Welcome to IGCSE World

IGCSE World is an educational platform that makes studying easier, better and less-time consuming. Over 100,000 students around the world are sitting for IGCSE exams yearly, making it one of the most popular international middle and secondary school qualifications in the world. IGCSE World provides help to the students by classifying resources, such as past exam papers, markschemes and examiner reports. As well as providing help to students studying process by producing tutorials, notes and study guides.

What is IGCSE?

IGCSE is an acronym for (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), the international version of the United KingdomÕs GCSE. IGCSE courses span over 70 different subjects from mathematics and sciences to humanities and arts.

The IGCSE is directly managed by two boards, namely Edexcel and CIE. The boards are responsible for setting the curriculum, the teaching scheme and materials, students assessment and exams marking. Both boards are supervised by higher offices including Ofqual and Ofsted, which both are under the regulations of the UKÕs Department of Education.

The IGCSE courses prepare the students for multiple higher school-leaving qualifications; the GCE A-Levels, the Scottish higher-levels and the IB advanced subjects. The IGCSE also qualifies the students to apply for universities foundation year which makes up for the A-Level subjects.

IGCSE Assessment and Grading System

The IGCSE subjects are usually meant to be taught in a whole educational year. Most of the courses are mainly exam-based with few to no grades on the yearlong coursework or assessment.

The final exams usually take place in the the months of May / June with resitting possiblities in January and November depending on the examination board.

The IGCSE is divided into core and extended curriculums (also known as foundation and higher tiers). The core (foundation) tier is aimed at the younger students to prepare them for the IGCSE extended (higher) tier courses.

IGCSE extended (higher) tier grading system is an eight-points scale letter grades A - F, with A* is the highest and F is the lowest passing score. While the core (foundation) tier spans from has a more compact grading system of C Ð F, where C is the maximum possible grade. The U grade indicates that the student is unqualified and is not considered as a pass.

The grading system is to be changed in the coming academic years to feature a nine-points digit grades, from 1-9 with 9 being the highest possible grade.

Usually, the IGCSE subjects have less exams than the local GCSE version. Most of the subjects have 2 to 3 exam papers depending on the examination board. This makes the IGCSE qualification a better alternative for many independent and state-funded schools, as it is less modular and

IGCSE grades A* Ð F are interchangeable each year depending on the performance of the students. For example, the A* grade can be awarded to students achieving 90% grade in a year, and awarded to students achieving 84% grade in another year. This is commonly known as the curve, or variable grade boundaries, which aim to tackle the exam difficulty effect on the students grades. This in turn, makes IGCSE grades measure the students level and performance disregarding the exam difficulty.

Exam marking process

IGCSE subjects are marked by examiners by hand. The examiners marking the exam papers follow certain set of rules that indicate precisely how the exam papers should be graded, namely the marking scheme (or markscheme).

After all the IGCSE exams are marked, the chief examiner issues a report known as the Examiner Report that provides feedback on the studentsÕ performance. The report documents the common mistakes, the general answering patterns and answers recommendation.

The exam papers, marking schemes and examiner reports are usually published by the examination board and are released to the public domains for the students and teachers to use them in the learning process.

Final results

After the results are released, students, parents or the school can request a re-marking for the examination paper. The re-marking request is followed re-checking all of the studentsÕ answers, issuing a special report on the students performance and possibly sending a scanned copy to the requester. If the examiners found in-correct marking the correct grade is to be issued to the student and the final certificate includes the correct final grade.

Things to know about


Edexcel is an educational organization owned by Pearson, the only for-profit examination board.


CIE is an acronym for Cambridge International Examinations. It is a non-profit organization owned by the University of Cambridge.

Formula Sheet

This is the booklet, or a page in the exam which includes the formulae you will use in the exam but you should not memorize.


Students repeat the exams they took previously in order to score a better grade. The higher grade is usually the one taken in many cases.

Linear / Modular

IGCSE courses are considered linear, which means that the final exam papers cover all parts of the curriculum. Modular means that every module (part) of the syllabus is assessed independently in its own section or examination paper.

Simple Assessment Paper (SAM)

The sample exam paper issued usually after syllabus changes or reforms. This paper often is accompanied with a marking scheme paper in order to give the teachers and the students a scope on how the exam will be following the changes / reforms.

Specimen paper

Similar to the SAM.


The detailed curriculum indicating the topics, subjects and a exact requirements of the course. This usually is in place in order to indicate to the teachers exactly what should the students be taught and how to be prepared from assessments.


The final study of the students’ year long practical learning. The coursework is usually considered to be a research paper that fosters the students scientific thinking skills and knowledge.


UCAS is an Acronym for University and Colleges Admissions Services, the main body regulating university applications and admission procedures. In order to apply to a university in the UK, you usually have to apply through UCAS before the senior year. You are required to write a statement of purpose, your university options and your expected grades. The universities usually reply with a conditional offer indicating the required grades needed in your final years in order to be admitted to the university. (Find more on https://www.ucas.com/)


The period after which the universities have finalized selecting the students to be admitted and before the start of the term. This period usually involves lowering the standards / requirements for admission in order to fill places left in case the university did not have its capacity of students.


It is an acronym for The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. It is a non-ministerial office that regulates the examinations and is often in charge or supervising the examination boards. (Find more on https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual)


It is an acronym for . It is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and accrediting schools and colleges. (http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/)

Curve / Grade Boundaries

The adjustments of the letter grades equivalent percentages to prevent the exam difficulty from giving an incorrect reflection of students level and performance.

Alternative to practical

The final paper that is meant to assess the students practical abilities and application knowledge they gained through the course. This paper is a written paper that mainly depends on the lab / real-life experiments, and it usually exempts the students from practical exams.