What is Home Schooling?

(* The correct use of the “home school” term:
Home school is on its way to becoming a compound. For now, when home school functions as a noun, it is still two words, without a hyphen. When it functions as a verb, it usually takes a hyphen (?) e.g.: I home-school my children; my children are home-schooled. “Homeschooling” is the term commonly used in North America, whereas “home education” is more commonly used in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe, and in many Commonwealth countries.)

Note: CIE (Cambridge International Examination board) has its name changed to CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) since October 2017.

Home schooling or home education is a form of education based at home. You can teach your child at home, either full or part-time. This is called home schooling.

Parents give many different reasons to home-school their children. The three (major) reasons selected by parents of more than two-thirds of students were concern about the school environment, to provide religious or moral instruction, and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at traditional schools.

Numerous studies have found that home-schooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests. Home schooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) in the US, a home schooling advocacy group, supported the academic integrity of home schooling. Among the home-schooled students who took the tests, the average home-schooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the home-schooled students who took the tests.

Choosing an appropriate curriculum for home schoolers is extremely important. Parents that chose home schooling are usually not satisfied with their local schools’ syllabus. As such, IGCSE becomes increasingly popular as home school curriculum due to its high quality syllabus and being recognized worldwide.

Another BIG advantage of choosing IGCSE as home schooling curriculum is, home schoolers could sit for exams at any time whenever they are ready for exam, and in any British Councils worldwide or any registered Cambridge Schools which accept “Private Candidates”. List of registered Cambridge Schools can be found HERE.

IGCSE exams are available twice a year: in the May/June series or in the October/November series. The exam time table is being divided into different administrative zones. Search for your administrative zone HERE.

Home schooling is legal in many countries. Countries with the most prevalent home education movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some countries have highly regulated home education programmes as an extension of the compulsory school system; others, such as Sweden and Germany, have outlawed it entirely.

Misunderstanding of Home Schooling

It has come to our attention that many private tuition centres in Malaysia are offering IGCSE programmes as “Home School” / “Homeschool” centres.

These private tuition centres are running the centres as a school. IGCSE is used as the main teaching curriculum, and there is a full-day “schooling schedule”, from Monday to Friday. Thus many parents misunderstood it as an alternative “school” to the Malaysian traditional school.

Since the fees are way much cheaper than the international schools which also offer the same IGCSE curriculum, parents are rushing to send their children to these private centres ? thinking that they are sending their children to a “formal school” offering IGCSE curriculum. They started this process from Year 1/Grade 1.

After some years, for some reasons, when these parents wanted to send their children to an international/private school or national government school for Secondary education, they could not admit their children into any formal secondary school. These formal secondary schools were asking them for a formal Primary school certificate, which is not available from these private tuition centres.

The below message is just one of the many messages that we received all these years from the desperate Malaysian parents who do not know what to do:


Please help!

Hi, my son is 12 years old and currently studying in a small learning
centre taking Cambridge curriculum / syllabus for his full day
learning. I am trying to apply a bigger private school for him where
they also offering Cambridge curriculum, but the problem here is they
now reluctant to accept my son as their reason is they prefer Malaysia
public school (which they don?t offer Cambridge curriculum at all). Can
you please help us to direct to them (since that bigger school also
using the syllabus of IGCSE), or give my son a test and get a primary
IGCSE certificate in order to have strong supporting document? Please
help. Much appreciate for your prompt reply.


So how do you start the home schooling process?

Step 1: Decision

It is important to know that, when you start home schooling your children, either part time or full time, you as a parent is going to take up the responsibility to ensure your children is having the needed education.

If you are not able to educate your children full time, you could always get assistance from some private learning centres / tuition centres in your local area. But please bare in mind that these private learning/tuition centres are there to help, they are NOT a formal school.

Home education is a marathon. You can?t give up halfway before reaching the finish line; for example wanting to send your children ?back to school? when you feel you cannot or do not have time to continue the responsibility anymore. Chances are, your children would get rejected due to the absent of formal primary school certificates.

So you may wonder, when/what is the finish line?

The finish line is the final exam at the end of the secondary level education ? IGCSE / O Level.

It is NOT at the primary level. Most parents make this mistake, thinking they could home educate their children up to the primary level, then send them to a formal secondary school later.

This is called ‘half way marathon’. Primary level is not the finish line.

So, make up your mind that you will finish the marathon. You can also take the ‘half way marathon’ ? continue reading to find out how to do that.

Step 2: Choose Your Curriculum

You can always follow your local government school?s curriculum. Otherwise, IGCSE / O Level is a good choice for home schooling.

IGCSE syllabi are written for the current international audience. You will find interesting content addressing the global arena, as oppose to the more locally oriented curriculum such as O Level and GCSE.

Children who learn global facts at an early age would be more likely to be open minded and able to mix with and respect other cultures.

(This is NOT an advertising for IGCSE. We do NOT represent IGCSE, nor any other exam board. We are providing suggestions based on our years of experience in the international secondary education field and exam boards.)

Step 3: Plan Your Teaching Programmes

Once you have chosen your curriculum/exam board, you need to plan your teaching programmes from start to finish.

It might sound intimidating for a start, however, if you plan well, it would be very fun and rewarding.

Here are some suggestions you could use:

Primary Stage:
Generally, primary Year/Grade 1 would start from age 6/7, depending on which country you are residing. In our example, we will stick to age 7 as the standard Year/Grade 1 age for most of the countries worldwide.

You may choose to educate your child for 6 year primary programme ? that is a norm practice and minimum requirement internationally.

Your child would finish primary programme at age 12.

Your child would NOT obtain any primary school leaving certificate, nor any formal primary exams certificates.

If you think these certificates are important, you may plan to enter your child into a formal primary school at Year/Grade 5, just to proceed to Year/Grade 6 and sit for the formal primary exams.

The reason why you should do it at Year/Grade 5, that is because no schools in the world would take new students in Year/Grade 6.

These certificates might be helpful if you suddenly can?t cope with the teaching nor have anymore time to complete the secondary programmes by yourself, and want to register your child with any formal secondary schools, you certainly need those certificates.

This is for the ‘half way marathon’. Please put this in mind from the start.

Lower Secondary Stage:
Once you have accomplished primary programme, it?s time for you to start ?Lower Secondary? programme. At this point of time, it would be Year/Grade 7 for schooled children.

Lower Secondary programme can be quite flexible if your child has very strong basic and could cope faster.

The general Lower Secondary programme lasts for 3 years ? Year/Grade 7, 8 and 9.

If you think your child could do 2 years only, then proceed to the Upper Secondary programme, you are more than welcome to do so.

But please know that, we do not encourage speedy zooming through this stage just to get your child graduate faster. What?s the point at the end of the day? Is entering university at very young age a vital and meaningful goal to achieve? Guess not.

If your child follow the normal 3-year Lower Secondary programme, he/she would be 15 years old at the end of the programme.

If you make a short cut, just do a 2 year programme, then your child would be 14 years old at the end of the Lower Secondary programme.

Again, your child would NOT obtain any formal Lower Secondary certificates, nor this is required for the final exam in IGCSE / O Level.

This is where the stamina to keep going on for home education gets low, and problems would arise if you want to send your child to any formal second school. Since your child does not have any formal primary certificates (assuming you did not get one for them from the suggestion above), no schools would accept him/her.

Upper Secondary Stage:
This is a 2-year programme, generally. This is where the IGCSE / O Level programme starts. For the schooled students, it would be Year/Grade 10 and 11.

Again, you might accomplish the whole IGCSE / O Level programme in just 1 year ? that is entirely up to the capability of your child (not how parents want it, sorry 🙂 )

Once your child is ready to sit for the final exam, search for the nearest exam centres in your local area. Your local British Council is the best option for private candidates. If you can?t find any British Council near you, you can always try to approach any Cambridge School which accepts private candidates to sit for the exams HERE.

It is always good to know all the exams registration key dates, so you don?t missed out the registration closing dates. Bookmark this exams registration key dates page, and know all the dates by hard. 🙂

If your child follow the normal route, he/she would be 17 years old when he/she sits for the final exams. Otherwise, cutting short a year, would make him/her sitting for the exams at age 16 ? that?s the benefit of being home educated.

Finally, this is where your child obtain the official IGCSE / O Level certificates as a home-educated child. This marks the end of your journey in home education for your child ? congratulation!

As you can see now, home education is a marathon actually. You need to have the strength and stamina to keep going for 10/11 years (starting from Year 1-Year 11) until your child obtain the one and only official exam certificate in your child?s life, that could be used for further studies ? either A Level or any other equivalent level.

We hope this article could save some lives, as we are heart broken to hear stories like the above Malaysian parents.

All the best in your marathon!

160 Replies to “What is Home Schooling?”

  1. Hi
    I will be doing IGCSE (grade10&11) next year. I plan on completing it in 1 year with grades A-C. I want to write off at least 2 of my 5 subjects in May/June and the rest at the end of the year. Would it be realistic to spend maximum 3hrs a day on homeschooling? 6 days a week


    • Hello there,
      Yes, it is ok to spend 3 hours a day for studying. Since you are learning at home, you will decide on the number of hours you would like to spend.

      • Hello. Is there an age limit for doing IGCSE? Can you possibly do IGCSE year 11 at home ? My child did year 10 at school. Is it possible for her to do her last year at home?

        • Hi Emma,

          The IGCSE examination is equivalent to Year 11 or 10th Grade, depending on where you?re from. Typically, the examination is taken by students age 14 ? 16. However, there is no minimum age requirement, as long as the candidate is judged to have the ability and confidence to sit the examinations. You can read more here: http://www.igcsecentre.com/what-is-igcse/

          Hope this clarifies 🙂

  2. Hi, i am from malaysia. Im 16 and i have been studying with the local school. I took UPSR and PT3 but recently i went through some problems and injured my legs. I have missed one whole year of school and will continue to due to surgery schedules. It will take me along time to recover. Thus, i have considered homeschooling. I don’t really know what to do. Most options are going to private centres but the problem is that i struggle going to places. Is there anything that can help me with my problem? This is supposed to be my last year of school and i would love to study IGCSE. Please help and thank you.

  3. Hello,
    Firstly; kudos to your team for puttig up this fantastic page and replying with patience to all the queries. Speaking of queries; here goes:
    I have 3 kids: 10 yr old (completed Grade 5), 6 yr old (in Grade 1) and 5 yr old (in Foundation stage 2).
    I’m looking to move them all to Home schooling; preferably IGCSE.
    How do I start? Which grades will they go to in IGCSE and who chooses it? Where do I select the subjects? Where do I get the books and what do they cost? What are the other costs involved? (Apologies for the deluge here).
    Thank you!!

    • Hello Mateen,
      Here are the suggestions to your questions:
      1. First, please read the above article carefully and follow the step-by-step guide.

      2. You can start the IGCSE programmes at any time as you wish, if you’re referring to home education.

      3. You decide the subjects, together with your children, based on what your children want to study in the future.

      4. You may get the reference books from Amazon UK site. Just browse through the site and find out more on the costings.

      5. Here are some exam resources that might help you:
      Model Answers: http://www.igcsecentre.com/igcse-exam-resources/
      Online Revision Course: http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-revision-courses/

  4. Hi, my daughter took the Edexcel IGSCE in May 2017 at British council malaysia. She need to repeat one paper in january 2018 but unfortunately the paper is not available in Malaysia but available at BC singapore. Can my daughter with Malaysian Passport register and take the exam at BC sinapore.


    • Hi Azlan,

      We do not have any information on Edexcel. Please visit Edexcel website. Alternatively, you may contact the British Council in Singapore for this matter.

  5. Hi,
    I’m a mother of 12yr old child, want to do homeschooling for her.
    I need some help with my doubts.
    1. Is she eligible for IGCSE ?
    2. She will give exam after two years.
    3. Can she write directly A level without giving IGCSE exam?
    4. What is the Difference between A level and AS level?
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hi Vimala,
      Here are the answers for your questions:
      1. There is no maximum age limit for homeschooling, nor for sitting for IGCSE exams. You may start the homeschooling programme at any point of time. However, please make sure you have read the above article properly.

      2. As long as she is ready, you may proceed to register her with your local British Council. You might need to find out what are the requirements for your local British Council.

      3. We do not think so. The entry requirement for A Level is IGCSE or equivalent.

      4. Please read more here for AS and A Level: http://alevelcentre.com/what-is-asa-level/

  6. Hi,

    I am a mother of 10 years and 5 years old kids. I am residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I am not happy with the curriculum being taught in the top schools. I want my children to study IGCSE curriculum. I have decided to homeschool them but the problem is that I am not understanding the whole system of appearing in exams and being promoted to the next stage as a private candidate. I have to assess my children myself? or there is a test taken at the end of primary and lower secondary stage from British Council? I am also unable to understand the textbooks for lower secondary stage. Should I teach my child books 7,8, and 9 for lower secondary stage?

    Please help or share any resource that can help as I am still novice.

    • Hello Memoona,
      First, please follow the step-by-step guidance above, to find out if home education is for you.

      If you are looking for official tests at the end of primary and lower secondary, then home education is not for you. As we have stated very clearly in the above article, there is NO official tests available for private candidates at the end of primary and lower secondary. The only official test is IGCSE.

      As for books, you have to make research and find out the required books for each year 7, 8, 9. You may get some help from CIE, which is the exam board. Their website is: http://www.cie.org.uk.

  7. Greetings,

    I’m a malaysian citizen. I’m age 17. I have graduated from primary school with the UPSR results. I attended Form 1-3 in secondary, however, I only completed Form 1, from start to finish and I didn’t fully complete Form 2-3. Thus, I did not participate during the PT3 exams last year. I intend to restart my secondary education in home school and proceed to participate in the exams from schools who accepts private candidates. This is my plan.

    Could you clarity to me whether if I’m doing it the correct way, and could you provide me with some suggestions and further insight on how to proceed from here? Please, tell me everything you know and let me know how and where to continue in my current situation. Thank you.

    • Hello William,
      Please read through the above article, and follow the step-by-step guidance. Once you have selected your subjects, you need to check with your local British Council for the available subjects in your local area. At the same time, you must find out the key dates for exam registrations, exam fees etc…

      Hope these help.

  8. Hi, I have 7 year old twins, whom I am intending to homeschool from Grade 3( Currently they are in Grade 2 in local board) under IGCSE Curriculum.
    My question is that if I happen to move to any other country at their primary level, say in Grade 3 itself or Grade 4 and , in that country, I decide to put them in a formal school under Cambridge or IGCSE curriculum, would it be possible ? I would not have any certificates or formal documents to show that they are being homeschooled. So would this admission be a challenge ?

    Secondly, as I understand from your article, I would need to decide at the start of Year 5, if I really need to put them in an IGCSE school, for minimum a year, in order to get the Year 5 completion certificate, so that incase I need to continue formal schooling in lower secondary, this certificate would be required.

    Request your assistance to clarify on the above.Thanks.

    best regards

    • Hi Rashi,

      Here are some guidance for you:

      1. If your twins are currently in a formal school, please get a school leaving certificate at the end of their school year. When you move on to homeschool them, you can register with your local education authority to get a formal certificate / acknowledgement from them that you are homeschooling your children. If you are in the UK, this is a required process by the government. In this way, you have both formal school leaving certificate and the government acknowledgement on homeschooling. These would definitely help you to enter into a formal school in a foreign country. Entering a formal school in Grade 3 or 4 is still relatively easy, provided the school is not having “waiting list” – most of the popular schools would have “waiting list” for example 1 year waiting list. That means, if you want to enter Grade 4, you must start your application at Grade 2. Some schools would have entry tests, and the whole process would take minimum 6 months to 1 year. We urge you to find out from the school on this.

      2. The second part you did not get it quite right. If you intend to register your children with a formal school in primary level, you ought to register them latest at Year 5. This is because the Primary Checkpoint test is at the end of Year 6, and no schools would accept new students in Year 6. You are right that you need a Primary completion certificate in order to register them with a formal school in lower secondary. The Primary completion certificate is Year 6, not Year 5.

      Hope these clarify your doubts. Please feel free to write to us if you need any further assistance.

  9. Hello,

    I would like to get the primary program curriculum. We are in Malawi and are planning on homeschooling our children.



  10. I went to a school in the UAE teaching the igcse curriculum. I’m in grade 11 this year and was hoping to study at home in Egypt and sit for the exams in a Cambridge centre in the UAE. So I was wondering if it was possible to study and live in a different country to which I’ll be attending the exams in.

    • Hi Kareem,

      Yes, it is possible. However, you will need to check with the exam centre if the subjects you?re planning to sit are available.

    • Yes, you definitely can but make sure your UAE residency doesn’t get cancelled. I myself am doing the same thing.
      However, you need an official paper aka (tasalso el derasi) that states that you’ve finished 12 years of education.
      You can register in a school where you can get the year 11 and 12 school proofing, without attending the school or lessons. For example:Al Kodse International School, Noor International School, and City International Schools.

  11. Hi,
    We are from hubballi in Karnataka, India. I am planning to homeschooling my 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son. Can you please tell me nearest centre where I can go in person and collect the information about enrolling to igcse.
    Thank you in advance. Looking forward for your reply

  12. I am from Karnataka state in India. I am planning to home school my 7th grade daughter and 3rd grade son from next academic year. I want to know how IGCSE can help me.

    • Hi Sharmila,

      First of all, please read the above article carefully if you choose to follow the home education route.

      If you follow the above article step by step, you should be able to get an idea how to plan your home education properly.

  13. Hi ,
    We have decided to homeschool our daughter who will turn 14 this year in Aug , and is in grade 8 at a regular cbse school . We have already identified the schools here in Gurgaon , India where she can enroll as a private candidate . Having gone through all the links provided here , i am still a little unclear on what level of IGCSE homeschooling should we be starting on for her ? Will it be the O level or the AS/A level ? What subjects are available to her in india and how to choose them .
    The list of subjects given is vast and does not specify which grade are they for . How many subjects will she need to take . Where do we find the textbooks once she chooses her subjects .
    If we buy the books that students of an igcse school use , will it be the same as homeschooling? Or are textbooks for homeschooling kids from igcse different ?

    Thanks a lot in advance , looking forward to your response .

    Warm regards

  14. hi I’m about to go to 10 grade igcse and am considering of doing home schooling would it be possible? also it would be great if you would be able to tell me how to go about the process

    • Hi ilhan,

      It is possible to do home schooling. Read the article above thoroughly and follow the steps in arranging and management at your side. Basically, once you?ve decided to do home schooling, you will need to register for your examination either with your local British Council or any registered Cambridge schools that accept a private candidate. You can find the list of registered Cambridge schools here: http://cie.org.uk/i-want-to/find-a-cambridge-school/.

  15. Hello. My daughters are finishing G4 and G6 in an IGCSE school this year. We are moving to the Philippines and after considering many options, I would like to homeschool the girls but am keen on IGCSE. Please help me to understand how I should be going about this. Thanks.

  16. We are from Egypt and planning for homeschooling starting from grade 10 but we are worried about the university admission. Are IGCSE homeschooling students normally accepted in Malaysia or Canada for bachelor degrees?

    • Hi Nortag,

      IGCSE is a well-accepted qualification worldwide. There is no discrimination for home educated students. IGCSE alone won?t get you into university for most of the universities. Many universities worldwide require a combination of Cambridge International A Levels and Cambridge O Levels to meet their entry requirements.

      You will have to first check with the universities you wished to apply for their entry requirements. Some require a combination of excellent co-curriculum and good achievement in education.

      We wouldn?t know how the universities go through the admission applications but it?s definitely best to check with the universities.

  17. Hi there.
    We live in Namibia, I have two kids in mid primary, gr 5 and gr 7. Can I enroll them on Cambridge from April 2017? I am looking for a programme that I can follow till the end and I want a good matric certificate for them.
    Do you have any people from Namibia that does this homeschool programme?

  18. Hi
    I plan to homeschool my 6.7 yr old asd son using igcse curriuclum.i am in new delhi.do i need to register for igcse?
    How can i access the materials for his age?
    Thank you

    • Hello Zarghoona,
      Please read the above article carefully if you plan to home educate your kid from Year/Grade 1.

  19. Hi Dear,

    I have a son ,his name is Daniel, he is 11 years old ,he finished grade 6 in GEM School in Dubai , we moved to Istanbul/turkey .
    We have plan to move to London next two years, thats why he wants to be home-school his grade 7 and 8 , would you please help me, what’s the process ? how can we start ? how we can get the documents, books,…. .


  20. Hi, i am from a special needs training centre in Malaysia. We are interested to start up igcse programme from primary level. Can I know do we require to take any license? Thank you. Looking forward for your reply.

  21. Hi
    Our son went to an IGSCE school until year 6. We moved to India and he has been doing the CBSE curriculum Grade 7 and Grade 8. We are interested in homeschooling him to that he can do his IGSCE exams in Grade 11.

    Kindly tell me how to go about it. Would it be okay for him to just work todays the O level exams from now onwards over the next 3 years? Or do we have to begin with secondary level 1 or 2?

    Are there any exam centers in India who take in private students ? If so which state?

    Thank you

  22. Hello, I am 19years old this year. I would like to ask that is it possible for me to take part in an o’level exam? I have stopped my studies when I was 16 years old, but now I really hope that I can get back to study and get an o’level certificate so that I can go for further studies in future. Is it possible that I can go for home school and sit for the exam? Does IGCSE centre provide classes for such student like me?

    • Hi Wendy,
      We only have online courses for Cambridge IGCSE examinations. IGCSE is the equivalent level of O-Level. You may consider that.

      If you have decided to take O-Level, yes, definitely you can study at home then sit for the O-Level exams with your local British Council as a private candidate. The same procedure goes for Cambridge IGCSE exams as well.

      We suggest you to pay a visit to your local British Council and find out more on the exam registration dates, fees etc etc…

      If you need more help, just write to us here.

  23. Hello, my name is Lia and I’m 13. I am currently studying in grade 9 (Y.10) in a thai school with a special International Program (Cambridge Examination (IGCSE)), I am french, and I just have tested ESL. My Mom would like me to test 4 more IGCSEs next time (may-june) but I am not sure I am capable. I was wondering if the Cambridge Program had a homeschooling program on computer (like khan academy) because my Mom does not have time to teach me and I would like to be able to study for IGCSEs and A/As levels easily ? Thank you

  24. I am from Chennai, India. I want to have homeschooling for my daughter who is 4 years old.
    1. What is the correct time to start homeschooling
    2. Should Parent sit with student or student can learn from live / recorded video
    3. Is the school completion valid / acceptable for college admissions in India and Abroad

    • Hi Guruprasath,
      Here are the answers to your questions:

      1. There is no “correct time” to start homeschooling. You may start anytime. However, if you wish to start homeschooling from year 1, you need to have a plan for your daughter from year 1 until year 11, which is the IGCSE exam year. If you decided to send your daughter to a secondary school halfway through the homeschooling, she might face problem in getting admission. As secondary school would need a primary school certificate as entry requirement, which she does not have due to starting homeschooling from year 1.

      2. That would depend on the needs of your child. Some children need personal guidance, while some can study on their own. Parents play an important role in homeschooling. Even though the kid could study by him/herself, parents still need to check on them to make sure they are on track.

      3. IGCSE / O Level certificates are widely recognised. You can always call up your local and abroad universities to confirm on that.

  25. I am looking for a home schooling option for my daughter who will turn 15 in a few months. Can she take the IGCSE exams if I start her homeschooling now?

    Thanks a lot for your advice!


    • Hi Shobha,
      Yes, she can sit for the exams whenever she is ready.

      We strongly suggest you to first check with your local British Council on: available subjects for your local area, exam registration dates, fees etc etc…

  26. Dear IGCSE,

    I am a South African currently working in USA. I completed grade 10 in south africa via intec college. I would like to do 10 over and do 11 and 12 internationally recognized while i am here. Im am looking for something online/part time.

  27. Can you please direct me to which website should I contact for admission?? My son is 13 yrars old and I am looking for a valid website to take this curriculum for him as a home schooler.

  28. Hello team,
    I would like to enrol my son for IGSE homeschooling in grade 10 .
    We live in kuwait .
    Who do I need to contact to register him starting next month?
    Could you help please.
    Thank you

    • Hi Souna,
      We are very sorry that we do not have grade 10 courses at the moment. However, you may register him for our online revision courses, as many year 10 candidates are using our courses for learning.

  29. Hello,
    Thank for all this information. I was lucky to have found it.
    I am currently homeschooling and my son, 12 has finished Grade 8 (Year 9) through an American academy. How do I really know if he is ready for IGCSE’s? Is there some sort of placement/assessment test he can do? Also,can he not take 3 one year and write his exams then 3 the next year or must he take 6 for the duration of two years to receive his Certificate and be considered University-ready?
    Best Regards from KSA

    • Hi Adam,
      There is no “placement” test for one to take IGCSE. You can just start him with the IGCSE programme anytime from Year 9/Year 10, the British system. He can always register for 3 subjects in one examination session, then another 3 subjects in the next examination session. It is entirely up to you.

      If you want to find out the required subjects for university, you must get the confirmation from the university that he wishes to apply for. This would let you have clearer picture on which subjects he should take.

  30. Hi there
    I have a 9year old daughter I’m currently homeschooling. Are there any specific books/courses/curriculum she should be studying in order to take the IGCSE in 6 years. How should we be preparing?
    We are based in India.

  31. Dear Sir,
    My daughter is about to complete 8th Standard (in Bengaluru) and we plan to take her through Home Schooling for 9th & 10th Standard under IGCSE board.

    Kindly let me know what kind of support can be extended by your organization so that my daughter completes the course successfully.

    Thank you,

  32. Dear IGCSE,
    I’m a student about to enter the 9th grade in India. I’ve completed 11 years of my schooling from the USA, until we moved to India 3 years ago. So, from 6th to 8th grade (my finals start in a bit), I’ve been studying in DPS, a CBSE-oriented school. To say that I am dissatisfied understates the matter dramatically.
    If I want to return to the United States, can I be homeschooled, using the IGCSE curriculum LEGALLY? If I obtain a degree using this board, will I face trouble in the future? Is it even possible to be homeschooled in a rural area using this board.


    • Hello there,
      You can always do homeschooling with IGCSE and sit for your exams with any local British Council. IGCSE certificates are “legal” 🙂

      Homeschooling is basically study on your own. You could study at any place in the world.

  33. Hello I am planning to do home schooling for a number of children from primary upto A level. How may I have materials to start my home school. the students will be writing their exams at Cambridge registered institutions. I am in South Africa

  34. Hi I live in Malaysian and am considering to home school my 6 year old son. Is there a complete curriculum available for year 1 right through secondary school?

  35. Hi,

    I’m planning to homeschool my 10years old starting with year 4 books. I’m confused on some of the book recommended to me here in Malaysia. If I want my daughter to take IGSCE, would you recommend that it is best she start with Cambridge publishing books or Collins books ?

    How often do we need to send her for checkpoints test assesment ? Is the checkpoints test currently available for secondary 1 ? Does this mean those in the primary do not require any test for the moment until they move to Secondary 1 ?

    Appreciate your advice. TQ

    • Hello Felicia,
      The Cambridge Primary Checkpoint and Cambridge Checkpoint (at year 9) are not available for “Private Candidate”. Checkpoint tests are only available for learners attached with a teaching group (school).

      You may use any publishers as long as the books cover the required syllabus. All the books are good to use as reference.

  36. Hi, i am planning on homeschooling at home with home tutor? Where can i find a home tutor for igcse art stream? Do u have any method for homeschooling in malaysia?

    • Hello Shiny,
      Unfortunately we do not have any information for your area. Perhaps you want to try some online courses?

  37. how by the hell thats happening !!
    homeschools can simple contact their friends who applied the exam to know its content before they apply for it, if they really can sit for the exam at any time whenever they are prepared for it as u guyz are saying !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hello Rabbani,
      You have miss understood the meaning. Any time means either May/June session or Oct/Nov session, and at any age. As homeschoolers do not get tied by age regulation as in schools.

      Please watch your language. Politeness and respect is required on this site.

  38. Hi, I want to homeschool my child but am interested in the Design n Technology as well. As I understand, IGCSE does not allow for private students to take the exam unless they are school based.
    Would appreciate your advise.

    • Hello Andrea,
      You could contact some of the schools which offer IGCSE curriculum in your local area, and enquire if they could accept your child to sit the Design and Technology paper with them. For such arrangement, you ought to do it as early as beginning of year 10.

  39. Hi, I am homeschooling my boys aged 12 and 10. I wanted some information. Do you have any online assessments for grade 7 and upwards. Do you just provide the syllabus or do you also provide any assistance? I am in India.

    • Hello Padmashree,

      We are sorry that we do not have any programmes for grade 7. Currently we only have courses for IGCSE exam candidates.

  40. I would like to know if I could be homeschooled in the igcse program, am living in kingston jamaica am 14 years old and in grade 9. Would I have To do it online or not

    • Hello Ashley,

      Yes, you can be homeschooled for IGCSE. You can always enrol any online courses or register yourself with any private tuition centre and just attend the classes for the subject that you need help with.

  41. Hi,
    We are living in Italy and would like to know if our daughter would be accepted to participate in your homeschooling program from 10th Grade (age 14 years old). Any information would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!

  42. We have decided to homeschool our daughter who had just started year 9 at secondary school in england. Could you advise us of the best way to move forward with putting together the most cost effective study programme to take her igcses which would probably be in 2017? Thank you for your help. Philippa

    • Hi Philippa,

      We would suggest you the below:

      1. Get the IGCSE books which follow the syllabus, then either study by yourself or get a home tutor to assist in the process.

      2. Join some IGCSE tuition classes for her weak subjects, this could help in strengthening the theory and practical (if she is taking science subjects).

      3. Take some online IGCSE courses, in this way she could study at her own pace plus strengthening her understanding.

  43. Hi,
    I wish to join my son for this course but he is only 8 now , kindly suggest me when he could take this course and also provide me other related information like centres and syllabus .

    Thank you


    • Hi S.venkatesan,

      It is definitely too early for your son to join our Revision Classes now. These Revision Classes are for candidates writing the exams in this term or next.

      The syllabuses are for 2-year courses. Preparing candidates from 10th Grade to 11th Grade. (approximately from age 14/15 or above depending on your school entry age)

      By that time, there might have some changes in syllabus. We suggest you to check back with us at a later stage.

  44. Hi,

    I’m trying to set up a home school doing IGCSE for local students here in Malaysia. My questions are as follow:
    1) Does CIE have an official program for the course, like a detailed syllabus to be covered in each grade?

    2) Is the textbooks found everywhere on the net published specifically for home school accurate? Or, do you have official textbooks for each grade that the students have to buy?

    3) How do they enrol for the test? Is there an official channel or do I just go to the nearest British Council to do it?

    4) Is it possible to follow the Singaporean syllabus and take CIE O-level? Theirs are a four years course and yours are a six years course.

    I thank you in advance for your help.


    • Hello Hanlen,

      Please see our suggestions here:
      1). Yes, CIE has the official programme for IGCSE course.

      2). All the IGCSE books are for schools and homeschool (private candidates) usage. You may take a look at our recommendation here:

      3). For private candidates, the best is to enrol at your nearest British Council.

      4). No. Singaporean syllabus are NOT Cambridge CIE O-Level.

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