Qualify International Schools in Malaysia

Welcome to our Q&A session.

As some prefer reading compare with our weekly IGCSE TV videos, we would produce some Q&A sessions in writing as well.

Today’s question comes from Lydia John, a concern parent in Malaysia.

Lydia writes:

“Please provide list of qualify international schools in Malaysia that fully registred with IGCSE. There are many international schools that mushrooming in Malaysia but we don’t know which are fully registered with the IGCSE board.

We ended paying for nothing. Some of the schools did the checkpoint test internally. Is this part of the practice?”

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Thank you for such a good question Lydia. In fact, we get questioned a lot regarding this matter from parents. We would like to share your concern and our feedback here, so this could benefit all.

Not long ago, we had a list of international schools in Malaysia that looked like this:

International Schools in Kuala Lumpur & Selangor

We received many inquiries from parents and students regarding the schools on our list. Most of the questions are:

  • Which school is providing full IGCSE programme?
  • Any international schools in certain area that they’re living in.
  • Are those schools comply with IGCSE syllabus?
  • The age limit for school entry.
  • Problems with understanding some subjects by some teachers.
  • Qualification of the teachers.
  • Is the school registered with Cambridge?
  • Please list xxx school on your list. (these are from schools and parents)
  • … and many more.

    We realised the responsibility for listing the schools here. As parents and students trust our guidance and suggestions, we do not want to make a list that we are not 100% sure of.

    Upon some investigation, we encountered some international schools that do not offer full IGCSE course. For example, they only offer English as Second Laguange paper 1 but without paper 2. This will result in incomplete IGCSE on a student result slip.

    Hence, the list was taken down. On the other hand, we take on the responsibility to make sure our parents and students are getting the right resources from IGCSE Centre.

    A new selection criteria has been set. Instead of just randomly listing schools here, we want to list “Featured Schools”. Schools that fulfil fundamental yet extremely important criteria as an international school that offer IGCSE courses.

    You can view our selection criteria here: Featured Schools.

    Sadly, schools that requested us to list their schools on our list backed off after seeing our selection criteria.

    To answer your question, Cambridge Checkpoint is being held twice a year - one in May and another one in October. The tests cover all major areas of learning in the Cambridge Secondary 1 curriculum frameworks for English, mathematics and science.

    Cambridge Checkpoint tests have been designed to assess learning at the end of Cambridge Secondary 1. They are available in English, mathematics and science, and give valuable feedback on learners’ strengths and weaknesses before they progress to the next stage of education.

    The tests are marked in Cambridge and provide schools with an external international benchmark for learner performance. Each learner receives a statement of achievement and a diagnostic feedback report, giving schools detailed information and parents extra trust in the feedback they receive.

    There is a Curriculum Framework for schools to follow for Cambridge Checkpoint tests.

    Our suggestions:

    • Please don’t rush to enrol your children, you have to be sure what you’re paying for.
    • Take time to do research on the schools.
    • Make sure you’re checking on all important factors such as: syllabus, schools’ culture, exams certificate & procedures, teaching materials*, teachers’ qualification.

    * Some schools offer Cambridge IGCSE certification, but use Edexcel books as teaching materials. Cambridge IGCSE and Edexcel IGCSE are different examination board. Hence, different syllabus and different style of tests all together.

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    This is our A to your Q, Lydia. If you like it, click the “Like” button, and share it with your family and friends by clicking on the “Share” buttons below.

    As always, thank you for reading.

    Stay tune with us for more guidance and free tutorial.

    78 thoughts on “Qualify International Schools in Malaysia

    1. My children are studying in an international school in seremban., Malaysia. My child is in year 9.
      She is supposed to sit for the checkpoint year 9 , but unfortunately the school does not offer this exam. How do I register my child to sit for this exam? Can I do it online?

      • Hi Nithya,

        Checkpoint tests are school-based assessments and only available in the school. They are not available for private candidates, thus you can’t sit these tests elsewhere or online.

        If the school is a registered Cambridge School, they should have these Checkpoint tests.

    2. My son will be taking his IGCSE as a private candidate in 3 years time. Just wondering where can he take his igcse Malay paper? Can he take English First Language or does he have to take second language?Are there oral papers for the above subjects?How will he take that?TIA

      • Hi Geetha,

        You will have to check with the British Council in your local area.

        Before deciding whether to take EFL or ESL, you should understand the difference between both. If you have a strong command of English, you may opt for English First Language. Otherwise, English Second Language is as good as English First Language for further study and university application. The only difference would be the grades required by the university. You can download some past exam papers (http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-past-exam-papers/) to make a comparison between the two of them. Then, you can decide which one you would like to take.

        Both Malay and English language exams have speaking test.

    3. Hi,
      I would like to know the subjects of the igcse in order to enter medicine in malaysia should i take Aevels or only Olevevls needed ? and what are exactly the subjects needed ?
      Thank you 😊

      • Hi Lougina,
        If you’ve completed your SPM, you do not need IGCSE or O Levels anymore. You can apply for A Levels directly.

        Usually, you will need English, Maths, Biology, and Chemistry. However, it is always wise to check with the university you wish to apply for; and get confirmation on the required subjects for medicine.

      • Hi Nora,

        You can take the examination at any age. As for where you can sit for the exam, you can check with your local British Council if they offer this subject (at your local area). Otherwise, you can also find a list of registered Cambridge schools in your local area here: http://www.cie.org.uk/i-want-to/find-a-cambridge-school/ and check with the school if they accept a private candidate.

    4. Hi there, appreciate your help on the following with regard to private, home school candidates;
      1. what are the minimum number of subjects a candidate must study and sit for exams in order to obtain a full IGCSE certificate? Assuming there is such thing as a full IGCSE certificate?
      2. Am I right in assuming that there is no maximum number of subjects that can be taken?
      3. After IGCSE, we would like our son to proceed to A levels. What are the minimum number of subjects that can be taken?
      4. Is there a minimum number of subjects that has to be taken in order to obtain a full A level certificate?
      5. Is there a minimum period (number of years) he has to study before he can sit for his A levels?

      Thank you for your assistance.

    5. Hi IGCSE team,

      My son will be sitting for the exam this Oct/Nov. He is thinking of law course in the near future and I understand that one has to have SPM Bahasa Malaysia (min credit) in order to qualify to practise law in Malaysia. My concern is that IGCSE students are not allowed to take single subject as a private candidate. Do you have any idea on this matter? Please shed some light. Thank you.

      • Hi Shamini,

        As a private candidate, you can always take just one subject (or any number of subjects) in any examination series. We think the information that you have gotten is wrong.

        Please check with the British Council in your local area if the subject your son wants to take is available.

    6. Thanks for your dedication in answering all the questions posted.. n the valuable info. I’m a tutor and I’ve been recommending your site to parents. Keep up the good work. ?

    7. Hi,
      My son is studying in form 1,in 2017.I would like him to sit for extra papers besides his government school syllabus separately.How can I approach for igcse papers in English, maths and science?

      Please advice

      • Hi Malarveli,
        There is no Checkpoint Tests available for private candidate. You just need to register yourself with your local British Council whenever you are ready to sit for the IGCSE exams.

        • Hi, I’m a government school (in KL) student, form 5 this year. I would like to ask about IGCSE exam:
          1) Am I still qualify to take IGCSE exam?
          2) Can I register for the exam through my school?
          3) What do you mean by private candidates?
          4) How can I contact with my local British Council?

          • Hi Nic,

            1) Yes, you’re qualified to take IGCSE. However, if you’re doing well in the SPM, you can sit for A & AS Level instead. This is because IGCSE is equivalent to SPM.

            2) No, you cannot register IGCSE exams through your school. If you are in a government school, chances are your school is not providing IGCSE programmes and not a registered Cambridge School nor exam centre.

            3) Private candidates are those who studied on their own and registered directly with the British Council or any other registered exam centre to sit for the exams (and not through any registered Cambridge schools)

            4) Just search online for your local British Council’s phone number and give them a call. You can try by going on Google, and put in the search box: British Council KL. (Please note: You will need to check with your local British Council on the subject availability before registering.

    8. HI.. I just wanna know… IGSCE English syllabus same for all the country? and at what age a child can sit for IGSCE english exam? Can i know the next exam date please?

      • Hi Ms. Thanu,
        The IGCSE syllabi are the same worldwide. The minimum age to sit for the exam is 14. There are 2 examination series in a year: one in May/June series, one in Oct/Nov series.

      • Hi Amy,
        We do not provide revision classes for Chinese subjects. If you’re looking for exam registration, you must do that with your local British Council.

    9. Hello i study in qatar i finished my year 10 in igcse and i would like to complete my year 11 in malaysia this year but i need like a school or education centre with teachers and tests can somebody help me with that
      Thanks

      • Hello there,
        There is no school would accept new student in year 11. You have to study at home and register as private candidate if you want to continue year 11 in Malaysia.

        Otherwise, it is advisable to finish your year 11 and sit for your IGCSE exams in Qatar first before you move to Malaysia.

    10. Hye,if a homeschooler is taking the igsce exam does it necessary to have the syllabus books or should the homeschooler be learning the subjects without the book by itself?

      • The reference books are good in guiding the candidates in learning everything in the syllabus. However, if you want to study without books, you may do so. It is your decision 🙂

    11. Hi, if i am an international school student, what sponsor that i can get to further my studies for a-level. Do you have any idea list of sponsors for a quilify igcse international school students ?

    12. Hi, thanks for your valuable info.

      I am planning to move to Malaysia as an expatriate engineer from Bangladesh. I want to homeschool my kids and prepare them for IGCSE. I don’t want to send them to any school (primary or other). Can I just homeschool them from age 5 to age 14 and make them sit for IGCSE? Or do I have to send them to primary school first? Is there any requirement of primary school certificate for IGCSE? Or anyone can sit for IGCSE without any prior school certificate?

      Thanks
      Nadim

      • Hi Nadim,
        There is no “pre-qualification” needed prior to taking IGCSE. You can always homeschool your kids until the age that they are ready to sit for their IGCSE.

    13. Hi,

      We would like to know where can we take the check point exam for year 9 as we are private students? Thank you.

      • Hi Gek,
        There is no checkpoint tests available for private candidate. Checkpoint tests are for Cambridge registered schools.

    14. Hi igcse team,
      My son would like to homeschool his son who is six years old preparing him for igcse/cie in future. May I know where I can buy books and what publishers to refer? What subjects is relevant for primary?

      • Hello Fannychee,

        First of all, we would like to inform you of this important fact. If your son would like to go into homeschooling, he must be ready to do this for the next 10 years until his son is ready to sit for IGCSE exams.

        If he decides to send his son to a secondary school halfway through the homeschooling process, he must know that most schools require a minimum primary school leaving certificate and a primary school exam certificate as the entry requirement. These, he won’t be able to provide if he starts his son with homeschooling from primary 1.

        If he is determined to do homeschooling from primary 1, he must be able to carry on until his son is at the age of 16 and ready to sit for IGCSE exams. There are no Checkpoint tests available for private candidates at primary level and lower secondary level. That means his son will not have any certifications at all until IGCSE level. Most parents in Malaysia who sent their children to so-called “homeschooling” centres do not know about this important fact.

        Homeschooling means the parents are ready to teach their children at home or hire a private teacher to do so at home. If he is 100% ready to take up the self-teaching route, by all means go ahead 🙂 … There are many successful cases of homeschooled kids, and lots of benefits as well.

        Please refer to the IGCSE reference books here, and try to find the same publishers who might have primary level reference books:
        http://igcsecentre.com/recommended-books/

        For subject wise, we suggest you to write to CIE and enquire about the subjects available for primary level.

    15. I am preparing (home schooling) my son to sit as private student for the last 2 yrs and plan to sit for exam in 2017. He is also a special need child.
      Can you please tell me
      1) what is the correct way to register for the exam?
      2) what are the available KL or Selangor centres accept private students?
      3) I understand there is some allowances for special need children during the exam (like extra minutes to answer the questions), any idea where can I find the details?

      • Hi Joshua,

        1. As a private candidate, you just need to register yourself with your local British Council and sit for your exam there.

        2. Besides British Council, there are some private schools do accept private candidate. You can always write to CIE and enquire about schools that do accept private candidate.

        3. For this matter, you have to write to CIE directly. As we do not have any information for this. So sorry about that.

        • Hi,

          As an international school teacher, I can validate and answer question number 3. Yes, he will be given extra time. However, he needs to come with a statement (by a doctor) stating his condition. Provide it to the centre when registering him for the exam.

          Many thanks.

        • Hi
          May I know what CIE stand for?
          May I have the contact details so that I can ask for the list of approved centres for private candidates to go to sit for igcse next year.
          These centres are not just for Cambridge English papers, right?

    16. Good Day,
      Hi, I’m a teacher fro an Internatioal school in Malaysia. I would like to know how much capital do we need to open up a homeschooling centre in Malaysia?

      • Hello Ms. Hin,
        “Homeschooling” basically means, studying at home. A centre would be either a learning centre / a school. That you might have to check with your local government.

      • Hi Lucas,
        IGCSE certificates are from the University of Cambridge. If there is a rule that they must be endorsed by a certain government, that you must find out locally.

        But the question is, what is the purpose of being endorsed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education Department?

    17. I am interested to bring my Year 6 students to register for Cambridge Primary Checkpoint International Examinations. How do l prepare for the next step ?
      At the moment my school is IGCSE center for Secondary?

      • Hi Helen,
        The Cambridge Primary Checkpoint is only available with a Cambridge Primary school. It is not available for Private Candidates.

    18. Hello there,

      I have a year 5 son currently in one of the malaysian international school which i would like to homeschool by 2016 (for year 6 onwards). My son told me that they do Cambridge exams towards the end of the year for English, Science and Maths. If i were to homeschool how can i get him to sit in for independent exams like this ?

      Thank You so much .

      • Hello there,
        We believe you are referring to the “Checkpoint Test”? If yes, it is not compulsory to take this Checkpoint Test for “Private Candidate”.

        If you are referring to the IGCSE exams, you could register him as “Private Candidate” with any British Council.

    19. Hi! Those learning centre for primary and secondary Cambridge’s program, do they need to be qualify or register with Cambridge? I found one learning centre which I feel comfortable but I doubt whether they are qualify or not because last time they were only a tuition centre, now they switch to full time classes.

      Second question is about whether is it fine for the student to skip the lower level of IGCSE( IGCSE checkpoint) ?

      Thank You.

      • Hi Yolanda,
        For qualifying schools, please write to CIE directly to enquire about that. It is not compulsory to take Checkpoint test if you are a “Private Candidate”.

    20. sir im a retired teacher who has experience of 25 years in chemistry. there are igcse students approached me to assit them in their subject (tuition). do i need a license to guide them in a small group.
      tx for ur kind reply.

      • You do not need any “special license” in this case, if you are providing private lessons. But you must have the knowledge in IGCSE syllabus.

    21. thanks for sharing igcse info and details. your website is very useful for my students and teachers, they often visit your site for past years too.

    22. My son in Malaysia.Selingor to study IGCSE to qualify to enter university to study business, what is the basic Subjects to be studied and what is a list of elective courses and that correspond to study business at the University

      • Universities will not be interested in your son’s iGCSE result, all they ask for is his result in A-level or equivalent. In fact your son can continue his studies till A-level without taking iGCSE exams at all, iGCSE is not compulsory.

      • Hello Siva,
        We do not have anything to comment on that. Homeschooling means study at home. Usually parents are playing a very big part of role in this by ensuring the children are getting the right syllabus, the right books, and getting the right help if they need extra guidance.

        Homeschooling does not mean sending the kids to any learning centre and leave them there to follow a school-type timetable, from morning to afternoon. In this way, this is not called “homeschooling”, and it defeat the purpose of homeschooling.

        On the other hand, if the learning centre does not have a proper learning environment, it might have a negative ramification on the kids.

          • Hi Sam,
            There is no “maximum” age limit for IGCSE. You can always register to sit for the exams at any age, even adults. There are many adults candidates sitting for the exams every year.

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