The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an English language based examination similar to GCSE and is recognized in the United Kingdom as being equivalent to the GCSE for the purposes of recognizing prior attainment. It was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations. The examination boards Edexcel and Oxford AQA also offer their own versions of International GCSEs. Students normally begin studying the syllabus at the beginning of Year 10 and take the test at the end of Year 11. However, in some international schools, students can begin studying the syllabus at the beginning of Year 9 and take the test at the end of Year 10.
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.
Cambridge IGCSE exams are conducted in the months of February (India only), May and October, and the results are released in May, August and January respectively. The exams are set by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), which is part of the Cambridge Assessment that also includes the OCR GCSE examination board. As of January 2021, there are over 70 subjects available and schools can offer them in any combination.