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What are option codes, and why do I need to use them?

When you make entries for Cambridge 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 the components in order to gain the qualification. For example, for Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design, a candidate can take five different combinations of the following components:

  • observational/interpretative assignment
  • design assignment
  • critical and historical assignment
  • coursework assignment

There is an option code for each combination of components which can be used to gain the qualification. 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. Details of all the entry options available in each syllabus are listed in your Cambridge Guide to Making Entries, which can be downloaded from the Support Materials section of CIE Direct.

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 ask for syllabus and option codes.

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