A Comparison of International Curriculums
What options are there?
IGCSE –The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is based on the British Curriculum (GCSE) and is mainly exam-based for 9th and 10th grade students between the ages of 14 to 16. The Cambridge exam board offers over 70 subjects, including 30 languages. It aims to encourage students to engage with a variety of subjects and make connections between them. The idea is to prepare the students for further study, wherever they are in the world. IGCSE tuitions and IGCSE online tutors are available for extra help and guidance.
IB MYP – The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program is a curriculum for children between the ages 11 to 16 (9th and 10th grades). It is challenging course where students make practical connections between studies and the real world. A balanced and holistic framework consisting of 8 subject groups with options for students in each group. Our IB online tutors are available for extra help and guidance.
A LEVELS and AS levels – They are subject based curriculums where one studies a number of chosen subjects out of 55 subjects to choose from. AS levels is one-year course and A levels is a two-year course for 11th and 12th grade students. One may start some subjects at AS level and extend it to A level and give the final exams at the end of the second year instead of the first. It is based on the British curriculum. For extra support, online tuitions are available.
IB DP – The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a research based, practical and analytical program for students between the ages of 16-19 in grades 11th and 12th. It is a holistic course with 6 subject groups with options in each (First Language, Mathematics, Second Language, Natural sciences, Human sciences, and Arts). The DP core consists of Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service).
Basic comparison of the International Curriculums:
|IGCSE||IB MYP||A/AS levels||IB DP|
|Type of approach||Conceptual and content. Practical is optional.||Conceptual and practical.||Conceptual and content.||Practical, conceptual and content.|
|Qualifications and Assessments||Board exams at the end of the second year (10th). Coursework is optional. (written, oral or coursework exam may also depend on the subjects opted for)||Coursework style assessments. E-assessment with Personal Project at the end of MYP 5 or 10th grade)||Board exams at the end of the session.||Final Board exams at the end of the second year and research based Internal Assessments submitted prior to board exams.|
|Mark||A* - G||0-7 points for each subject||A* - E (AS levels) A- E (A levels)||0-7 points for each subject + 0-3 points for the DP core|
|Importance in University Applications||Well-recognized international curriculum throughout the world, especially in the UK.||Well-recognized everywhere.||Well-recognized everywhere, especially in the UK.||Highly recognized throughout the world.|
|Some of the skills developed throughout the course.||Subject content, cultural and global awareness, intellectual enquiry, application of knowledge.||Conceptual understanding, scientific and technical innovation, globalization, application of knowledge.||In depth knowledge in chosen subjects, independent thinking, thinking logically, communication, application of knowledge.||Excellent depth and breadth of knowledge in chosen subjects; research, analytical, critical thinking, communication, application of concepts.|
A Levels or IB?
While A and AS levels focus on more theoretical application of concepts through written exams, IB DP has divided the focus on both theoretical and practical applications through External and Internal Assessments (written exams and other coursework). Many students feel that IB requires them to do a lot of extra assignments and research projects and therefore time management is key in succeeding in this course. However, there are numerous soft skills that a student develops in IB and therefore can be a rewarding course.
A and AS levels are more focused on the subjects you would need for your further study and gives you an in-depth understanding in them. In IB, three subjects that are required for further study are studied at Higher Level while the other three at Standard Level. It is up to the student which subjects and at what level they wish to study. Some universities in the US give credits for Higher level IB subjects, giving you a choice whether to study them for your first year at university or not.
Either way, they are both rewarding courses and Online tuitions for both A levels and IB are available at tuition centers offering both online and in person classes.
(IGCSE or MYP) + (IB or A levels)?
MYP is meant to be a stepping-stone to IB, creating a base for students to continue toward studying the IB DP. On the other hand, IGCSE is meant to prepare students for A levels. Both have slightly different approaches to learning and assessment. Many believe that IGCSE prepares a student for IB better in terms of preparation for written board exams at the end of the course. Many also believe that MYP is a much more hands-on studying experience and requires more practical application of knowledge than IGCSE assessments.
Either way, they are both excellent courses and IB online tuition for both DP and MYP are available at our tuition centers offering both online and in person classes.
Difficulty of the course depends on the students and the resources available to them. In comparison to most Indian boards, these curriculums offer a lot more conceptual and application-based studying coupled with a very different pattern of assessment. They are more valued and more well recognized in the International community of universities. Indian universities recognize these curriculums. However, unlike many international universities, Indian universities have entrance exams which are the primary deciding factor in admissions. These entrance exams require planning and especial tutoring that sometimes is difficult to do with the burden of studies and assignments involved in international curriculums.
The choice of which combination of courses to do or which courses to do relies on what the relevant school offers. Consider the weaknesses and strengths of the student with respect to the requirements of the course and the available resources at the school. Nonetheless, Baccalaureate Classes offers in person and online tuitions for these curriculums and therefore help, support and guidance are not too difficult to find.