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Unless you are an international student, you most probably would not know what IGCSE is. Standing for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education, it is an international examination curriculum commonly adopted by most international schools in Singapore and all around the world. It is equivalent in standard to the GCE ‘O’ levels taken by most secondary school students in Singapore. IGCSE is taken at Year 4 (Grade 10), which is equivalent to Secondary 4 in Singapore’s national school system. Upon getting an IGCSE qualification, students may proceed with the GCE ‘A’ levels, SAT, International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, and various other certifications.
The IGCSE curriculum is extensive, offering a variety of academic routes to explore. This is especially beneficial for learners with a wide range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English. There are over 70 subjects , which includes 30 languages, and schools can offer them in any combination. IGCSE develops knowledge, understanding, and skills in the following areas:
Schools are involved in the development of the IGCSE curriculum. While the syllabuses are international in outlook, they retain a local relevance. They are created specifically for an international student body and avoids cultural bias. Assessment includes written, oral, coursework, and practical assessments.
GCE ‘O’ levels offer less coursework compared to the IGCSE, which uses a variety of assessment techniques to test oral and practical skills, problem-solving, and application of skills, knowledge, and understanding. In addition, the latter rewards students for positive achievements e.g. what they know, understand and can do. The IGCSE also prepares students for progression to employment or further study.
On the other hand, some ‘O’ level syllabus was developed to meet specific local needs – this includes the mandatory mother tongue languages such as Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. The focus of ‘O’ level languages is on writing and reading skills. Also, thorough School-Based Science Practical Assessment (SPA) exams are limited to students doing pure ‘O’ level sciences.
The following table lists the schools or institutions that offer the IGCSE programme in Singapore.
|Anglo-Chinese School (International)|
|Ascensia International School|
|Australian International School|
|British Council, Singapore|
|DIMENSIONS International College Pte Ltd|
|DPS International School Singapore|
|Dulwich College (Singapore)|
|EtonHouse International School|
|Furen International School|
|Gems World Academy (Singapore)|
|GIG International School|
|Global Indian International School Pte. Ltd.|
|Nexus International School (Singapore)|
|NPS International School|
|One World International School|
|PSB Academy Pte Ltd|
|SIM International Academy|
|St Francis Methodist School|
|St Joseph's Institution International Ltd|
|Tanglin Trust School|
|The Grange Institution|
|Touchstone International Institute|
|United World College South East Asia - East Campus|
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