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The change from a A*-G grading system to a 9-1 grading system has led to 9-1 grade International General Certificate of Secondary Education being made available.
Therefore they offer an alternative to GCSE for many home-schooling educators and in adult education.
In the UK there has been controversy over the fairness of private school students taking the exam as an alternative to GCSE.
Following that, the UK government announced that the 16 accredited Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses could also be funded in state-maintained schools.
Subsequently, Cambridge IGCSE German and Spanish were also been accredited and funded, taking the total number of accredited and funded Cambridge IGCSEs to 18.
Ofqual allowed the use of Cambridge IGCSE exams under the name of "Cambridge International Certificates".
Initially 16 of Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses received UK government accreditation.
Cambridge IGCSE exams are conducted in the months of February (India only), May and October, and the results are released in May, August and January respectively.
The exams are set by CIE, which is part of the Cambridge Assessment that also includes the OCR gcse examination board.
This is designed to make IGCSE suitable for students with varying levels of ability.
In some subjects, IGCSE can be taken with or without coursework.