Cambridge IGCSE, AS & A levels

Cambridge IGCSE, AS & A levels

     “At Manchester International School, we follow the Cambridge Secondary 1 Checkpoint Program for Grades 6-8 and the Cambridge IGCSE for Grades 9 & 10”

What is Cambridge Secondary 1 Checkpoint Program?

     The Cambridge Secondary 1 Checkpoint Program is typically for learners aged 11 to 14 years (Grades 6-8) and is a challenging academic program with advanced academic curriculum in Math, Science, and English for academically talented students. It enhances the learning environment and prepares students for the academic program at high school level.

What is Cambridge IGCSE?

     The Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is one of the most recognised qualifications around the world. Cambridge IGCSE courses are renowned for developing vital educational skills, including recall of knowledge, oral skills, problem solving, initiative, team works and investigative skills. The resulting qualification provides a foundation for higher level courses, such as Cambridge A and AS Levels, the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education, the North American Advanced Placement Programme and the International Baccalaureate.

Who can take Cambridge IGCSE?

     Cambridge IGCSE is designed to be taught as a two year course for students aged 14 to 16 years (Grades 9-10). In most subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Where is Cambridge IGCSE accepted and recognised?

     Cambridge IGCSE is a high-profile qualification. It has exactly the same value in admitting students to institutes of further education and employment as the UK equivalent –GCSE. Cambridge IGCSE is comparable with GCE O Level and the UK-GCSE. Cambridge IGCSE has an excellent reputation amongst international schools worldwide. Cambridge IGCSE is recognised as a reliable record of achievements which counts towards entry to universities and colleges around the world and in India.

     The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) has been designed for Grades 9 & 10. Students who obtain an IGCSE qualification from Cambridge are prepared for further academic success, including progression to A and AS Level study. IGCSE provides a broad study programme by drawing subjects from five areas:


  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Creative, Technical and Vocational.

     Within the curriculum there is a balanced mix of practical experience and theoretical knowledge. With a choice of Core and Extended papers in most subjects, the IGCSE is suitable for students with different levels of ability. The extended level is designed to stretch the most capable student. The IGCSE is a curriculum which allows teaching to be placed in a localized context, making it relevant in different regions. It is also suitable for students whose first language may not be English and this is acknowledged throughout the examination progress.

How are Students Graded in IGCSE?

     Grading is on an eight-point scale (A* G) and grades A to E are equivalent to O Level Grades A to E. In some countries, IGCSE qualifications will satisfy the entry requirements for university. In others, they are widely used as a preparation for A Level, AS, International Baccalaureate and US Advanced Placement courses.

International Certificate of Education (ICE)

     ICE is a group award of the IGCSE that requires the study of subjects drawn from five different IGCSE subject groups. It gives schools the opportunity of offering a broad and balanced curriculum by recognizing the achievements of students who pass examinations in at least seven subjects, including two languages and one subject from each of the other subject groups.

What are the IGCSE subjects offered at MIS?

     At MIS, students normally opt for 7 subjects as we encourage all our students to opt for the ICE Certificate. The maximum number of subjects which a student can opt for is 7 and the minimum number of subjects which a student can opt for is 5. However the student would then not qualify for the ICE Award but would however get the IGCSE certificate.

What are Cambridge International AS and A Level exams?

     Cambridge International Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A) Levels are internationally benchmarked qualifications providing excellent preparation for university education. They are part of the Cambridge Advanced stage which is in alignment with the Indian 11th and 12th grade curriculum. Cambridge International AS Levels has half the content of the corresponding Cambridge International A Level and may be completed in one year. Schools can offer Cambridge International AS Level as a qualification in its own right or as a staged route to Cambridge International A Level by completing 2 years. Learners can study Cambridge International AS Level alongside other subjects to increase breadth in the curriculum and build further knowledge and understanding to other subjects they are studying at Cambridge International A Level.

What is the International relevance for AS and A Level?

     Cambridge International AS and A Level syllabuses have been created specifically for an international audience. The content of International AS and A Levels is carefully devised to suit the wide variety of Cambridge schools worldwide and avoid any cultural bias. They are taken in over 125 countries and offer a choice of 60 different subjects. Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications are widely recognised and valued by universities and employers alike. Some US universities give up to a year's credit as a result. Every year, thousands of Cambridge International A Level students gain places at good universities worldwide - including the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia. Three fair passes at 'A' level allows a student to skip a year in US, UK and Canadian Universities.

What are the subjects offered for A level at Manchester International School?

     The subject content of each of the CIE A1 Level syllabuses has been subdivided into two parts: the AS (A1) syllabus content which is expected to be covered in the first half of the course, and part two of the syllabus commonly referred to as ‘A2’ in the next half. This flexible approach enables students to choose between three main options:

  • Take all A Level components in the same examination session at the end of a course of study, usually at the end of the second year
  • Follow a staged assessment to an A Level by taking the AS qualification in one examination session, and the A2 assessment in a subsequent session
  • Take the AS qualification only – either at the end of a one-year or two-year course.
  • NOTE: The A2 examination cannot be taken as a standalone qualification.

     We offer subjects in Science and Commerce streams. The flexibility of subject combinations and its International relevance makes it popular amongst the learners. We offer programmes that encourage high academic standards that prepare the students for competitive examinations. The school follows Oct/ Nov examination.

'A' LEVEL SUBJECTS OFFERED AT Manchester International School

     Commerce Stream  :     English; Math; Accounts; Business studies; Economics & IT.

     Science Stream        :     English; Physics; Chemistry; Math/Biology & IT.

What are grades available in AS and A level?

     Each subject that a Cambridge international student takes at AS and A Level receives a separately certified grade. From 2010, the Cambridge International A Level will be reported on a grade scale from A* grade, awarded for the highest level of achievement, to E, indicating the minimum required performance. There is no A* grading in the certification of Cambridge International AS Levels, which will continue to run from Grade A to Grade E. There is no core paper in AS and A level.

What options are available after completing the A Levels?

     A level prepares the students for university education like graduation. It also qualifies the student to appear for entrance exams for any professional course of his / her choice.

How are the teachers trained to teach CIE qualifications at Manchester International School?

     The CIE curriculum at Manchester International is enriched by our CIE certified facilitators/teachers offering personalised guidance and mentoring to our students. The facilitators at MIS undergo C.I.D.T.T. (Cambridge International Diploma for our Teachers and Trainers), face-to-face and online training. National and International seminars and conferences enable them to upgrade themselves in mark schemes, and examiner's report etc. The in house training department of MIS conducts regular workshops, internal seminars and exchange programmes for the integration of teaching techniques within the MIS family.

Does A level curriculum prepare the students for MHCET/ PMT / IIT-JEE and other Indian professional entrance exams?

     Of course, A level curriculum is more practical and application based. It enhances student's knowledge, reasoning power and problem solving abilities which is required to clear all professional entrance exams.

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