In February 2009, 16 Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses received accreditation from Ofqual, the government body that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England.IGCSEs are widely accepted by universities and colleges as part of their entry requirements.The introduction of controlled assessment for coursework attempts to overcome the issue of coursework authentication by making coursework supervision compulsory.
The CSE was graded on a numerical scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest, and 5 being the lowest passing grade. The highest grade, 1, was considered equivalent to an O-Level C grade or above, and achievement of this grade often indicated that the student could have taken an O-Level course in the subject to achieve a higher qualification.
As the two were independent qualifications with separate syllabi, a separate course of study would have to be taken to "convert" a CSE to an O-Level in order to progress to A-Level.
Click here for a full account of the background, controversies and national statistics for GCSE.
IGCSEs were introduced in 1988 and are internationally recognised qualifications.
In Northern Irish schools, to Year 10 students, generally lasting until the end of that year or the end of Year 12. In the United Kingdom, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification, generally taken in a number of subjects by pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
State education in Scotland does not use GCSEs, instead its Scottish Qualifications Certificate operates National / Intermediate exams at the equivalent level, however, certain private schools in Scotland offer GCSEs, and the proportion of Scottish pupils taking GCSEs to facilitate admission to English universities is increasing.The then Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, said that: “Schools must be given greater freedom to offer the qualifications employers and universities demand, and that properly prepare pupils for life, work and further study.” “For too long, children in state maintained schools have been unfairly denied the right to study for qualifications like the IGCSE, which has only served to widen the already vast divide between state and independent schools in this country.“By removing the red tape, state school pupils will have the opportunity to leave school with the same set of qualifications as their peers from the top private schools – allowing them to better compete for university places and for the best jobs.” (BBC News, 7 June 2010) IGCSE qualifications are ideal for those wanting to study for national qualifications by distance learning.In Northern Ireland they start in Year 11 and examinations are sat either at the end of that year or at the end of Year 12, as Northern Irish pupils begin school one year earlier.The GCSE was introduced as a replacement for the former O-Level (GCE Ordinary Level) and CSE (Certificate of Secondary Education) qualifications.Statistics on the achievements of young people at the end of key stage 4 in England.We publish a revised version of this data each year and from January 2019 this is included in the ‘Key stage 4 and multi-academy trust performance’ release.Candidates can sit IGCSE examinations all over the world.Offering over 70 subjects, IGCSEs are taken in over 120 countries. Similar to GCSEs, they are perceived by some as academically more rigorous, and for this reason have recently been adopted by over 300 independent schools in the UK.Before 1975, the grading scheme varied between examination boards, but typically there were "pass" grades of 1 to 6 and "fail" grades of 7 to 9.However the grades were not displayed on certificates.