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Difference Between IGCSE and IB

August 25, 2023

There are several types of educational systems in India with each following a different pattern to impart the knowledge. While there are standard boards in our country, especially general state boards that are unique to each state, there are also other kinds of boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The new kind of systems to have emerged include the International Baccalaureate (IB) system and the IGCSE (International General Certification of Secondary Education) system. This blog aims to explain the key differences between these boards, which follow international curriculum, to help you choose a board that you think best fits your children.

IB System

The International Baccalaureate System was founded in 1968 and is quite famous across the world. It is practised in close to 160 countries. Unlike many other boards in India, IB doesn’t have formal examinations. There is a lot of flexibility and unique learning opportunities as this system is not limited by textbooks. So, there is more focus on the creativity of the students. As for their programmes, there are primary and middle year programs for students between 3 to 11 years and 12 to 16 years, respectively. At the high school level, there are IB Diploma Programme and IB Career-Related Programme.

IGCSE System

The International General Certification of Secondary Education belongs to Cambridge. They follow a specific curriculum with exams conducted under Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Students aged 11 to 14 can attend Cambridge Lower Secondary, while those aged 14 to 16 can attend Cambridge Higher Secondary, the levels move to AS for 11th grade and A for 12th grade.


The basic difference between IB Board and IGCSE board is that the former doesn’t have any fixed textbooks or examinations, while the latter has prescribed books and the Cambridge International Examination. Besides these major distinctions, IB Board is a student and skill-centred system and IGCSE is more syllabus and examination driven.

Which is better?

Both systems are unique in their own ways and are practised by different institutions across the globe. Therefore, if you want to decide which of these is a better fit for your kid, you must decide what kind of education you want to enrol them in. For instance, if you think a proper syllabus and curriculum is best for your child, it is better to opt for IGCSE. But if you are sure that you want your kids to be in a flexible environment and hone more skills, you can choose IB. While there is flexibility in terms of the experience and knowledge a child can gain in IB which lets you choose one subject from six different groups besides its compulsory subjects, a more designed and fixed education is followed in IGCSE. The role of teachers and their efficiency becomes even more important in IB because of this reason. On the other hand, IB focuses on a range of extra-curricular activities that help strike a fine balance between curricular and extra learning. So, if you are looking for a more innovative environment, you can choose IB and if you have plans of applying for applying to foreign universities, a more stable syllabus with IGCSE can come in handy.

IB and IGCSE in India

Both these boards are available in India and offer international teaching. While there are over 150 schools in India that follow IB, IGCSE is used in more than 300 schools. Both these educational systems have their own perks and demerits. However, what is essential in both of these systems is a well-equipped school that can offer education of international standards with experienced teachers.

So, be it IGCSE or ib schools in mumbai, you should search for an institution with best-in-class infrastructure and services that’ll help your kid explore and learn more. At CP Goenka Internation School, the priority lies in giving a holistic education and providing an all-round learning experience where they get to explore ample opportunities and extracurricular Activities

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