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Everyone wants his child to have solid foundations as they reach the final years of schooling. The target may be different – ‘A’ levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, AP, home, or the host country’s national curriculum. The IGCSE (The International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a content-rich program that prepares students, wherever they are in the world for higher education.
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
This can be perceived like the IB MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program) 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).
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
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.
Cambridge Assessment Internal Education (CAIE) and Pearson Edexcel are the two examination boards that offer IGCSE. Schools have the choice of examination board through which they prefer to offer the IGCSE curriculum.
Grades for the assessments are internationally recognized grades – A* to G, having a set of guidelines to brief the standard of achievement for each grade. A* is the highest and G is the lowest. The assessments are conducted twice a year – June and November and the results are issued in August and September respectively.
Let us explore how the IGCSE is the right choice.
The IGCSE is the most recognized examination qualifications across the world. Students with this qualifications are accepted into several countries like US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. Most of the universities accept and recognize the IGCSE curriculum examinations for their admission criterion. The IGCSE allows further vocational education and forms a foundation for employment. IGCSE students would have all the necessary skills, the employers would consider for their potential employees.
The IGCSE offers choice between Core and Extended curriculum papers for some subjects, considering the varied abilities of the students. The Core curriculum is easier compared to the Extended curriculum as it is designed to teach the most basic knowledge to the majority range of students. The students opting for the Core Levels are expected to achieve grades C to G. The Extended Level covers the Core level and adds the advance knowledge and thus is designed for students who are more academically able, and they are expected to achieve grades A* to E.
The IGCSE offers over 70 subjects including 30 languages and the schools can offer them in any combination. Students can choose a minimum of 5 subjects, one each from the five subject groups and a maximum of 14 subjects which must include the mandatory subjects of English, Science and Math. The five subject groups are
For the choice of second language, the student has a wide range of 30 languages, thus enabling them to choose there mother tongue which is a familiar subject. The choice of subjects can be considered considering the student’s interests, his future study, and career plans, the subjects he has already studied and done well so far.
The IGCSE assessments take place at the end of the course and include a wide range of assessment modes – oral, written, coursework and practical assessments. This actually broadens the opportunities for the students to sharpen their learning skills, especially when their first language is not English. Furthermore, there are two levels of study – the core and the extended levels and they can be chosen as per the students’ learning abilities. Thus, the assessments meet the needs of the both the most skillful students and those who find it challenging. The questions are varied in terms of difficulty enabling the school and the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses. They also understand their areas of passion and interests allowing them to plan their future path of study in continuing with a particular subject or changing it.
Thus, the IGCSE curriculum instils confidence in and boosts the morale of the students.
The IGCSE curriculum is student-centric and provides an enriching experience of teacher and students contributing equally in the class, thus encouraging creativity. The approach to the learning is application based rather than theoretical. This way the student is able to grasp concepts better, when he is aware of the application at the right place and in the right way, thus enhancing the logical and creative skills. The student is able to question what he learns, shares, and discusses ideas with his fellow classmates and learns together with all.
The IGCSE Curriculum follows an inquiry-based learning rather than the traditional rote memorization The curriculum is thus curated to encourage the student to think critically and logically about the topics they discuss in the curriculum and so it is student centric curriculum. It also develops the investigative and inferential skills while problem-solving. Students pursuing the IGSCE curriculum are more adaptive and comfortable in the transition to other curriculums. The transition is quicker and easier.
Students who pursue IGCSE curriculum have an edge over the students of other curriculums because of the vastness of knowledge it provides and the uniformity of the education throughout the world. They are independent thinkers and learners, a trait and a life skill which is a prerequisite for higher education and university studies. They are not memorizing the list of facts to pass the examinations. Higher education needs the student to be aware of this capabilities and learning styles and IGCSE curriculum students are already exposed to learn these responsibilities and traits.
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