CIE or Edexcel?

We offer courses covering specifications from two exam boards: Cambridge (CIE) and Edexcel.
So how do you know which to choose?

You may wish to consider the following:

Where will you sit the exam?

Finding a suitable  exam centre will have a big influence on which board to choose – you can find out more about exam centres here. Many people find out which board/s their local exam centre can accommodate and that influences their board choice. Some exam centres only offer one board or the other.

When in the year the exams are sat. 

Cambridge (CIE) – Exams are in the Summer – May / June and Autumn – October / November

Edexcel – Exams are in the Summer – May / June and Winter – January

Sciences differ with core or higher tier papers:

Cambridge (CIE) exams have two tiers – Core ( highest grade achievable is C ) and Extended ( highest grade achievable is A*) and the level of entry has to be decided on registration for the exam.
For the single award subjects there are three papers per subject  –  an alternative to practical, a multiple choice and a written paper.

Edexcel – You do not have to decide before the exam which level to take ( all grades available on the same paper – the questions get harder through the paper and are marked accordingly. )
For the single award subjects there are two papers per subject and for the Double award there are three papers in total, one each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Does your child have SENs? You will need to ask the centre what arrangements are available for the student. For example are they able to have extra time, a reader and scribe, use of a word processor or even a separate room ? if so what proof do they require. This may vary between boards and may therefore influence your choice.

The layout of the set books may also be a factor in your decision, as I know that certain layouts can affect how a student views the book and therefore how comfortable they are in using it and obtaining the necessary information. You could ask your local book shop or library to get a copy of the books in for you to have a look at. Amazon books often offer  the opportunity to see pages inside the book before purchasing.

Style of the exam papers themselves – It is also a good idea to have a look at how the exam papers are set out to see if they suit the student’s style of working. One may look more ‘friendly’ than the other or may have the opportunity for shorter answers and so on. Past papers are widely available on the internet to view online or download.

If you have any specific queries which have not been answered here please email for further advice.

Key Stage 3 and IGCSE Courses and tutoring, for home educators, by home educators