IGCSE FAQs

IGCSE FAQs

What is Cambridge IGCSE?
Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is an international curriculum from University of Cambridge International Examinations (C.I.E), which is the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for 14–19 year olds. It is a part of the University of Cambridge – In 2010, the University of Cambridge was ranked the number one university in the world. (Q.S Top Universities)

How many students enter Cambridge examinations each year?
Around 1.5 million students from 150 countries enter Cambridge examinations every year from a network of more than 6000 Cambridge schools. Singaporean state schools now use C.I.E examinations for all national examinations.

When was Cambridge IGCSE started?
The International GCSE was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) more than 20 years ago.

How long do students study the IGCSE curriculum and when do they take exams?
The curriculum is generally studied over a two year period through grades 9 and 10 and at the end of this time the students take IGCSE examinations in May/June or October/November.

What’s the difference between a Core and Extended examination / syllabus?
The core and extended examinations allow students of different levels of skill to study and take an exam which suits their level of ability.
The extended examination includes the questions from the core exam with additional, generally more demanding questions.

What are the possible grades and what do the different grades mean?
Possible grades for the core examination are C to G while possible grades for the extended examination are A* to E or A* to G depending on the syllabus.

Grade A is awarded to candidates showing highest ability in a subject and Grade G for a minimum satisfactory performance. Candidates who perform outstandingly well in a subject are awarded Grade A*.

- IGCSE English grades D – G are approximately equivalent to an IELTS score of 5 / 5.5.
- IGCSE English grades of A* - C are approximately equivalent to an IELTS score of 6 / 6.5.
- Satisfactory performance at A level English is approximately equivalent to an IELTS score of 7 / 7.5.


Will IGCSE help students to get accepted to a university or improve their chances of getting a good job?
Cambridge IGCSE is very well known by higher learning institutes (universities and polytechnics) and employers from around the world as evidence of academic ability. After completion of IGCSE students will have greater options in terms of work and further education.

Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language at grade C or above is recognised by almost all UK universities - and many in the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as evidence of adequate competence in the English language for university entrance purposes. This means that if a student achieves a grade C or better, their English will be considered good enough for them to be able to study at many universities in English speaking countries.
You can look up specific universities to find out whether your qualifications are accepted at www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/recognition

What type of skills does IGCSE develop?
It develops and encourages vital educational skills, including oral skills, investigative skills, problem solving, team work, recall of knowledge, and initiative.

Is IGCSE changing with a rapidly changing world?
Schools worldwide have helped develop Cambridge IGCSE. It incorporates the best in international education for students at this level. It develops in line with changing needs, and is regularly updated and extended. Cambridge IGCSE teachers can draw on excellent resources, training and advice from subject experts.

How does IGCSE compare with GCSE and O levels?
Cambridge IGCSEs are recognised by universities in England and around the world as equivalent, grade-for-grade, with GCSE and O level qualifications.

Wherever you want to go, locally or internationally, Cambridge international examinations can help you make it happen.