What is GCSE?
The GCSE — or ‘General Certificate of Secondary Education’ — is taken by most high school students in the UK at the end of their 11 years of compulsory education. This is most often taken at ages 15 and 16.
The GCSE is predominantly taught at schools in the UK, but is also offered at institutions in some other countries such as Australia, Canada and India.
GCSEs are internationally recognised as an exceptional official high school qualification and act as the gateway to further academic study in the UK. The GCSE course most commonly leads to the official examination which completes Senior School education in the UK. It’s designed for students aged 14+ who want to progress to A-levels (LINK) before entering a UK university.
Your GCSE results are a very important step in your academic journey, and will affect the subjects you take next and the qualifications you’ll go on to receive, your eligibility for your chosen university and course and even your career prospects later down the line. Many employers in the UK require job applicants to meet at least their minimum requirement in Maths and English at GCSE level
What is IGCSE?
IGCSE stands for “International General Certificate of Secondary Education”. It is equivalent to the GCSE qualification which is taken by students in Year 10 – 11 in the UK to prepare them for further pre-university level study, such as A-levels.
The IGCSE is the ‘international’ version of this academic qualification as it’s available in many countries around the world. In the UK, the IGCSE is typically taught at private schools. IGCSEs are internationally recognised as a highly-respected official high school qualification and act as the gateway to further academic study in the UK and beyond.
IGCSE examinations signal the completion of High School education, and are designed for students aged 14+ who want to progress on to A-levels – or other international equivalents – before entering university.
Undergraduate courses at UK universities will specify that applicants need to meet certain requirements at IGCSE level to receive an offer, as well as obtaining the required A-level grades.
How many subjects should you do?
Most schools require students to take a minimum of 5 or 6 IGCSE subjects which must include the 3 compulsory subjects of English, Science and Maths. Alongside these ‘core’ subjects, students can choose from a number of different subjects in areas such as arts, humanities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and sports.
Your IGCSE subject choices should take into account your own interests, your future goals and career plans and the subjects you have studied and excelled in so far.
You should think about which subjects you want to study at A-level (or pre-university A-level equivalents such as International Baccalaureate or Foundation) and at University if you have thought that far ahead.
Struggling with choosing subjects or preparing for the (I)GCSE exams?
We use cutting edge, data-powered assessments to predict which subjects you would receive the best results in. Combined with our knowledge of university course subject requirements and preferences, our experienced consultants can help you select the right subjects which fit your aptitude and plans for the future.
Receiving the best grades you can in (I)GCSE exams (especially in your preferred A Level/IB subjects) is crucial for a Sixth Form application and affects your university options. If you find yourself struggling, our expert (I)GCSE tutors can help you fill knowledge gaps and guide you in picking up marks in the exam.
If you find yourself struggling across multiple subjects or unable to perform in an exam setting due to anxiety, our coaches can help you build skills to overcome these obstacles.
Get in touch today, we will be more than happy to set up a free consultation to discuss your needs in detail.