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IB Vs. IGCSE- Understanding the Different Between Two Boards

By RiddhiMay 31, 2023
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Difference Between IB and IGCSE- Select the Best for a Bright Future

Education is expanding its root into various areas, giving the option for kids and parents to seek admission to complete their education. The design of educational systems differs between countries and, occasionally, within countries in different areas or states, depending on various factors.

IB Vs. IGCSE- Understanding the Different Between Two Boards

Also Read: CBSE Vs ICSE - Find the Difference and Know the Best Board

The standard boards in our nation are well known to us. However, various new educational systems have developed over the past few years. With these add-ons, it is difficult for parents to choose a decent board that corresponds with the academic objectives of their children. Students can opt for state boards to national and international boards.

Each board has its education framework, marks allocation, and pros and cons. It is up to parents where they want their kids to complete primary and secondary education. Of all the boards, IB (International Baccalaureate) and IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). However, parents and kids are confused about the difference between IB and IGCSE. This article presents you with an overview of both international boards and which is the best between IB vs. IGCSE.

What is IB Board?

IB (International Baccalaureate) is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to serve children between the ages of three and nineteen. Although there aren't any formal exams for this program, IB grants certificates to students who complete the criteria.

The following programs are offered under IB-

  • Children aged 3 to 12 are taught the Primary Year Programme (PYP).

  • Children aged 11 to 16 are taught the Middle Year Programme (MYP).

  • Children 16 to 19 are taught the IB Diploma, while 16 to 19-year-olds are taught about careers.

IB is different from other boards because there are no formal tests for this board. Students receive IB certificates once they meet their standards at various levels. Additionally, neither a curriculum nor required textbooks are present. As a result, teachers can customise it and tailor the teaching process for the subjects offered.

The benefit is developing more innovative and creative abilities to enhance learning outcomes. The students might anticipate being admitted to universities and earning their degrees after completing the diploma programs.

The IB program emphasizes practical application. It covers a wider range of topics that promote all-around development. IB exams don't assess students' speed or memory; they test their knowledge. Until the Middle Years Programme (Class 10), no exams are externally evaluated. Although the IB is designed to create global citizens, it can be successfully integrated into the regional curriculum. The IB Diploma Programme can include Hindi as a second language option.

How to Join IB After the 12th?

One of the most common questions by students is how to join IB after the 12th. However, the admission is based on 12th marks in the respective board. However, for students keen to get into any UG or diploma course in IB after the 12th, it is best to check with the institute's officials.

Some Silent Features of IB are-

  • The IB professional-related Program offers an alternate course for focused students who are certain of their professional goals.

  • The IB curriculum is planned per the notion of language and knowledge acquisition, and volunteerism, language and literature, people and societies, mathematics, and the arts are the foundations.

  • The IB curriculum gives teachers more flexibility over their pedagogical choices, which aids in meeting the requirements of the students.

What is IGCSE Board?

Those who are keen to get an option other than IB can check out the IGCSE board. The Cambridge International Examinations offer the IGCSE program in up to 160 nations. The IGCSE, currently the equivalent of the British GCSE, oversees preparing pupils for higher levels like the BTEC level 3 and the IB Diploma Programme.

  • Cambridge Lower Secondary is available for children between the ages of 11 and 14.

  • For children between the ages of 14 and 16, Cambridge Higher Secondary

IGCSE is replaced by the "AS" level (11th grade) and "A" level (12th grade) once students have completed the IGCSE levels (grades 6 through 10). Some of the silent features of IGCSE are-

  • The IGCSE is quite like the grade 10 CBSE board. Once completed, students can choose to take their 12th board exam through the IB (International Baccalaureate) board.

  • For students aiming for the Cambridge IGCSE, there is Cambridge Secondary 1.

  • The primary audience for Cambridge Advanced is students who want to attend international universities or pursue further education abroad.

  • IGCSE emphasis more on technical subjects and English.

  • Students can choose among different subjects, and the IGCSE curriculum is more complex.

  • The IGCSE curriculum is majorly focused on activities.

  • Students that ultimately opt for the IB program pursue it.

Understanding the Difference- IB vs. IGCSE

Once you know the insight of both international boards, it is best to know the difference between IB and IGCSE.

Global Presence and Popularity

Compared to the IGCSE, the International Baccalaureate has a broader global presence. Although the board is gaining popularity in the United States, the IGCSE is mostly used in the United Kingdom. A small amount of it is also present in Singapore and India.

In contrast to the IGCSE, the IB is widely acknowledged worldwide. The nations participating in the IB program are Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Germany, and Poland.

Education Level

For students in their tenth year of study, preparing for the final IB program, and taking final exams at the end of their course, the IGCSE is appropriate. There are distinct educational programs in IB for children aged 3-19.

  • For kids aged 3 to 12, there is the IB Primary Years Programme.

  • Children aged between 11 and 16 can enroll in the IB Middle Year Programme, while those between the ages of 16 and 19 can enroll in the IB Diploma Programme.

  • The IB's Career-Related Program is an alternative for students between the ages of 16 and 19 who are focused on their requirements.

  • The Diploma Program's curriculum in IB includes the theory of knowledge class, creative activity, service learning, literature studies, people and societies, math, sciences, and the arts.

IB vs. IGCSE Grading

The IGCSE grades students on an 8-point scale, wherein the sign U denotes that the student or group was not given a grade. The grading system is quite like the GCSE, which is this curriculum's equivalent in the UK. The maximum number of IGCSE topics a student may take is 14, but to meet the minimum requirement, passing five core courses under grade C or higher is important.


Since we have covered the essentials of IG vs. IGCSE, you can decide which is the best international board to help with better career exposure.

FAQs on IB Vs. IGCSE- Understanding the Different Between Two Boards

1. Is IGCSE harder than IB?

IB and IGCSE are practical curriculum-based exams that emphasise memorisation. They are of equal difficulty. Once you are aware of the IB curriculum, it can be easy.

2. Is IB recognised in India?

The Association of Indian Institutions (AIU) has recognised the IB since 1983 as an entry requirement at + 2 qualifications of the state board to all institutions in India.

3. What is the focus of the IB curriculum?

The focus of the IB curriculum is on creativity, critical thinking, and other related areas. It offers kids a wide range of learning options and is both comprehensive and adaptable.