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Importance of Choosing the Right Curriculum and Subjects in Grades 9 – 12

Cambridge International Examinations – 9th and 10th (IGCSE) and 11th and 12th (AS and A-Levels – AICE Doploma) – www.CIE.org:

Many high schools offer the Cambridge International Examination curriculum. It is actually the most widely used curriculum in the world. In 9th and 10th, students prepare for the IGCSE examinations in a wide array of subjects that cover all of the breadth of subjects described above along with some elective choices like Business or Computer Science. These prepare a student for either IB or the AICE Diploma. In 11th and 12th grade students choose subjects. Unlike IB, there is a bit of flexibility in whether a student wants to take a full subject over two years, culminating in an A-Level qualification, or if the student wants to take only half the subject and receive an AS (Advanced Subsidiary) qualification. Students should challenge themselves to take at least four A-Levels and one AS Level qualification in my opinion, but most important is to see what is the norm in your school and make sure that you are challenging yourself as compared to that norm. The AICE Diploma is similar to the IB Diploma and covers the same breadth areas in English, Math, Science, Social Science, but does not require the 2nd Language or the Extended Essay.

Whichever curriculum you choose, it is important that you assess the resources around you and challenge yourself throughout your four years in High School. This is the best way to prove that you are deserving of a spot in your dream school.


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Prab Singh heads CollegeSource (http://thecollegesource.net/), an organisation that provides life coaching to adolescents and support to their family through the process of deciding their higher education and career goals.

2 thoughts on “Importance of Choosing the Right Curriculum and Subjects in Grades 9 – 12

  1. Angel Doss

    To the best of my knowledge, the IGCSE Curriculum is offered by both Cambridge as well as by Edexcel. I understand CIE is the more popular option. But is there a specific reason, IGCSE is being referred to as CIE IGCSE in this article. Are there known negatives in the Edexcel IGCSE?

  2. Prab Singh

    Hi Angel, no reason at all. As you say, only because CIE is the more popular. I have not heard of any negatives of Edexcel.


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