International GCSE Business assessment support page

13 October 2022

International GCSE Business: support for assessment

This page is intended to help you understand the assessment of the qualification.

The section headed 'Support' includes links which take you to past papers and mark schemes, to examWizard where you can build your own papers, to a recorded feedback event, to exemplar answers and to Results Plus, a tool to help you analyse your results.

The Examiners' Reports section includes advice from the senior examiners on how to respond to each of the command verbs used in the excams.

The last section provides you with the grade boundaries and statistics from past exam series.

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You may also be interested in a sister page which tries to support your delivery of the qualification.

Support

Past question papers, mark schemes and examiners' reports are available on the qualification page.

These are kept locked for the first 9 months after an examination series and you will require an Edexcel Online username and password to be able to gain access.

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Our examWizard tool is an online resource containing a huge bank of past paper questions and support materials to help you create your own mock exams and assessments. It is available for a range of GCSE, International GCSE, A level subjects, BTEC and Functional Skills.

Feedback on the summer 2019 exam series is available as a pre-recorded training session.

These booklets of exemplar answers from the May 2019 papers show how examiners have applied the mark scheme to candidate responses:

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ResultsPlus is an online results analysis tool that gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in Pearson Edexcel exams.

ResultsPlus provides detailed analysis of your learners' performance and will help you to identify potential topics, skills and types of questions where students may need to develop their learning further. Whilst there hasn’t been a typical examination series for a while, you may find it helpful to understand how your students’ performance compares with class and Pearson Edexcel national averages and to gather some insight data that may support effective teaching and learning approaches. Find out more about ResultsPlus.

Many centres will be focused on delivering mock exams this term and using those mock exam results to inform intervention and revision. The ResultsPlus Mock analysis service can help you get the most from that data.  

Examiners' reports

Examiners' reports are a useful way of understanding the standard that has been applied. You can see examiner comments and tips for each question. Combining a reading of the examiners' reports with the mark schemes can provide useful insights.

There are extracts from the examiners' reports below as they relate to the different command verbs:

State questions assess AO1.

For 'Define' questions candidates are required to show they have a clear understanding of the term.

State questions assess AO2.

Centres must ensure candidates are reminded that 'state' questions have to have context in the response otherwise they will not gain the mark.

All 'State' questions require candidates to include context to their response – encourage candidates to check if their response is generic and can be applied to any business or have they included phrases that link it directly to the given scenario?

On this type of question candidates should be encouraged to ensure that it is related to the scenario of the paper, to enable them to gain the mark available.  If the question refers to a specific business then context must be included in the answer – even for a one mark question.

Centres should encourage candidates to include their working out as often candidates gained a mark for their calculation despite their final answer being incorrect. Candidates should also be encouraged to double check their working out.

Centres must remind candidates that if the question states ‘to 2 decimal places’ then this is the expectation to gain full marks for the question. It would also be helpful for centres to remind candidates that some formulas are provided at the front of the paper, whilst most candidates did use these there are still some that are not.

'Outline' questions are AO2 (Application) questions.  

An 'Outline' question is similar to a 'State' question where candidates have to put their response in the context of the business.

'Outline' questions require a point to score 1 mark. To score two marks, there has to be development of the method and the existence of application somewhere within the response.

To provide application - think about the market the business operates in, or the products that it sells, or simply just use a word or phrase from the case study.

An ‘explain’ question does not need to be in context as there are no AO2 marks available.

Candidates gain a mark for identifying one factor. Centres are encouraged to teach candidates that for 'Explain' questions they only need to explain one as opposed to listing many.

Candidates should then add some development to their answer to gain two or three marks.

Candidates should not repeat the question at the start of their answer. It wastes time.

Questions that ask to explain an advantage or disadvantage need a different technique to those that ask candidates to explain a method or way.

'Analyse' questions are testing two of the Assessment Objectives, or AOs: AO2, which is 'Application'; and AO3, which is 'Analysis'. Thus, to be successful, candidates need to demonstrate both of these skills within their answer.

Examiners will look at the response 'holistically', to see if candidates have applied their knowledge to the scenario and if they have analysed the information. Examiners will then make a decision as to where the response 'best fits' into the Levels.

Application (AO2)
Centres should encourage candidates to include context in 'analyse' questions to ensure they can reach the top levels of this levels-based question.

There are no AO1 marks for this question, there are AO2 marks for this level-based question and candidates who provide an extended answer but do not apply this answer to the context are not allowing themselves to move into the top of level 2. Unless responses for 'analyse' questions are in the context of the given business scenario candidates will find it difficult to access to higher marks.

Examples of candidate answers scoring full marks can be found in the following examiners' reports:

  • May 2022 Paper 1
  • May 2022 Paper 1R
  • May 2022 Paper 2
  • May 2022 Paper 2R

The 'Justify' questions are marked in the same way as the 'Analyse' questions, but candidates now have to include 'Evaluative' (Assessment Objective 4) comments. It is marked to Levels the same as 'Analyse' questions.

Some learners show clear knowledge of the two options but are unaware there are no AO1 marks available for these questions.  Candidates who  simply show knowledge of one or both options with no application, analysis or evaluation would gain no marks.

Candidates can access level 3 by considering their chosen option in context and how this would impact on the business in the case study, linking their points together and concluding their answer with balance and justification.

Candidates do not have to consider both options in their response. Candidates can achieve the full marks only considering the one option.

Candidates need to make a clear choice out of the two options and be able to balance out their response as to why the business should or should not choose that option. Candidates are then expected to provide a clear overall judgement to evaluate their decision.

Candidates should be encouraged to write effective conclusions when answering a 'justify' question. It allows them to gain the AO4 marks available.

Examples of candidate answers scoring full marks can be found in the following examiners' reports:

  • 9/9 May 2022 Paper 1
  • 9/9 May 2022 Paper 1R
  • 9/9 May 2022 Paper 2
     

Centres are reminded that this is the only level-based question in the paper which is equally weighted across all four assessment objectives.

The question is marked in exactly the same way as the 'Justify' questions. Although it is worth pointing out to candidates that this question does carry the most marks and they should allow sufficient time to answer it with all four of the Assessment Objectives being covered. AO1 – knowlege, AO2 – Application, AO3 – Analysis and AO4 – Evaluation.

A Level 3 answer has good context throughout the response as well as a balanced argument with a clear evaluation.

Those who perform less well than expected on this question do so for one of two reasons.

Firstly, candidates provide a generic answer with no application to the case study.

Secondly, candidates do not provide a thorough judgment relating back to any issues that may occur for the business in the case study or they do not balance their conclusion therefore limiting their evaluation.

Some candidates are using bullet points or numbered format, this will not allow them to gain the higher-level marks because they may not have analysed or evaluated the points made.

Examples of candidate answers scoring full marks can be found in the following examiners' reports:

  • 12/12 May 2022 Paper 1
  • 12/12 May 2022 Paper 1R
     

Grade boundaries and statistics

Grade boundaries

A grade boundary is the minimum mark at which a numbered grade (between 9 and 1) can be achieved.

International GCSE (9-1) qualifications are linear, and only the maximum mark and grade boundaries for the overall qualification are available in this table. These are given in raw marks.

Notional grade boundaries

Paper 1 and Paper 2 each have a raw mark out of 80. Grade boundaries are set at qualification level (adding together the raw marks for Papers 1 and 2) and not for each paper. However for teachers, the notional component grade boundaries can be a useful indicator of performance when papers are used in the future for mocks.


Grade statistics

Grade statistics are reported separately for UK and overseas centres. They show:

  • The total number of candidates
  • The cumulative percentage of candidates at each grade boundary as a percentage of the total cohort
    Max Mark 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 U
May 2019 4BS1 160 113 101 90 76 62 48 40 32 24 0
May 2019 4BS1R 160 111 101 91 77 63 49 40 32 24 0
Nov 2020 4BS1 160 90 77 64 50 37 24 20 16 12 0
Nov 2020 4BS1R 160 97 87 77 62 48 34 28 22 17 0
Nov 2021 4BS1 160 84 71 58 46 34 23 18 13 8 0
May 2022 4BS1 160 111 100 90 77 64 51 42 34 26 0
May 2022 4BS1R 160 114 105 97 84 71 59 49 39 29 0
    Max Mark 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 U
May 2019  Paper 1 80 57
51
46
39
32
25
20
16
12
0
Paper 1R 80 57 51 46 39 32 26 21 16 12 0
Nov 2020
Paper 1 80 46 39 33 26 19 13 10 8 6 0
Paper 1R 80 49 44 39 32 25 18 15 12 9 0
Nov 2021
Paper 1 80 41 34 28 22 16 11 8 6 4 0
May 2022 Paper 1 80 54 49 45 38 31 25 21 17 13 0
Paper 1R 80 58 53 48 41 35 29 24 19 14 0
    Max Mark 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 U
May 2019 Paper 2
80 54
49
44
37
30
23
19
15
12
0
Paper 2R
80 56 50 45 37 30 23 19 15 12 0
Nov 2020 Paper 2 80 44 37 31 24 17 11 9 7 6 0
Paper 2R 80 48 43 38 30 23 16 13 10 8 0
Nov 2021 Paper 2 80 43 36 30 24 18 12 9 6 4 0
May 2022 Paper 2 80 54 49 45 38 32 26 21 17 13 0
Paper 2R 80 59 54 49 42 36 30 25 20 15 0
4BS1 Number of candidates 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 U
May 2019 5360
2% 5.9%
15.1%
33.6%
53.5%
71.2%
80.3%
87.4%
92.7%
100%
May 2020 4800 14.8% 29.5% 47.4% 65.7% 81% 91.5% 96.4% 98.9% 99.6% 100%
Nov 2020 925
15% 28.5% 43.6% 62.2% 77.3% 88.9% 91.1% 94.5% 96.1% 100%
May 2021 6659 18.3% 36.1% 55.2% 72.5% 84.4% 92.7% 96.3% 98.2% 99.3% 100%
Nov 2021 639 38% 56.2% 70% 80.1% 89.4% 94.1% 96.1% 98.3% 98.9% 100%
May 2022 6695 9.9% 20% 33.2% 51.6% 68.1% 81.1% 88.2% 92.7% 95.5% 100%
4BS1 Number of candidates 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 U
May 2019 561
0.7% 2%
10.2%
28.2%
56.3%
79.5%
87.7%
93.6%
97%
100%
May 2020 454 6.8% 21.4% 41.4% 58.4% 80.4% 94.1% 97.6% 98.9% 99.3% 100%
Nov 2020 59
32.2% 47.5% 66.1% 86.4% 96.6% 98.3% 98.3% 98.3% 100% 100%
May 2021 613 13.1% 28.5% 50.6% 69.8% 84% 95.6% 98% 99.2% 99.7% 100%
Nov 2021 28 50% 85.7% 92.9% 96.4% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
May 2022 587 8.5% 21.3% 34.9% 53.7% 73.6% 86.2% 92% 95.7% 98.6% 100%
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