Introduction to English Language and Literature at IGCSE

International GCSEs are qualifications for 14 to 16 year olds. They are comparable to GCSEs and are accepted as an equivalent by leading universities around the world.

Three exam boards offer the IGCSE in English:

·  Cambridge International Education (CIE)

·  Oxford International AQA Examinations

·  Pearson Edexcel

Cambridge International Education (CIE) offers the longest standing and most popular IGCSEs, taken by students in more than 4700 schools in 150 countries each year.

The information on this page is designed to support pupils who are preparing to sit the following exams:

·  English – First Language (0500)

·  English – First Language (9-1) (0990)

·  Literature in English (0475)

· Literature in English (9-1) (0992)

The full range of English IGCSE qualifications currently offered by Cambridge International Education can seem quite overwhelming at first. This is due to recent educational reforms in the UK, which have changed the way that all GCSEs are regulated and graded. A number of syllabuses are currently being phased out or replaced, which means that the picture will become clearer from 2020.

Cambridge IGCSE English – First Language (0500) and (0990)

Cambridge IGCSE English – First Language is a popular English Language qualification offered to pupils around the world. It is intended for pupils whose first language is English. It assesses pupils on their ability to communicate clearly, accurately and with style, and to read critically and with insight.

All candidates sit a reading exam. Pupils may sit a writing exam or submit a coursework portfolio comprised of three extended writing assignments. Some candidates may sit an optional speaking and listening component.

For candidates sitting (0500), the exam is graded A* to G. The exam is graded 9-1 for candidates sitting (0990). From 2020 pupils will no longer be able to choose between core and extended pathways.

Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English (0475) and (0992)

Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English assesses pupils on their ability to interpret and evaluate a wide range of literature in English, including prose, poetry and drama. It also encourages them to think deeply about the contexts of literary texts, promoting a wider understanding of the world around them.

All candidates sit papers testing their knowledge of set poetry, prose and drama texts selected from a range specified in the syllabus for each year. Some pupils may be tested on their ability to respond to an unseen text. Others may complete a coursework portfolio, comprised of two assignments on two literary texts.

For candidates sitting (0475), the exam is graded A* to G. The exam is graded 9-1 for candidates sitting (0992).

Pupils might like to be aware that Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English (0475) replaces Cambridge IGCSE English Literature (0486). Past papers for 0486 are still helpful for students preparing to sit exams from 2020.