Difference Between IB MYP and IGCSE

At present, there are two popular international education systems in the domestic international junior high school curriculum, that is, IGCSE courses and IB MYP courses. Both courses have a fairly complete curriculum system, which is naturally the best choice for international junior high school students to bridge the international high school A-Level or IB courses. So which one is better for you? Let me introduce you to the difference between these two courses and decide which one is better for you!



IB MYP Program

First, let’s talk about the IB MYP programme. The full name of MYP is “Middle Year Program”, which is a program in the International Baccalaureate system, abbreviated as IB (IB). The IBMYP is aimed at primary and secondary school students aged 11 to 16, i.e. ages 6 to 10, and includes 8 subject groups: Science, Design, Physical Education, Mathematics, Language and Literature, Art, Personal and Social and Language Acquisition (Second Language). Students in each subject group are required to receive at least 50 hours of study per year. IBMYP is not a curriculum to be precise, it is more like an educational framework, there is no fixed teaching content, he will evaluate according to the student’s personality and interest orientation, so that the teacher can design his own unique curriculum for each student. The MYP was originally established to prepare international junior high school students for the future IBDP.


IGCSE courses

So what is the IGCSE course? The full name of IGCSE is “International General Certificate of Secondary Education”. IGCSE created by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom as part of the CIE Cambridge Global Examination, this course is designed for overseas students aged 14 to 16 who want to study GCSE, and is also the largest number of test takers between the ages of 14 and 16 in the world. The programme includes five core subjects which is Mathematics, English, English Literature, Integrated Science (including Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and Global Perspectives. IGCSE, like GCSE, falls within the framework of the UK education system and runs longer, both of them are academically focused. Students can choose to take classes at school to prepare for exams, or they can study at the Learning Center. IGCSE textbooks usually cover the entire timetable and exam papers are available online, so it is often easier for students to find resources related to IGCSE learning.


IGCSE course content and MYP educational framework

The most obvious difference between IGCSE and MYP is that IGCSE has clear, subject-based course content, while MYP does not. The IGCSE uses the traditional approach where the Examination Board develops a syllabus, formulates a series of learning topics and content in the syllabus, and then the teacher conducts classroom instruction according to the syllabus. Students will take courses and participate in public examinations after completing the two-year program. IGCSE training students is arguably more effective in terms of exam skills, homework, time management and individual subject learning ability. However, as IGCSE subjects are mostly taught individually and combined with exam-focused courses, this leads students to feel that they are learning in an overly mechanical or stylized way.

In contrast, MYP does not have a specific curriculum structure, and each school can develop its own curriculum topics and learning content to encourage students to learn across disciplines. For example, MYP students can study the biology unit of infectious diseases and do group work on viruses within the history department, while studying literature from countries affected by malaria. Through this interdisciplinary learning, students are able to understand the connections between different disciplines and how to connect them to real-world global issues, leading to a more well-rounded education.


IGCSE is an external evaluation and MYP is an internal evaluation

IGCSE provides standardized external evaluations; In contrast, the MYP relies on internal assessments set by the school. Students may be more familiar with the IGCSE faculty-led learning model; In this model, students must learn and keep in mind the subject content and learning methods that the teacher teaches in the classroom. The content of IGCSE’s curriculum and assessment criteria are clear and leave little room for schools to explain alone or for students to master their own learning styles. This way of learning can be restrictive; It can also be beneficial. For some students, they will find this mode of learning very fruitful for them because IGCSE has clear requirements for students to practice; But others may find it stressful, or in areas of self-directed learning.

In contrast, MYP’s assessment criteria are vivid and not rigid, and the learning content and assessment method depend largely on how teachers interpret it. The focus of MYP is to emphasize inquiry-based learning for students. Students have more control over their learning by determining their own direction of study through individual assignments and research. MYP students develop the ability to ask questions and think deeply about the topics they are studying. Because for students to learn well, it depends in part on their ability as academic inquirers. From the above factors, it can be seen that the quality of MYP education will vary according to the school’s own teaching content and method; Compared to the IGCSE, it was more consistent in that regard. Although the MYP is recognized for its association with the IBDP, IGCSE enjoys wider recognition and respect as a discipline with a long history.


Features of IB MYP

One of the characteristics of MYP is that students undertake individual research projects. Students must set their desired learning outcomes or goals and then create some finished product to achieve them, which can be a website, musical instrument or animated short film; These are just a few examples. The aim of the study programme is for students to demonstrate the skills they have learned and developed in the course while pursuing their personal interests outside the subject curriculum. Students are also required to give an oral presentation on the final product and document their entire creative process. This is a requirement that IGCSE does not have. Regardless of the subject students study, the curriculum also encourages them to participate in extracurricular activities throughout their secondary years. Extracurricular activities enrich a student’s life and are perfect for a personal statement as part of a college application.

Extracurricular activities must have the three elements of creativity, action and community service, creativity, action and community service (CAS), which is also one of the compulsory subjects of the MYP. Participation in extracurricular activities prepares students for the number of hours they complete CAS during the IB program and encourages younger students to reflect on their role as community members and global citizens. IGCSE does not overemphasize that students must participate in extracurricular activities, but if students want to take IB courses or enter university in the future, they should develop the habit of participating in extracurricular activities.  HWA provides students with the resources they need to reach their full potential and succeed. If you would like more advice on how to help your child find the best option, please feel free to contact us.

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