IGCSE Past Papers
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a very popular English language curriculum to prepare students for International Baccalaureate. Developed by Cambridge International Examination (CIE) in 1988, IGCSE is an international certification for end of secondary school (equivalent to O-level, UK GCSE, fifth form or year 11 in respective countries and schools) before a student takes up the Advanced Level ( A-Level, sixth form or the year 12 & 13) or pre-University studies. The IGCSE syllabus is more often seen as similar to O-level rather than the UK national curriculum GCSE. Hence, the IGCSE examination is also seen as more challenging and thorough. Today, in this article, we’re providing in-depth and important information about the IGCSE past papers, the IGCSE advantage and recognition that a student can expect, and much more.
The IGCSE Advantage
IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year olds. Let’s begin by understanding why the IGCSE curriculum is so popular and what it does for the students who take it up. Firstly, IGCSE is internationally a well-recognized alternative to many popular local curricula. You must understand that IGCSE is not a ‘certificate of education’ or a group award but it’s more like a qualification based on individual subjects that a student studies. A student receives an IGCSE certification for each subject that he/she chooses to study. Keeping this in mind, schools across the world have different expectations about the number of IGCSE certifications that a student should take.
IGCSE offers more than 70 subjects. The students are required to take a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 subjects. Generally, the ‘core’ curriculum for IGCSE students includes a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics, and one or more subjects in the field of science. The Core subjects are English, Mathematics, and Sciences. The students can also choose other subjects ranging from Social Sciences (Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Sociology, etc.) to Arts & Technology (Computer Studies, Information & Communication Technology, Art & Design).
The IGCSE curriculum also comes across as a viable option for home-schooling or in Adult-Education where one wants qualification but does not have the luxury of time to attend full-time school classes. IGCSE does not offer ‘actual certified’ courses but is predominantly exam-based. It has exams that test the knowledge of the students in each individual subject in a manner similar to Advanced Placement Exams and SAT Subject Tests.
The IGCSE Grading System
IGCSE gives grades on an 8-point scale from A* to G with a 9th grade ‘U’ denoting ‘Ungraded’. The Cambridge Examination Board awards an ICE (International Certificate of Education) group qualification to candidates who secure seven subject passes A*- C across the following groups:
- Group I- Languages.
- Group II- Humanities and Social-Sciences
- Group III- Sciences
- Group IV- Mathematics
- Group V- Creative, Technical, and Vocational
There are three grades in the ICE award system viz. Distinction, Merit, and Pass.
Distinction: Grade A or better in five subjects and grade C or better in two subjects.
Merit: Grade C or better in 5 subjects and grade F or better in two subjects.
Pass: Grade G or better in 7 subjects.
A student requires two passes in Languages and one pass in every other group, while the seventh subject can be from any group to qualify for an award.
Additionally, the top students with the highest achievement are awarded “Outstanding Achievement Awards” in the categories of “top in the country” and “top in the world” for each subject.
IGCSE certification is widely recognized by institutions of higher learning and prestigious employers around the world as evidence of academic achievement. Many reputed Universities insist on a combination of Cambridge International A-Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs to meet their entry requirements.
Success in Cambridge qualifications often guarantees students admission to the world’s best universities – in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, and beyond. Cambridge qualifications are even accepted and valued by universities around the world, including MIT, Harvard, and Cambridge.
IGCSE certifications are recognized as qualifications that prepare and equip students with the skills they need to succeed both at the university level and in the professional world. Many Universities value the independent research and critical thinking skills, as well as the deep subject-knowledge that the IGCSE qualifications inculcate in its students.
An independent research carried out by UK NARIC, the national agency in the UK for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, found the Cambridge IGCSE qualifications to be comparable to UK GCSE.
IGCSE Past Papers
Now, as promised at the beginning of the article, let’s take a look at the IGCSE past papers. You must remember that the surest way to succeed in any examination is to practice from its past papers or previous year’s question papers. The practice of solving past papers not only helps you get an insight into the exam-pattern, marking-scheme, the time needed to solve each section of the paper, etc. but it also helps you assess your own performance and your level of exam preparedness. Don’t forget, if you’re able to solve the past papers in the stipulated time then it can be a big confidence booster for you, which goes a long way to ensure success on the exam day.
For your benefit, we’ve put together the download links for the IGCSE past papers subject-wise. So get ready to download and practice solving these IGCSE past papers.
Download Links for the IGCSE Past Papers
You can click on the links provided against each subject to download the IGCSE Past Papers pertaining to that particular subject. The links will take you to the year-wise folders where you can download and practice the IGCSE past papers.
We strongly recommend that you don’t procrastinate and immediately start practicing the IGCSE sample papers from the links provided in the table above.
Toppr wishes you all the best!