Once you have decided to embark on the IGCSE/GCSE route it is helpful to consider a few important factors.
IGCSEs (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) are of a higher and more in depth level than the GCSEs taken in most Secondary schools. They are highly recognised and many Universities will take this into consideration.
The IGCSE is more rigorous and they are entirely exam based making it an easier task for the home educator as there is no course work option or 'controlled assessment'.
* Firstly one will need to find an appropriate place for the student to sit the examinations. Try the local school first and ask the secretary or exams officer if they accept external candidates. Schools will usually charge the external candidate just what it costs them, ie approximately £40 per subject.
* Some independent (fee paying) schools willingly accept private candidates so they are also worth contacting. (And they also tend to use IGCSEs making it easier to sit both IGCSEs and GCSEs there.)
* Finally, tutorial colleges usually have external candidates but they do charge far more, sometimes as much as £150 per subject.
*Even before discerning which board to use it would be wise to check the exam centre uses this same board.
Some schools/colleges will only use one or two particular boards. This is where it becomes complicated! As most state schools do not use IGCSEs they usually will not allow an external candidate to sit any exam other than the ones they offer.
* The boards will release the timetables for the forthcoming exams onto their website and you will be able to double check when they are and at what times.
* A further post will explain more thoroughly the differences in the boards and which textbooks people have found helpful for certain courses.
NB; Three GCSEs which do not require course work and are deemed important to the Catholic Home educator are Maths, Latin and Greek.
There are also the C.I.E O' levels which are equivalent to the IGCSE in their standard and require no course work. (More on this in future posts.)