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Understanding the IGCSE Grading System: A Comprehensive Guide


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a globally recognized curriculum that prepares students for higher education and career prospects. One crucial aspect of the IGCSE curriculum is its grading system, which helps assess students' performance. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding the IGCSE grading system.

Overview of the IGCSE Grading System:

The IGCSE grading system uses a scale from A* to G to grade students' performance. The A* grade is the highest, while the G grade is the lowest. The grading system is based on a combination of coursework and exams, with exams being the primary mode of assessment.

Understanding IGCSE Grades:

The IGCSE grading system uses a percentage system to determine the grades. For instance, to obtain an A* grade, a student must score between 90% to 100%. Similarly, a student must score between 80% to 89% to obtain an A grade. A student must score above 40% to pass the IGCSE exams.

Grading Standards for Different Subjects:

The IGCSE grading system has different grading standards for different subjects. For instance, subjects like mathematics and sciences have a higher grading standard than those like languages and humanities. This is because these subjects require more precision and accuracy, and there is a higher standard for performance.

Factors Affecting IGCSE Grades:

Several factors can affect the IGCSE grades of a student. Firstly, the preparation for exams plays a crucial role in determining grades. Students who prepare well for exams tend to perform better. Secondly, the difficulty level of the exams can also affect the grades. If the exams are more challenging, students may struggle to perform well. Thirdly, subject choice can also affect grades. If a student chooses a subject that they are not interested in or have difficulty in, they may find it harder to perform well.

Comparing IGCSE Grades with Other Grading Systems:

Compared to other grading systems, such as the American GPA and International Baccalaureate (IB) grading systems, the IGCSE grading system is more subject-focused and uses a percentage-based scale. The GPA system, on the other hand, uses a point-based system and is more holistic. The IB grading system uses a scale of 1 to 7 to grade students' performance and also considers coursework and projects for assessment.


In conclusion, the IGCSE grading system is an essential aspect of the IGCSE curriculum, and understanding it is crucial for students, parents, and teachers. The grading system uses a percentage-based scale and grades students' performance based on a combination of coursework and exams. It also has different grading standards for different subjects, and several factors can affect the grades. Therefore, students must prepare well for exams, choose subjects that they are interested in, and seek guidance from teachers to perform well in the IGCSE exams.

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