Why offer IGCSE, GCSE or O-levels?


Do you want to offer your students the world's most popular international qualification for 14-16 year olds?

IGCSEs, International GCSEs and O-levels are recognised by employers, colleges and universities around the world, helping students to unlock exciting new opportunities. 

They can help your institution:

  • attract ambitious students
  • improve its reputation
  • offer a broad range of subjects
  • enable students to meet emigration criteria
  • prepare students for university, work and life.


The IGCSEs from Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) are studied at more than 9,000 schools in more than 160 countries, while the International GCSE qualifications offered by Pearson Edexcel are studied in more than 80 countries. The British Council can connect you to these exam boards and help you to offer world-class qualifications to your students.


Every year we help two million people take international exams, so we know how to make life easier for teachers, principals and school exams co-ordinators. From fast access to syllabus information to useful learning tools, we’ll support you at every stage. 

Find out how to become a British Council attached centre.

What to expect

The British Council makes the exam process straightforward – for teachers, students and school exams co-ordinators. 


IGCSEs, International GCSEs and O-levels usually take two years to complete. Students are assessed with a mixture of written and oral tests, as well as practical exams and coursework.


IGCSEs, International GCSEs and O-levels are available in more than 70 subjects, covering core topics such as maths, English and the sciences, as well as specialist subjects such as environmental management and global perspectives. 

Students typically choose to study eight to 10 subjects, though this depends on their goals and the local education system.

Find out which IGCSE or O-level subjects CIE offers.

Find out which International GCSE or O-level subjects Pearson Edexcel offers.


Exams are offered by two main exam boards – CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) and Pearson Edexcel. 

CIE offer IGCSEs and O-levels, while Pearson Edexcel offer International GCSEs and O-levels.

Find out which board is right for your school.


The IGCSE core curriculum is suitable for students who expect to achieve grades C to G. An extended curriculum offers more challenging content for students aiming for grades A to C. 

For O-levels, results are assessed using internationally-recognised A* to E grades.


We offer a variety of exam preparation materials, including study guides, past papers and other resources to make life easier for students and their teachers. 

Learn more about support for schools and institutions by looking at the Support tab on this page.


Students are assessed using a mixture of written and oral tests, coursework and practical assessments. In some cases schools can choose to only use external examinations, or to combine coursework with examinations. 

Results are awarded using the internationally recognised A* to G grades. Coursework and exam papers are all marked centrally in the UK.


Results are sent to schools or your nearest British Council office several weeks after the final exam or coursework submission. 

Find out how to become a British Council attached centre.

Exam registration

Are you ready to register your students? The British Council has all the information you need to get started.


  • You can register your students in bulk to save time.
  • You can register online or by completing the paper application form.
  • Register before the deadline or you may have to pay a penalty fee.
  • Your local British Council office can help you register students for their exams.

Find out how to become a British Council attached centre.


The British Council handles all of the exam administration on your behalf, from registering students to delivering exam papers to your school. 

We also make sure you receive:

  • past papers and practice exams
  • full syllabus details for every subject
  • up-to-date marking and rule information
  • examiner reports and important news.

We also provide access to all of the support and materials you need to help your students study for and pass their IGCSEs/International GCSEs or O-levels – from study guides to exclusive learning websites.

Find out how to become a British Council attached centre.