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IGCSE Subject Groups
A child’s education now offers more options and customization. For international students, picking their IGCSE path is a big deal. Striking the right balance between choice, challenging academics, and personalization while teaching essential skills is crucial for a great education. The IGCSEs, designed for students aged 14-16, provide this balance.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what is the curriculum for IGCSE, including details about the syllabus, exam boards, and why it’s beneficial.
An Intro to IGCSE
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a set of exams and qualifications for students aged 14 to 16, but you can take them at any age. It started in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and has changed to fit the needs of students worldwide.
The IGCSE covers a wide range of subjects, and you can earn as many qualifications as you want. Besides the required subjects, you can choose the ones you like to make your education unique. Usually, students study each subject for two years and take exams in the second year, usually around age 16 in Year 11. You can study for as long as you need before taking the exams.
The IGCSE uses a grading scale from A* (the highest) to G (the lowest). In many exams, there are two tiers, one for higher ability and one for lower ability. This way, IGCSEs are accessible to students of all levels, and teachers decide which tier to enter students into before the exams.
Curriculum For IGCSE
The subjects you can study for IGCSE might vary depending on the exam board and the school you attend. In this section, we’ll talk about some of the main subjects that students can choose.
Your curriculum for IGCSE can be quite different from one school to another because each school can create its own curriculum. For instance, Cambridge Assessment International Education, which is one of the organizations that provides IGCSE exams, divides its 70 subjects into subject groups. This helps students pick a variety of subjects from different groups to create a well-rounded education.
Curriculum For IGCSE – IGCSE Subject Groups
English Language and Literature
In these courses, the goal is to improve students’ communication skills in both writing and speaking. They also dive into English and world literature. The courses in this group include English as a First Language, English as a Second Language, and English Literature.
This subject helps you build various skills, such as problem-solving, spotting patterns, thinking critically, and using logic. Learning math is an essential life skill, and it’s the foundation for further studies in fields like social sciences, computer sciences, finance, medicine, engineering, and more.
The subjects in this group include a variety of sciences like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. There are also other courses such as Agriculture, Marine Sciences, and Environment Management.
Humanities and Social Sciences
This group includes a bunch of different courses, like Economics, Geography, and History. Plus, other courses range from Latin and Sanskrit to Global Perspectives and Religious Studies.
This helps students learn languages beyond their own. The courses include French, German, Spanish, and Chinese, along with others.
Creative and Professional
In this group of subjects, you’ll find courses related to the arts and ones that get you ready for a job. The courses cover a wide range, from Art & Design and Music to Accounting and Business Studies.
Benefits of IGCSE
The IGCSEs are designed to get kids ready for a great academic future and equip them with the essential life skills for success. Here are a few advantages of this qualification:
- An academic qualification that is highly regarded
- Designed to be accessible to everyone
- Lay the foundations for the International Baccalaureate Diploma
- Learn practical life skills
Students who finish the IGCSE program are well-prepared to move on to more schooling. International students often take IGCSE qualifications before starting the IB Diploma or A-Levels. While a few universities accept students with just IGCSE completion, most top-notch universities prefer A-Levels or an IB diploma.
IGCSE vs. GCSE: What’s the difference?
The IGCSE and GCSE exams are quite alike, and most universities generally see them as equal. The main contrast between them is that GCSE is mostly for British students, while IGCSE is tailored for international students. You can see this difference in the coursework too. For instance, in GCSE English Literature, you must study Shakespeare, but in IGCSE English, it’s an optional choice.
How hard is IGCSE compared to GCSE?
In the past, people used to think that IGCSE qualifications were tougher because they depended entirely on final exams, while GCSE allowed students to include coursework in their grades. However, things changed in 2017 with revisions to the GCSE format, and now this distinction doesn’t matter.
Is IGCSE accepted by universities?
Prestigious universities worldwide do consider IGCSE results when admitting students.
What is the minimum number of IGCSE subjects required?
Students must study at least five or six IGCSE subjects, which must include English, Science, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects.
What are the subjects offered at IGCSE?
IGCSE subjects are divided into these groups: Creative and Professional, English Language and Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Languages, Mathematics, and Sciences.
How does taking IGCSE benefit you?
The IGCSE is known and accepted worldwide, so students who finish it can pursue further education wherever they choose. Additionally, it equips students with the skills needed to excel in higher education.