Top 9 Things You Must Know About IGCSE







Have you heard of IGCSE? Have you ever thought of sending your children to the IGCSE instead of the local school? 

Do you know that a different study environment and assessment could leave a great impact on the students’ personal and intellectual development? 



Here are the Top 9 things that you should know about IGCSE in Malaysia.



#1.  Offered by Cambridge Examination Board
Cambridge Examination Board is well-known for offering examinations and qualifications worldwide. IGCSE was developed by Cambridge Examination Board in 1985. IGCSE is also equivalent of the British O-Levels. All the exam papers are set and marked by the Cambridge Examination Board in the UK as well.

#2. A 5-year program in Malaysia
In Malaysia, the IGCSE is a 5-year program starting with Year 7 (equivalent of Form 1 in the local program) and ending with the Year 11 (equivalent of Form 5).

Stronger students can actually save 1 year and complete high school at the age of 16 or younger. 


#3. British curriculum
The program differentiates from the local program by following the British curriculum. Therefore, the medium of instruction of the program is English since it.

#4. Exam base + Assessment
As compared to solely exam-based focus from the local program, the IGCSE also focus on development and abilities of the students. Therefore, In addition to examination-based qualifications offered by the IGCSE, the program also uses a wide range of assessment processes and techniques. These assessment include orals, practical, projects and coursework. The assessments will effectively encourages student participation in lessons. Thus, the program will help to develop students’ creative thinking and problem solving skills.

#5. Provide solid foundation for students at the College and/or University
During the 5-year program, it helps the student to adapt better in the English-medium courses in college and/or university as English is the medium of instruction of the IGCSE program. 

The curriculum in the IGCSE develops competitive students in the later studies as well as at the work place. Through the project work in the curriculum, it helps the students to adapt better to the the curriculum in the college and/or university. The exposure of project work in the IGCSE builds up the research skill of the students, which makes the student more capable of working on their own when they are required to work on research assignment in the college and/or university. It also helps to sharpen presentation skills of the students. This makes the IGCSE students to be more outstanding as compared to others because they are able to speak with confidence, clarity and conviction.

Encouraging student participation trains the students to be exhibit enthusiasm for learning.  This would further assist the students to learn new things, as well as grow professionally and personally.

Students who did IGCSE is more ready for A-Levels and IB. 

#6. International Recognition
The IGCSE allows admission to the UK, US and also Canadian colleges and universities. This program thus creates a pathway for the local students from Malaysia to study abroad. Many of the leading companies worldwide also accept and recognise this program.

#7.  Two Examination Sessions in a Year
Unlike the Malaysian Certificate of Education (or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, aka SPM) which offers examinations once a year, the IGCSE offers examinations twice a year, in June and November. The IGCSE is also more efficient in terms of issuing results. IGCSE results are issued in August and January each year. Therefore, the IGCSE graduates can quickly apply for scholarship or be admitted into college and/or university earlier as compared to the SPM graduates.

#8. Easy to Find Resources
IGCSE is available in many countries and many students worldwide have gone through the program. Therefore its very easy to find books in local bookstores and 10 years series past year questions can be found in local print shop which can deliver to your house.

#9. Easier than SPM
We have been coaching many students from international schools who did IGCSE and students in local public schools who have to go through SPM, its very obvious that IGCSE is easier for students to handle and more relevant industry.

The 3 sciences which includes Physics Chemistry and Biology syllabus is less in depth but broad base and relevant to university and colleges next time. Students find it easier to grasp and less tedious. History, Geography and Economics are in English and the syllabus and exams are related to the world history, world geographical factors and effects and international economics case studies making the lessons more interesting and prepare students for a more global thinking.

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36 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

    Igcse Syllabus School In India

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  2. Dear Mr Sai Mun

    Can you please let me know where or how to get the subjects syllabus (sciences and maths) for check point exams (yr 2 for 4 yr programme). I think text books tend to write the entire IGCSE syllabus until yr 4, or am I mistaken here. I dont want to ask the teachers thinking its too tedious for them to go through text books to explain to me.

    Secondly, can you please suggest print or book shops that sell past IGSCE exam questions within Klang Valley.

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    1. hi, I'm not familiar with year 2 and year 4 programmes, but you can check with the printshop information here http://mrsaimun.blogspot.my/p/review.html. Buukbook.com

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  3. Hi, you mentioned IGCSE is a 5 years program. Does it mean IGCSE do jot covers elementary in Malaysia?

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    Replies
    1. Yes IGCSE covers elementary in Malaysia but the secondary IGCSE is the most favourable for now.

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  4. I heard local college & university in Malaysia only recognised "O-level"certificate to apply foundation or diploma courses. They don't recognised IGCSE. In this case, how the IGCSE holder should go for further study with foundation and diploma courses?

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    Replies
    1. For local colleges and university you will most probably need to process longer and deal with enrolment officer directly. Most IGCSE students opt for private colleges and university before they start the course.

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  5. Hi Mr. Saimun, may I seek your mind advice on the local universities that recognize IGCSE? Am not referring to private universities as I know most private universities do recognize it.

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  6. Dear Mr Saimun,

    I understand that IGCSE is a 5 year program but I would lie to now what is the chances of someone who is in form 5 now doing average in his study to convert to IGCSE now and do well at end of the year

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    Replies
    1. it really depends on how many subjects he is taking and what subjects he is heading towards. Of course he needs to work hard, understand the concepts and start completing all the past years.

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  7. Dear Mr Sai Mun,

    Do the colleges accept split IGCSE certification? I came across some of the home school center can complete the IGCSE in 3 years time. They taught the class direct to year 10 & 11 after the student complete the pre secondary class for a year. For this school, they did not send the students for Check Point and straight away focus on science subjects. They will arrange student take BM, BC in first stage, 2nd stage go for Math & Bio. Third year they will go for Phy, Chem,Add Math & First language for English. Means end of the day, the student will get 3 certificates instead of 1 certificate. It is good to do that? Will it affected the enrollment in private college or university? If enrol to this school, no way you can pull out your kid as no check point and didn't study year 7,8 & 9 programme from my point of view. Please advice. Thank.

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  8. Yes, for IGCSE its alright to complete the course in split certifcates. Many international schools such as tenby and taylors will ask students to take BM n Math first. All you have to achieve is 5 C as minimum to get into colleges.

    Don't worry about changing homeschools, if you find the school not fit just make a change. We have accept about 8 students who came from another homeschool after year 9 and now doing very well for IGCSE exams.

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  9. Dear mr sai mun

    Is international syllabus more easier than the malaysian local syllabus??

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    1. i have to say, generally international syllabus is easier as they test their understanding of concepts and ideas rather than memorising details as per local syllabus

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  10. Hi Mr Saimun, my son attended private school from form 1 and was accepted to mrsm at middle of form four. He is on spm cucuriculum with sma (islamic arabic syllabus) . Due to some challenges he did not want to pursue with mrsm. Due to that I am now is excessing weather he could get into international school and enroll the igcse curicullum starting this july. Is this allowable? can he be accepted to enter year 11 igsce although he never did igcse year 1-10 before ? please help to clarify. tq

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    Replies
    1. Dear Tokeh Lingzhi, he is definitely allowed to enrol into international school or a homeschool. I don't think its advisable to do year 11 immediately and go for exam. He must do year 10 then followed by year 11 to fully understand, smoothen the transition and prepare for the external IGCSE exams. Do not need to worry about yr7-yr9.

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  11. Hello Mr Sai Mun.. I was wondering if it will be okay for my daughter who is currently in Form 3 enter the IGCSE curriculum in Form 4? Will it be difficult for her? Thank you..

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    1. Hello dear Daeyh Kyu Hwa, one of my student's experience the process before she said its not that hard to catch up as Year 10 (Form 4) because they will be focusing on their new topics of IGSCE for the 2 years.

      English will be the only subject which will be more challenging for her adapt, it will be easier if she has a good english teacher.

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  12. Correct me if i'm wrong. What you are saying is a Form 3 student just needs to do Year 10 & 11?

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  13. Hello Mr Sai Mun, may I know does the Malaysian Goverment recognized IGCSE?

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely recognized in Malaysia and internationally as you can use the results to enter malaysian private colleges and universities, even MARA high schools are taking this exam. But i doubt that you can enter local universities using IGCSE only. Hope it helps :)

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  14. hi, mr. sai mu, wish to check, I am planning my kids secondary school and considering the opportunity of PTPTN for them in future. If they are taking IGSE during secondary school, later proceed to private uni, can they apply the PTPTN? Any restriction that PTPTN only open to SPM student?

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    1. Dear Yuan Ling, when filling in the form for PTPTN, they request for SPM results slip. Maybe you can check around for scholarships and discount by private universities OR some universities and college can promise you PTPTN loan approval. As for as i heard, PTPTN is no longer giving full loan to students.

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  15. Mr.Sai Mun,
    I have a son age 12 and a daughter age 9. My son has just completed UPSR with good results. I am not entirely trilled in his scoring of 'A's but am more concern of a holistic education for both of them.English proficiency and higher order thinking/living skills are more impt. I do not want to be tied down by the daily routine of sending them to school. The tuition fees in most of the international schools are very high.
    What is your opinion /advice in just registering my children in the IGCSE/IB programme and give them home tuitions by personal tuitors or through the internet free tuitions?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. usually its easy when the child is in Year 7 to Year 9, the subject matter is easy and you can find teachers/tutors easily. There's of cos check point papers which you can use to assess the child progress. The problem is when your kids reach Year 10 and Year 11 when they learn Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Add Math, Business Studies and Econs which not any teacher can teach. If your child's basics are not good in Year 7 to 9, it will make their learning difficult and preparation for the IGCSE Year 11 exam very frustrating.

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  16. Mr.Sai Mun,
    I need your advice on registering my kids (age 9 and 12 ) for IGCSE/IB programme and giving them home tuition through internet or private tuition. I have come to know a lot of the parents in K.L are doing it cos the tuition fees in most International schools are so high and the hassle in sending them to these schools.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Phang Kai Mun, it's better to attend homeschool than the private tuition as the former is relatively cheaper. We would recommend one of the homeschools euler.edu.my.

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  17. Mr. Sai Mum
    I'm a Form 4 student and going into Form 5 in 2017. [Im taking SPM syllabus currently] I need your advice on registering for IGCSE homeschooling programme, Do you think it's alright? As I know it's quite packed to study 2 years syllabus in a year. Would the IGCSE English be tough for SPM students? Should I take exam in June or November if I take IGCSE?
    Is there any disadvantage for taking IGCSE?

    I really need your help
    ASAP

    Thank you so much

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    Replies
    1. Dear Wong Han Ee, it's definitely okay but it depends which homeschool you are going to. Many of them can't cope in preparing students for year 11 igcse exams. Oct/nov examination will give you enough time to prepare properly. If you are planning to go private colleges next time, IGCSE is alright. Best of luck Han Ee

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  18. Hi there,
    Is it okay if my kid start the IGCSE course at yr 10 ? As I saw quite many home schools provide lower IGCSE course as well. Is it necessary to attend yr 7, 8, & 9?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Yen Ng, your kid last education level is?

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  19. Hi sir,

    I'd like to know if my children complete igcse in malaysian international school and if suddenly we cannot afford sending them abroad, do they stand a chance to study in malaysian public university? Tq

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    1. Dear Nor Shabeena, i would say the chances are quite slim for the student to enter malaysian public university for now. But you can check with MARA high schools, as i know some of them are currently taking IGCSE. Pls do share if you have further info. Tq

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  20. Dear Mr Sai Mun,

    May I know who will mark the exam papers for Y9 check point? the papers will be checked by the student's school teacher or centralise like UPSR and SPM? you did mentioned that all the exam papers are set and marked by the Cambridge Examination Board in the UK but i just want to double confirmed whether it also applies for y9 check point.

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    1. Dear John,

      Most of the schools checkpoint exams are set n marked by their own teachers. Only a small number of international schools chose to register and send the checkpoint for the Cambridge board to mark.

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