Cambridge International Examinations Board is the only Board to make science subjects really accessible to all. Standard GCSE syllabuses all involve coursework or practical, in-laboratory, tests which are not available to home educators. However, with CIE, students are able to take an 'Alternative to Practical' paper. This presents laboratory-type questions in which students are required to demonstrate and awareness of laboratory procedure, an ability to suggest how experiments might be carried out and and awareness of how to interpret data.
Topics covered by the syllabus include food chains and webs, nutrient cycles, population growth, ecosystems, inheritance, reproduction in plants and humans, nutrition, respiration, nervous control, transport, characteristics of living organisms, classification etc. The course and the assignments are aimed at Core level although the learning materials do cover higher curriculum.