With access to a variety of educational curricula, parents are now faced with the conundrum of selecting the right board for their children. The availability of both national and international boards of education has increased the number of choices students have across their higher secondary schooling.

National boards like SSC and CBSE are now faced with counterparts such as IB and IGCSE. If you are interested in enrolling your child in an IGCSE curriculum, here are some frequently asked questions answered.

What does IGCSE stand for?
IGCSE is an abbreviation for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. A part of the Cambridge International Examinations board, the IGCSE is a global set of exams.

Why should I choose IGCSE?
The greatest advantage an IGCSE education offers is the flexibility and access to a larger range of subject combinations. The programme promotes inquiry, creative thinking, and problem solving skills to its students. Teachers often resort to unique and student-centric measures to help children of all abilities and cognitive skills develop the skillsets and autonomy to move forward in their academic paths.

Are the final exams the same time as the CBSE boards?
The IGCSE is a two-year program that concludes at the end of Class 10. However, the final exams take over two cycles – May/June and October/November. A student can retake any of their exams in one of the upcoming cycles.

What do the final exams look like?
Unlike boards such as CBSE and SSC, the IGCSE curriculum evaluates students across several exams and assessments. These would consist of practical, oral, and listening tests as well. Their final written exams are conducted across two cycles within the academic year. Once a student passes a minimum of five subjects, they are awarded with a IGCSE certificate. Additionally, if a student passes seven or more subjects, they are eligible for an ICE (International Certificate of Education).

Is IGCSE recognized in India?
The IGCSE board is one of the most accredited programmes across school and universities in the world. It is also widely recognised by Indian universities.

What subjects can my child avail in the IGCSE programme?
There are five credit groups that students will need to fulfil by the end of their two year term. The subject categories are:
Languages: First, Second and Foreign languages are offered
Humanities and Social Sciences: Geography, English Literature, History, etc.
Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
Mathematics: Maths, Statistics, Additional Maths, etc.
Technical and Creative: Music, Business Studies, Computer Literacy, etc.

Each student is required to take a minimum of 5 subjects that will fulfil the necessary credits from each of the subject groups.

What are my child’s options after completing the IGSCE exams?
All students who pass their IGSCE exams are eligible for a higher secondary qualification – both in India and abroad. They can continue their studies either in one of the national boards, enroll for an IB Diploma, or continue under the Cambridge Board and pursue the A Level exams.

What are A Level exams?
The A Level examinations are the CIE counterpart to the Class 12 board examinations in India. The course can be completed over 2 years with AS (Advanced Subsidiary Level) in the first year and A2 in the final year. Alternatively, students can also attempt the A Level exams in one go.

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