Warren vs UK Education System

Warren vs UK Education System

Ever wondered what type of curriculum the rest of the world follows? What type of courses does a kid in Europe or Australia might be taking compared to what you are studying right now?  

Well luckily I came from a part of the world where we had to study The Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) system most commonly used in 160 countries around the world. The preparation for this course typically starts in eighth grade until junior year.

First of all let’s start with what IGCSE is. It is a program for high school students where they choose subjects based on major and country. These subjects may vary and not a lot of schools have a wide range of subjects. It is divided into 2 levels: Ordinary Level and Advanced Level. These levels vary in difficulty and syllabus. Depending on where you’re going and what type of student you are, the number of subjects vary. In South Asia you typically have to choose 8 subjects to study throughout 9-11 which consist of English, Math, Social Science, History, language and 3 other electives. Each subject listed is much like a typical AP exam offered in the US and requires  a fee to be paid to Cambridge itself.  

The IGCSE is a lifestyle as the way you study and what subjects you’re taking really makes a difference. There is a main board: Cambridge International Examinations much like the College Board in America which decides upon the syllabus, marking style, examination timetable, and exam style. Cambridge allows you to take these exams in May/June and October/November mainly. These sessions allow you to divide the subject however you want and repeat any subject that you feel that you did bad in. Unlike the US, tests in schools are taken once a month which won’t even impact your school grade more than 30% because much of the focus goes towards preparing you for a separate final exam that you are required to take by Cambridge.

Based on your final grades you are advised to apply for A levels ( grade 12 and 13) and continue your studies further. A level is much more specialized, and often people choose 5 specific subjects in order to lead to a particular university. Once you have completed all your exams based on your score, the high marks give you better opportunities in applying to universities. These systems though may ease your path abroad as long as you can afford it as you may either get a scholarship or some universities are relatively cheap. If you’re gonna go abroad the focus is on the A Levels more than the O levels.

In my opinion IGCSE is more difficult than the SAT but that’s debatable when it comes to the APs which may or may not be more difficult. Although my time at Warren has shown me how in the US, schools weigh more importance on weekly testing and homeworks but won’t really prepare you altogether for the finals exam. This might be more frustrating than the UK system but there is still a flexibility of choosing different difficulties like regular,honor or AP for a particular course which is not offered by Cambridge whatsoever. What would you choose if given the option yourself?




About the Contributor
Ammad Ahmed, Staff Writer
Hi my name is Ammad and I'm an immigrant regretting his life decisions. This is my first year at Warren as a senior and I'm excited to join Scratch Paper to have some fun in life and make my social anxiety worse. Other than this I do track, gym workouts and I'm involved in bunch of other clubs.