What You Need to Know About IGCSE

What You Need to Know About IGCSE


What is IGCSE?

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an English language-based academic qualification for secondary school students. It is the most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. Students typically start the IGCSE syllabus in Year 10 and take the final examination at the end of Year 11.

Who takes IGCSE courses?

The IGCSE is designed for students aged 14-16, in Years 10-11. The IGCSE typically precedes the IB Diploma or A-Levels. The IGCSE is recognized as the international equivalent to the GCSE qualification taken in England, so those taking IGCSEs are usually students outside of the UK.

What IGCSE subjects are there?

The IGCSE is based on individual subjects, meaning the student receives an IGCSE qualification for each subject taken. Typical “core” subjects include a First Language, Foreign Language, Mathematics, and one or more Science subjects. Typically, students choose an additional 3-6 more subjects offered across the following groups:

Group I: Languages
Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences
Group III: Sciences
Group IV: Mathematics
Group V: Creative, Technical and Vocational

The test is offered by different exam boards, including the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), Edexcel, and OxfordAQA. While some course content and structure may vary across different exam boards, examinations taken under any of these exam boards yield the same IGCSE qualifications.

What schools offer IGCSE in Hong Kong?

Since the IGCSE is the international equivalent of the GCSE in England, the IGCSE is typically, but not always followed by the UK GCE A-Level examinations in Years 12 and 13. After the IGCSE, many international schools in Hong Kong offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) in Years 12 and 13.

International schools in Hong Kong currently offering IGCSE are:

California School
Discovery Bay International
ESF Island School, King George V School, Sha Tin College, South Island School, West Island School
French International School Blue Pool Road
German Swiss International School
Han Academy
Harrow International School
International College Hong Kong Secondary
Kellett School
Kent College Hong Kong
Kiangsu-Chekiang College, International Section
Korean International School
Nord Anglia International School
Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau
Sear Rogers International School
Singapore International School Hong Kong
St Paul’s Convent School (Secondary)
St Paul’s College
Think Academy
Yew Chung International School
YMCA of HK Christian College

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