IGCSE - International General Certificate of Secondary Education Programm

An IGCSE Guide for Parents

Cambridge IGCSE Brochure

SFS IGCSE Study Leave & Release Policy

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

Who can take IGCSE?

IGCSE courses are offered to students in Grades 9 and 10 and are designed to be taught over two years. The subjects on offer at SFS are open to all students. Students may opt to take a full schedule of IGCSE courses, just a few or only one.

How is IGCSE taught?

The syllabus is set by Cambridge, but how it is taught will depend on the individual teacher, students and school. The course differs for each subject, but there will be a mix of assessment methods throughout, including coursework, practical exercises, oral and listening tests, projects and written examinations.

How recognized are IGCSE qualifications?

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.

Examination Information

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:

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.

39 Yeonhui-ro 22-gil, Seodaemun-Gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea 03723

campus map YouTube facebook google plus

Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. Of the international schools in Seoul, we offer an unrivaled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future.

About SFS

Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a Pre K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We offer an unrivalled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. 


We welcome the opportunity to meet you and show you a firsthand look at our campus. Contact us by email or by telephone to make an appointment. We understand a visit is not always possible. The entire admissions team is ready to help you in any way we can. 


The Elementary and Middle Schools follow a US-style curriculum. The British division follows the National Curriculum of England. In the High School Gr. 9-10 students may choose to take the IGCSE Program and for Gr. 11-12 we offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Namsan Int'l Kindergarten is a PYP candidate school.


SFS athletes develop character, responsibility, dedication, commitment, teamwork, leadership, and experience applicable in all areas of life.  While our teams enjoy winning results in competitive conferences, we measure success well beyond the win-loss column.

Fine Arts

Seoul Foreign School enjoys a long history of rich curricular and co-curricular performing and visual arts programs.  Over 90% of our students are involved in the arts each year and are showcased in our visual arts displays and over 40 annual public performances put on by our music and drama departments.  

Student Life

At SFS we care about the development of each individual student academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. There are many choices for participation at SFS. We encourage students to not try to do them all, but to choose wisely. 


With a history of over one hundred years, SFS has provided education for extraordinary Alumni. Today, more Alumni are becoming a part of our parent community. Having ‘Legacy’ students at SFS is a compelling testament to our tradition of excellence.


The Annual Fund provides additional resources to help continue the tradition of excellence at SFS. Your support provides many needs throughout the school, further enhancing our academic and extracurricular programs – setting us apart from other international schools in the world.

powered by finalsite