Guidelines for IGCSE Home Schooling


The IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is widely recognized by higher education institutions and employers around the world.
IGCSE or the International General Certification of Secondary Education, as the name suggests is one of the Cambridge Pathway and covers,

  • Cambridge Lower Secondary – for students between the ages of 11 and 14 years
  • Cambridge Higher Secondary – for students between the ages of 14 and 16 years

This can be perceived like the IB MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme) the only difference being that IGCSE follows a specific curriculum whereas IB just provides the framework.

Hence IGSCE is taken under the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

After completing the IGCSE levels- grades 6th to the 10th, IGCSE gets replaced by “AS” level (11th grade) and “A” level (12th grade)

The students need to clear the exams conducted by Pearson Edexcel International or CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) to be able to take the “AS” or the “A” levels. They have an option to take the IB Diploma programme too. After the completion of IGCSE examination in the 10th grade, a student gets either a CIE certification or an IGCSE certification, which entirely depends on the school he/she is attending.

IGCSE offers up to 70 subjects to its students, including more than 30 languages. Students can take them in any combinations. The groups under which the subjects are ordered are

  • Group 1 – Languages
  • Group 2 – Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Group 3 – Sciences
  • Group 4 – Mathematics and Business
  • Group 5 – Creative and Professional and Vocational

Students have to choose 2 languages, one subject each from groups 2 to 5. The 7th subject can be chosen from any group 2 to 5.

Apart from giving an international education certificate, high scores on the IGCSE have other benefits too.

  • High job opportunities and expertise
  • Higher education in countries abroad
  • Work skills to adapt to social life


Guidelines for IGCSE Homeschooling

IGCSE Home-Schooling Option

With the pandemic COVID 19 prevalent over the last couple of years, the home schooling has become a hot topic among both the students and parents. There are certain guidelines on how you need to get started for the IGCSE home-schooling. Such a student is called a private student and the IGCSE allows private students take the examinations. If you have decided to pursue the home-schooling option, then read further to understand the guidelines for the process.


Understanding the System

To register yourself as a private student, first and foremost task is to find a Cambridge school in your country which accepts private students. Private students are required to register on their own with that school examination centre. Then you venture into understanding the IGCSE education system.

  • What the IGCSE is and its objectives
  • How to apply/register for the course
  • How long is the preparation time and what the examination pattern is
  • What resources are needed to prepare for the examination
  • What the evaluators’ expectations are


Visiting the British Council

You can visit the British Council branch in your country. The British Council acts as a centre for all British qualifications including the IGCSE. The British Council offer support and advice and ensures the integrity of the exam systems at every stage. The British Council help you with:

  •  IGCSE exam registering process
  •  Advising you right from online study guides to library services
  •  Guiding you for the right tools and resources for your study
  •  Giving tips for the exam preparation and revision and for the exam day
  •  Getting your exam results.

So, it’s one stop shop for all your IGCSE home-schooling needs.

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Knowing your Subjects

As briefed earlier more than 70 subjects are offered by the IGCSE. Depending on your interests and abilities, passion, and future study plans, you need to choose your set of subjects. You can choose a minimum of 5 subjects, one each from the 5 subjects groups discussed above and a maximum of 14 subjects. Once you have finalized your subjects, next step would be to look for the relevant resources and good tutoring help.


Planning and Scheduling a Study Structure

IGCSE as you see is a very demanding and vast syllabus. And one of the important preparation for the study is to plan and sketch a study plan or a timetable and stick to it. The timetable must be made considering

  • Number of study hours you will be comfortably able to put it in with no stressing
  •  How many subjects you would want to cover in a day
  •  Duration of time to be allotted for each subject depending on whether the subject is your passionate one or a challenging one
  •  What part of the day you would want to schedule more classes depending on what you are – early morning person or a late-night person
  •  Allot time for the revision for what you have covered
  •  Allot breaks in between for sure as these breaks have their own benefits –they help you to keep yourself fresh and alert and improve your ability to absorb whatever you study
  • All these ensure that you study sessions are productive
  • Find a comfortable place to study and to avoid distractions and interruptions.
  • Set goals and target deadlines so that you are able to track you progress.
  • Make sure that all resources for the chosen subjects are in place.


Keep Practicing

Make use of the previous years’ question papers for practice. Practicing can be repetitive and boring, but the practice has its own benefits – makes you confident and comfortable when you take your examinations. Practicing makes you comfortable with the examination paper format, the type of questions that appear on the examinations, the topics from which questions are repetitive, and the difficulty level of the questions.


That Extra help

After all this structured studying, practicing, and revising, still the stress is too much on you as the vast syllabus is demanding indeed. A considerable amount of extra help is needed in the form of an online tutoring help. The Online help can be of a great help

  • You get the personalized one-to-one attention
  • You become comfortable in clarifying you doubts and queries
  • You get that extra help in keeping up with you study timetable and improve it wherever necessary
  • The tutor identifies your weak areas and works on them exclusively
  • Extra assignments allotted by the tutor can help you with your revision


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What is IGCSE homeschooling?

Homeschooled IGCSE students are considered to as Private Candidates. Students that register for the IGCSE exam independently and outside of an exam centre are known as private candidates. All independent applicants and their parents are welcome to consult the Cambridge IGCSE examination board’s highly detailed website.

Who is eligible for IGCSE?

IGCSE is a two-year programme that begins in Class 9 and is intended for students between the ages of 14 and 16. Students who pass the IGCSE exams will receive a credential that is recognised all over the world.

Is IGCSE hard to pass?

IGCSE History is one of most difficult courses on the list because of its average pass rate around 65%, which is far lower than one might immediately anticipate for a humanities course.

Do all school accept IGCSE?

The vast majority of universities, sixth form colleges, and other independent schools worldwide recognise the GCSE and the IGCSE as “identical” credentials because of their strong similarities.

Is IGCSE the same as high school?

Rising universities and other educational institutions in the UK and abroad accept both the IGCSE and GCSE as valid high school diplomas.

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