Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge International Examination (CIE)

In the recent years, a large number of International Schools are mushrooming in India, mostly in metropolitan cities. Today, parents have a plethora of educational boards from which to choose. It is no longer just the SSC (Secondary School Certificate), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Local State Boards or ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education).

Today a large number of International Schools are also offering foreign boards like Cambridge International Examination (CIE) or International Baccalaureate (IB) and give its students an option to appear for either the Indian boards or the International ones.

Cambridge International Examination (CIE)


There has been a sudden rise in the number of schools today with a CIE affiliation, with most of them in Maharashtra, New Delhi and NCR, Hyderabad, Gujarat and Karnataka. Over 200 schools in India are Cambridge International Centres and Haryana has over 14 such schools. The entire list can be found here –

CIE or Senior Cambridge, as it is popularly known, was a precursor to ICSE and ISC examinations in India. Today, CIE is the world’s largest provider of international qualification for 14-19-year-olds. The qualifications include the Cambridge IGCSE and the International A/AS levels. CIE qualifications are taken in over 150 countries across the globe.

The best part is that Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities and employers worldwide. The demand for international certifications has been fuelled mainly by NRI and expat students. Many NRIs come to India looking for the same standard of education as they are used to in the West and CIE or IB meets their demands.

CIE adopts a flexible approach in each country of affiliation. For example, it introduced Sinhala in Sri Lanka and Pakistan Studies is a must requirement in Pakistan. For the Indian students, Cambridge has introduced Hindi.

CIE is recognised worldwide and many universities outside India grant credits and exemption of certain papers if the students have an international qualification.

The University of Cambridge is the oldest and the largest International Exam Board, conducting exams for 2.5 million students a year in 158 countries. The CIE programme is conducted as per the International syllabus, under the strict structure of the University of Cambridge, with examination papers sent and marked by the CIE.

CIE qualification are accepted and recognised by universities, education providers and employers across the globe.

CIE has developed and promoted qualification around the world for almost 150 years. As per the AIU (Association of Indian Universities), 5 (five) passes at IGCSE in Grade A, B, C and minimum 2 (two) passes at A level examination (XII) of the British examining bodies is equivalent to + 2 (HSC) stage qualification which is minimum eligibility requirement for admission to Bachelor degree programme at Indian universities.

International Baccalaureate System


IB is the abbreviation for International Baccalaureate. Schools recognised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation and offering the IB curriculum are known as IB World Schools.

Currently, there are 70 IB World Schools in India offering one or more of the three IB programmes. 19 schools offer the Primary Years Programme , 7 schools offer the Middle Years Programme and 66 schools offer the Diploma Programme. The first school was authorized in 1976. The complete list can be found here…

IB is an internationally-recognised school system made up of three educational programmes:

i. PYP: The Primary Years Programme (Kindergarten to Class 5).

ii. MYP: The Middle Years Programme (Class 6 to Class 10).

iii. DP: The Diploma Programme (Class 11 to Class 12).

What are the subjects in PYP?

Subjects in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) are:

1. Language

2. Social Studies

3. Mathematics

4. Science and Technology

5. Arts

6. Personal, Social and Physical education

What are the subjects in MYP?

Subjects in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) are:

1. 1st Language

2. 2nd Language

3. Humanities (History and Geography)

4. Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)

5. Mathematics (Number, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and Discrete Mathematics)

6. Arts (Visual Arts and Performing Arts)

7. Physical Education

8. Technology (Computers)

What are the subjects in DP?

DP students choose one subject from each of the following six ‘Subject Groups’:

Group 1: First Language (English)

Group 2: Second Language (French, Hindi, etc).

Group 3: Individuals and Societies (History, Economics, Business and Management, etc).

Group 4: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems).

Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science.

Group 6: Electives (either Visual Arts or a second subject from Groups 3, 4 or 5).

In addition, all DP students must study a two-year course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK); work to produce an Extended Essay (EE); and engage in Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS).

What are TOK, EE and CAS?

Theory of Knowledge is an essay of 1,200-1,600 words written on a given title (from a choice of ten), followed by a ten-minute presentation of the essay by the DP student in class.

Extended Essay is an original independent research leading a DP student to produce a comprehensible written piece of 3,500-4,000 words in any chosen subject and title.

Under Creative, Action and Service, each DP student must complete at least 150 hours spread out over one-and-a-half years, engaging in some form of Creativity, participating in sport or other physical Action, and doing social Service.

Some Important Points

A CBSE student can join the IB Diploma Programme for 10+2 level qualifications instead of the Class 12 CBSE, ICSE or State Board exams.


The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) rates IB at par with Class 12 CBSE, ICSE, NIOS or State Boards. However there have been certain instances when IB students found it difficult to get admission in certain Indian colleges and universities.

Pursuing the IB programme can be very expensive, with annual fees as high as INR 5,00000.

Mahatma Gandhi International School, an IB World School based in Ahmedabad, is however an exception where slum children study together with other children.

For Teachers


The IBO conducts frequent workshops for prospective and experienced IB World School teachers.


10 September 2010 — Category 1 DP workshops in Mumbai, India (ISTA) (3 days)

23 September 2010 — Category 1 DP & Category 3 Continuum workshops in Lavasa, India (3 days)

13 November 2010 — Category 3 PYP Workshops in Bangalore, India (3 days)

13 November 2010 — Category 1 and 2 DP Workshops in Bangalore, India (3 days)

13 November 2010 — University Recognition Forum in Bangalore, India (3 days)



Fees Structure in International Schools in India


Though I could not find latest details but according to 2004 statistics, GD Goenka states a six-figure fee. The school charges Rs 1.7 lakh annually, with an additional Rs 1.53 lakh at the time of admission.

The British school charges between Rs 3.14 lakh to Rs 3.59 lakh depending on which grade the student enrols in. Starex International, another International school, charges between Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakh depending on whether you have selected the CBSE or the Cambridge curriculum.

Pathways World School in Gurgaon bordering Delhi charges Rs.120,000 ($2,600) – with an additional Rs.120,000 for hostel accommodation – to Rs.230,000 ($5,000) per year. This is less than the Rs.670,000 ($14,500) charged by the American Embassy School and the British School, as of 2004.

The fee has increased many folds now in 2010.

Regulation of International Schools

In India, the ministry of human resource development is still deliberating over the idea of having a second thought about “regulating” international schools affiliated to foreign boards like Cambridge International Examination (CIE) or International Baccalaureate (IB). Please read the recent Economic Times article here..

Looking forward to your views on the same subject. Would you like to enroll your kid in an International school?



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