Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
Everyone knows the IB Diploma is a rigorous course, so having the right preparation is very important for students. Parents and students usually wonder which course is the best preparation for the Diploma Programme – is it the Middle Years Programme, GCSEs or IGCSEs? While all these options will put IB students in the right path, there are many reasons to believe that IGCSE provides the best preparation for the IB. Here’s why:
The range of subjects
There are over 70 subjects offered at IGCSE, giving students a wide range of options to choose from. The IB requires students to choose subjects from different disciplines, meaning that students need a well-balanced education. The IGCSE’s wide subject offer provides students with a much-needed interdisciplinary education to prepare them for the IB.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
IGCSE subjects cover an extensive number of topics in depth, just like the IB. Many of the topics studied at IGCSE level are also studied during IB, meaning that IGCSE students build up a strong foundation which will help them perform better in the IB. But most importantly, IGCSE students become used to the hard work and effort required to study a subject as thoroughly as the IB expects its students to do, which is as necessary as knowing the subject itself.
The aim of the IGCSE curriculum is that it can be taught anywhere in the world. The syllabi have a more international approach than GCSEs. Meanwhile, the IB encourages global citizenship and an international mindset. Therefore, IGCSEs help students to develop their global awareness and thus prepare them for the IB’s ethos.
Like in the IB, IGCSE students have to sit formal external assessments at the end of the course. Doing this helps students get used to taking formal assessments; the time pressure, the formalities and so on. This will benefit students when they take the IB, as they are more familiar with the process and will then feel less nervous when exam season comes.
IGCSEs are official qualifications which are recognised worldwide by other schools and universities. IGCSEs can be used as proof of academic achievement, which is useful during the admissions process when applying to a different school for the IB or to university. Other programmes, like the MYP, don’t have such external qualifications, making it harder for students to prove their academic achievement.
Overall, IGCSE provides students with a great preparation for the IB Diploma. However, do not panic if you or your child are doing a different programme, such as MYP or GCSE. Other alternatives also provide a good background, so there is no need to worry.