IGCSE Threshold 2021 vs 2020

IGCSE Threshold 2021 vs 2020

If you are new to IGCSE, you may probably find the grade threshold confusing. To pass the exam, you have to make the minimum mark to obtain a particular grade. Now these thresholds are not set in stone but instead increase or decrease year by year depending on how difficult or easy the exam is. 

The main reason for doing this is to set the threshold at just the right place where it is neither too difficult nor too easy. Of course, the threshold set for each year also depends largely upon the performance of the candidates. So while it looks difficult and inaccurate, it is actually a great way to test. 

With the knowledge of how the IGCSE threshold works, you probably know by now that the threshold used in the IGCSE exams written in June 2021 will be determined by the threshold of that of 2020. We will attempt to compare both year’s threshold in various subjects in order to see similarities or variations in both. 


The IGCSE threshold for November 2021 is as follows:

The total marks for Economics were weighted at 150. A score of 19 is needed to score grade A for paper 1 variant 2. As compared to the threshold for June 2021, November 2021 has a higher A* threshold.

As for Accounting, the overall threshold for this subject in November 2021 is relatively lower than June 2021. To get A* in June 2021 was to score a score of 86, while in November 2021 students has to score 81 and above.

Moving forward to the threshold for Mathematics were weighted at 200 for extended option while for core option were at 160. The overall thresholds as the A* threshold is relatively higher in November 2021 than in June 2021.

For Additional Mathematics, November 2021 has higher A* threshold compared to June 2021. With the average of 132 for November 2021 and 127 for June 2021. Therefore, students that took Additional Mathematics in November 2021 may find it difficult to score.

As for the sciences subject, Chemistry was weighted at 200. November 2021 has higher A* threshold as compared to June 2021. With the total marks of 200, Physics November 2021 has higher A* threshold compared to June 2021. And as for Biology, same as other science subjects, their total marks are at 200. For their threshold, November 2021 is lower than June 2021 threshold. This shows that the June 2021 IGCSE Biology paper is much harder than the November 2021 paper.

Kindly note that the above update is comparing both November 2021 and June 2021 threshold from Cambridge website.

For Economics, both exam results were weighted at 150 however, there are little differences in the thresholds. For instance, at November 2020 IGCSE, the paper 1 variants had the minimum mark for grade A set for 24 while the third variant in the June 2021 IGCSE had 23 as its third variant. This showed in the overall thresholds as the A* threshold is relatively lower in June 2021 than in November 2020. The B to the G grade however seems to alternate. 

The threshold for Chemistry is significantly different between November 2020 and June 2021. The overall threshold for November 2020 is higher than that of June 2021. This means that candidates generally found the exam more difficult in 2021 than in 2020 hence the lower threshold. 

The same applies to the examination results of Physics for November 2020 and June 2021. The threshold for November 2020 was relatively higher than that of June 2021 even though the total marks after weighing was the same.

The threshold for Biology in November 2020 was slightly higher than that of June 2021. For instance, an A* in 2020 is set between 150 and 155 while it is between 144 and 147 in June 2021 while both thresholds were measured using 200 as its maximum score.

For Additional Mathematics, the threshold appears to fluctuate just like in Economics with some grades higher or lower in each of the years. In Mathematics however, November 2020 has a higher threshold than June 2021. Lastly, for Accounting, the threshold is higher for June 2021 than for November 2020. 

Below is a table of comparison for the November 2020 and June 2021 IGCSE exams for the subjects listed above.

IGCSE threshold 2021 vs 2020
Note: only one option was used in this comparison.

Final Point:

While the threshold of IGCSE exams generally depends on how difficult candidates find the exam and is usually increased or decreased year after another, it is safe to say from the comparison above that the threshold for June 2021 is relatively lower than that of November 2020 cutting across various subjects. 


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