What are the examinations like?
IGCSE uses a wide range of testing methods appropriate to different skills and subject areas. Written papers may contain short answer questions, multiple choice questions, longer structured questions or full essays. Listening tests, speaking tests and practical tests are also used.
All of these are set by Cambridge and are sent overseas to be marked. The timetable for these exams is also set by Cambridge and as an examination centre we must adhere to their rules and regulations during the examination period. Written exams usually start in May and continue in to June of Grade 10.
What grades can you achieve?
IGCSE grades are awarded for each individual subject on an 8 point scale; A* to G. A* is the top grade while G indicates the minimum satisfactory grade. It is recommended that students need to achieve at least 5 A*- C grades before the I.B course. All UK universities require a Grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language as well as a certain number of IB points.
What is coursework?
In some subjects there is the option of submitting work that is completed during the course. These pieces are set and marked by your teacher in accordance with strict criteria laid down by Cambridge. Samples of this work are sent to chief Examiners in Cambridge so that they can ensure that the criteria are being met and all instructions are precisely followed. All teachers involved in setting and marking coursework have to undergo special training.
The number of marks that coursework is worth varies from subject to subject. For English Language it is counts for 50% of the final score and for English Literature it counts for 30% of the final mark.
Does everyone do the same level of examination?
In some subjects the examination can be taken at two levels; Core or Extended. The decision as to which level is best for you will be taken by your teachers in consultation with you and your parents during Grade 10. It will depend on how well you have done in the course up to that point, however, it is the school policy to enter everyone for Extended unless there are clear indications this would undermine the student‘s chances of passing.
If you take the core paper you will be eligible for Grades C to G. If you take the extended papers you will eligible for Grades A* to E. Your subject teachers or IGCSE Coordinator will be able to give you more information on this when necessary.