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Cambridge International Certificate in Education (ICE)

What is Cambridge ICE?

The Cambridge ICE certificate is a group award designed for schools that want to offer a broad curriculum. Students enter and sit for a minimum of seven subjects selected from the five IGCSE curriculum areas:

  • Group 1 - Languages
  • Group 2 - Humanities
  • Group 3 - Sciences
  • Group 4 - Mathematics
  • Group 5 - Creative and Vocational

Cambridge ICE is awarded to students who pass in at least seven Cambridge IGCSE subjects, including two from Group 1 and one from each of Groups 2 to 5. The seventh subject may be chosen from any of the syllabus groups.

Students who qualify for the Cambridge ICE award will be placed in one of three categories:

  • Distinction - Grade A or better in five subjects and grade C or better in two subjects.
  • Merit - Grade C or better in five subjects and grade F or better in two subjects.
  • Pass - Grade G or better in seven subjects.

Another important benefit that Cambridge ICE offers is that students can demonstrate competence across a wide range of subjects and skills. Cambridge ICE carries greater currency in its own right in those countries where it is popular.

Full details of the subject groups and procedures for making entries for Cambridge ICE can be found in section 4 of the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries, which is available to exams officers.

To qualify for the Cambridge ICE certificate, must students take all their subjects in one series?

Students can qualify for Cambridge ICE over two series provided they take place within a period of 13 months. This would mean from June to the following November or June; or from November to the following June or November.

My school has applied for me to be considered as a student for Cambridge ICE over two sittings. The first sitting has taken place and I didn’t do as well as I'd hoped in one of my subjects. Can I retake it in the second sitting?

Yes, you can, but it is the result you achieved at the first sitting that will be counted towards your Cambridge ICE certificate. The result you achieve at the second sitting will be reported to you on a separate subject certificate.

Is it possible for GCE O Levels to count towards the Cambridge ICE certificate?

Certain subjects taken at O Level may be counted towards Cambridge ICE. Such substitutions will only be permitted if the proposed substitute subject is not available as an IGCSE subject in the same series and the student has taken at least six IGCSE subjects.

The eligible O Level subjects can be found in section 4 of the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries.

If I take more than the minimum of seven subjects required to qualify for ICE, how will my Cambridge ICE grade be calculated?

As long as you fulfil the entry requirements for Cambridge ICE (passes in seven subjects, covering the five IGCSE subject groups and including two different languages), your seven best results, irrespective of subject or group, will be used to calculate your Cambridge ICE grade.

Is it necessary to submit entries in order to be awarded the Cambridge ICE certificate?

A school must make a separate entry for the Cambridge ICE Award for each student who fulfils the Cambridge ICE entry criteria. To enter a student for the Cambridge ICE Award, the school must make an entry by means of the Cambridge ICE entry code in addition to the syllabus and option codes for the examinations the student takes. Failure to include Cambridge ICE in the student entry will result in only IGCSE certificates being issued without the Cambridge ICE certificate.

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