Qualifications that are accepted around the world

IGCSEs and International GCSEs 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. 

The British Council helps more than two million people take international exams every year. We can offer you support and guidance from choosing subjects to exam registration. 

*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

Find out how to to register for IGCSEs

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 Examinations (CIE) and Pearson Edexcel. Your school may already use a particular board.

Please note: If you take an exam with CIE, you will be studying for an IGCSE. 

If you take an exam with Pearson Edexcel, you will be studying for an International GCSE.

Find out which board is right for you.

Choosing subjects

IGCSEs/International GCSEs 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. Depending on local availability, you may be able to choose from a wide variety of IGCSEs/International GCSEs subjects.

Check the links below to find out which subjects are available, and with your school about which of these subjects it offers.

Find out which subjects Cambridge (CIE) offers at IGCSE/International GCSE.

Find out which subjects Pearson Edexcel offers at IGCSE/International GCSE.

Ability range

The IGCSE/International GCSE 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.


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. 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 A- and AS-levels or even university placements.