Academic FAQ

Academic FAQ


What is IGCSE?

     The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) administered by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is the world's most popular international qualification for 14–16 years old. The IGCSE Programme is firmly established and recognized world-wide and is taken in 144 countries and in more than 2600 schools around the world.

     Currently, in India we have around 300 schools offering IGCSE course. It is well recognized in India as equivalent to Grade X and used as a preparatory level for A Level, International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) or State HSC. It is also equivalent to the Grade 10 examination of the CBSE and ICSE or the middle year Programme of the IB.

What is the advantage of IGCSE?

     The IGCSE programme is more practical and application-based. It has a broader spectrum of subjects that lead to all-round development. IGCSE examinations test students' knowledge, not their memory and speed. The focus of the IG pedagogy is on 'how to learn' rather than 'what to learn'.

     The purpose of IGCSE is to produce global citizens. The IGCSE curriculum is more challenging, but the challenge is in the quality of assignments, not in the quantity of the assignments.

The IGCSE has always emphasized adding value within a national context whilst also contributing to international level. The development focus is to safeguard distinctive cultural identity through specific language and literature syllabi, for example; or to include study of regional geography or history, whilst also encouraging an international outlook. Thus, the importance of an appropriate mix of global and local contexts is well recognized as an essential dimension of IGCSE.

What are the key features of IGCSE?

  • Provides an ideal foundation for higher-level courses such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, A Levels and the North American APT (Advanced Placement Test)
  • Has worldwide recognition and is equivalent to the Certificate of Secondary Education from Indian education boards, General Certificate of Secondary Education, and O Level
  • Offers syllabi which reflect local economies and cultures within a global context, hence ensuring that students gain a wide perspective while recognizing and valuing their own environment
  • Develops key learning, problem-solving and investigative skills by encouraging an active, critical and questioning approach to study
  • Ensures a broad-based education, while encouraging a degree of choice.

What is CIE?

     University of Cambridge International Examinations is the world's largest provider of education programmes and qualifications for 5–19 years old. Over 9000 schools in 161 countries around the world offer the Cambridge qualifications. It is a part of Cambridge Assessment, a not-for-profit department of the 800 years old University of Cambridge.

What are the programmes offered by CIE?

     Cambridge programmes and qualifications for 5–19 years old are divided up into four stages: Cambridge Primary, Cambridge Secondary 1, Cambridge Secondary 2 (IGCSE) and Cambridge Advanced (A level).

How are IGCSE grades determined?

     The IGCSE examination is suitable for virtually the whole ability range. It has an 8-point scale of grades:

A*,A, B,C,D,E,F and G.

(Grade A* is awarded for exceptional levels of achievement).

     To take account of differing abilities, there is a choice between Core and Extended curriculum papers in most subjects. This allows teachers to decide on the most appropriate level of papers for their students.        

     The Core curriculum in each subject is within the ability range of a large majority of students. It provides a full overview of the subject and is targeted at students expected to achieve grades C to G. The Extended curriculum, which comprises the Core curriculum and the Supplement, has been designed for the more academically able and leads naturally into higher education or professional training. It is targeted at those expected to achieve grades A to E.

 

GRADES AVAILABLE

Core Curriculum

C D E F G

Extended Curriculum

A* A B C D E

     The overlap of three grades (C, D and E) is designed to accommodate students who perform either better or worse than their teachers expectations. Students who fail to meet the minimum satisfactory standard for either the core curriculum (Grade G) or the Extended curriculum (Grade E) will be marked (U).

Will the selection of Core or Extended paper be mentioned on the final marksheet / result / report card?

     No. There will be no mention of Core or Extended selection on the marksheet.

Who will decide the Core or Extended paper for a student?

     The school in consultation with the parents will decide whether a student will opt for Core or Extended paper.

Which are the top ten Cambridge IGCSE subjects worldwide?

     In IGCSE, over 70 subjects are available, including more than 30 language courses. However the top ten Cambridge IGCSE subjects worldwide are:

  • Mathematics (Without Coursework)
  • English as a Second Language
  • First Language English
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Business Studies
  • French / Hindi
  • Economics
  • Information and Communication Technology

What is the curriculum for IGCSE at MIS?

     At Manchester International School, for Grade 9 and 10 we offer the IGCSE curriculum. We offer a combination of subjects catering to the Science and Commerce streams. Each subject is certified separately, offering a variety of routes for learners of different abilities. With a choice of Core and Extended papers in most subjects, the IGCSE is suitable for students with different levels of ability. The IGCSE is an internally based curriculum allowing teaching to be placed in a localized context, making it relevant in different regions. The school follows march examination and offers the following subjects:

SUBJECTS OFFERED AT MIS

  • Science Stream: English; Mathematics; French / Hindi; Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Information Technology.
  • Commerce Stream: English; Mathematics; French/Hindi; Accounting; Combined Sciences; Economics; Information Technology.

Why has MIS selected specific subjects only for IGCSE?

     MIS has selected the most popular subjects for IGCSE that meet the eligibility for higher studies in India.

Does MIS offer other subjects for IGCSE?

     MIS allows its students to appear for other subjects in their individual capacity. However, coaching for additional subjects will be provided only if there are minimum 7 students opting for the same.

What exams of CIE are conducted by Manchester International School?

     We conduct Checkpoint exams at the end of Grade 8, IGCSE exams at the end of Grade X, AS Level exams at the end of Grade XI and A level exams at the end of Grade XII.

When are the IGCSE Board examinations normally conducted?

     Examinations are held in May /June and October /November each year with results issued in August and February respectively. Students can appear for Cambridge IGCSE through the registered schools (CIE centres).

* Commencing from the year 2015, in India the Examination will be held in the month of March.

When are the IGCSE Board examinations conducted at MIS?

     At MIS, IGCSE board examinations are held in the month of March. However, school may consider permitting students to appear for June exam at their own discretion.

Is the IGCSE Programme recognized by Higher Secondary Boards and Universities in India?

     Yes, it is recognized by CBSE, CISCE and state education boards in India as a qualification for entry to class XI or for other higher secondary education courses. It is also recognized as class X qualification, as one of the prerequisites, for admission to undergraduate courses in India. The latest Indian recognition details can be viewed at:

www.cie.org.uk/docs/recognition/india_recognition_samples.pdf

What options are available after completing the IGCSE Programme?

     We appreciate that our IGCSE students will continue at Manchester  and follow the AS and A level Programme in classes XI and XII. They can also opt for A level programme in any other International school that offers the same.

     IGCSE also qualifies the students for admissions in all the Indian +2 boards (ISC/CBSE/HSC). IGCSE students are eligible for admission to Junior Colleges in Mumbai through both online and offline.

     It is also pertinent to note that students who completed IGCSE can pursue IB Diploma programme as well.

I have heard that results are excessively strict for IGCSE Board students in X class compared to SSC Board student. Hence IGCSE Board students are not getting admission in good colleges.

     IGCSE helps the students to develop key learning, problem-solving and investigative skills by encouraging an active, critical and questioning approach to study. With a choice of Core and Extended papers in most subjects, the IGCSE is suitable for students with different levels of ability. Hence it is wrong to say that results of IGCSE are stricter than SSC. However, we agree that the SSC students are granted marks very leniently including internal and sports marks. But all reputed colleges have accepted IGCSE and students are admitted for HSC. Even IGCSE students are allowed to fill online application form for HSC admission in many states.

I have heard that students get grades in the IGCSE mark sheet. Hence how will they get admission in colleges based on grades because in India we have Marks/Percentage system?

     CIE issues separate mark sheets for IGCSE; one with Grades and the other with marks. So students do not face any difficulty in securing admission in regular Colleges.

Is the best of five policy applicable to IGCSE students?

     No, the best of five policy is not applicable to IGCSE students, as of now. However, a pass in five subjects including English will make the student eligible for HSC admission.

Can IGCSE student apply offline for HSC admission?

     Yes, IGCSE student can fill the form online through the website as well as directly to the college offline for HSC admission.

My child was in SSC Board, now he /she has switched over to IGCSE curriculum. Will the transition be smooth? 

     Certainly. There will be no hitches. We will take care of the 'transition' related issues. If the child is encouraged to have a proper attitude & aptitude he/she can easily switch over from any local Board to IGCSE Board. We also have special tutorial sessions before the commencement of the course for such students.

Where I can find the list of schools in India that offer IGCSE and A levels?

     Kindly browse www.cie.org.uk/countries/india for list of schools providing IGCSE and A level curriculum in India.

What is Cambridge CHECKPOINT?

     Cambridge Checkpoint, a new and innovative diagnostic testing service, is a major landmark in the development of assessment services from UCIE. The tests cover all major areas of learning required in the first years of an international secondary education.

     Cambridge Checkpoint tests are available in English, Mathematics and Science. Checkpoint is not a formal qualification with a certificate, although a Statement of Achievement is produced. There is no failing or passing in this test. It is a way in which CIE can help students make the most of their educational opportunities.

How will the Checkpoint results benefit us?

The diagnostic reports generated by Checkpoint enable us to:

  • Tailor individual student's learning programmes
  • Monitor group and individual performance
  • Provide information for reporting to parents
  • Compare the performance of all students taking tests in that session
  • Manage learning programmes within centers as students move between centers
  • Predict performance in student's formal examinations

What are Checkpoint Tests like?

     There are two papers in each subject, each approximately one hour in length. They provide good preparation for Cambridge IGCSE, by allowing students to experience an external exam. All the questions have been tested by Cambridge to ensure they are suitable for 14 years old and provide useful information and feedback.

How is the Checkpoint Report?

     Each student will receive a Statement of Achievement and a report that provides more detail about his or her performance. Results are given as Checkpoint scores between 0.0 - the weakest performance and 6.0 - the best performance. The average score is between 3.0 and 4.0. The report gives a score for the subject as a whole and for the main topics, so that teachers can identify any important strengths or weaknesses. The report gives information about the questions that provided evidence of the student's strengths and weaknesses.

Can Checkpoint scores be used to predict Cambridge IGCSE results?

     Research has shown that Checkpoint scores are good indicators of performance in IGCSE. Students with the same Checkpoint score will achieve a range of IGCSE grades, because some will work harder and learn more than others. See the middle of the range in the table below. Naturally, with appropriate efforts students can better their predicted grade. They will achieve less if they do not put in the effort.

Checkpoint Score Range

Probable IGCSE Score Range

0 and 1

1 and 2

2 and 3

3 and 4

4 and 5

5 and 6    

F

E

D

C

B

A / B

When are the Checkpoint exams held at MIS?

     Cambridge Checkpoint exams are held at the end of Grade VIII in April. Results are expected to receive within four to five weeks.

What curriculum is followed in the Pre-primary level at MIS?

     Manchester International School follows an indigenous Preprimary curriculum based on the ideas, theories and practices prevalent internationally to develop the multiple intelligence of students such as cognitive and motor skills. Through each unit of inquiry, the students' curiosity and imagination is sparked by exposing them to a new world of “Discovery with Action”.

What curriculum is followed in the Primary level at MIS?

     MIS follows an integrated curriculum in the Primary. The Primary Programme covers the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, developing essential skills in literacy, numeracy and scientific enquiry while covering a good knowledge base. While at the periphery, the students receive instruction in the national language, Information technology and creative art, thus completing the continuum of holistic development.

What curriculum is followed in the Middle School at MIS?

     The Middle School /Checkpoint curriculum at Manchester International provides natural progression from Primary and develops children's knowledge and skills in Mathematics, English and Science. We offer the core subjects - English, Math and Science as per the curriculum framework given by the CIE. Checkpoint text books recommended by CIE are used for the purpose. Students' language skills are further enriched through training in national and foreign languages like Hindi and French. The Social Studies are also taught, the emphasis is on developing students' understanding of their environment and deepening their reverence for rich geographical wealth and the glorious historical heritage of our country. Students are further equipped with technical skills through the study of Information and Communication Technology. Cambridge Checkpoint exam is taken at the end of Grade VIII.

Since when are students trained for Cambridge pattern of examinations at MIS?

     At Manchester International School, students are trained for Cambridge pattern of examinations right from Grade 1 onwards. All worksheets, question papers are designed as per Cambridge pattern so that students get used to solving application based questions.

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 have 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 stage on the way to Cambridge International A Level. 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 are the subjects offered for A level at MIS?

     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 MIS

Commerce Stream  :           English; Math; Accounts; Business studies; Economics, Information Technology.

Science Stream        :           English; Physics; Chemistry; Math/Biology, Information Technology.

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 and Australia. Three fair passes at 'A' level allows a student to skip a year in US, UK and Canadian Universities.

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 is 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 MIS?

     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.

What are the future plans of MIS?

     MIS will shortly introduce Cambridge Entrepreneurship program for its students. We also aim to introduce NIOS board exams shortly for students with learning difficulties.

What is the website of CIE?

www.cie.org.uk

What is the Primary Years Programme?

     The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a curriculum framework for young learners aged 3–12 designed by the International Baccalaureate (IB). Founded on a philosophy that recognizes a child’s natural curiosity, creativity and ability to reflect, the PYP generates a stimulating, challenging learning environment to nurture those assets and foster a lifelong love of learning in every child. The PYP, like all IB programmes, is transdisciplinary, meaning students learn across subject areas while investigating big ideas.

Does the PYP have a specific set of standards?

In the PYP, students learn about significant concepts through units of inquiry. The six transdisciplinary themes that guide units of inquiry and compose a year of study are:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

     Units of inquiry interweave subject areas such as mathematics, language arts, science and social studies. This approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how it relates to the world around them.

The school outlines its specific knowledge content and academic curriculum, guided by the following five essential elements:

  • The knowledge content is organized under the transdisciplinary themes. Each school decides which specific topics to study under each theme.
  • The learning skills aim to help students become independent, well-functioning, self-motivated learners.
  • The learning attitudes aim to develop a lifelong love of learning and nurture a child’s curiosity and confidence.
  • The action component emphasizes the need to connect the student with his or her own potential and responsibility for using what was learned.
  • The rigorous guidelines for classroom practices to match the educational philosophy and values of the IB are communicated through professional development and a school’s internal reflection process.

What are the advantages of an IB education?

  • IB World Schools (the only schools authorized to offer IB programmes) are subject to a strict accreditation process monitored by the IB, ensuring that schools provide a high-quality education.
  • IB teaching methods and curriculums are research-based and draw from the best educational practices from systems around the world.
  • IB teachers are required to participate in many professional development opportunities to continually promote their awareness of current educational practices and new thinking.
  • IB students develop a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it. (See “What is an IB Education?”)
  • IB programmes are recognized internationally and ease the educational transitions of mobile students so that their education is not adversely affected if their families relocate.

Do IB teachers receive special training?

     All PYP teachers receive professional development in IB’s approaches to teaching and approaches to learning from certified IB workshop leaders. This is a requirement for IB World Schools implementing the PYP.

Are IB programmes considered “gifted” programmes?

     The PYP is implemented schoolwide and adapted by teachers to meet the learning needs of all students. In most cases, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) is also a schoolwide program. All PYP teachers are required to participate in collaborative planning and reflection to make their teaching practices consistent and to foster a holistic approach to education. A growing body of evidence suggests a positive relationship between teacher collaboration and student achievement.

Does implementing an IB programme mean my child’s school will not teach local or national standards?

     The IB is committed to making sure that students in IB programmes meet and exceed local or national standards. With the implementation of any IB programme, schools are required to examine their curriculum carefully to ensure that there is alignment with local, state or national standards. More information on the IB is available at www.ibo.org.

Have studies been done on the impact of the PYP?

     The IB places great value on external validation of its programmes, curriculums and professional development. A recent Global International Schools’ Assessment study found that PYP students outperformed non-IB students in mathematics, reading and writing. Additional studies on programme impact, quality assurance, programme development and assessment research are available at www.ibo.org/research.

When do students start and finish the PYP? When do they transition to the IGCSE?

     The PYP is designed for students aged 3–12 (preschool and primary grades). The IGCSE spans students aged 11–15, and the AS / A levels is for the last two years of school for students aged 15–19.

How can I learn more about the IB and PYP?

  • Attend school meetings and events
  • Speak with your school’s PYP coordinator
  • Speak with your child’s PYP classroom teacher 

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