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.

*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 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 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.

Choosing subjects

For the full list of available subjects, please see the relevant page on the Cambridge International Exams website:

Please note, the following subjects are not available to British Council Private candidates:


  • Agriculture (0600)  
  • Art and Design  (0600)   
  • Child Development (0637)   
  • Design & Technology (0445)
  • Drama (0411)
  • First Language English (0522)  
  • Food & Nutrition (0648) 
  • Global Perspectives (0457) 
  • India Studies (0447)
  • Mathematics -with coursework (0581)
  • Music (0410)
  • Physical Education (0413)
  • Twenty-First Century Science (0608)
  • World Literature (0408)   

O Level

  • Agriculture (5038)
  • CDT: Design and Communication (7048)
  • Design and Technology (6043)   
  • Fashion and Fabrics (6050)       
  • Food & Nutrition(6065)

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.

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

Find out more about A-levels