Friday, 21 April 2017

What is IGCSE all about?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is the most popular educational qualification all over the world. Developed in 1988 by Cambridge International Examinations, it has won recognition as an excellent international alternative to several well-accepted national curricula.

IGCSE Board at a glance

IGCSE program is learner-centric: it employs inquiry-based approaches to learning, which facilitates the transformation of young minds into global leaders in various fields. It is a two-year comprehensive program spread over Classes 9 and 10.

A student who has completed early schooling from any other board can join the IGCSE program when in Class 9. Its syllabus is designed similar to that of Class 10 exam of the CBSE/ICSE Board of India.

With international acceptance and appeal, IGCSE develops and sharpens diverse skills including subject knowledge, application of knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar situations, oral skills, creative thinking, analytical expertise and problem solving proficiencies, apart from working and communicating well in English.

In short, it makes you future-ready in any part of the world. The program helps acquire an IGCSE qualification for each subject you take.

With a pass in IGCSE, you can take up any international preuniversity program, like the IB Diploma or Advanced Placement Diploma of the United States, A/AS Level and AICE of the United Kingdom or Class 12 CBSE/ICSE of the Indian system.

The Curriculum

IGCSE coursework encourages active and questioning approach to learning that leads to an overall development of the learner. The emphasis is more on ‘how to learn’ rather than ‘what to learn’. It is a more rigorous examination than many others are. The program is regularly updated in line with changing needs of our times.

It offers over 70 subjects, including 30 languages. A student has a choice to pick multiple subjects categorized into five viz., ‘Languages’, ‘Humanities and Social Sciences’, ‘Sciences’, ‘Mathematics’, ‘Creative, Technical and Vocational’. A student may have to choose a first language, a second language, Mathematics and one or more subjects in the Sciences as a part of IGCSE program. Students can opt between core (overview of the subject) and extended (kind of specialization) curricula in several subjects.

The curriculum is international in outlook and region-specific, sans cultural bias. Students have the freedom to choose subjects in line with their ability levels that lend them many opportunities to score good grades.

If you are looking to take up IGCSE, why don’t you learn in the comforting environment of your home, when you are free from your own local schoolwork? It will surely be wise to enroll for personalized online learning at a reputed portal that caters to your special needs.

When is it offered?

IGCSE examinations are held twice a year, in June and November. Candidates would get the results in August and January.

Assessment and grading

The assessment that happens shortly before the completion of the course covers oral and written tests, coursework and practical evaluation. There is no pass or fail in each subject. The certificate only indicates the grades scored by the test taker. The IGCSE is graded on an 8-point scale from A* to G that is internationally recognized. The highest grade is A*, and ‘U’ points to ‘Ungraded’.

International schools across the world generally allow students to study 5 to 14 IGCSE subjects. The minimum requisite qualification is a pass in five core subjects at C or above.

Recognition in India and abroad

A Cambridge IGCSE qualification opens up global opportunities in both education and career.

IGCSE is delivered in schools in over 140 countries and is accepted by colleges and universities worldwide – to a greater extent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.

IGCSE is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) at par with CBSE and ICSE.

In the UK, Cambridge IGCSE is accepted as equivalent to the GCSE. A significant number of UK universities recognize Cambridge IGCSE English Language qualification as proof of English language competency for university study.

Some colleges and universities in the United States and Canada accept learners with five Cambridge IGCSE subject passes at grade C or above.

Students stand as well a good chance of acceptance by premier educational institutions across the world including MIT, Harvard and Cambridge. Employers around the world consider it as a valuable certificate of achievement.

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