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Cambridge IGCSE Ho Chi Minh | BIS HCMC

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

Cambridge IGCSE is internationally recognised as the most academically challenging qualification currently on offer to 14-16 year old students both in Vietnam and across the world. The IGCSEs are a key milestone in preparing your child for the rigorous IB Diploma Programme and the world’s leading universities look to them as an additional performance indicator when considering applications.

What is IGCSE?

IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education and is a natural continuation of the curriculum taught at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC). The IGCSE curriculum builds on the secondary education covered in Years 7 – 9 (ages 11-14) and prepares students for examinations at the end of a two-year course at age 16 (Year 11). This course also prepares students for the academic rigour of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Years 12 and 13, as well as encouraging the development of knowledge, skills and understanding for a successful future beyond their time at school.

Why choose the IGCSE certificate for your child?

Flexible and stimulating curriculum

The curriculum students follow during Years 10 and 11 is carefully constructed to provide an externally validated and internationally recognised portfolio of qualifications which provides the opportunity to access the IB Diploma Programme.

During the two-year comprehensive programme, our IGCSE students undertake a wide range of individual courses including a choice of mathematics, languages, sciences, humanities and arts and design.

Across all subjects, Cambridge IGCSE offers a flexible and stimulating curriculum helping to improve performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving. The programme has been created specifically for an international student body: they are the perfect fit for our students here at BIS HCMC.

Cambridge IGCSE

At BIS HCMC, the academic curriculum forms part of a broader provision with all students enjoying opportunities to engage in co-curricular activities. Over 100 co-curricular activities provide opportunities for students to engage in sport, community service, and creativity. This, in conjunction with our commitment to outdoor education, through residential expeditions, supports students to develop not only academically but personally, in line with our school mission and values.

An internationally recognised qualification

Developed over 30 years ago, the IGCSE curriculum is tried, tested and trusted by schools with it now being taken in over 145 countries and taught by over 5000 schools worldwide.

IGCSE subjects are assessed through externally assessed examinations, and in some cases coursework. It is important to note that these are not just school examinations: they are recognised qualifications by Cambridge Assessment International Education which is part of the prestigious University of Cambridge and also the world’s largest provider of international qualifications to school age students.

As the world’s most popular international qualification for this age group, the Cambridge IGCSE is widely recognised and accepted by top-tier colleges, universities and employers worldwide, providing your child with an international passport to success.

This also means that the IGCSEs are globally transferable and enable study in American Colleges or schools offering A levels.

Preparation for the IB Diploma Programme

This is likely to be the first time that your child has had to make a choice in the subjects that they will study. Your child will have the opportunity to choose courses that they are passionate about. This will reinforce the process of them becoming independent learners and thinkers, and they will start to take responsibility for their own education: this choice broadens with subjects available as part of the IB Diploma programme and, consequently with University applications. Steve Ko, BIS HCMC student who achieved 44 out of 45 in his IB Diploma in 2017 explains how the IGCSEs were a pivotal point in planning his future;

IGCSE was a period of realising what I want to do in the future. At the end of IGCSE I was confident enough to change thoughts about my future and select Maths, Physics and Chemistry HL for the IB Diploma Programme. Steve Ko, Class of 2017

Encouraging our students to engage with a variety of subjects, and make connections between them, is fundamental to our approach here at BIS HCMC. With the IGCSE curriculum, students build more than just a deep understanding of their subject. They develop higher order thinking skills so that they can apply what they have learned in new contexts. They are asked to think critically, to learn how to construct an argument and to evaluate evidence. They learn to work both independently, and collaboratively to bring a project to a successful outcome. They are also encouraged to develop an international outlook and become confident, global citizens. These key attributes are essential for success academically, personally and professionally.

A proven pathway to successIGCSE Results 2021


At BIS HCMC we continue to achieve phenomenal IGCSE results year on year, clearly identifying us as a premium international school. These impressive results continue into the IBDP where, in 2021 our students achieved a 100% pass rate with our average score being significantly higher than the global average. 

The IGCSE curriculum taught by our outstanding teachers here at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City therefore represents an excellent and reputable pathway to success within the IB Diploma Programme and beyond.