Homeschool and IGCSE
IGCSE – International General Certificate of Secondary Education
IN RECENT YEARS, more and more homeschoolers have gravitated towards IGCSE O Level exams as the preferred pathway to college and further education in Malaysia and abroad. Here’s an FAQ prepared by a homeschooling mom (Thanks, Rachel!) to clear the fog for Malaysian homeschoolers who are unclear about next steps:
Q: What is IGCSE?
A: IGCSE is the Level 10 high school exams offered by the U.K. Cambridge University and is accepted as equivalent to our local Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificate exams.The IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14-16 year olds. It develops successful students, giving them excellent preparation for their next steps in education, including progression to A Level study, and equips them with skills for immediate employment. Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities and employers worldwide. In Malaysia, homeschoolers who sit for the IGCSE exams as private candidates have generally done well.
For more information regarding IGCSE, point your cursor here.
Q: Why aren’t homeschoolers opting for SPM?
A: The Malaysian Ministry of Education allows homeschoolers to sit for the SPM examination (Form 5 examination) in the year they attain 18 years of age. Presently all examination subjects are in Bahasa Malaysia except for Mathematics and the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). However the Government has announced that the policy of teaching Mathematics and Science in English will cease in 2012 and revert to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools.
Q: What happens after a student completes the IGCSE exams?
A: When a student achieves a minimum 5 credits in the IGCSE (more would be better) he is qualified to apply to any of the following:
- Study for the A Levels exams, and thereafter apply to enter most private universities locally, or any university in Commonwealth countries (UK, Australia, etc) as well as America
- Sign up for a pre-university course at most private universities locally, and thereafter, proceed to a degree programme locally or abroad
- Enrol in an American university to begin a 4-year degree programme
Note: A number of homeschoolers apply to US universities with their IGCSE certificates together with SAT results in English/Maths. If a student does not have admissible SAT test scores, he will be required to sit for SAT during his 1st year in the university.
Q: What range of subjects are offered in the IGCSE exams?
A: Malaysian homeschoolers are known to sit for any of the following:
Chinese – First Language
Chinese (Mandarin) – Foreign Language
English – First Language
English – Literature
Malay – Foreign Language
Mathematics – Additional
Sciences – Co-ordinated (Double)
Q: Where can I get information regarding syllabus and examination application/services?
A: Visit the University of Cambridge International Examinations site for more details on syllabus and qualifications. For registration forms, time-tables, and services, visit the British Council website.
Q: Where can I get a look at IGCSE past year papers?
A: You can view and download 2002-2009 IGCSE past years papers here at freeexampapers.com for FREE.
Q: How do I prepare my homeschooling teen for IGCSE exams?
A: A number of homeschoolers in the country have successfully studied for the exams at home as the culmination of their homeschooling journey. In this D-I-Y approach, parents either guide their children themselves or enlist the help of private tutors to complement their studies.
Private IGCSE tutors do provide one-on-one tuition in a student’s home and they usually charge an hourly rate per subject (anything between RM50 and RM70 per hour per subject is normal). Some private tutors in the Klang Valley you can call are as follows:
Kar Yoong 012-9415728
You can visit www.igcsemalaysia.com for more leads/contacts.
If you prefer to study in a centre, check out the following:
- Mr Tan Yip Meng runs an IGCSE centre in Puchong. Fees are charged according to the number of subjects a student is sitting for. Call Mr Tan at 012-3453690
- FLC (Frontier Learning Centre) is an informal fee-based co-op, initiated and led by homeschool parents, a number of whom are qualified teachers. Tuition is carried out at Eaglepoint Covenant Fellowship building, in Puchong. For more details, call 012 2273312
- ACE EdVenture – a fully equipped facility providing an integrated educational solution for students from Standard 1 to Form 5, including IGCSE. Fees are charged by semester
Q: Where does a student get IGCSE textbooks?
A: In Klang Valley, I got mine at these places
- Popular bookshop at IKANO (check out the section on International/IGCSE/A Levels)
- University Book Store at Section 14, right across the road from JAYA 33 infront of Digital Mall. They are
located on the 1st floor, a few shops away from the McDonald outlet at Section 14.
Address: No 18, 1st floor, Jalan 14/14 Petaling Jaya (Tel no 79569410)
Hope all the information above is helpful to you. God bless you on your homeschooling journey.
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[Please note that all information posted here are correct at the time of posting. I would appreciate corrections, updates, and reports on broken links if any. Thanks!]