Is SAT harder than IGCSE? Which is easier and better for you? In this post, we shall examine these examination bodies and evaluate them to know the one that is much better to go for.

One thing you should understand is that every examination is designed for a particular purpose. So, first, you have to identify why you have to take a particular examination.

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Understanding the basics of SAT and IGCSE


The SAT is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. It tests a student’s reading, writing, and math skills. The SAT is a multiple-choice test, and the scores range from 400-1600.

The test is divided into two sections: The Math Section and the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section. Also, there is an optional Essay Section that is not required by all colleges.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an international examination program for students aged 14 to 16. It was developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations and is recognized by schools and universities worldwide.

The IGCSE program offers a wide range of subjects, including languages, social sciences, mathematics, and science. Unlike the SAT, the IGCSE tests a student’s knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.

The examination is graded on a scale from A* to G, with A* being the highest grade attainable. To achieve the certificate, students must pass at least five subjects, including English, mathematics, and science.

SEE ALSO: SAT Registration & How to Apply

Examining the differences in syllabus and content between SAT and IGCSE

Based on my research and analysis of the two exam formats, here are some of the differences in syllabus and content between SAT and IGCSE:

  1. Subject areas covered: IGCSE provides subject-specific exams in various fields, including Mathematics, Science, English Language, Social Studies, and more. Meanwhile, the SAT is a standardized test that includes sections on Math, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and an optional essay.
  2. Depth of content: IGCSE exams are designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts in each subject area at a deeper level. On the other hand, SAT questions are relatively broader and are meant to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills and ability to apply their knowledge across various contexts.
  3. Test format: IGCSE exams consist of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, while some subjects also have a practical or coursework component. In contrast, the SAT is entirely multiple-choice, except for the optional essay, which requires a written response.
  4. Difficulty level: SAT questions are generally considered more challenging, with the math section containing some advanced concepts beyond the IGCSE level.
  5. Scoring: IGCSE grades are awarded based on a letter grade scale from A* to G, while the SAT results are on a scale of 400-1600. 

In summary, while both exams test students’ knowledge and skills, IGCSE focuses on subject-specific content at a deeper level, while the SAT is broader and places more emphasis on critical thinking and reasoning across multiple subject areas.

Understanding the level of difficulty and preparation required for SAT and IGCSE

If you are looking for how difficult preparing for the two exams is, this section of the article tends to explain that.


The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It tests students’ readiness for college-level study and measures their skills in reading, writing, and math. The SAT is a challenging exam that requires careful preparation and study.

Students must master a wide range of concepts and skills, as well as familiarize themselves with the test format and strategies for answering questions efficiently and effectively. The SAT includes multiple-choice questions and an optional essay, and the total test time is over three hours.

Preparation for the SAT typically involves taking practice exams, reviewing subject matter, and learning test-taking strategies. Many students also enroll in SAT prep courses or work with tutors to help them prepare.


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a rigorous secondary school program administered by Cambridge Assessment International Education. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects and is designed to prepare students for further academic study or employment. The IGCSE exams are typically taken at the end of grade 10 or 11, depending on the school.

The IGCSE exams are challenging and require thorough preparation. Students must master the subject matter and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The exams may include multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and essay questions. The total test time varies depending on the subject and the number of exam papers.

Preparation for the IGCSE typically involves reviewing subject matter, taking practice exams, and studying test-taking strategies. Many students also work with tutors or enroll in IGCSE prep courses to help them prepare. In summary, both the SAT and IGCSE exams are challenging and require careful preparation and study to succeed.

SEE ALSO: Is SAT Harder than PSAT

Is SAT harder than IGCSE?

SAT and IGCSE are two very different types of exams, and it is difficult to compare them. SAT is a college entrance exam that assesses a student’s readiness for university-level work, while IGCSE is a set of exams taken by students in middle or secondary school that covers a wide range of subjects at a lower level. Both exams have their own unique challenges and require different types of preparation. It ultimately depends on the individual student and their strengths and weaknesses in each subject.

Providing tips and strategies for preparing for SAT and IGCSE exams.

We are able to provide general tips for preparing for SAT and IGCSE exams which are as follows:

  1. Set a study schedule: Create a study schedule that is reasonable and fits your schedule. The schedule should include time for studying, practice questions, breaks, and relaxation.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the test format: Understand the test format, the type of questions that will be asked, and the way the exam is structured. This will help you prepare effectively and efficiently.
  3. Focus on your weaknesses: Identify your weaknesses and work on improving them. Use practice exams or previous exam papers to improve your weak areas.
  4. Use study materials: Use relevant study materials such as textbooks, online resources, and study apps to help you prepare for the exam.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: Practice is key, and it is important to do practice exams or questions regularly to help you become familiar with the exam format and improve your time management skills.
  6. Seek help when necessary: If you are struggling with a particular topic or area, don’t be afraid to seek help from teachers, tutors, or guidance.

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