IGCSEs were first introduced in 1988 and are internationally recognised qualifications. IGCSE subjects were first introduced as many employers criticised the original GCSE as lacking challenge. The introduction of the new 9-1 GCSE mathematics has reduced the difference in academic requirement between the two specifications although the IGCSE still maintains a requirement for high rigour.
IGCSE mathematics can now be taken in over 120 countries and does not require the submission of coursework. It is a subject that can be studied by any student in any country in the world and is particularly suited to those students who undertake distance learning and/or study at home.
As the IGCSE mathematics is considered to be highly academic, it has been adopted in many independent and state schools throughout the world. The main examination boards that offer IGCSE mathematics are: Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel. Numerous IGCSE mathematics specifications have received accreditation from Ofqual, a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications in England. The IGCSE mathematics specifications currently available are:
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics (0580) (UK Independent schools Core C-G, Extended A*-E)
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics – Additional (0606) (challenging mathematics A*-E)
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics – Additional (US) (0459) (challenging mathematics A*-E)
Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics (0607) (Core C-G, Extended A*-E)
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics (9–1) (0980) (Core 1-5, Extended 3-9)
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics (9-1) (UK only) (0626) (Core 1-5, Extended 3-9) – last examination summer 2019
Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics (US) (0444) (Core C-G, Extended A*-E)
Edexcel International IGCSE (9-1) Mathematics Specification A (4MA1) (Foundation 1-5 and Higher 3-9)
Edexcel International IGCSE (9-1) Mathematics Specification B (4MB1) (Challenging Higher 3-9)
Edexcel IGCSE Further Pure Mathematics (4PM1) (Challenging Higher 3-9)
The difference in specifications are due to a number of reasons. The core/foundation has topics removed compared to the extended/higher. There are also specifications specifically designed for those students wishing to take challenging mathematics in preparation for more advanced courses. Finally, there are specifications designed for the UK and US markets. The range of specifications indicate the variable weightings for the different areas of mathematics and the mark schemes show the points and areas that will maximise your marks.
All students must carefully obtain the information relating to their exact specification. It is also important within your specification to make sure the specific year of examination is covered. After obtaining the specification make a curriculum list of all the topics and mark each with the following coding: red-do not understand the topic and/or cannot answer the questions, amber-difficulty in understanding certain parts of the topic and/or cannot answer parts of the question, green-understand the topic and can answer the questions.
Included within this web site are sample questions that are generic for the core/foundation and the extended/higher papers.