What is Cambridge ICE?

The Cambridge ICE (International Certificate in Education) certificate is a group award designed for schools that want to offer a broad curriculum. Candidates enter and sit for a minimum of seven subjects selected from the five IGCSE curriculum areas:

Group I: Languages (First Language, Second Language and Foreign Language)
Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences
Group III: Sciences
Group IV: Mathematics
Group V: Creative, Technical and Vocational

Here are the Cambridge IGCSE subjects:

igcse-subjects1

igcse-subjects2

Candidates must take two different languages from Group I, and one subject from each of Groups II, III, IV and V. The seventh subject can be taken from any of the five subject groups.

The subjects groupings are listed below. Please note that not all subjects are available in both the June and November series.

Environmental Management can count as either a Group II or a Group III subject, and Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award) counts as two subjects.

Group I: Languages (First Language, Second Language and Foreign Language)

First Language

  • Afrikaans
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Sesotho
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish

Second Language

  • Afrikaans
  • Chinese
  • English
  • Hindi
  • IsiZulu
  • Kazakh
  • Urdu
Foreign Language

  • Arabic
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Malay
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Bangladesh Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Environmental Management
  • Geography
  • Global Perspectives
  • History
  • India Studies
  • Islamiyat
  • Latin
  • Literature (English)
  • Literature (Spanish)
  • Pakistan Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • World Literature

Group III: Sciences

  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Combined Science
  • Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award)
  • Environmental Management
  • Physical Science
  • Physics

Group IV: Mathematics

  • Additional Mathematics
  • Cambridge International Mathematics
  • Mathematics

Group V: Creative, Technical and Vocational

  • Accounting
  • Art and Design
  • Business Studies
  • Child Development
  • Computer Science
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • Enterprise
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Travel and Tourism

Candidates who qualify for the Cambridge ICE award will be placed in one of three categories:

Distinction - Grade A or better in five subjects and grade C or better in two subjects.
Merit - Grade C or better in five subjects and grade F or better in two subjects.
Pass - Grade G or better in seven subjects.

Another important benefit that Cambridge ICE offers is that candidates can demonstrate competence across a wide range of subjects and skills. Cambridge ICE carries greater currency in its own right in those countries where it is popular.

Full details of the subject groups and procedures for making entries for Cambridge ICE can be found in section 4 of the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries (schools/exam centres must refer to this during exam registration).

Below are frequently asked questions about Cambridge ICE.


To qualify for the Cambridge ICE certificate, must candidates take all their subjects in one session?

No. Candidates can qualify for Cambridge ICE over two series provided they take place during a period of 13 months, i.e. June to November, June to June, November to June, or November to November.


My school has applied for me to be considered as a candidate for Cambridge ICE over two sittings. The first sitting has taken place and I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped in one of my subjects. Can I retake it in the second sitting?

Yes, you can, but it is the result you achieved at the first sitting that will be counted towards your Cambridge ICE certificate. The result you achieve at the second sitting will be reported to you on a separate subject certificate.


Is it possible for GCE O Levels to count towards the Cambridge ICE certificate?

Certain subjects taken at GCE Ordinary Level may be counted towards Cambridge ICE. Such substitutions will not be permitted if the proposed substitute subject is available as an IGCSE subject in the same series, and no candidate who has taken fewer than six IGCSE subjects will be awarded a Cambridge ICE certificate. Customer Services will be able to confirm whether the particular O Level you are taking can be counted towards ICE.


If I take more than the minimum of seven subjects required to qualify for ICE, how will my Cambridge ICE grade be calculated?

As long as you fulfil the entry requirements for Cambridge ICE (passes in seven subjects, covering the five IGCSE subject groups and including two different languages), your seven best results, irrespective of subject or group, will be used to calculate your Cambridge ICE grade.


Is it necessary to submit entries in order to be awarded the Cambridge ICE certificate?

Yes. A School must make a separate entry for the Cambridge ICE Award for each candidate who fulfils the Cambridge ICE entry criteria. To enter a candidate for the Cambridge ICE Award, a School must make an entry by means of the Cambridge ICE entry code in addition to the syllabus and option codes for the examinations the candidate takes. Failure to include Cambridge ICE in the candidate entry will result in only IGCSE certificates being issued without the Cambridge ICE certificate.


How do I make an entry for the Cambridge ICE group award?

Candidates may enter syllabuses that contribute to the Cambridge ICE group award either in a single examination series or over two examination series, provided they are held during a 13 month period. For example, candidates entering for the ICE award in the November 2015 could use previous results gained in the November 2014 or June 2015 series, but not both.

You must make a separate entry for students who wish to enter for the Cambridge ICE Award. This is done by entering the group award entry code ICE along with the syllabus entry codes. For two series students you must make the Cambridge ICE entry in their final examination series. Previous entry details must also be submitted for students who require results achieved in previous series to be included in the award of Cambridge ICE.

Failure to include ICE in the student entry will result in only Cambridge IGCSE certificates being issued without the Cambridge ICE certificate.

You can find full details of the choice of subjects and entry criteria for the Cambridge ICE Award in the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries.


Can I apply for an ICE Group award certificate retrospectively?

It is not possible to retrospectively apply for a Cambridge ICE Group Award, so care should be taken to ensure that the entry information provided for each student satisfies the Cambridge ICE Group Award entry criteria. To enter a student for the Cambridge ICE Group Award, a school must make an entry by means of the ICE entry code in addition to the syllabus and option codes for the examinations being taken by the student. The ICE entry code is ICE. Failure to include ICE in the student entry will result in only Cambridge IGCSE results and certificates being issued. The Statement of Entry issued to each candidate will confirm whether the ICE entry criteria has been satisfied.

For more information on how to make entries for the Cambridge ICE group award please refer to the Cambridge Guide for Making Entries for the relevant examination session, which can be downloaded from the Support Materials section of CIE Direct.


Do I need to submit Forecast Grades for ICE?

Schools do not need to submit Forecast Grades for Cambridge ICE as it is a group award. However, if you wish to remove the ‘Grades required’ warning on CIE Direct for ICE, you can enter the Forecast Grades as ‘X’.


What certificate is issued for ICE?

To qualify for an ICE certificate, a student must obtain at least grade G(g) in each of seven subjects. These must include two subjects from Group I (Languages) and at least one subject from each of Groups II (Humanities ), III (Sciences), IV (Mathematics) and V (Creative, Technical and Vocational).

ICE certificates show the level achieved in the ICE group award:

  • DISTINCTION is awarded if a student obtains grade A(a) or above in five subjects and grade C(c) or above in two further subjects;
  • MERIT is awarded if a student obtains grade C(c) or above in five subjects and grade F(f) or above in two further subjects;
  • PASS is awarded if a student obtains grade G(g) or above in seven subjects.
    An IGCSE certificate will be awarded to failing ICE students who obtain a minimum of at least one grade G(g) in a syllabus.

Students who achieve ICE in one series will receive an ICE Statement of Results and two separate IGCSE and ICE Certificates.

Two series ICE students will receive a certificate for the individual subjects taken at the end of the first series and two separate IGCSE and ICE certificates at the end of the second series.


How do schools/exam centres make entries for Cambridge ICE using the Final Entry form?

If a candidate is eligible for the Cambridge ICE Diploma, they can be entered for the award by adding the relevant entry code to their entries, in the same way as a normal entry code – an example of this can be found on the Final Entry Form.

The entry code for Cambridge ICE Diploma is simply ‘ICE’.

* All info taken from CIE.

36 thoughts on “What is Cambridge ICE?

  1. Hi IGCSE Centre,
    If I am sitting for the 2017 May/June examination series, when would be the right time to ‘apply’ for the ICE award? Is it too late?

    • Hi Dania,

      If you intend to obtain ICE award, you MUST register this during your exam registration. Not claiming/apply it after. If you are sitting for the June series examination, we assumed you had already done your exam registration and did not register for ICE award. Therefore, you will not obtain ICE award.

      Please read the above article carefully.

  2. Hello, if i resit an igcse exam in hopes to obtain a higher grade, will the second grade be the official one appearing on the certificate or will it come on its own?

    • Hi daniabbq,

      The certificate will be a different one from your first sitting. You can then choose to use either one certificate.

  3. Respected IGCSE Team,
    Thank you for all the great effort you have put up in this website. You really help!
    For ICE, can I enter for I have all A grades in 7 subjects but those subjects are from all groups except group 5.
    Please reply!
    Thanks

    • Hi,

      If you read the paragraph below the IGCSE subjects list, you should see that ‘candidates must take two different languages from Group I and one subject from each of Groups II, III, IV, and V.”

      If you have already taken your IGCSE, you can’t “enter” now to claim the ICE award. Please read above article to find out how to obtain ICE award. It is not particularly important to have one. So do not sweat about it.

    • Hi Shan,

      Those are the papers we’re missing as well. We will keep updating the past exam papers. Do check the page from time to time.

    • Hi Vedanti,

      ICE is popular in the North and South America universities/colleges. While having an ICE award shows that you have chosen a wider range of subjects, thus you have more options in choosing your course, it does not make getting into a foreign university easier. The university will have to take into consideration your exam results and other requirements before allowing you to enrol into their university.

      It would be best to check the requirements of the university you wish to enrol into.

      Please read more on ICE above.

    • Hello,
      ICE is a group award. You just register your students according to the guide of making entries. Meanwhile, you must also make sure that your school offers all the required subjects in the requires Groups.

      If your school is a registered Cambridge School, you should get the official help from CIE directly.

    • Hi Aman,
      There is no “special” benefit in getting ICE. The award is to show you have taken a variety of subject groups. These might be good for some universities applications if they want to see variety of subject groups.

  4. Dear all,

    Thank you for all the invaluable information.
    Can a private candidate request to be entered for an ICE award at a British council ?

    Regards

    • Hi Maria,
      You are most welcome! 🙂

      Yes, definitely. You must ensure that British Council makes the right exam entry codes for you during your exam registration. You MUST check your own registration to ensure everything is in order.

  5. [email protected]$ on said:

    Are you expected to pay extra money for getting the ICE certificate?

    • Hi Harshita,
      There is no “detention” in IGCSE. It is your decision if you want to resit the subject if the grade obtained is not up to your satisfaction.

  6. Hi,

    For the ICE diploma, the requirement is to pass “two subjects from Group 1 (Languages)”. Here are English and English Literature treated as 2 separate languages? Or does it HAVE to be English AND a foreign language?

    Thanks a ton for clarifying!

    • Hi Mayur,
      If you take English and English Literature, that is considered 2 subjects for Group 1. It doesn’t “HAVE to be” English AND a foreign language. It is your choice.

      If you like foreign languages, you can pick one from the foreign language group.

  7. What is the procedure to get an ICE award, do you have to re-write the exams, or something like that. Are there any special requirements needed to get an ICE award.

    • Hi there,
      If you wish to obtain the ICE award, you must specify this during your exam registration. If you failed to do that, you can’t claim the ICE award later.

      Please read the article above.

  8. Is it possible for my daughter to take IGCSE test on 4 subjects this year for example and maybe take some more subjects sometime next year to be qualified for ICE?

    • Hi Ayu,
      Yes, she may do that. However, she must take the rest of the subjects within 13 months from the first sitting. Please read more above.

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