Cambridge related questions
Why is the Cambridge syllabus better than the CAPS system?
The Cambridge is of a higher standard and recognised all over the world. Also there is a wider scope of possibilities where even the IGCSE subjects are accepted by some two-year course colleges, Culinary institutions, pre-primary teaching, animation colleges.
Where do the students write their external exams?
They are entered as private students at International School of Cape Town El Shaddai Christian School or the British Council. We will help you with the examination entrance procedure.
Is it possible to slot back into formal schooling again?
Yes, students that have done this are often ahead of their peers in some areas. However, there could be a problem with subjects that we do not cover, i.e. technical drawing.
Do universities in this country accept Cambridge qualifications?
Yes definitely, they actually prefer it as the Cambridge syllabus teaches them to understand the subject rather than just regurgitate facts. Universities in South Africa treat Cambridge students as foreign students and are very happy to accept them.
My child has never done the Cambridge syllabus before, can he/she join any time during the course of the year?
Yes, our tutors will first assess their level and then design a course to suit their specific needs. If they are total beginners in a subject, they will then work together at a pace that suits the student. Another example, if a student has missed out on schooling for a certain period of time, he/she does not have to wait or repeat the whole year but can work at his/her own pace to catch up.
My child has not done their IGCSEs but would like to do their A Level. Is it possible?
It will depend on the subject. If your child is a total beginner in a subject, such as French for example, you cannot expect them to reach A Level without a certain foundation. Come and speak to us if you are not sure.
Also, bear in mind that SAQUA qualifications require a combination of IGCSEs and AS subjects. Universities will often look at the IGCSE qualifications if the AS results are not yet available.
At what age can my child take their IGCSEs/A Levels?
This is what we like about Cambridge. You can work at your own pace. If you are ahead of your peers, you can take your IGCSE or A Levels well before but you need to understand that these examinations require a certain level of maturity. For example, A Levels are more suitable for students over 16 years old.
What is the difference between IGCSE/A levels and Matrics
The following options are available according to SAQUA requirements. Cambridge students are treated as foreign students but are well received by universities because of the higher standard. Equivalent to Matric exemption:
4 AS subjects with Grade A-D and 1 IGCSE subject Grade A-C
Note: One of the AS subjects has to be English and a second language is required at any level. At VTC we offer Spanish, Italian and French on top of Afrikaans.
When are the Cambridge examinations?
There are two sessions during the year: November and May. Not all subjects are available in both sessions. Come and speak with us to find out. When we feel that your child is ready, we will speak with you and you can enter them for either session. The advantages of having two sessions are that you can focus on some subjects for the first half of the year, and then focus or even retake the others in the second half of the year.
Can you take the IGCSE and the A levels as many times as you want?
Yes you can but you also have to think about the cost of the examinations. Also, if you take let say Mathematics twice, they will not keep the best mark out of the two examinations. Your latest result, whether it is better or worse than the first one, will be used.
What are the costs of the examinations?
It all depends on the level (IGCSE or AS/A Level) and the subject and the exchange rate. Some subjects are more expensive than others as they require extra equipment or staff. Come and speak to us to find out more.
How many A Levels/IGCSE can my child take?
Our fees cover 6 subjects but we can accommodate more if you are willing to pay an extra fee.
These are the requirements from SAQUA:
Senior Certificate (Standard Grade).
There are 4 choices:
- 5 IGCSE (Grades A-E) + 2 AS (Grades A-E)
- 3 IGCSE (Grades A-C) + 2 AS (Grades A-E)
- 5 IGCSE (Grade A-E) + 1 A Level (Grade A-E)
- 3 IGCSE (Grade A-C) + 1 A Level (Grade A-E)
There are 2 choices:
- 1 IGCSE (Grade A-C) + 4 AS (Grade A-D)
- 3 IGCSE (Grade A-C) + 2 A Level (Grade A-D)
For Matric exemption you need a second Language (we offer Afrikaans, French, Spanish and Italian). Maths is NOT compulsory and there is a choice of either Maths, Biology, Physics or Chemistry. Travel and Tourism, Environmental Management, Sociology or Psychology are good on CV but cannot be used as subjects needed for Matric exemption as they are not included in the various groups needed for Matric exemption.
If my child takes a Foreign Language at your school, can their tutor be their examiner during the Speaking component of their exam, or would they have to do the Speaking examination with an external examiner?
Our tutors are fully qualified to conduct the Cambridge Speaking examinations. We will not only prepare them but also conduct the test at the International School El Shaddai. A familiar face is always welcome when it comes to Speaking exams!