IGCSE V GCSE
At Barts, we are pleased to offer a wide range of exam boards and syllabuses at both GCSE, AS and A level. For some subjects, we also offer and prefer IGCSE – the International version of GCSEs, now taken in over 150 countries worldwide. The IGCSE exam board used at Barts is Edexcel (Pearson Edexcel).
We are often asked whether IGCSEs are recognised by colleges and universities in the UK, and the answer is unequivocally yes. IGCSE and GCSEs are recognised as being equivalent and the same value is placed on both. We are also asked, understandably, what the key differences are between IGCSEs and GCSEs.
The key differences between IGCSE and GCSE:
1. Course content
At Barts, our tutors are able to advise students on which exam board would be most suitable for them. In IGCSE and GCSE English Literature, for example, the text materials differ between the exam boards and the tutor can discuss which syllabus offers the most appealing texts for the individual student.
In Maths, many students prefer the IGCSE papers, with a strength being that both papers permit the use of a calculator and questions are more ‘straight forward’ in comparison to other boards.
In Science, GCSE exam boards often require separate completion and assessment of science practical. In IGCSE, these practical skills are taught throughout the course but assessment as part of the written papers, rather than separately.
2. Exam date
GCSEs take place during the summer examination series (May-June), with resits possible in November.
IGCSEs, however, take place in the summer examination series, as well as in November and January (for certain subjects only).
Having the option of sitting an exam in January suits many of our GCSE students well. For example, a GCSE student might have narrowly missed their grade in the summer series and would only require one term (or less) of teaching, before resitting in November or January. This could similarly be the case for an A level student, who is studying three of four A levels, but looking to improve upon one or two of their GCSE grades.
Transferring to Barts midway through your GCSE course
At Barts, we are able to offer all exam boards, with the exception of Cambridge International. This allows students to transfer to Barts and continue with the exam boards they have already been studying.
The great thing about Barts, however, is that our experienced tutors can advise on whether in fact a switch of exam boards would be beneficial, even if midway through the course. With 1:1 tuition, our tutors can soon establish whether or not a different exam board might suit a student’s way of working better, or the content be more engaging. We pride ourselves on increasing students’ confidence and enjoyment of their studies, which in turn increases the likelihood of higher grades and thereby a wider range of next step opportunities.
If you would like to discuss the above in more detail with one of our Directors of Studies, please do give us a call on 01273 205965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.