The International General Certificate of Secondary Education or IGCSE is an international examination conducted by Cambridge University for Secondary School Certification. It is recognized all around the world in various countries and is generally seen as the gold standard for high school certificate examinations. It is seen as equivalent to ICSE in India, although CBSE is not considered to be equal to IGCSE. This is because of the lack of depth in the CBSE curriculum as compared to that of the IGCSE curriculum. Many schools around the world are affiliated to IGCSE and operate under it.
The qualifications are based on the subjects of study and one receives an IGCSE certificate for each subject one study. The typical subjects in IGCSE curriculum are First Language, Second Language, Mathematics, and one or more Science courses. It is the English language based examination that started in the United Kingdom. In the UK, there have been many controversies over the years about the fairness of private schools in the evaluation and taking the exams other than the traditional GCSE. Apart from Cambridge, there are many other IGCSE exam types. They are Cambridge IGCSE, Edexcel International IGCSE, OxfordAQA International IGCSE. Previously, IGCSE was considered to be more of an O-Level examination than a GCSE level exam. After 2010 however, due to an increase in the number of independent schools offering the course, it became a GCSE level exam and is treated equally to GCSE. The grading system has grades from A through G similar to GCSE.
In order to appear for the IGCSE, one has to be present at any of the Cambridge schools or the affiliated ones. The International IGCSE offers students from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States to appear for the exam in their own country in an international affiliated school. Alternatively, any school can register to be the test center in accordance with Cambridge rules to conduct the Cambridge IGCSE. The approved centers will register test takers for IGCSE within the booking window, collect registration fees, run IGCSE tests on scheduled dates and times under a secure environment, provide trained invigilators to administer the examination and receive, store and return test material in a timely fashion.
There are over 70 subjects available in the Cambridge IGCSE including over 30 languages and these subjects can be taken in any order. The IGCSE is designed to develop knowledge in various fields such as subject content, cultural awareness, flexibility to change, communicating in English, etc. There are two variants of the exam viz. IGCSE core and IGCSE extended. The core curriculum is designed within the ability of a large majority of students and provides a full overview of subjects and expects students to achieve grades C to G while the extended curriculum is designed for the academically inclined and able. The targeted students are expected to get grades A* to E. There are lots of programs in the IGCSE curriculum and it equips students with skills to take on challenges in future studies and create better citizens for any country. Cultural awareness and communication are also key parts of IGCSE, and it aims to create well-rounded professionals and is recognized all around the world. IGCSE is an international degree that has a higher weight than most other secondary school certifications.