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6 Most Popular Questions About IGCSE

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1. What is IGCSE?

It stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is a certificate which awards students upon completing their secondary school education. Students who completes their IGCSE will usually move on to pursue their pre-university studies. IGCSE is similar to SPM, however, IGCSE is more recognized and accepted on an international platform.

2. Is there an age limit to take IGCSE?

Most candidates who sit for the IGCSE examination are usually students of secondary school (aged 14 to 17). However, there is no age restriction for anybody to sit for the examination. Even adults can take the examination for their own personal education.

3. What is the difference between triple science, coordinated science and combined science?

The main difference is the number of certificates that is awarded. Triple science awards three separate IGCSEs for each subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).

Candidates learn about each science in depth and sit separate examinations for each subject. Coordinated science is considered as a single subject, but it comes with a double award qualification (which is equivalent to two IGCSEs). Students still learn all three types of sciences; but perhaps in less depth.

Combined science is rather similar to coordinated science, but only awards one certificate. Candidates who take coordinated science or combined science will only sit for one examination which combines the all three sciences into one examination.

4. Is there coursework in IGCSE?

This depends, on the subject as well as the school. Most subjects are 100% exam based but there are a handful of subjects that require coursework. These subjects would include Design and Technology, Drama, Art and Design, etc. However, there are subjects that come in the form of both 100% exam based and the inclusion of coursework. Schools can choose whether or not to include coursework in the subject. For example, some schools offer coursework for Mathematics and English, but other schools don’t. Either way, the chances of getting a high grade are equally possible.

5. Is there a minimum or maximum number of subjects to take?

The minimum number of subjects that must be taken to receive an IGCSE certificate is 5 subjects. On the other hand, the maximum number is 14 subjects. The number of subjects a candidate wishes to take is up to them, but the subjects must include the core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science. Once the core subjects have been fulfilled, candidates are free to choose any subject they wish to sit for depending on personal preferences.

6. What is ICE? Is it important?

It is the International Certificate of Education which requires a minimum of 7 subjects chosen from 5 different groups to achieve. An individual who possesses this certificate displays that he/she is an all rounded student.

This is the composition of ICE:
i) 2 subjects from Group 1
ii) 1 subject from each other Group
iii) 7 th subject can be from any Group.

The following information is catered towards the subjects usually offered in Malaysian schools:-

Group 1: Languages
– First language: usually English
– Foreign/2 nd language: Malay, Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish, German

Group 2: Humanities and social sciences
– Economics, History, Geography, Literature (English), Sociology, Development Studies, Environmental Management, Global Perspective, Religious Studies

Group 3: Sciences
– Biology
– Chemistry
– Physics
– Co-ordinated Science
– Environmental Management
– Physical Science

Group 4: Mathematics
– Mathematics
– Additional Mathematics

Group 5: Professional and creative
– Accounting
– Art and Design
– Business Studies
– Computer Science
– Design and Technology
– Drama
– Information and Communication Technology
– Music
– Physical Education

There are more subjects available to study for IGCSE. For more information on
these subjects, you may refer to the official CIE website: https://www.cie.org.uk/


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