Qualifications that are accepted around the world

International GCSEs (IGCSE) are the world’s most popular international qualifications for 14 to 16 year-olds.  They are your gateway to higher education or professional studies in your home country or overseas. They can help you:

  • get a place at college or university at home or abroad
  • find better career opportunities
  • pass the language tests for emigrating or studying in another country*
  • develop skills that help you lead a more exciting and successful life.

*For example, achieving a Grade C in IGCSE English is often enough to satisfy the language requirements for some universities in English-speaking nations.  

Find out which schools offer IGCSEs and International GCSEs.

Find out how to register for IGCSEs and International GCSEs.

Course length and format

IGCSEs/International GCSEs usually take two years to complete. Assessment ranges from written to oral tests, as well as practical exams and coursework.

Exam boards

Exams are offered through two main exam boards – Cambridge International and Pearson Edexcel. Your school may already use a particular board. Please note: If you take an exam with Cambridge International, you will be studying for an International GCSE or O level. If you take an exam with Pearson Edexcel, you will be studying for an International GCSE. Both IGCSE and O level are considered to be the end of secondary school qualification.

Find out which board is right for you.

Choosing subjects

IGCSEs and O Levels give you the freedom to choose a course of study that is right for you. Your chosen subjects should fit with your career goals or plans for further education. To find out which subjects are available in your country, check the lists in the downloads section below.

Ability range

The IGCSE core curriculum is suitable for students who expect to achieve grades C to G. An extended curriculum offers more challenging content for students aiming for grades A to C.

Studying

We can help you access high-quality exam preparation materials, including the British Council’s GCSEPod, as well as examination board study guides, past papers, online apps and other resources.

Get study tips and advice

Grades and marking

Your results are assessed using internationally-recognised A* to G grades. As a result of UK government rules Pearson Edexcel is moving from A* to G grades to 9 to 1 grades. Cambridge International will also start moving to 9 to 1 grades in the future. Coursework and exam papers are all marked centrally in the UK.

When will you get your results?

Results will be sent to your school or nearest British Council office several weeks after your final exam or coursework submission.

What next?

An IGCSE/International GCSE can be your first step toward further education, such as AS and A levels or even university placements.