FAQ

What is IGCSE?
IGCSE stands for ‘International General Certificate of Secondary Education’. It is an examination program operated by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of students studying in English medium International Schools.

When do students take the IGCSE programme?
Students begin their IGCSE programs at the start of Year 10. They follow the program for 2 years with most of the final examinations taking place in May and June of Year 11.

Do all students follow the same programme?
No. The program is divided into seven subject blocks, and all students must take one from each. Some departments offer GCSE courses which are regarded as equivalent qualifications.

Do all students follow each subject at the same level?
No. Some subjects have two levels of entry. In these subjects there is a Core level for all students and an extended level for students who show higher potential. The details of this vary from subject to subject and are explained in the individual subject entries in this booklet.

How are IGCSE grades determined?
IGCSE grades range from A* to G. Students who have followed the Core curriculum can achieve a grade from C to G only. The extended curriculum awards grades from A* to E. These grades are determined by a combination of work done in school during the course, called coursework, and a series of final examinations. Although it varies, the coursework usually counts for approximately 30% of the final grade. (In some subjects there is no coursework.) Coursework is marked at BIS and there is an established method, called moderation, to ensure that the standard of work and its marking are consistent with other schools in the IGCSE program. All final examinations are sent to Cambridge for marking and the grades are then determined centrally and communicated to the school. Students are then presented with certificates the following year in Term 1.

Do all students take the same number of subjects at IGCSE?
No. Some students may be advised to take fewer than 7 IGCSE’s, particularly if we feel that their English ability is limited. The aim is to spend years 7, 8 and 9 preparing the ground for students to start IGCSE courses in Year 10. Students who have had only one or two years of English medium education may be limited in their choice of subjects and may in addition find the IGCSE program very challenging.