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Whether you are looking at GCSEs or IGCSEs, only hard work and determination are going to help you achieve the grades you require. Let’s have a look at the difference between each


The GCSE exam replaced the previous ‘O’ Level and CSE exams in 1988 and brought with it, the added addition of coursework.

Since it’s inception there have been many further changes, such as trying to keep coursework to a minimum and the introduction of the 9-1 grades from the A*-G grades that were used for a number of years.

GCSEs are widely available in UK schools and form a natural progression onto A Level or Level 3 subjects.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is offered to students to prepare them for A Level, BTEC Level 3, International Baccalaureate and other equivalents.

The IGCSE is an international alternative to the GCSE and as the subjects are normally exam based only, make them ideal for students who are unable to attend a local school or college. This means there is no need to carry out science practical exams or find a school that will mark and authenticate your coursework.

IGCSEs are internationally recognised and as well as being available in the UK, are also available worldwide. They are recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide, and are an international passport to progression and success.

Like the traditional GCSE subjects, grades will also be changing with IGCSE subjects and in 2019 students will be required to sit examinations, which test using the 9-1 grading system.

As an indication of how these grades compare, please see the comparison table below:

new gcse and igcse grading structure

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