Cambridge IGCSE®

Subject Details IGCSE (Biology)

Key benefits

Cambridge IGCSE™ syllabuses are created especially for international students. For over 25 years, we have worked with schools and teachers worldwide to develop syllabuses that are suitable for different countries, different types of schools and for learners with a wide range of abilities.
Cambridge IGCSE  Biology enables learners to:

  • Increase their understanding of the technological world
  • Take an informed interest in scientific matters
  • Recognise the usefulness (and limitations) of scientific method, and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life
  • Develop relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, enquiry, initiative and inventiveness
  • Develop an interest in, and care for, the environment
  • Better understand the influence and limitations placed on scientific study by society, economy, technology, ethics, the community and the environment
  • Develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for both further study and everyday life.


Our programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment.

Aim

The aims are to:

  • provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level
  • enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
    1. become confident citizens in a technological world and develop an informed interest in scientific matters
    2. be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE
    3. allow learners to recognise that science is evidence based and understand the usefulness, and the limitations, of scientific method
  • develop skills that:
    1. are relevant to the study and practice 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
  • develop attitudes relevant to biology such as:
    1. concern for accuracy and precision
    2. objectivity
    3. integrity
    4. enquiry
    5. initiative
    6. inventiveness
  • enable learners to appreciate that:
    1. science is subject to social, economic, technological, ethical and cultural influences and limitations
    2. the applications of science may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual, the community and the environment.

Assessment overview

All candidates take three papers.
Candidates who have studied the Core subject content, or who are expected to achieve a grade D or below, should be entered for Paper 1, Paper 3 and either Paper 5 or Paper 6. These candidates will be eligible for grades C to G. Candidates who have studied the Extended subject content (Core and Supplement), and who are expected to achieve a grade C or above, should be entered for Paper 2, Paper 4 and  Paper 6. These candidates will be eligible for grades A* to G.

Core candidates take:Extended candidates take:
Paper 1 - 45 minutes
Multiple Choice - 30%

40 marks
40 four-choice multiple-choice questions
Questions will be based on the Core subject Content
Externally assessed
Paper 2 - 45 minutes
Multiple Choice - 30%

40 marks
40 four-choice multiple-choice questions
Questions will be based on the Extended subject content (Core and Supplement)Externally assessed
Paper 3 - 1 hour 15 minutes
Theory - 50%

80 marks
Short-answer and structured questions
Questions will be based on the Core subject Content Externally assessed
Paper 4 - 1 hour 15 minutes
Theory - 50%
80 marks
Short-answer and structured questions
Questions will be based on the Extended subject content (Core and Supplement) Externally assessed
All candidates take either:or:
Paper 5 - 1 hour 15 minutes
Practical Test - 20%
40 marks
Questions will be based on the experimental skills in Section 4
Externally assessed
Paper 6 - 1 hour
Alternative to Practical - 20%

40 marks
Questions will be based on the experimental skills in Section 4
Externally assessed

Biology IGCSE Syllabus code - 0610

Module TopicTime Frame(133 h  in total)
M1 - Characteristics and classification of living things1. Characteristics of living organisms1 hour
2. Concept and use of a classification system1 hour
3. Features of organism1 hour
4. Dichotomous keys1 hour
M2- Organization and maintenance of organisms1. Cell structure and organisation5 hours
2. Levels of organisation1 hour
3. Size of specimens1 hour
4. Movement in and out of cells5 hours
5. Biological Molecules5 hours
6. Enzymes5 hours
7. Plant Nutrition8 hours
8. Human Nutrition5 hours
9. Transport in plants7 hours
10. Transport in animals10 hours
11. Diseases and immunity5 hours
12. Gas exchange in humans6 hours
13. Respiration10 hours
14. Excretion in humans5 hours
15. Coordination and Response5 hours
16. Drugs5 hours
M3 - Development of organisms and continuity of life1. Reproduction9 hours
2. Inheritance12 hours
3. Variation and Selection10 hours
M4 - Organisms and their environment1. Energy flow1 hour
2. Food chains and food webs2 hours
3. Nutrient cycles2 hours
4. Population size1 hour
5. Biotechnology and genetic engineering2 hours
6. Human influences on ecosystems2 hours