International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is one of the most recognised qualifications around the world. IGCSE courses are renowned for developing vital educational skills, including recall of knowledge, oral skills, problem solving, initiative, team work and investigative skills. The resulting qualification provides a foundation for higher level courses such as A and AS Levels, the Advanced International Certification of Education, the North American Advanced Placement program and the International Baccalaureate.

Grades achieved through either route have the same value.

IGCSE offers a flexible course of study that gives candidate the freedom to choose subjects that are right for them, whilst providing them with a broad of knowledge base and lifelong skills.

Where is IGCSE accepted and recognised?

IGCSE is a high profile qualification. It has exactly the same value in admitting students to institutes of further education and employment as the UK equivalent - GCSE.

  • IGCSE is comparable with GCE O Level and the UK GCSE.
  • IGCSE has an excellent reputation amongst international schools worldwide.
  • IGCSEs are recognised as reliable record of attainment which counts towards entry to universities and colleges around the world.
  • A good grade (i.e. C or above) in IGCSE English as a Second Language is accepted for entry by almost all universities in the UK and many in the USA, Canada and Australia as evidence of adequate competence in the English language.
Who can take IGCSE?

IGCSE is designed to be taught as a two year course for students aged 14 to 17 years. In some countries IGCSE courses last just one year and there are no formal age regulations.

How is IGCSE taught?

At school, students are encouraged to study a wide range of subjects at IGCSE level, at the same time. In order to follow a broad and balanced curriculum, many students take courses from each of the IGCSE groups, particularly if they're aiming to go on to further education. This can lead to the award of the International Certificate of Education - an additional qualification that recognises students who pass exams in seven or more subjects, including two languages and one subject from each of the other groups. However it is also possible to study a free choice of IGCSE subjects.

The syllabus is set by Cambridge, but the exact way it is taught will depend on your school or college.

The course differs for each subject, but throughout there will be a mix of assessment methods, including coursework, practical exercises, oral and listening tests, projects and written examinations.

Examination Information

IGCSE courses usually take two years to complete and exams are taken at the end of that period.

Examinations are held in June each year with results issued in August.

Students must enter for IGCSE through our school, which is a registered Cambridge International School.

IGCSE at OFS Frequently Asked Questions

What is IGCSE?

It is the International General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Where does it come from?

University of Cambridge Asessment International Education, in the United Kingdom. Website

How does this involve me?

You are encouraged to sit these external examinations at the end of Grade 10, in any class labelled G1 (in Grade 9) and G2 (in Grade 10). The content examined is based on two years of learning.

Do I have to pay for the examinations?

Yes, you do, when you are registered for the examinations in January of your Grade 10 years. The cost is set by Cambridge International; it is currently SGD130 per subject. This changes from time to time.


These are not our school examinations. It covers their costs of setting the examinations; courier service for all documents sent to us; grading and moderating the answer papers; issuing results and certificates. The school covers the costs of invigilation and courier service for all documents sent to Cambridge.

When do the examinations take place at OFS?

Usually from early May to mid June.

What if I am returning to my own country or going to a new country?

It does not matter if you stay at Overseas Family School or leave Singapore, these examinations provide you with an independently verified assessment of your level of achievement at the end of Grade 10.

What will I receive?

In late August, you will be notified of your results. These are sent to the IGCSE Coordinator who then distributes them. Later, usually in November, the Cambridge International Certificates arrive, which list your grade in each subject (A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G or U-Ungraded, due to insufficient responses). Certain universities may wish to see a copy of your IGCSE results, when you are applying for admissions during your Grade 12 year.