IGCSE Biology: Syllabus Assessment Overview and Objectives


Cambridge IGCSE Biology directs in inoculating skills to deal with practical problem solving and in developing scientific temperament for the learners. The course helps in introducing critical mindedness, tolerance of certainty, reliance of facts and data, willingness to change opinions, restraint, empiricism and being responsible. The subject helps in developing an inquisitive relation between the environment around the learners and body.

The combination of knowledge and skills in Cambridge IGCSE Biology gives learners a solid foundation for further higher studies. Candidates who get grades A* to C are well prepared to follow a wide range of courses including Cambridge International AS & A Level Biology or Marine Science.


Syllabus Overview

IGCSE syllabi provides an interacting experience to the learners with an insight of biological life and processes present. It helps in introducing and building up a zeal to acquire information and learn. It doesn’t restrict the learner to pursue the career but provides an information to apply the skills and experience at present.

Throughout each unit, the students are given the opportunity to build on the objectives below:

  • The platform is flexible and very worthy to gain a ambitious perspective by all the aspirants. The level of understanding enhanced and able to applied a different perspective.
  • Enhancing in knowledge of science the aspirant experiencing an utmost faith and boast in confidence. The technological world is full of facts, the aspirants from IGCSE stand out perfectly and gain an interest in scientific field.
  • Be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE, allow learners to recognize that science is evidence-based.
  • Understand the usefulness, and the limitations, of scientific method develop skills that:
  1. are authentic to the studies of biology
  2. are useful in everyday life
  3. encourage a systematic approach to problem-solving
  4. encourage efficient and safe practice
  5. encourage effective communication through the language of science
  6. develop attitudes relevant to biology such as:
  7. concern for accuracy and precision
  8. objectivity
  9. integrity
  10. enquiry
  11. initiative

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Chapters to Go

Learners will study the following chapter as a part of their curriculum:

  1. Characteristics and classification of living organisms
  2. Organisation of the organism
  3. Movement into and out of cells
  4. Biological molecules
  5. Enzymes
  6. Plant nutrition
  7. Human nutrition
  8. Transport in plants
  9. Transport in animals
  10. Diseases and immunity
  11. Gas exchange in humans
  12. Respiration
  13. Excretion in humans
  14. Coordination and response
  15. Drugs
  16. Reproduction
  17. Inheritance
  18. Variation and selection
  19. Organisms and their environment
  20. Human influences on ecosystems
  21. Biotechnology and genetic modification


Assessment Overview

All candidates take three papers.

1. For Core syllabus Content Learners:

can achieve a grade D or below
can appear for Paper 1, Paper 3 and either Paper 5 or Paper 6. having between C to G grade only those students are eligible.

2. For Extended Syllabus Content Learners: (Core and Supplement)

can achieve a grade C or above
can appear for Paper 2, Paper 4 and either Paper 5 or Paper 6. These candidates will be eligible for grades A* to G.


Core Assessment

Core candidates take Paper 1 and Paper 3. This will be only core concept based questions:

Paper 1

Multiple Choice

40-multiple-choice questions with 4 options
Externally assessed
Total marks:40
Time:45 mins

Paper 3


Short-answer and structured questions
Externally assessed
Weightage – 50%
Total marks:80 marks
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Extended Assessment

Extended candidates take Paper 2 and Paper 4. The questions are based on the Extended subject content only:

Paper 2

Multiple Choice

40 – multiple-choice questions with four options
Externally assessed
Weightage- 30%
Total marks:40 marks
Time: 45 minutes

Paper 4


Short-answer and structured questions
Externally assessed
Weightage – 50%
Total marks:80 marks
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Practical Assessment

All candidates take one practical paper from a choice of two:

Paper 5

Practical Test

Questions will be based on the experimental skills in Section 4. OR
Externally assessed
Weightage- 20%
Total marks:40 marks
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Paper 6

Alternative to Practical

Questions will be based on the experimental skills in Section 4.
Externally assessed
Weightage- 20%
Total marks: 40 marks
Time:1 hour


Assessment Objectives

Knowledge with Understanding

The aim is to help the aspirant to exhibits the skill sets and knowledge of understanding:

  • scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts and theories
  • scientific vocabulary, terminology and conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)
  • Consist of scientific mechanics, apparatus, methods of experiments and safety rules
  • Its included the scientific applications. The social, economic, and the environmental aspects are also included.


Handling Information and Problem – Solving

Candidates should be able, in words or using other written forms of presentation (i.e. symbolic, graphical and numerical), to:

  • The information is present by the medium of several authentic sources in a presentable form.
  • translate information from one form to another
  • manipulate numerical and other data
  • locate the pattern, trends and organized to make a report the conclusion by using the information.
  • The methods are explained with given reasons and theories. To understand the phenomena, patterns and application relationship.
  • make predictions based on relationships and patterns
  • Quant also used to solve some problem.


Experimental Skills

Aspirants expect to perform the applied experimental methods and techniques.

  • demonstrate knowledge of how to select and safely use techniques, apparatus and materials (including following a sequence of instructions where appropriate)
  • plan experiments and investigations
  • make and record observations, measurements and estimates
  • interpret and evaluate experimental observations and data
  • evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements.



At the end of the course learners will be able to have:

  • Have an enhanced knowledge and appreciation of the anatomy, morphology, physiology of organisms;
  • Be able to develop cogent and critical arguments based on the course material;
  • Be able to perform, analyse and report on experiments and observations in physiology, cell biology, molecular and biotechnology;
  • Candidates need to able to integrated topic form different portion of the courses.


Assessment Objectives as a Percentage of the Qualification

Assessment objective Weighting in IGCSE % 
AO1 Knowledge with understanding 50
AO2 Handling information and problem-solving 30
AO3 Experimental skills and investigations 20
Total  100


Assessment Objectives as a Percentage of Each Component

Assessment objective Weighting in components %
Papers 1 and 2 Papers 3 and 4 Papers 5 and 6
AO1 Knowledge with understanding 63 63
AO2 Handling information and problem-solving  37 37
AO3 Experimental skills and investigations 100
Total 100 100 100


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In IGCSE Biology is there any option available for practical skills without assessment?

No. Practical skills are a significantly integral part of the IGCSE biology curriculum like any other science. 


What is IGCSE Biology Alternative to Practical Paper?

The IGCSE Biology Alternative to the practical paper is just an alternate version of the actual practical examination paper. But this is an excellent method for the student of having an experience of the particular theoretical paper of Biology.

The aim of the syllabus defines that the students need to be taught on the basis of the real-life method.

What is IGCSE Biology’s most important topic?

The most important topics of IGCSE Biology are the Characteristics & Classification of living organisms, Organization of the Organism, Movement in & out of Cells, and Biological Molecules.

What are the subject groups in IGCSE?

In IGCSE, there are five Subject Groups with a wide range of subjects to choose from:
Group 1: Languages (First Language, Second Language, Foreign Language, etc)
Group 2: Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography, English Literature, History, etc)
Group 3: Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc)
Group 4: Mathematics (Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, etc)
Group 5: Creative, Technical and Vocational (Accounting, Business Studies, Computer Studies, Music, etc)

How to ace in IGCSE Biology?

The objective is to provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, regardless of whether they continue their studies in science beyond this level. Then, develop an informed interest in scientific matters and become self-assured citizens in a technological world. Be adequately prepared for studies beyond the Cambridge IGCSE Enable learners to recognize that science is evidence-based and to comprehend the utility and limitations of the scientific method to develop skills that are relevant to the study and practice of biology. Develop biology-related attitudes.

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