Blog Parents Key Decisions IGCSE: Is it Right For My Child?

IGCSE: Is it Right For My Child?

You might find it surprising that GCE O-levels is not the only exams that are recognized in Singapore. With other examinations available, you might be wondering if the IGCSE is the right option for your child.

If you can’t decide whether or not you should have your child take the IGCSE or the Cambridge O levels and what the benefits of having your child take the IGCSE are, please read on.

The IGCSE stands for ‘International General Certificate of Secondary Education’ and was developed over 30 years ago. The examination is taken by students aged between 14 and 16 years old and is currently implemented in schools worldwide.

As the IGCSE is available in countries all across the world unlike the GCSE and Cambridge O-levels which is only available in certain countries, the IGCSE proves to be a popular examination.

Reputable universities and companies also recognize this qualification proving the IGCSE qualification to be a gateway to success.

The IGCSE Syllabus

The Cambridge IGCSE syllabus was created in a bid to support the development of a modern curriculum. While students can take each subject as an individual examination, they can also take them as qualifications to receive the ICE (International Certificate of Education).

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In order to receive the ICE, students must receive passes in at least a variety of 7 subject areas. Top students with the best achievements also receive Cambridge awards for outstanding achievements and these are categorized according to top country and top in the world for each subject.

As it is available worldwide, it takes into account that English may not be the first language of some students, as they cater to over 120 countries thus they made provision in the course of the examination.

Now that you have a bit more background of the IGCSE, the below zooms in on the more specific features of the IGCSE exam for you to assess if it’s right for your child.


While most examinations only assess reading and writing abilities, the IGCSE goes one step further in ensuring that your child understands the content that they’ve learned.

Your child will also be assessed on:

How to apply what they’ve learned so far
Skills that they’ve acquired
Critical thinking

Being assessed in a multitude of different ways allows information that your child has acquired to stick and allows them to understand how their knowledge can be applied in so many other different ways.

As a student that’s aged between 14 and 16 years old, this is the best time for your child to acquire more knowledge and expand their horizons. The IGCSE offers over 70 subjects ranging from Humanities and Social Sciences to Mathematics and Technical Vocational for your child to choose from.

The students will be able to pick subjects that they enjoy and through picking their own subjects, your child will be able to gain a further understanding of these subjects to take their knowledge to the next level.


When acquiring knowledge, it’s also crucial for students to work on their skill set. After all, knowledge is useless if one doesn’t know how to apply it properly.

The Cambridge IGCSE curriculum allows teachers to play a more pivotal role in educating their students. For example, coursework is available for certain subjects allowing teachers to be more involved in a student’s assessment.

With its curriculum, your child will be able to:
develop skills such as thinking creatively
asking more questions
solving problems that are presented to them with proper guidance

These skills will allow students to be more confident, engaged and innovative learners in the long run.

Wider Range of Grades

As every student is different, they may have a stronger skill set in certain subjects. The Cambridge IGCSE caters to students with a different range of abilities. Hence, they also have a wider grade scale of A* to G with A* being the highest grade and G being the lowest.

To help build on their skillset, IGCSE also has a core curriculum for individuals that score between C and G and an extended curriculum for individuals that score between A* and C for some subjects.


It is a known fact that the University of Cambridge is one of the most reputable universities that produces some of the brightest individuals in the world. Hence, the IGCSE examination is also known to get students into some of the best universities in the world.

Students that have taken the IGCSE examinations and achieved good grades have gone onto enrolling in Universities such as Harvard, Cambridge, and Yale. The IGCSE also has a reputation for sufficiently preparing students in further education such as the A-levels, International Baccalaureate exam and more.

The standards set forth by the Cambridge IGCSE are also recognized internationally and is on par with other examinations such as the GCSE in the United Kingdom and the GCE O levels.

Being recognized by esteemed universities and companies all over the world, the IGCSE examination is known to be a stepping stone for students all over the world to a brighter future.

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The reputable IGCSE facilitates choice and allows an all-rounded education in comparison with other examination systems in the world. It’s no wonder that a large percentage of schools in the world are currently adopting this system. The above features would help you in better assessing if the IGCSE examination is suitable for your child.

There are many pathways to a rich education in Singapore. These are some of the articles that can help you to decipher them:

4 Parental Worries When Choosing The Right Secondary School
Primary Education: Elite Or Heartland School?


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.