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What is the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)?

Cambridge IGCSE is the most sought-after international qualification for students of ages14 to 16 years. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide and serves as an international warrant for progression and success. The course was developed over 25 years ago, and it has been tried, tested and trusted by international schools in India and worldwide.



The Cambridge IGCSE curriculum offers various routes for learners with diverse abilities, including those whose first language is not English. It helps international schools in India to build a curriculum around their specific needs. It is easy to add cross-curricular perspectives to it while remaining faithful to the foundation of core subjects. The fundamental approach is to encourage learners to engage with a variety of subjects and make connections between them.

Cambridge IGCSE helps learners to improve performance by developing and honing creative thinking, enquiry and problem-solving capabilities. It is the perfect springboard to advanced studies at top IB schools. There are over 70 subjects available at Cambridge IGCSE including 30 languages.

International Schools in India can offer them in any combination. Cambridge IGCSE imparts knowledge, heeds comprehension, imbues skills in the following:

  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar situations
  • Intellectual enquiry
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating in English
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness

Indian international schools and other schools worldwide have been involved in the development of Cambridge IGCSE. The syllabuses are global in outlook but retain a local relevance. They have been created specifically for an international student body and to avoid cultural bias.

IGCSE provides a broad study programme by drawing subjects from 5 areas:

  • Languages
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Creative, Technical and Vocational

A student who takes examinations in a minimum of 5 subjects qualifies for the IGCSE certificate. The CIE awards the ICE Certification (International Certificate of Education) for the recommended combination of subjects in the IGCSE examinations. At Indus and other international schools in Bangalore, all students are required to prepare for this certification.



Cambridge International Certificate of Education is a group award by the IGCSE. It requires the study of subjects drawn from 5 different IGCSE subject groups. A student must take at least seven subjects, including two languages and one subject from each of the other subject groups given below.

Subjects offered under each group at top IB schools like Indus include the following:

Group 1: Languages

First Language - English, Korean*, Thai*, Mandarin*, Japanese*
Second Language - English, Hindi, Korean, Thai, Japanese and Mandarin
Foreign Language - French, Spanish

Group 2: Humanities and Social Sciences:

Economics, Geography, History and English Literature

Group 3: Sciences:

Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

Group 4: Mathematics

International Mathematics and Additional Mathematics

Group 5: Creative, Technical and Vocational

Art & Design, Business Studies, Information and Communication Technology, Physical Education, Music, Enterprise, Computer Science



The Cambridge IGCSE assessment takes place at the end of the course and can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessments. This broadens opportunities for students in Indian international schools 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.

Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standards of achievement for each grade. The ICE result is published in three levels:

  • Distinction – Grade A or above in five subjects and Grade C or above in two subjects
  • Merit - Grade C or above in five subjects and Grade F or above in 2 subjects
  • Pass – Grade G or above in at least seven subjects

As one of the best international schools in Bangalore, we recommend that our students take nine subjects to enhance their chances of achieving the best results.

Cambridge IGCSE examination sessions occur three times in a year - November, March, and June. Results are issued in January, May, and August. At Indus, the examinations are held in March and June only.


To know more about IGCSE, click here