IGCSE - International General Certificate of Secondary Education Programm
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is one of the most recognized qualifications around the world. SFS has adopted the IGCSE courses offered by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), a subsidiary of Cambridge University. IGCSE courses are renowned for developing vital educational skills, including recall of knowledge, oral skills, problem solving, initiative, team work and investigative skills. The resulting qualification provides an excellent foundation for higher level courses, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB).
IGCSE courses cater for different levels of ability with a choice between core and extended papers in many subjects. The core curriculum is based on an overview of the subject and is suitable for students expected to achieve grades C to G. The extended curriculum is more challenging and designed for students who are expected to achieve grades A* to C. At SFS we would expect most students to study at the extended level.
IGCSE offers a flexible course of study that gives candidates the freedom to choose subjects that are right for them, whilst providing them with a broad knowledge base and lifelong skills.
The aims of IGCSE courses are:
- To support modern curriculum development;
- To promote international understanding;
- To encourage good teaching practice;
- To set widely recognized standards.
Complete guide to IGCSE at SFS
(including Course & Assessment summaries)
FAQs about IGCSE
Cambridge IGCSE examinations are taken in over 100 countries worldwide and are widely recognized by higher education institutions and employers around the world as evidence of academic ability. In some countries, including the USA, IGCSE qualifications will satisfy the entry requirements for some universities.
More information on the recognition of IGCSE can be found on the CIE recognition website.
IGCSE courses normally take two years to complete and examinations are taken at the end of that period. Examinations are held in May/June at SFS with results issued in August of the same year. An important principle of this examination is that students are rewarded for positive achievement – what they know, understand and can do – rather than being penalized for an accumulation of errors. We encourage all students who are studying IGCSE courses to enter for the external examination at the end of the program of study. Each subject is certificated separately and parents are responsible for the examination fees levied by CIE.
International Certificate of Education – ICE
The ICE is the Group Award of the IGCSE and requires the study of subjects drawn from the five different IGCSE subject groups. By meeting the criteria for the ICE, a student will have demonstrated achievement in a broad and balanced curriculum.
The five IGCSE subjects groups are:
- Group I: Languages (English Language and French, Korean, or Spanish)
- Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography or History or English Literature)
- Group III: Sciences (Coordinated Sciences)
- Group IV: Mathematics (Mathematics or International Mathematics or Additional Mathematics)
- Group V: Business, Creative, Technical and Vocational (Art and Design or Music)
- Link to all subjects
If a student passes seven IGCSE examinations with two being from the language group, one from each of the other four groups and one more from any of the five groups listed, then they will qualify for an International Certificate of Education (ICE) Diploma. It is awarded at one of three levels – Distinction, Merit or Pass – depending upon the grades earned in the seven examinations. CIE describes this diploma as equating to a US advanced academic or honors high school diploma.
Students are eligible for this certificate at SFHS but must take care to choose a full IGCSE schedule with subjects from the appropriate groups above.