IGCSE History
Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4
Term 5
Exams and Revision

IGCSE History Exams


  • Answer 2 questions from 8

  • Each question has 3 parts to it

  • Question (a) will be your shortest answer and Question (c) your longest answer

Each IGCSE question is marked in levels. The higher level you achieve in your answer, the more marks you will get. Although the questions change each year, the way the levels are marked donít. So it follows that if you know what the mark scheme is, then you should do well at IGCSE. On the other hand, if you donít know what the examiner is looking for, then youíre likely to perform below expectations in your exam.

Question (a) is a test of knowledge and recall. It could be about an event (eg Describe the events of 1938 which led to the Anschluss) or some key terms (eg In relation to the peace settlement of 1919-1920, what is meant by (i) mandates; (ii) plebiscites?

  • Level 1: Gives a vague, fragmentary or only partially correct answer (1-2 marks)

  • Level 2: Gives a reasonably full and accurate answer (3-5 marks)

Top Tip: Learn precise facts and show the examiner you know what youíre talking about but don't be tempted to overwrite.

Question (b) is about causation, so it is asking you to explain how and why things happen. It is usually about a key event (eg Why was the Treaty of Versailles severe on Germany?), but sometimes looks at a particular development (eg Why did the wartime unity of the Allies break down in 1945-47?)

  • Level 1: Simplistic reason lacking explanation (1-2 marks)

  • Level 2: Developed mono-causal reason as an explanation (3-5 marks)

  • Level 3: Developed multi-causal reasons with a balanced conclusion (6-7 marks

Top Tip: PEE and always include more than one reason to explain why things happen and give good precise facts to support your answer. 

Question (c) tests your ability to assess events. To assess something means to make a judgement about it, so there is no right or wrong answer: you need to make up your own mind about the question. You will generally be asked about an event (eg Were Hitlerís policy towards Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938-39 completely successful? Explain your answer) or about a key development (eg How far was the collapse of Soviet Communism due to the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev? Explain your answer)

  • Level 1: Simplistic opinion supported by little valid or accurate evidence (1 mark)

  • Level 2: Simplistic answer supported by some valid evidence (2-3 marks)

  • Level 3: Describes events and draws a valid conclusion (4-6 marks)

  • Level 4: Clearly addresses the key word in the question (eg completely successful and how far) and makes a valid judgement about it (7-8 marks)

Top Tip: Read the question carefully and identify the key words or phrases that will get your answer up from Level 3 to Level 4. Your answer should be balanced, supporting or attacking the question to some extent. Therefore, draw up a quick table plan:

Yes No
Evidence that supports the statement


Evidence which challenges the statement.



Answer 1 question from 2

Questions follow precisely the same format as Section A

See some Paper 1 examples

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