When you make entries for our exams we ask you to enter the relevant syllabus and option code. The syllabus code tells us which qualification you want to enter the candidate for, and the option code tells us the combination of components you want them to take. Components are the individual assessments that make up the syllabus. For some syllabuses candidates can take different combinations of components in order to gain the qualification. For example, there might be a choice between doing coursework and a written exam. These combinations are detailed in the specific syllabus.
There is an option code for each combination of components which can be used to gain the qualification. Details of all the entry options available in each syllabus are listed in your Cambridge Guide to Making Entries, which is sent to you in hard copy and can also be downloaded from the 'Support Materials' section of CIE Direct.
The option code tells us which combination you want to enter them for and makes sure your candidates are entered for a valid combination of components. In the case where the candidate has to take all the components that make up the syllabus there is only one option code. It is very important for candidates carrying forward marks from a previous exam series that the correct option code is chosen.
Other UK exam boards with unitised qualifications ask for an overall qualification entry code and then an entry code for each unit. Because our qualifications are not modular we just ask for one option code along with the syllabus code.