The Rise of the IGCSE

The Cambridge International GCSE (IGCSE) is widely recognised as the most popular international qualification for 14-16 year olds in the world. One of the primary reasons for its wide reach is that Cambridge qualifications are highly regarded by universities and employers worldwide. As a result, schools everywhere, from Brussels to Beijing, have signed up to become Cambridge Schools in order to offer these prestigious qualifications to their students.

Additionally, the linear IGCSE course structure, which requires candidates to sit a single exam covering the entire two-year syllabus, has been favourably compared to the modular, and some argue less rigorous, GCSE course offered as part of the English Baccalaureate. With regards to international schools, many have found that they can benefit from the IGCSE’s compatibility with their own various qualifications. This is a great advantage to schools whose diverse student bodies need to be able to adapt to the requirements, both academic and cultural, of different countries.

The widespread success of the Cambridge IGCSE amongst both international schools and independent schools in the United Kingdom, inspired other organizations to create their own comparable International GCSE programmes. Edexcel, founded in 1996 by Pearson, is one of them. Though Cambridge has maintained a slight advantage in terms of overseas uptake, including in the U.S. where they are piloting a new IGCSE programme in a number of public schools, Edexcel has also experienced growing popularity, particularly in the UK, where the number of schools entering pupils for its exams has doubled in the past two years. This rise is largely attributed to the latest government decision in 2010 to allow Ofqual accredited versions of the IGCSE to be taught in UK state schools.

Anthem Press is dedicated to providing up-to-date, relevant resources for academia and the world of education. As such, we will be launching an IGCSE series with new Mathematics and English Literature textbooks in 2013. This new series will be tailored to both Edexcel and Cambridge International GCSE syllabuses and will reflect the international reach of these programmes. We hope our past experience in producing rigorous scholarly and educational resources will really show through in this new IGCSE series.

Click here to view our latest IGCSE publications.