When it’s time to decide which International Secondary Examination your child wants to study for, there is a lot of debate as to which one is the best. Here is your IGCSE guide to help you decide!

Is it the Cambridge IGCSE or the Edexcel IGCSE?

This IGCSE guide will help you in understanding how the curriculums work, the differences, examination timings and fees, results, retakes and post examination options.


  • Overview & Subjects
  • Assessment & Grading
  • Exam Fees
  • Results
  • Options Post Cambridge IGCSE
  • Retaking the Cambridge IGCSE
  • Rechecking your Cambridge IGCSE Results


  • Overview & Subjects
  • Assessment & Grading
  • Exam Fees
  • Results
  • Options Post Pearson Edexcel International GCSE
  • Retaking Pearson Edexcel International GCSE
  • Rechecking your Pearson Edexcel IGCSE Results



The Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the Pearson Edexcel International General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) are two of the most prominent examinations in the world today.

Offered around the globe and setting a benchmark for assessment, achievement, and recognition that is accepted by international universities educational institutions, and employers worldwide.

Apart, from providing vital education for young adults across many subjects, the IGCSE and International GCSE are a multifaceted assessment approach.

It promotes and helps build an array of vocational skills, encourages critical thinking, creative problem solving and practical application of knowledge in today’s world.

The two most competitive and highly accredited boards of examinations that offer these IGCSE and GCSE; are the Cambridgeand Pearson Edexcel boards of Examinations.

Both, Cambridge and Edexcel are equally worthy; however, due to popular demand, we at Tutopiya feel it’s best to provide students, parents, and educators a complete IGCSE guide to the curriculums of the IGCSE examinations by both these assessment boards.



The Cambridge IGCSE curriculum offers a variety of pathways for students within the ages of 14- 16 years, with a range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English.

Created by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) board and developed over 30 years ago, this 2- year program is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide.

Cambridge IGCSE offers a flexible and thought-provoking curriculum, supported with excellent resources and training.

There are over 70 subjects offered in the Cambridge IGCSE curriculum, including 30 languages, and schools can offer them in any combination.

You can find the full list of Cambridge IGCSE subjects here.

Most international schools in Singapore and around the world offer the Cambridge IGCSE exams.

The IGCSE allows for different forms of assessment such as written, oral, coursework and practical assessment, thereby providing them with broader opportunities to showcase their learning and understanding.

The Cambridge International Certificate of Education (Cambridge ICE)certificate is a group award for students who enter and sit for a minimum of seven subjects selected from the five IGCSE curriculum areas:

  • Group 1– Languages
  • Group 2– Humanities
  • Group 3– Sciences
  • Group 4– Mathematics
  • Group 5– Creative and Vocational

Cambridge ICE is awarded to students who pass in at least seven Cambridge IGCSE subjects, including two from Group 1 and one from each of Groups 2 to 5. The seventh subject may be chosen from any of the syllabus groups.

Students who qualify for the Cambridge ICE award will be placed in one of three categories:

  • Distinction– Grade A or better in five subjects and grade C or better in two subjects.
  • Merit– Grade C or better in five subjects and grade F or better in two subjects.
  • Pass– Grade G or better in seven subjects.

Students can qualify for Cambridge ICE over two exam sittings provided they take place within a period of 13 months. This would mean from June to the following November or June; or from November to the following June or November. 



To further facilitate different learning capacities and abilities the Cambridge IGCSE Curriculum is divided into two sections; offering Core and Extended papers in some of the subjects.

Core           Extended
The Core curriculum is within the ability range of a large majority of students. The Extended curriculum has been designed for the more academically able.
Target Grades:  C D E F G Target Grades: A* A B C D E

Students may choose a combination of Core and Extended subjects.

In some subjects, the exam covers the complete ability range and there is no choice of Core and Extended papers. For these subjects, the full range of grades is available. 

It is important to plan your choice of Cambridge IGCSE subjects based on the subjects that you would like to pursue post IGCSE.  We have provided more details on the options post IGCSE below.

If you wish to pursue certain subjects for Cambridge International AS & A levels it is best to choose Cambridge IGCSE Extended curriculum for these subjects.

Students typically study four subjects at AS Level and three subjects at A Level. The standard admission requirement for UK universities is three A Levels.

For the IB Diploma programme too, you will be required to pursue a minimum of three subjects at higher level and it is best to choose Cambridge IGCSE Extended curriculum to fully prepare you for these subjects.


Cambridge IGCSE assessment takes place at the end of the course and can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessment.

This broadens opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, particularly when their first language is not English.

In many subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Cambridge IGCSE examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.

Grades are assigned using eight internationally recognized grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade.

Cambridge IGCSE Core students are assigned grades C to G with C being the highest grade.

Cambridge IGCSE Extended students are graded A* to E with A being the highest grade.

Here is a guide to understand how the student’s papers are marked and graded.

Past papers with mark schemes for each subject are available for you to download, along with examiner reports from previous exam sessions, and specimen papers.

You may access these resources from the Cambridge IGCSE subject page by choosing your subject, or from the Resource Centre.


Cambridge IGCSE is offered in schools and can also be taken privately by the student itself.

The total exam fees depends on how many subjects the student will be taking for the examinations.

The Cambridge IGCSE charges a fee for each exam entry or each subject the student will be taking. This amount varies from school to school and country to country.

You can register for exams as a Cambridge IGCSE private candidate even if you don’t attend a Cambridge school.

First, you need to find a Cambridge school in your country that accepts private candidates and register with them to take IGCSE exams.

You are responsible for making arrangements with the school and they can support you with any exam-related queries.


Cambridge IGCSE Results are issued in August (for May exams) and January (for November exams).

Cambridge IGCSE Result Statistics for all past exams are available here.


If candidates have already taken Cambridge IGCSEs, then they will find that many of the skills they have already learnt are relevant and beneficial to the Cambridge International AS & A Level study.

Cambridge International AS Level examinations are usually taken at age 17 and Cambridge International A Level examinations at age 18, though Cambridge does not set any specific age requirement.

The Cambridge IGCSE is a good stepping stone to both the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme or the Cambridge International AS & A levels.

The IGCSE curriculum helps prepare students for a multi-disciplinary education that is offered by the IB Diploma Programme too. Here is a more insightful article on what is the International Baccalaureate.


You may retake Cambridge IGCSE exams to improve your grades at the exam sittings held twice a year in May & November. More information on Cambridge IGCSE retakes is available here.

Please bear in mind that students can qualify for Cambridge ICE certificate over two exam sittings provided they take place within a period of 13 months. This would mean from June to the following November or June; or from November to the following June or November.


The CIE board carry out extensive quality checks before issuing results. However, you can submit enquiries about results if you would like to get your results checked.

CIE offers a range of enquiries about results services depending on the type of check you would like.

There is an administrative fee for each enquiry. CIE will not charge the fee if the enquiry leads to a change to the syllabus grade.

You should submit any enquiries about results through CIE Direct.




EDEXCEL IGCSE Curriculum Overview & Subjects

Pearson Edexcel International GCSE qualification known as the General Certificate of Secondary Education was previously known as Edexcel IGCSE.

However, it has now changed to Edexcel International GCSE and is equivalent to the Cambridge IGCSE qualification.

The Edexcel International GCSEs cover especially designed academic content and assessment that will enable successful advancement for international learners.

Edexcel International GCSE examinations are a great medium to assess the internationally relevant syllabus in a local context giving students a broader perspective of the subject matter they study.

These exams are equivalent to UK GCSEs and accepted by universities worldwide.Edexcel GCSE is only available for United Kingdom schools, as they follow the UK national curricula GCSE.

There are 40 subjects in the Edexcel International GCSE curriculum.

Aimed at learners aged 14 to 16 years, they provide the problem solving skills, critical thinking, and in depth knowledge needed to progress to A Levels, International A Levels, IB Diploma or onto university and into employment.

The Edexcel International GCSE examinations create a route for international students to develop transferable skills, most sought after by today’s international universities and employers.

Assessment & Grading

Assessment in the form of examinations takes place at the end of the 2-year course, and can include written, oral, coursework, and practical assessment. Examinations are held in January and June. 

Pearson Edexcel International GCSEs are awarded using the new nine point grading scale (9–1), introduced by the UK government to raise standards and recognise top-performing students. 

Pearson Edexcel International GCSEs use the 9–1 grading scale which is also used for the Ofqual regulated GCSEs.

The new scale was introduced by the UK government to raise standards and recognise outstanding performance.

It improves differentiation between learners with a nine (9–1), rather than an eight (A*–G), point grading scale.

Only the final assessment contributes to the final grade. Within the terminal assessment, the contribution of components varies between subjects.


Edexcel charges an entry fees for each unit or subject entry. All details regarding the fees are published in the fees price lists, which you can find on the International GCSE fees page.

When you register a candidate, they will charge you a registration fee which will cover the cost of a number of unit entries.


Results are issued in August for May-June exams and in March for January Exams

ResultsPlus Direct offers online access to your own Edexcel grades and unit scores on results day; it also provides valuable analysis on your performance in the question papers. Visit ResultsPlus Direct to find out more.

Your teacher or Examinations Officer will be able to tell you if your school or college has opted in to provide you with online access to your grades.


For students who have already taken Pearson Edexcel GCSEs then they will find many of the skills they have already learnt relevant and beneficial to Pearson Edexcel International AS & A Levels.

Edexcel International AS (Advanced Subsidiary) qualifications are offered in the same subjects but contain half the content of an Edexcel International Advanced Level.

Learners can either study AS as a stand-alone qualification or as a stage towards completing an International Advanced Level, allowing them to study a broader range of subjects before deciding which ones to take forward.

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE is a good stepping stone to both the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programmeor the Pearson Edexcel International AS & A Levels.

The International GCSE curriculum helps prepare students for a multi-disciplinary education that is offered by the IB Diploma Programme too.

Here is a more insightful article on what is the International Baccalaureate.


You can retake any International GCSE by resitting all of the exams.This means that if you had to take two exams when you first completed your course, you’ll need to resit both papers again, in the same exam session, to get a new grade.

The rules for resubmitting coursework vary by subject so you’ll need to check with your teacher to see whether you can improve your existing work or will need to complete a different task.


If you are concerned that your grade is wrong, Pearson Edexcel offers a service to permit you to request to have your paper rechecked.

If you would like to request for ‘Reviews of marking and moderation’ (RoMM) services, you will need to speak to the exams officer at your school or college, who will submit your request to review the marking of your question paper on your behalf.

The marking of your question paper will be reviewed by a senior examiner, who will check your answers against the mark scheme.

Please note that this there is a charge for this service per exam paper requested.



Tutopiya is an international online tuition agency that offers one to one online tuition for the Cambridge IGCSE to students worldwide including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa as well as other international expatriate students. Similarly, Tutopiya has an international reach to students preparing for their Edexcel InternationalGCSE subjects as well.

With a team of expert researchers, educators and experienced GCSE & IGCSE tutors, Tutopiya is your ultimate GCSE & IGCSE online tuition portal.

As you can see we provide every parent and student with an in depth understanding of the IGCSE & GCSE curriculum and offer online tutoring for a wide variety of IGCSE subjects and GCSE subjects.

Tutopiya offers live tutoring as well as a FREE LIFETIME ACCESS to IGCSE and GCSE course preparation resources, IGCSE and GCSE past papers, lesson plans, assessment guides and a repository of recorded lessons made by expert GCSE & IGCSE tutors.

Tutopiya prepares students with customized lesson plans based on students’ level of knowledge in a subject, and students’ abilities to maximize their strengths and in turn improve their grades for all IGCSE subjects and GCSE subjects.

Our tutors help the students achieve their highest potential, by identifying their learning capabilities, weaknesses and gaps in their knowledge to cover all aspects of the syllabus.

A carefully prepared lesson plan allows the tutor and student to keep a track of the progress.

Tutopiya offers Cambridge IGCSE online tuition for the following IGCSE Subjects in both the Core and Extended syllabuses:

  • IGCSE Mathematics
  • IGCSE Additional Mathematics
  • IGCSE English Language
  • IGCSE English Literature
  • IGCSE Chemistry
  • IGCSE Biology
  • IGCSE Physics
  • IGCSE Economics
  • IGCSE Business Studies

Tutopiya offers Edexcel GCSE online tuition for the following subjects:

  • GCSE Mathematics
  • GCSE Additional Mathematics
  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Chemistry
  • GCSE Biology
  • GCSE Physics
  • GCSE Economics
  • GCSE Business Studies


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