IGCSE Vs. A-Levels: Which Is Better?

A-level tuition Malaysia

Many students have a hard time to determine and choose whether they should opt for IGCSE or A-Levels. Some may say IGCSE is harder than A-levels and some would claim that A-levels is more difficult than the other one. Which one is true? In this article, we have provided the comparison guide between these two for you to make the right choice. 


International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification usually taken by students in secondary school with the age of 14 to 16 years old. It is designed as a two to three years course but candidates may complete the course in earlier or later depends on how they want to. 

The IGCSE exams are administered twice which is in May and October every year. In Malaysia, students will sit for their exams at international schools or any private centers. The results of the IGCSE will be out around August and January every year. Each subject is graded on a scale of A* to G.


A-Levels in Malaysia is administered by Cambridge Assessment International Education and Edexcel. It is a completely exam-based examinations with a minimum of 2 to 3 subjects for each students to take. A-levels is a pre-university programme and it is based on the United Kingdom education system. 

In Malaysia, the duration of A-levels is around 12 to 25 months only. A-Levels is divided into two prats of programme. The first part is AS Level which stands for Advanced Subsidiary. It is the first half of the course and serves as the foundation for the A-Levels. The second part of the programme is called A2-Level. In this part, it will covers more advanced topics in your subjects that you have chosen.  Usually, you will sits for a test at the end of every parts, and it will contribute 50% to your final mark. 

Which One Is Harder and Which One Is Better?

A-level tuition Malaysia

Some people have typically claimed A-Levels qualifications are harder than IGCSEs. On the other hand, some would argue that A-levels requires students to take minimum of three subjects only while in IGCSE, students would need to pass seven subjects to gain an ICE (International Certificate of Education). Therefore, it seems like IGCSE is more difficult in comparison to A-Levels. 

Even while A-levels may appears to be simpler and easier, it is actually not. A-Levels are a step up qualification compared to IGCSE, and you have only around two years to study for your A-levels. Meanwhile, IGCSE gives you a longer period for you to study which is around three years. However, worry not, it vary depends on the year and the institution you are going to. 

To say that IGCSEs are more simple and easy is an understatement. Every year, a large number of students fail their IGCSE examination.

It actually depends on what subjects of A-Levels you take, as some are more difficult than the others. Some subjects of A-Levels are simpler than other IGCSEs, such as Business Studies, Psychology, and Sociology.

Both have their own charms and difficulties. As a matter of fact, you are the one who can determine which qualification is better for you and it depends on what kind of students you are. 
If you think you can study and do your revision in a shorter period of time, you may consider A-level as your choice. You may want to check A-level tuition Malaysia out if you need help to score your exams. However, if you want a longer time to study and explore your chosen subjects, then you can take IGCSE into your consideration. Whichever your choice is, we wish you a best of luck for your future.

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