Differences between IGCSE Spanish Cambridge vs EdExcel board


A lot of parents want their son/daughter to learn a foreign language like Spanish and get a certificate to proof their level. Thereofre they decide to enroll them for the IGCSE Spanish exam. However very seldom parents are aware that there are different exam boards and that there are many differences between these. Not only this but in Hong Kong you can't just enroll to whatever the exam board you want. But lets go step by step.


Let's start with the similarities:

1. The syllabus is the same. This means the contents and the grammar that they have to learn are the same. For example in both students need to be able to talk about their neighbourhood, healthy living etc.


2. Both have a reading, writing, speaking and listening assessment.


Due to these similarities it is totally fine for 2 students preparing for different exam boards to be in the same class until 6 months before the exam.

However there are some important differences:

1. The difficulty. IGCSE Spanish Cambridge is more difficult in general terms than Ed excel. The main difference exists in the listening and the reading. In Cambridge the listening exam itself is much longer, the interviews are very extense and is hard for the student to know what is relevant and what is not. In Edexcel the answers are more straight forward since the interviews are very short and is easier to come up with the right answer. For the reading the same applies. The texts in the Cambridge board are longer and complex vocabulary appears at an earlier stage of the exam.

2. The exam structure. In the Edexcel board the reading and the writing are together in one paper. That is one of the reasons why the reading in EdExcel board is easier. Edexcel Reading includes a lot of multiple choice questions. IGCSE Spanish Cambridge board has a role play oral part + speech + general conversation while Edexcel doesn't have any role play. For the writing in the Cambridge board 2 texts of 80-100 words + 130-140 words must be writen while in EdExcel is just 50 words + 150 words. Edexcel listening paper is much shorter than the Cambridge one.


3. The enrollment procedure. In Hong Kong it is not possible for a student to enroll to IGCSE Spanish Cambridge board unless it is through the secondary school where the student studies and the School is offering alredy IGCSE exams as part of the school curriculum. However anyone can enroll in Hong Kong for the IGCSE Spanish EdExcel board no matter if they study in a local school or an international school.

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