Differences You Should Know Between IGCSE and GCSE


GCSE is a qualification that marks the completion of Secondary Education in the UK. Students in the country take this exam at the end of year 11 when they turn 16 years old. While students who live outside of the UK but are interested in academic qualifications of the country must have heard about IGCSE.

Both of these are taken by students across the world before they get ready for pre-university education.

What is GCSE?

GCSE refers to General Certificate of Secondary Education usually taken by high school students in the UK when they complete 11 years of compulsory education.

It is mainly taught at schools in the UK. However, seeing the popularity of the certification some institutions in other countries like India, Canada, and Australia have also started offering GCSE coaching classes.

Why is GCSE Highly Valued?

GCSEs are globally recognised as the official high school qualification certification and help individuals to pursue further education opportunities in the UK.

A GCSE course leads individuals to an official exam that completes high school education in the UK. It is meant for students above the age of 14 to reach A-levels of education before entering universities in the country. The results of the GCSE exam are highly valued and will decide what subjects and qualifications you can pursue further in your academic journey. It will also impact your eligibility for a particular university and course and even your career prospects.

What is IGCSE?

IGCSE refers to International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is equal to the GCSE certification which is pursued by students in the UK to get ready for further academic qualifications of pre-university levels, such as A-levels. The IGCSE is the global version of GCSE as it’s offered in several countries across the world. In India, seeing the demand, several institutions have started offering IGCSE coaching classes in Mumbai and other cities as well.

Why is IGCSE Highly Valued?

IGCSE is globally considered as a highly-valued and respected high school qualification that helps students to pursue further studies in the UK and others.

These exams verify the completion of high school education and are meant for students above the age of 14 who want to progress academically to A-levels or other international levels before stepping into the university. Due to the high value of the certification, most of the students aspire to get good results in this and undergo IGCSE coaching classes to increase their chances of passing.

Differences between GCSE and IGCSE

GCSE and IGCSE are considered as ‘equivalent’ qualifications by world-class universities, sixth-form colleges, and some private schools across the world. The main difference between GCSE and IGCSE qualification is a greater amount of syllabus in the GCSE exam, whereas IGCSE is assessed through final exams that happen during the end of the course.

This is because IGCSEs have been designed for international students who might not know English as their first language. Let’s take a look at the key differences between- GCSE and IGCSE:

  1. Course Syllabus

The GCSE course syllabus has been designed for mainly British and not the international audience. This can be seen in the syllabus for certain subjects. For instance, reading Shakespeare is mandatory in GCSE English Literature, whereas it is optional for the IGCSE exam.

  1. Examination Dates

GCSE exams are conducted annually in May or June, with results declared in November.

IGCSE exams are conducted in November or January (for certain subjects), and also in May or June every year.

  1. Availability

GCSE qualifications are offered in the UK and some other countries such as India, Canada, and Australia.

On the other hand, IGCSE qualification is offered internationally and can be taken in around 150 countries in the world.

As both of these are available in India, so you will find some considerable options for both- GCSE and IGCSE coaching classes in our country.

GCSE or IGCSE- Which one is better for you?

Practically, the differences between GCSE and IGCSEs are so minor, that either of them could be perceived as “better” or “worse” than the other.

Both the high school qualifications are highly respected and accepted by top universities and other educational institutions in the world.

Some international universities offer a combination of GCSE and IGCSE based on the course syllabus that they consider to be best for their students.

While deciding the best for you, you need to find a school that will prove to be right for you and study subjects that will make way for you to successfully progress through your academic journey.

Always opt for professionals to get proper training and guidance for the exam. For this, you can research to find the best IGCSE coaching classes in Mumbai or other areas.

Bottom Line

In this article, we have explained what GCSE and IGCSE qualifications are, the main differences between these two, and how to decide which one of them could be better for your academic journey. This guide will help you make a decision for your further studies and decide the best for yourself.

If you have set your mind, and have decided the best option for you, then you’re good to go ahead with GCSE or IGCSE coaching classes in India.