The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is the English language based examination similar to GCSE and is recognized in the UK as being equivalent to the GCSE for the purposes of recognizing prior attainment. It was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations. The examination board Edexcel and OxfordAQA also offer its own versions of International GCSEs. Most Students begin learning the syllabus at the beginning of Year 10 (Grade 9) and take the test at the end of Year 11 (Grade 10). Unlike pre-2017 GCSE, coursework of any kind is not a compulsory component.
The qualifications are based on individual subjects of study, which means that one receives an “IGCSE” qualification for each subject one takes. Typical “core” subjects for IGCSE candidates include a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and one or more subjects in the Sciences.
They can be completely exam-based, like exams that test knowledge in individual subjects in the same way as Advanced Placement exams and SAT Subject Tests. Therefore they offer an alternative to GCSE for many home-schooling educators and in adult education.