Why choose IGCSE/International GCSE/GCE O Levels?


Do you want qualifications that can open doors around the world?

IGCSE, International GCSE and GCE O Level are the world’s most popular international qualifications for 14- to 16-year-olds. They are your gateway to higher education or professional studies in your home country or overseas. They can help you:

  • get a place at college or university at home or abroad
  • find better career opportunities
  • pass the language tests for emigrating to, or studying in, another country*
  • develop skills that help you lead a more exciting and successful life.

The British Council helps more than two million people take international exams every year. We can offer you support and guidance – from offering a variety of subjects to exam registration.

*For example, achieving a Grade C in IGCSE English is often enough to satisfy the language requirements for some universities in English-speaking nations.

What to expect

The British Council makes the whole exam process more straightforward. After all, we help two million people take international exams every year. Here are some things you should know about IGCSE, International GCSE and O Level. 

The course

IGCSE/International GCSE/GCE O Level usually take two years to complete. Assessment ranges from written to oral tests, as well as practical exams and coursework.

Choosing subjects

You can choose from more than 70 different subjects – from maths to English. Available subjects vary depending on your school, country and chosen exam board.

Exam boards

Exams are offered through two main exam boards – Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Pearson Edexcel. Your school may already use a particular board.

Please note: If you take an exam with CIE, you will be studying for an IGCSE or GCE O Level. 

If you take an exam with Pearson Edexcel, you will be studying for an International GCSE.

Find out which board is right for you.

Ability range

The IGCSE/International GCSE/GCE O Level core curriculum is suitable for students who expect to achieve grades C to G. An extended curriculum offers more challenging content for students aiming for grades A* to C. 

Grades and marking

Your results are assessed using internationally-recognised A* to G grades. Coursework and exam papers are all marked centrally in the UK.

When will you get your results?

Results will be available at the British Council several weeks after your final exam.

What next?

An IGCSE/International GCSE/GCE O Level can be your first step toward further education, such A- and AS-levels or even university placements. 

Find out more about A-levels.


IGCSE/International GCSE/GCE O Level give you the freedom to choose a course of study that is right for you. Your chosen subjects should fit with your career goals or plans for further education. To find out which subjects are available in your country, download the list below.

You can find out about the syllabuses from the Cambridge International Examinations and Pearson Edexcel website.