 different subjects, including 30 languages. The differences don’t end here, the grading and assessments system also varies a little.
The IGCSE curriculum offers students a strong and sturdy foundation which can support the weight of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Many IGCSE students enrol in IBDP after course completion due to the similarities between the two. The subject group structure IGCSE offers to its students is very similar to one the in IBDP. Additionally, students can choose between different levels of study in IBDP, much like in IGCSE with its core and extended curriculum. Since students of IGCSE feel prepared to take up a rigorous course like IBDP with all the training of IGCSE, they tend to lean towards the diploma programme.
Cambridge IGCSE has made a name for itself in international education with more students taking up the course every year. With its global approach, IGCSE has become a popular curriculum that students take to ensure a brighter future.