Benchmark Assessments

Educators use benchmark assessments in order to determine whether or not their students are performing up to where they need be.

Benchmarking is the act of creating measurable standards set for learning on which students can be measured.

Assessment objectives

Cambridge IGCSE First Language English

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Reading

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to: 

R1 demonstrate understanding of explicit meanings

R2 demonstrate understanding of implicit meanings and attitudes 

R3 analyse, evaluate and develop facts, ideas and opinions, using appropriate support from the text

R4 demonstrate understanding of how writers achieve effects and influence readers 

R5 select and use information for specific purposes.


AO2 Writing

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to:

W1 articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined 

W2 organise and structure ideas and opinions for deliberate effect 

W3 use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures appropriate to context

W4 use register appropriate to context

W5 make accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.


AO3 Speaking and Listening

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to:

SL1 articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined 

SL2 present facts, ideas and opinions in a cohesive order which sustains the audience’s interest 

SL3 communicate clearly and purposefully using fluent language 

SL4 use register appropriate to context

SL5 listen and respond appropriately in conversation.


Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of mathematical techniques

Candidates should be able to recall and apply mathematical knowledge, terminology and definitions to carry out 

routine procedures or straightforward tasks requiring single or multi-step solutions in mathematical or everyday 

situations including:

• organising, processing and presenting information accurately in written, tabular, graphical and diagrammatic 

forms

• using and interpreting mathematical notation correctly

• performing calculations and procedures by suitable methods, including using a calculator

• understanding systems of measurement in everyday use and making use of these

• estimating, approximating and working to degrees of accuracy appropriate to the context and converting 

between equivalent numerical forms

• using geometrical instruments to measure and to draw to an acceptable degree of accuracy

• recognising and using spatial relationships in two and three dimensions.


AO2 Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically when solving problems

Candidates should be able to analyse a problem, select a suitable strategy and apply appropriate techniques to 

obtain its solution, including:

• making logical deductions, making inferences and drawing conclusions from given mathematical data

• recognising patterns and structures in a variety of situations, and forming generalisations

• presenting arguments and chains of reasoning in a logical and structured way

• interpreting and communicating information accurately and changing from one form of presentation to 

another

• assessing the validity of an argument and critically evaluating a given way of presenting information

• solving unstructured problems by putting them into a structured form involving a series of processes

• applying combinations of mathematical skills and techniques using connections between different areas of 

mathematics in problem solving

• interpreting results in the context of a given problem and evaluating the methods used and solutions obtained.

Cambridge IGCSE Physics

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Knowledge with understanding 

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts and theories

• scientific vocabulary, terminology and conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)

• scientific instruments and apparatus, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety

• scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications. 

Subject content defines the factual material that candidates may be required to recall and explain. 

Candidates will also be asked questions which require them to apply this material to unfamiliar contexts and to 

apply knowledge from one area of the syllabus to another.


AO2 Handling information and problem-solving

Candidates should be able, in words or using other written forms of presentation (i.e. symbolic, graphical and 

numerical), to: 

• locate, select, organise and present information from a variety of sources 

• translate information from one form to another 

• manipulate numerical and other data 

• use information to identify patterns, report trends and form conclusions

• present reasoned explanations for phenomena, patterns and relationships 

• make predictions based on relationships and patterns

• solve problems, including some of a quantitative nature. 

Questions testing these skills may be based on information that is unfamiliar to candidates, requiring them to apply 

the principles and concepts from the syllabus to a new situation, in a logical, deductive way.

 

AO3 Experimental skills and investigations

Candidates should be able to: 

• demonstrate knowledge of how to select and safely use techniques, apparatus and materials (including 

following a sequence of instructions where appropriate)

• plan experiments and investigations

• make and record observations, measurements and estimates 

• interpret and evaluate experimental observations and data 

• evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements.

Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Knowledge with understanding

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts and theories

• scientific vocabulary, terminology and conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)

• scientific instruments and apparatus, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety

• scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications. 

Subject content defines the factual material that candidates may be required to recall and explain. 

Candidates will also be asked questions which require them to apply this material to unfamiliar contexts and to 

apply knowledge from one area of the syllabus to another.


AO2 Handling information and problem-solving

Candidates should be able, in words or using other written forms of presentation (i.e. symbolic, graphical and 

numerical), to: 

• locate, select, organise and present information from a variety of sources 

• translate information from one form to another 

• manipulate numerical and other data 

• use information to identify patterns, report trends and form conclusions

• present reasoned explanations for phenomena, patterns and relationships 

• make predictions based on relationships and patterns

• solve problems, including some of a quantitative nature. 

Questions testing these skills may be based on information that is unfamiliar to candidates, requiring them to apply 

the principles and concepts from the syllabus to a new situation, in a logical, deductive way.


AO3 Experimental skills and investigations

Candidates should be able to: 

• demonstrate knowledge of how to select and safely use techniques, apparatus and materials (including 

following a sequence of instructions where appropriate)

• plan experiments and investigations

• make and record observations, measurements and estimates 

• interpret and evaluate experimental observations and data 

• evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements.

Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Knowledge and understanding

• demonstrate knowledge and understanding of facts, terms, concepts, conventions, theories and techniques 

commonly applied to or used as part of business behaviour.


AO2 Application

• apply knowledge and understanding of facts, terms, concepts, conventions, theories and techniques.


AO3 Analysis

• distinguish between evidence and opinion in a business context

• order, analyse and interpret information in narrative, numerical and graphical forms, using appropriate 

techniques.


AO4 Evaluation

• present reasoned explanations, develop arguments, understand implications and draw inferences

• make judgements, recommendations and decisions.


 

Cambridge IGCSE Economics

The assessment objectives (AOs) are:


AO1 Knowledge and understanding

Candidates should be able to:

• show knowledge and understanding of economic definitions, formulas, concepts and theories

• use economic terminology.


AO2 Analysis

Candidates should be able to:

• select, organise and interpret data

• use economic information and data to recognise patterns and to deduce relationships

• apply economic analysis to written, numerical, diagrammatic and graphical data 

• analyse economic issues and situations, identifying and developing links. 


AO3 Evaluation

Candidates should be able to:

• evaluate economic information and data 

• distinguish between economic analysis and unreasoned statements 

• recognise the uncertainties of the outcomes of economic decisions and events 

• communicate economic thinking in a logical manner.