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The Difference Between IGCSE and IB

The Difference Between IGCSE and IB

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education and the International Baccalaureate diplomas are very similar, which can make dealing with them confusing at times, especially since they are both English language curriculums provided mostly to English speaking expatriates around the world. However, there are some differences to keep in mind.

  1. Education Level or Difficulty

These two categories aren’t two versions of a similar program. Instead, each target different education groups at different levels of difficulty. The IGCSE is usually offered to students who are preparing for the final IB program. For this reason, it is typically given to students who are beginning year 10 of their education and who would take final examinations at the end of their 11th year.[i]

The International Baccalaureate, however, offers four different educational programs: rhe IB Primary Years Programme for children aged 3–12; the IB Middle Year Programme for children 11–16; and the IB Diploma Programme for children 16–19. Finally, there is the IB Career-Related Programme, which is an alternative course for students aged 16­–19 who have a greater idea of their intended vocation. The curriculum outline for the Diploma Programme includes a theory of knowledge class, the extended essay, creativity activity and service, studies in language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and the arts. The Career-Related Program features a very different curriculum that offers career-related studies (vocational, professional, and technical), two Diploma Programme courses, personal and professional skills course, service learning, reflective project, and language development.[ii]

  1. Grading

The IGCSE is graded on an 8-point scale ranging from A to G, with a U indicating that the student or class was ungraded. This grade scale is similar to the GCSE, which is Britain’s own variation of this program. Students may study anywhere from 5 to 14 IGCSE subjects, but must pass 5 core subjects with a C or above to meet the minimum requirement.[iii] There are examinations that must be passed, and individuals receive a IGSCE qualification for every subject in which they complete successfully.[iv]

With the IB program, there are no formal examinations required or marked by the IB. Instead, the IB validates the grades of final-year students and issues certificates to those students that meet the required standards.[v]

  1. History

The IGCSE was developed by Cambridge International Examinations as a variant of the GCSE, which is the British qualification for international students. It was developed over 25 years ago and is widely used today.[vi]

The IB can also refer to the international educational foundation that developed the program in 1968 and is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It truly started with Marie-Therese Maurette’s writing entitled Educational Techniques for Peace. Do they exist? She wrote this in 1948 and, with it, created the framework for the IB Diploma Programme, which would later become the International Baccalaureate Organization, which ultimately became the International Baccalaureate. The first program that was developed was the IB Diploma Programme and that remained the extent of their offerings until the 1990s when the Middle Years Programme and Primary Years Program were developed. The Career-Related Programme is a relatively new offering, having first made its appearance in 2012.[vii]

  1. Global Presence

There is no argument that the IB holds a greater global presence than the IGCSE. The IGCSE is predominantly used in the United Kingdom and is growing in the United States. It does have a small presence in Singapore and India as well.[viii]

Unlike the IGCSE, the IB is widespread across the world. Countries that offer this program include Zimbabwe, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.[ix]

  1. Governance and Oversight

The IGCSE oversight is provided directly by Cambridge International Examinations, and the qualifications granted by this agency are growing in international recognition. The IGCSE is still growing in the UK as well; though there are now over 200 schools from the state sector and 438 from the independent sector that offer IGCSE. In the United States, the Fulbright commission advises any students who have completed the IGCSE to also take a GED exam if they plan on entering American universities.[x]

The International Baccalaureate program’s governance is much more rigidly structured. There is a Board of Governors and six individual committees, focusing on access and advancement, audit, education, finance, human resources, and governance. There is also a Director General, appointed by the Board of Governors, that sets the strategic direction of the organization, develops the mission statement, makes policy, oversees the financial management, and ensures the autonomy and integrity of all programmes and assessments. The Board of Governors itself will contain between 15 and 25 members that are elected on the recommendation of the governance committee as well as some nominations from the Heads Council, Regional Councils, and the Board. The Heads Council and Regional Councils also serve as advisory positions. The IB Diploma Programme is a well-regarded and well-received educational system with many accolades from various parts of the world, including the United States. It is sometimes considered to be a great alternative to the future of current education systems because it is so effective.[xi]


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References :


[0][i] International General Certificate of Secondary Education. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education

[1][ii] International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Baccalaureate

[2][iii] International General Certificate of Secondary Education. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education

[3][iv] A side by side comparison between IB and IGCSE. (n.d.). School Advisor. Retrieved from http://schooladvisor.my/features/a-side-by-side-comparison-between-ib-and-igcse/

[4][v] International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Baccalaureate

[5][vi] Cambridge IGCSE. (n.d.). Cambridge International Exams. Retrieved from http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-secondary-2/cambridge-igcse/

[6][vii] International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Baccalaureate

[7][viii] International General Certificate of Secondary Education. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education

[8][ix] International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Baccalaureate

[9][x] International General Certificate of Secondary Education. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education

[10][xi] International Baccalaureate. (n.d.). On Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Baccalaureate

[11]https://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%ED%8C%8C%EC%9D%BC:IGCSE_cover.jpg

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