CIE IGCSE History:
Paper 1

This information is valid up until at least the June 2025 IGCSE exams.
  • 2 Hour long examination worth 60 marks in total

  • Worth 40% of the total final grade


  • Section A: Core Content– The Twentieth Century

    • Option A: The development of modern nation-states from 1848–1914 or

    • Option B: International Relations since 1919)

- Answer two sets of questions (from a choice of four in June 2020)– each set contains one of each part a, b and c questions


  • Section B: Depth Study Options (I studied Germany, 1918-1945)

    • The First World War, 1914–18

    • Germany, 1918–45

    • Russia, 1905–41

    • The United States, 1919–41

    • China, c.1930–c.1990

    • South Africa, c.1940–c.1994

    • Israelis and Palestinians since 1945

- Answer one set of questions (each set contains one part a, b and c question)

Part A Questions

  • 4 Marks (1 mark for each relevant point)

  • Requires the candidate to briefly describe an event/person/their actions/an organisation/feature of government, etc.

  • For example, "What was the Berlin Airlift?" or "What were the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres?".

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Part B Questions

  • 6 Marks (2-3 marks if the candidate describes the reasons, 4-5 marks if one reason is explained and 6 marks for two clearly explained reasons)

  • Usually requires the candidate to explain causes/reasons/factors/effects or an event / action, etc.

  • For example, "Why was it harder for the Allies to reach agreement at Potsdam than it had been at Yalta?" or "Why did the Treaty of Versailles cause difficulties for Germany up to 1923?"

Part C (essay) Questions

  • 10 Marks

  • Full marks requires a discursive essay- the candidate much present evidence for both sides of the discussion before reaching a conclusion which answers the statement / question.

  • For example, "Who was more to blame for the Cold War, the USA or the USSR? Explain your answer."or "‘The Paris peacemakers did as well as could be expected in the circumstances of 1919–20.’ How far do you agree with this statement?"

2020 Specimen Mark Scheme from the CIE Website

414722-2020-specimen-paper-1-mark-scheme.pdf
Information from this page was primarily sourced from information provided to me by my previous teacher, Mr Joshua Tillott.