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IGCSE Overview

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) has served as a benchmark in global education for over three decades. IGCSE is considered the equivalent of the GCSE qualification that students in the United Kingdom take in Year 10-11.

For students in international schools around the world, Cambridge IGCSEs have become the Gold Standard for high school qualifications. IGCSEs signal the completion of secondary school education and are designed for students who wish to progress to A-levels before entering university.

Often, undergraduate programs will specify that incoming students meet certain IGCSE level requirements to gain admission, and top-level schools may require A-level grades. Sometimes, employers may also require applicants to meet minimum requirements in Math and English IGCSEs.

IGCSE Subjects

IGCSEs are available in a wide range of subjects. These include English Language and Literature, English as a Second Language, Mathematics, Economics, Biology, History and Physics, or Global Perspectives, to name only a few. At BIS, students are expected to take our two core IGCSE subjects, Math and English. Students may then choose 4 to 5 additional subjects, depending on intended major, future career path, or simply personal interest. Students choosing a stream must take at least three subjects from that stream.

IGCSE Scoring

Cambridge IGCSE uses an accepted and established grade scale. Within this framework, A* represents top marks and G* represents the lowest ranked grade. IGCSE examinations are scored by objective, third-party CIE professional examiners. Results reflect skill, knowledge and competency levels, and the same assessments are used worldwide.

IGCSE Checkpoints

BIS also offers Cambridge Checkpoints. Like the IGCSE, these tests are assessed by Cambridge International Education (CIE), but unlike the IGCSE, Checkpoints are not formal qualification with a certificate, but are meant to gauge ability so that students can take measures to improve. A Checkpoint is offered in the final year of Primary school and again during the Lower Secondary programme. Cambridge offers the subjects of English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics and Science for its Primary and Secondary Checkpoint tests, and both Checkpoints are aligned, in order to accustom students to the IGCSE structure.

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