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IGCSE Board: Syllabus, Curriculum, Salient Features and Result

The IGCSE or International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an international curriculum for secondary education started by the Cambridge International Examinations. Unlike many other secondary education boards in India, IGCSE offers a choice of subjects straight in the hands of the students, although the school which you appear from might not allow the subject due to lack of faculty or other resources.

Salient Features

  1. The certification offered by the board is internationally accepted in many universities across the world and in many cases, is THE method of admission to the institute.
  2. Many universities especially in the UK, US and Canada require a combination of Cambridge International A Levels and Cambridge IGCSE to meet the entry requirements.
  3. Also, unlike to its counterparts in India, IGCSE is a 2-year curriculum rather than 1 year in case of ICSE, CBSE and the State Boards to name a few.
  4. The exam is taken mostly by students of the age group 14-16 but it is also popular among adult schoolers, students from alternative education to take the exam and continue education progression at any stage of life.
  5. The best aspect that makes it a better choice is the fact that IGCSE offers the students a choice of their preferred subjects to a greater extent which also includes subjects of commerce and many humanitarian subjects which most other popular boards offer only in their high school-level courses.
  6. It is also said that IGCSE is superior as it is a year or more advanced as compared to others.
  7. It also offers the IGCSE Core and IGCSE Extended Course for the fact that not all have the same intellectual level for all the different subjects.

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  1. IGCSE offers 70+ subjects and the students are expected to take a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 subjects.
  2. The list of subjects includes the typical English, Mathematics, and Science along with many other subjects that include many languages, humanities and social sciences and subjects of business, technical and creative importance.
  3. The students are awarded one IGCSE certificate per subject that they take up.
  4. As a board course IGCSE students must take 7 subjects from the following groups:
    • Group 1: Languages (2 subjects’ compulsory)
    • Group 2: Humanities and Social Sciences (1 subject compulsory)
    • Group 3: Sciences (1 subject compulsory)
    • Group 4: Mathematics (1 subject compulsory)
    • Group 5: Creative, Technical and Vocational (1 subject compulsory)
    • The 7th subject can be taken from any of the prescribed group. The subjects from each group are the free choice of the students to take up but may get restricted depending on the school which they join. The whole list of subjects offered by IGCSE are as follows:



English (Language and Literature)

·         English- First Language

·         English- Second Language

·         English- Literature

·         World Literature


·         Mathematics

·         Mathematics- Additional

·         International Mathematics


·         Agriculture

·         Biology

·         Chemistry

·         Environmental Management

·         Physical Science

·         Physics

·         Science- Combined

·         Science- Co-ordinated


First Language

·         Afrikaans

·         Arabic

·         Bahasa Indonesia

·         Chinese

·         Czech

·         Dutch

·         French

·         German

·         Japanese

·         Korean

·         Portuguese

·         Russian

·         Spanish

·         Thai

·         Turkish

Second Language

·         Afrikaans

·         Chinese

·         Hindi

·         IsiZulu

·         Kazakh

Foreign Language

·         Arabic

·         Dutch

·         French

·         German

·         Greek

·         Indonesian

·         Italian

·         Japanese

·         Malay

·         Mandarin Chinese

·         Portuguese

·         Spanish

·         Spanish- Literature

Humanities & Social Sciences

·         Bangladesh Studies

·         Development Studies

·         Economics

·         Geography

·         Global Perspectives

·         History

·         India Studies

·         Islamiyat

·         Latin

·         Pakistan Studies

·         Religious Studies

·         Sociology

Business, Technical and Creative

·         Accounting

·         Art & Design

·         Business Studies

·         Child Development

·         Computer Science

·         Design & Technology

·         Drama

·         Enterprise

·         Food & Nutrition

·         Information & Communication Technology

·         Music

·         Physical Education

·         Travel & Tourism

 5. The IGCSE offers separate courses as Core and Extended.

6. They are made by keeping in mind the fact that not everyone has the same intellectual level in all the different subjects.

7. The Core syllabus includes the basic and is within the ability range of the majority of the students.

8. The Extended includes the Core along with supplements to impart advanced knowledge of the subject.

9. The Extended is for the academically more able students or for the one who wants to acquire in-depth knowledge of the subject.

10. The option for the choice of Core and Extended is for most subjects and the students can opt for a mix of Core and Extended subjects.


  • The Board assesses the marks of the students in terms of grades with their GPA equivalents as follows:


GPA Equivalent




















  • The “U” stands for Ungraded and in order to complete the course and carry-on for their higher education, students must score a minimum of “C” grade in their 5 core subjects.
  • The Core Curriculum is targeted and graded for the students expected in the range of C to G grade while Extended is targeted and graded for the students expected in the range of A* to E.
  • In some subjects, Core and Extended Curriculum are not available and includes only one ability range. In these subjects, the complete grade range is available.
  • The students in their results are placed in one of the three categories:




A or higher in 5 subjects and C or higher in 2


C or higher in 5 subjects and F or higher in 2


G or higher in all 7


The exam results release in January (following the November exam series) and August (June exam series). You might need to go to your school to collect your results, or your school might give you a password so that you can view your results on our secure website


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