IGCSE Curriculum: Its Features, Advantages & Disadvantages

igcse education

IGCSE is one of the most recognized syllabi in the world. IGCSE is the acronym for International General Certificate of Secondary Education. There are different systems of educations, and unfortunately, some systems open more doors than others. IGCSE is regarded by many as a system of education that can open doors to some of the world’s best universities. It is an English exam that was developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations. Students who study this syllabus are eligible to apply for placement in top universities in the US and UK.

Main features of the IGCSE curriculum

The IGCSE curriculum aims to encourage students to make a connection among a variety of subjects with an international outlook in mind. However, the curriculum subjects are adjustable, so they are relevant to the local region depending on a school’s location. Below is what the syllabus mainly focus on

  •         Subject matter
  •         Student’s application of knowledge and understanding in new and familiar circumstances.
  •         Student’s adaptability and response to change
  •         Cultural awareness
  •         Influencing results
  •         Ability to communicate both written and spoken English
  •         Student’s curiosity in academic subjects

How is it different from other school boards?

As mentioned earlier, IGCSE has an international outlook on education. For example, let’s take a subject like Geography. Instead of learning about mapping using your local maps, IGCSE will teach using maps worldwide, including that of your country. Additionally, students who study this curriculum are likely to have more options when choosing to study abroad. Compared to CBSE curriculum, ICSE, and other internationally recognized syllabi, IGCSE has more recognition in higher learning institutions. If you plan on settling with your family abroad, IGCSE is the best curriculum for your kids. 

Advantages of IGCSE

  • It is a uniform curriculum – the IGCSE curriculum you find in GIIS Tokyo will be the same in another school offering the same curriculum. This makes it a good choice for travelling and expat families who wish to maintain the same quality of education for their children. 
  • It provides students with vast knowledge in their respective subjects – as mentioned earlier, IGCSE’s approach to education is international. This means that as much as the curriculum tries to remain relevant to the local region, students will still be taught international concepts and methods. 
  • Holistic development of students – the IGCSE curriculum focuses on producing well-rounded individuals. This means that students get to grow their social, emotional, and physical skills aside from academic knowledge. 
  • Students have a better chance of being accepted to universities abroad – as you have read earlier, one of the IGCSE curriculum’s main features is knowledge in the English subject. The primary language of instruction in universities abroad is English. Therefore if a student shows that they studied in an IGCSE school or curriculum, a school will know that they understand English. 
  • Learning is practical – hands-on-learning is a preferred approach among international schools like GIIS Tokyo that aim to produce students who are agents of change. Students understand better and retain more knowledge when they learn academic concepts and social values practically. 
  • Breaks cultural barriers – an international approach to education enables every student to understand that the world is a mix of beautiful people with different social and cultural backgrounds. IGCSE encourages an appreciation for people from all over the world through their education system.

 Disadvantages of IGCSE

  • It is expensive – schools that offer the IGCSE curriculum are pricey because some subjects require expat staff to teach. Furthermore, schools must have fully equipped facilities to provide the best education to their students and recuperate these costs through school fees.
  • It might be stressful for students – the IGCSE curriculum is international, and absorbing international knowledge in all applicable subjects can be difficult for students. Imagine the assignments that students have. They probably have to go through a ton of resources, which can be time-consuming and stressful to students.
  • It is not accessible to all students – the IGCSE curriculum is offered mostly in international schools. Not all parents can afford to take their children to an international school.
  • Strict grading method – IGCSE has a reputation of being the most extensive education programs. English is a second language for most students who choose to study this curriculum. Since the curriculum and the exams are in English, students need to have a high level of understanding of the language to pass examinations. Furthermore, a student needs to have academic knowledge of subjects at a global level, which can be hard to master.

So how do you know whether IGCSE is the best curriculum for your child? The truth is that the choice ultimately depends on your family’s needs and the needs of your child. With the information relayed above, you can weigh your option first before making a choice. Remember to include your child’s needs and preferences, as well as the tuition you need to pay for them to study.