Disappointed with your IGCSE Results? Definitely not the end of the world

The pressure on students these days means that anything less than an A* or A may leave them feeling hugely disappointed but should not leave them despondent!


Most students will be heading to the US or UK for university and unless you are aiming for top tier establishments, strong and appropriate IB scores coupled with sincere, well written, personal statements will often supersede your IGCSE grades.


With 10 years of teaching IGCSE in Singapore, I have seen many students with B’s and C’s going on to highly respected universities such as UCL, Imperial College, Warwick University, to name just a few.


However there are other options available and things to consider.



What to do if you are unhappy with your IGCSE English grades


The skills learned in IGCSE English provide sound foundations for IB, for which English Literature or Language-Literature form compulsory components.


IB is an extremely intense course and particularly for those taking it at standard level, English tends to fall to the bottom of the priority pile.


Both SL and HL english have a 50-55% coursework component and potential grades can be strengthened in year, alleviating  year end exam pressure.


As you will have seen, English cannot be taken for granted.


It is as challenging as maths and the sciences, so do seek help, practice, read, take as much feedback as possible on your writing as soon as grade 11 starts, while the work pressure is relatively low.

English skills are vital not only for the subject itself, but also for the critical 3 points to be earned from the Theory Of Knowledge Essay, Extended Essay and other written subjects such as Economics, Psychology and Business Studies.



You can request to have your script re-marked, but in doing so consider how close you are to a particular grade boundary.

With english being a mostly subjectively marked subject, it is unlikely that a review will result in radical grade shifts.

Grades provided on the IGCSE statement of results are NOT percentages, even though they are out of 100. They are percentage uniform guides which indicate how close you are to the grade boundary.



Grade A*90-100

Grade A 80-89

Grade B 70-79

Grade C 60-69


The percentage uniform mark is not the total mark achieved for the syllabus. It is a point on a common scale for all syllabuses to show whether the candidate’s performance is close to the top, middle or bottom of the grade.

For example, a student who gets the minimum mark necessary for a Grade A* obtains a percentage uniform mark of 90. A student who gets a mark halfway between the Grade D threshold and Grade C threshold achieves a percentage uniform mark of 55.


Link to Percentage Uniform Guide


Consider how many marks away you are from the grade boundaries, before requesting a re-mark.

This Link to English Language 0500 Grade Boundaries June 2017, details the grade thresholds


GRADE THRESHOLDS FOR LANGUAGE PAPERS 22, 32 (given as percentages)


A :65

B :57

C :49

D :41

Link to How to Enquire about your CIE IGCSE grade



As Part of the remarking process , requesting a script is a additional service which can be valuable as areas of weakness can be addressed.



Both IGCE language and literature can be re-taken in November 2017 at the British Council in Singapore.

Registration (follow the links below) must be done by August 15th 2017.


I advise that English Language can easily be retaken without much time investment as practicing past papers and seeking feedback will be adequate to re sit the paper.

World Literature 0408 can also be retaken easily as there is only one exam text, limiting additional studying time, however as papers 2 and 3 contribute only 50% of the grade (the other 50% is portfolio), re-sitting may not have a significant impact on the grade.

I do not recommend re taking Literature 0486 as it involves revising 2 texts and up to 14 poems, which can be a burden during IB grade 11.

Registration for November 2017 IGCSE examinations

Details of $S380 fee for IGCSE Private entry


IGCSEs are an important milestone in the education journey, however they do not represent the end, no matter how badly you feel you have done.

Do get in touch if we can answer any further questions


Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. -F. Scott Fitzgerald