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19 Oct 2022

IGCSE Syllabus - Everything You Need to Know

a girl reading igcse book


IGCSE: an overview

Examination bodies

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a worldwide popular schooling curriculum in the English language. IGCSE which can be taken by private school students has been treated equivalently to the current GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in the UK. There are three types of IGCSE which are, Cambridge, Edexcel and OxfordAQA.

  • Cambridge IGCSE – Exams are set by CIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education), whose board of education is University of Cambridge Board of Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES). UCLES is operating in the name of Cambridge Assessment, and it conducts various educational assessments including OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) for UK’s GCSE, Cambridge IGCSE for international students as well as Cambridge Assessment English for English language learners.


Every year, Cambridge IGCSE exams are conducted in the months of February (only in India), May and October. Results are published in May, August, and January respectively.


  • Edexel IGCSE – Edexel (Term formed by combining the words ‘Education’ and ‘Excellence’.) is a multinational educational assessment body of Pearson. Pearson Edexel is the only privately owned examination board in the UK. Every year, Edexel IGCSE exams are conducted in the month of June and January. Edexel also sets GCSE exams in the UK.


  • OxfordAQA IGCSE – Here, exams are conducted by Oxford International AQA examinations, which also sets GCSE exams in the UK. Oxford International AQA consists of AQA (Assessment and Qualification Alliance) and Oxford University Press. AQA is a body in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which sets specifications and conducts examinations for various subjects in UK’s GCSE. Oxford University Press is world’s largest university press and is a department in the University of Oxford.



Students will be getting IGCSE qualification for each of the subjects they take. Core subjects in IGCSE are the first language, second language, mathematics as well as one or more science subjects. Students can also take up additional courses ranging from social sciences to creative arts. IGCSE follows a tiered examination (‘Core’ as well as ‘Extended’ papers in Cambridge IGCSE, ‘Foundation’ as well as ‘Higher’ in Edexel IGCSE). IGCSE has been designed keeping in mind a wide range of abilities in a student and there is even an option to do course works.

Majority of the students take up IGCSE in grade 9 (10th year of school) and give tests at the end of grade 10 (11th year of school). Assessment of IGCSE is the same as UK’s GCSE. Through a 9-1 or A-G grading system, where top grade is 9 (‘A*’ in A-G grading system) and 1 is the lowest (‘G’ as per A-G grading). Grade ‘U’ signifies ‘Ungraded’. Grade A^ also exist for extraordinary skillsets, like students who can consistently perform in higher level mathematics.

In Cambridge IGCSE, a student will gain an ICE-group-qualification for a 7-subject-pass with grade ranging from A* to C, in the five subject groups set by ICE (Group I (Languages), Group II (Humanities and Social Sciences), Group III (Sciences), Group IV (Mathematics) and Group V (Creative, Technical and Vocational)).

IGCSE is based on UK’s GCSE and is equivalent to GCE (General Certificate of Education) O Level (Ordinary Level).


IGCSE Advantage

After qualifying IGCSE, students can take up examinations like GCE (General Certificate of Education) Advanced (A) Level, IGCSE Advanced (A) Level, International Baccalaureate, BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) Level-3, etc. for university graduate admissions. Students are totally independent to select subjects for this advanced level, which will be based on their choice of subject for undergraduate studies. Once the student qualifies this advanced level exam with marks more than a university’s admission cut-off, absolutely free admission to that state university is guaranteed.  

IGCSE has been treated equivalent to various secondary school curriculum all over the world, like GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) - the secondary school qualification of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, India’s CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Certification of Secondary Education), Singapore’s O’ Level as well as Hong Kong’s HKCEE (Hong Kong Certification of Education Examination).

IGCSE syllabus is designed with an international outlook and tries to absolutely nullify cultural as well as national differences. It keeps regional relevance and offers a wide range of options to even students whose first language is not English. Being the world’s most preferred international qualification, it offers 70 subjects to 14 to 16-year-old students (With a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 subjects to study).

One of the highlighting features of IGCSE Tuition is that it is not actually a course work; it is an exam that tests knowledge of a student in an individual subject. This makes it a favorite choice for home-schoolers, who are unable to attend full-time, regular school. IGCSE gives an international qualification to home-schooled students.


How to choose the best IGCSE school?

There is an increase in the number of private schools all around the world taking up IGCSE as their curriculum. With its challenging curriculum, even independent schools in the UK are also adopting it.

Every one of us wants the best education to be given to our children. Among the several schools which offer an IGCSE syllabus, the best one should be identified. Home-schoolers should get expert training, which is also flexible to cater to their needs.

The answer to all this is, ‘Apachia Institute of Private Learning, Kuwait’.


Apachia Highlights


  • Kuwait’s finest international private training institute offering Cambridge or Edexel IGCSE A or O Level, since 2002.

  • Branches spread across Salmiya and Mangaf.

  • Ex-students ranging from 42 countries.

  • Ideal for home-schoolers enrolling for Cambridge or Edexel IGCSE, O Level, AS and A Level in Kuwait.

Expertise & Infrastructure

  • Well-experienced faculty

  • Detail-oriented teaching approach.

  • Student-friendly, interactive learning environment with lecture presentations and video clips.

  • Digital classrooms with e-learning facilities

  • Exposure to previous exam patterns.

  • Apachia’s own tailored study materials as well as worksheets.

  • Regular performance assessments.

  • Worksheet and syllabus completions within 3-4months.

  • 4.5hours of weekly classes.

  • Personalised tuition timings.

Visit Apachia website, Explore the world of international education and its advantages !!