What are the mandatory subjects in Edexcel IGCSE?

What are the mandatory subjects in Edexcel IGCSE

Pearson Edexcel GCSE is the General Certificate of Secondary Education. Their curriculum is designed in a way to shape the minds of tomorrow with their specially curated academic content and assessment.  There are 40 subjects in the Edexcel International GCSE curriculum. This curriculum is primarily aimed at and made for young minds between the age of 14 to 16 to instigate critical thinking and problem-solving. With the help of this knowledge, they could progress to A Levels, A International Levels, IB Diploma or into university.

GCSEs are available in a huge range of subjects including English language and Literature, Mathematics, Economics, Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You can also choose to study a number of non-English languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, Greek and Urdu. However, GCSEs in English (Language and Literature), Maths and Science (Individual or Combined) are compulsory for all students.

Science can either taken separately as Chemistry, Biology, and Physics or students can study it as two combined Science GCSE’s. In hindsight, the Board itself does not make the subjects mandatory as they cannot force you to write exams for said specific subjects.

Thus, schools individually make it mandatory to study English and Math, since it is a basic requirement for the admission process for universities and colleges. 

Whilst studying the mandatory subjects in Edexcel IGCSE, students are given the choice of choosing the rest of their subjects-this can be from areas such as Arts, Humanities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Sports. The minimum requirement for the number of subjects one student can choose is 5 and go up to 9-12 on their own accord.

Nevertheless, universities look at how you’ve performed in said subjects rather than how many subjects you had taken up – quality over quantity. With that being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean your chances of getting into a top-tier school will decrease if you take the minimum number of subjects.

As long as you have strong grades in it, the quantity does not matter. The subjects you choose should be solely based on your interests, future plans, and what you aspire to be in terms of your career. Your choices may also be limited depending on what the school offers.

Also Read: How To Excel In Cambridge A-Levels.

What are your subjects options exactly? You will have the option to choose:

  • A foreign language: The languages that are mostly taught are French, German, Spanish and Russian and Mandarin occasionally. Although picking a foreign language subjects is not mandatory in Edexcel IGCSE , some schools require you to do so. 
  • A humanities subject: This includes History, Geography, or Religious Studies. 
  • An arts subject: This includes Music, Drama, Art, and Design or Media Studies.
  • A technical subject: Design and Technology, Food Technology or Computer Science fall under this category. 
  • All the students have to take up Physical Education in their Year 10 and 11 but it is up to the student to take it up as an individual GCSE option.

In case you are unfamiliar with the subjects you want to choose, you can talk to your teachers about the subjects you are leaning towards and ask them about what will be taught in the course. The English language syllabus has designed to engage and motivate students through a variety of contemporary text, relatable modern themes, and skill-based writing tasks. They have two components, namely:

  • Component 1 which includes Fictional and Imaginative Writing wherein Section A is Reading and B is Imaginative Writing
  • Component 2 which includes Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing wherein Section A is Reading and B is Transactional Writing

As for English Literature,  the syllabus has been modified by adding in two novels, two plays and a new poetry collection to their literature text list as a lack of diversity.

GCSE Mathematics requires students to demonstrate application and understanding in:

  • Numbers
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and also be familiar with 
  • Problem-solving skills and 
  • Mathematical reasoning skills

GCSE Chemistry includes:

  • Key concepts in Chemistry (Atomic Structure, Bonding and such)
  • States of Matter and Mixtures
  • Chemical Changes
  • Extracting metals and equilibria
  • Groups in the Periodic Table
  • Rates of Reaction
  • Fuels and Earth Science
  • Organic Chemistry

GCSE Physics include:

  • Key concepts in Physics
  • Motion & Forces
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Waves
  • Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Radioactivity
  • Astronomy
  • Energy
  • Forces and their effects
  • Electricity and circuits
  • Static Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Particle Model
  • Forces and Matter

GCSE Biology includes:

  • Key concepts in Biology (Cells and such)
  • Cells and Control
  • Genetics
  • Natural selection and Genetic Modification
  • Health, Disease, and Development of Medicines
  • Plant structures and their functions
  • Animal Coordination, control, and Homeostasis
  • Exchange and transport in animals
  • Ecosystems and material cycles

Now that you know which subjects are mandatory and are the core subjects in Edexcel IGCSE; English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Science, it is up to you now to pick the rest of your subjects based on your future interests and the ones that makes you an inquirer. All the best for your school year!

Further Reading: 

Cambridge University

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