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IB vs. IGCSE- What all you need to know

IB vs. IGCSE has been a constant framework. Both are great curricular system with a different approach to the education. Here is a comparison so that parents and students can make the best choice:

1.    IB or International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational institution that was founded in 1968. Its programs are for children aged 3-19. It does not have any formal examinations. Instead, it issues certificates to students who fulfil their standards. IGCSE or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education is taken under the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). It has been offering international qualifications in over 160 countries. It is the international equivalents of the GCSE qualification of the British. It prepares students for further levels like A/AS level, BTEC Level 3, Cambridge Pre-U, IB Diploma Program and other certifications.  Its certification is based on individual subjects.

2.    The Programs offered by IB are:

•    Primary Year Program (PYP) for 3-12 years old

•    Middle Year Program (MYP) for 11-16 years old

•    IB Diploma for 16-19 years old

•    Career-related for 16-19 years old

The Programs offered by the CIE are:

•    Primary for 5-11 years old

•    Secondary for 11-14 years old

•    Secondary 2 for 14-16 years old

3.    IGCSE is often considered to be similar to the MYP of IB. The difference is that IGCSE is a made of curriculum statements while IB MYP is a framework.

4.    IB is not a curriculum, but an education framework. The IGCSE is for a specific subject for a specific country. IB guide students through their Diploma programs for their graduation. Students get mastery in certain subjects. IGCSE, on the other hand, involves preparation for an examination for a prescriptive course.

5.    IB is not a prescriptive curriculum. It can be moulded according to the administrator. The teachers control the needs of the students and the culture of the school. IGCSE gives a straightforward path on where to go for the tertiary education. Also, in IGCSE, certificates are externally graded. So, they have more accountability. The bodies responsible for assessments are Edexcel (London Examinations) and CIE.

6.    In IB teachers have to design a curriculum and come up with the best method to deliver the lessons. It is good for teachers who want their curriculum to be designed in a specific manner. In IGCSE, teachers don’t have to create curriculum or resources for the students.

7.    In India, there are about 132 schools offering IB curriculum and 310 schools following the curriculum of the Cambridge Advanced.

8.    IB offers knowledge and experience in subjects selected by the students. They have to choose one subject from 6 different groups. This offers a lot of flexibility. There are some compulsory subjects like Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and Creativity Action Service. The IGCSE has over 70 subjects to choose from.

9.    Both the boards emphasize on skill development, application of the knowledge and understanding of the subject rather than the students’ ability to memorize all the concepts and learning and recall it during an examination.

10.    IB, as well as IGCSE, is a tough and demanding curriculum. They grade the students on the basis of all year assessments. Internal assessments keep the students on their feet a whole year. These assessments test the problem solving and oral skills of the students. They emphasize more on the development of the knowledge base.

11.    IB doesn’t have any fixed textbooks. It provides flexibility to the students by providing recommended readings. IGCSE, on the other hand, provides recommended as well as prescribed readings.

12.    IB helps in the development of language, logical reasoning and analytical skills of the students giving them an edge in exams like SAT and GRE. It helps the students build a profile. A lot of emphases is given to extra-curricular activities. So, go for this board if you are looking for global skill-development and an innovative method of learning. CIE has an international reputation. Students from this board have a good footing when it comes to international universities. However, they are not competing for curriculum. IGCSE is given at class 10 level and IB is given at class 12 level. So, you can get both.

For more information, you can check their official websites:

IB – http://ibo.org/

CIE – http://cie.org.uk

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RAHUL NARAIN

Principal partner - BaseKamp
Rahul has over 18 years of business & operations experience in the education domain. He is committed to bringing positive change to the education ecosystem merging improved learning with financial viability for all stakeholders. Rahul has been responsible for setting up K - 12 schools as well as vocational learning centres for premier education institutions like Aptech, EuroKids, iDiscoveri & Sesame Street. He has built a sustainable franchisee network and robust channel management.
As a principal partner of Basekamp he brings entrepreneurial zeal & hands-on experience of building and raising projects successfully right from scratch. Rahul is a post-graduate in Business Management and certified in Business Environment & Strategic Management from IIT Delhi.

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