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Why study International GCSEs?

Why study International GCSEs?
hand holding a small globe against a landscape


Why choose to study International GCSEs? If you live in the UK, you'll most likely know of GCSEs. They're the standard school qualifications most pupils sit exams for when they're around 16. Now, though, more schools around the world as well as independent schools in the UK have introduced the International GCSEs. Whether you're a British expat, a non-British UK resident or even a British person living in the UK, the International GCSE is a fantastic qualification that opens up doors and opportunities to a successful future in further education, university and even employment.

In this blog, we'll be answering all those initial questions you might have about the International GCSE; who it's for, how it's marked, what the benefits are, etc. You'll also get a better idea of the key similarities and differences between them and standard UK GCSEs.

What are International GCSEs?

The International GCSE is the international version of the UK GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education). The courses are aimed at young people between ages 14 and 16, and are a two-year course that usually begins in Year 10 and ends in Year 11, when the final exams are sat.

International GCSEs are an equivalent qualification to the UK version. Like the UK GCSE, they are accepted by universities in the UK and across the globe. They provide pupils with all the required knowledge and skills to progress on to A-Levels or International A-Levels, university and careers.

Two pupils reading from the same notebook

Who's it for?

The International GCSE was originally designed for international pupils. Courses include international topics and culturally sensitive content, as well as local contexts where possible, making them engaging and relevant to international and local young people alike. But they are also a great choice even if you've never set foot outside of the UK! They provide exactly the same academic benefits as the UK GCSEs, but with added global awareness, which is so valuable today.

How are they assessed?

The International GCSEs use the same grading scale as the UK ones - i.e. 9-1. This scale was introduced relatively recently to replace the traditional A*-G system. The 9-1 scale aims to raise standards and better recognise outstanding performance.

The key difference between the UK and International GCSE is coursework. With the UK GCSEs, pupils complete externally assessed coursework throughout Years 10 and 11 which count toward their final grade and qualification. There is no externally assessed coursework with the International GCSE, though, as they are a linear course. This means that the final grade depends entirely on the final exam. The International courses are slightly more intense for this reason.

Pupil in an orange sweater studying on a laptop

Studying International GCSEs online

Thanks to online learning, you can study International GCSEs wherever you are in the world - and not just at an international or independent school. At My Online Schooling, we offer a range of International GCSE courses, including:

  • English Literature and Language
  • Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biology)
  • Mathematics
  • ICT
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Business
  • and more!

With online schooling, you'll attend daily live, interactive lessons online from your own home. Like in a bricks-and-mortar school, you'll also complete and hand in homework, get termly school reports and receive support from your teachers in and outside of lessons.

Find out more

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