21 July 2021

What Is IGCSE and Is It the Right Choice for Your Child?

What Is IGCSE and Is It the Right Choice for Your Child?

IGCSE is one of the options of international examinations that you should consider for your child. It is accepted by institutions of higher education around the world, if you are looking to send your child abroad then you may wish to consider IGCSE.


What is IGCSE?

IGCSE, or International General Certificate of Secondary Education, is an English language based examination developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations. It is widely available and recognised across the world, especially in institutions with UK systems or similar. It is highly regarded by both European and North American Universities as well as many institutions across the Commonwealth.

IGCSE is a two-year programme lasting from year 10 to year 11 that is kept updated with the latest developments in education, ending in an externally marked and certified examination from the University of Cambridge. Students typically sit in for seven to nine subjects at the end of year 11, with a wide array of subjects in both arts and sciences available.


IGCSE Requirements at King’s Bangkok

IGCSE requirements can vary between different schools teaching the curriculum throughout the world. At King’s College International School Bangkok, we give our students the freedom to choose the subjects they most enjoy, while also helping them develop foundational skills that come with core subjects.

With that said, these are the subject requirements at King’s Bangkok:

  • All students at King’s Bangkok will undertake a core curriculum that is made up of Maths, English, Science and a Modern Foreign Language. 

  • All students will undertake Maths as an IGCSE, with the opportunity for those that are most capable and inspired to undertake a further maths IGCSE in year 11

  • It is intended that all students will sit English as a first language in year 11, and many will be encouraged to also sit the challenging English Literature exam. 

  • All students will initially prepare to sit exams in all three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

  • Every student will study one language selected from Thai (only suitable for fluent speakers), Mandarin, Spanish and French and study it to IGCSE levels.

The students will then be able to select three more IGCSE subjects from a broad range of subjects listed in the next section.


Benefits of the IGCSE curriculum

The IGCSE curriculum allows students to pick and choose subjects that they are most passionate about, letting them specialise and further their academic interests. Subjects King’s Bangkok offers include:

  • Language courses offered: Thai, Mandarin, Spanish and French

  • Design technology

  • Art

  • Drama

  • Music

  • Physical education

  • Business studies

  • Computer science

  • History

  • Geography

IGCSE forms a strong foundation for higher certifications such as A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, better preparing students for the international examinations and challenging academic material they will face.

At King’s, we also apply the principles of STEM education throughout our core science subjects and co-curricular activities to allow your child to develop practical, well-rounded skills for the digital era.

Even without such certifications, many universities and colleges throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia will accept IGCSE by itself. If you are considering sending your child abroad for higher education, IGCSE should definitely be considered.



GCSE and IGCSE are very similar and are accepted as equivalent certificates. Historically, the main difference is that GCSE has a greater amount and focus of coursework whereas IGCSE is mainly assessed through the final examination. IGCSE has a more international context, being originally designed for students that do not have English as a first language.

In recent years, however, the GCSE format has been changed to resemble IGCSE more closely. With the coursework reduced and the main assessment is done by the exams at the end of the programme. The differences between IGCSE and GCSE are now very minor.


Help your child excel in IGCSE

Here at King’s Bangkok, we ensure that your child is well prepared to not only complete but also to achieve excellence in IGCSE. We know that it is very important as a basis for higher programmes as well as higher education. Our intention is to provide your child with what is needed for whatever qualification they may choose to seek, be it International Baccalaureate or A-levels.

However, years 10 and 11 are not only about the IGCSE curriculum. These are character-shaping years which are crucial for your child. With King’s Bangkok, you can rest assured that your child will be given the best opportunities to become a successful young adult that embodies our core values of respect, tolerance, kindness and care for all. To learn more about studying at King’s visit our about page here.