IGCSE exam board denies tests are ‘easier’ than GCSEs as they say private school pupils tend to do better

One of the UK’s major exam boards has denied that their IGCSEs are “easier” GCSEs, arguing that the majority of entries are from private schools where attainment is generally higher. The Telegraph reports

Cambridge International said there is “no evidence” that IGCSEs are graded more leniently than GCSEs, as they dismiss such claims as mere “rumours”.

The exam board said it is expected that a higher proportion of top grades are awarded to students who sit IGCSEs since the vast majority of entries are from private schools where “attainment tends to be higher”.

Earlier this month Ofqual, the exam watchdog, admitted that private school pupils who take IGCSEs have a better chance of getting top marks than their peers at state schools who take GCSEs.

Philip Parker, Cambridge International’s head of corporate affairs, has written to the chair of Ofqual demanding an “urgent” meeting with the exam watchdog to discuss their comments about the qualifications.

“Independent schools took Cambridge IGCSE when there was a rumour that they were ‘harder’ than GCSEs,” Mr Parker said in the letter. 

“Those same schools continue to take Cambridge IGCSE when there is a rumour they are ‘easier’. Importantly, schools can trust that neither of these rumours is true, as we align our awarding standard with England’s GCSE.”

Read more IGCSE exam board denies tests are ‘easier’ than GCSEs as they say private school pupils tend to do better

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