Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is AICE?
The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) is an international award that students can earn via an advanced academic curriculum and assessment program written and administered by a non-profit department of the University of Cambridge in England. AICE program courses and examinations may be offered during grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 in worldwide schools registered as Cambridge Assessment International Education centers.  (Please note that AICE Diploma Award candidates must complete their exams within a twenty-five month period.)

2. What are the benefits of AICE?
AICE advanced level courses are equivalent to those of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Furthermore, graduating with the AICE Diploma Award makes students more competitive in the college application process.  Passing a number of AICE exams can lead to advanced standing at the college level.  (Florida's public colleges and universities provide up to 30 college credit hours for successfully passed AICE, AP and IB exams.)

3. Why should I take AICE courses?
A study by Bill Kolb, former director of admissions at the University of Florida, found that AICE program graduates attending the University of Florida had an average end-of-freshman year G.P.A. of 3.46 whereas students who came from other acceleration mechanisms like Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) had an average G.P.A. of 3.12 and 3.10 respectively. 

A Cambridge / FSU Study regarding success in the US (titled Are Cambridge International Assessments Good Preparation for University Study?)  outlines the success of Cambridge AICE students at Florida State University and how they are outperforming all other acceleration mechanisms including IB and AP.

Regarding Cambridge USA Recognition, universities are speaking out on how prepared AICE students are when they enter college. View the video of FSU, DUKE, University of Washington, MIT, and others as they share their opinions on the AICE program:  

4. What is meant by the AICE Graduation Option?
The Florida Legislature determined that the AICE Curriculum is a graduation option for students beginning with the graduating class of 2011. Students must remain AICE students in good standing and complete all of the AICE Curriculum requirements to utilize this option. Students failing to meet the curriculum requirements are subject to all standard graduation requirements.  Please also note that most 4 year University programs require more than this to gain admission to their schools.

5. Does earning the AICE Diploma Award qualify students for the Florida Bright Futures tuition scholarship?
Yes, currently, students who earn the AICE Diploma Award and complete 100 service hours during their high school careers automatically earn the current Florida Academic Scholars tuition scholarship regardless of grade point average and/or college entrance examination scores.

6. What do I have to do to earn an AICE Diploma Award?
Students must pass seven credits worth of examinations in a 25 month period. At least one examination must come from each of the three subject groups: Mathematics & Sciences (Group 1), Languages (Group 2), and Arts & Humanities (Group 3) and one credit must come from AS Global Perspectives and Research.  Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level exams count for one credit and Advanced (A) Level exams can count for a second credit. Students must take and pass the AS exam before taking the A Level exam. If, after taking the exams, a student fails to earn seven credits but has completed the seven classes, he may still qualify for the Florida Medallion Scholarship as long as he has the required SAT/ACT test scores and community service hours.
7. What is the difference between AS and A Level exams?
Advanced (A) Level Syllabuses and exams cover approximately two years of college-level curriculum in a subject. The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level syllabus and exam covers the first year of the two-year A Level curriculum. An AS Level exams count for one credit and A Level exams can count for a second credit. Students must take and pass the AS exam before taking the A Level exam. An A Level course must be taken directly after taking the AS course, students cannot skip a year in between because the AS portion of the exam counts for 50% of the A Level exam.  At present time, Windermere High does not offer any A Level courses.

8. Do students have to earn the full AICE Diploma in order to earn college credits?
No, students receive General Certificate of Education (GCE) subject certificates for AS and A Level examinations passed. Colleges award credit on a subject–by–subject basis according to grades earned on individual examinations passed.

9. How well known is the AICE Program?
More than 9000 schools offer Cambridge programs worldwide. Cambridge operates in 160 countries across 6 regions: Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Southern Africa.  Over 130 schools in Florida and over 200 across the U.S. offer the AICE Program, while more are being added each year.  The 800th anniversary of Cambridge University was celebrated in 2009, and Cambridge Assessment, which is the world’s largest provider of international examinations, celebrated 155 years in 2013.  

10. Do many universities give college credits for AS/A Level exams passed?
Yes. Cambridge International Examinations publishes a list on its website of US universities that have provided written statements of their AICE  
recognition policy (which includes AS and A Levels). If a university admissions counselor is unfamiliar with AICE, CIE suggests that you ask to speak to the international admissions counselor.  All public universities and community colleges in Florida award up to 45 hours of college credit for AICE and AP exams passed.

11. Is AICE Comparable with IB and AP?
Yes, all three programs are well established in the education community and in universities around the country. Both AICE (AS and A Level) and IB are accepted at universities around the world. The main difference between AICE and IB is the flexibility of the AICE Diploma Award. Students in AICE have the freedom to create their own educational experience within the four AICE curriculum areas. 

Students in the AICE program choose courses which emphasize their areas of academic strength, while enjoying the flexibility to pursue other areas of interest as well, rather than requiring every student to take the same courses, at the same level in all subjects.  Students may be able to achieve a higher overall GPA with courses that are a better match to their abilities. Although the rigor and academic expectations of an AICE course are at the highest level, the AICE Program does not emphasize memorization as much as immersion in the subject utilizing critical analysis, reasoning and writing skills.