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# Review of jun 11 exam

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### Review of jun 11 exam

1. 1. Course Title GCE ECONOMICS ACHIEVING SUCCESS THROUGH FEEDBACK Course code 10FRE010-21
2. 2. Summary Review of Economics units 1 - 4 June 2011Slide 2
3. 3. Unit 1: AS Microeconomics Mean score: 45.1 /80 marks (46.3 in 2010, 45.3 in 2009).Standard deviation: 14.4 (compared to 13.9 in June 2010 and 14.0 in June 2009). ‘A’ grade boundary: 58/80 marks ‘E’ grade boundary: 29/80 marksSlide 3
4. 4. Section A: supported multiple choice Mean score: 19.88 /32 marks (2010 : 20.32, 2009: 20.00) Possible to score 3 explanation marks even with wrong answer. Possible to score 3 explanation marks for rejecting three incorrect options – very hard to do in practice.Slide 4
5. 5. Multiple choice questions Questions varied in difficulty:  Q3 Price and income elasticity of demand recorded highest mean mark of 3.11 Q2 Function of the price mechanism recorded the lowest mean mark of 1.82 Candidates fared better on the market failure questions 7 and 8 compared to previous years.Slide 5
6. 6. Q3: Price and income elasticity of demand Mean score: 3.11 out of 4 marks Define PED or show formula (1 mark) Define YED or show formula (1 mark) Application: milk and cheese have positive YED and so are normal goods (1 mark). Application: milk and cheese have PED below -1 and so are price inelastic in demand (1 mark).Slide 6
7. 7. Q3: Price and income elasticity of demand How to improve – application to the data on milk and cheese. Rejection – options A or C incorrect since inferior goods have a negative YED.Slide 7
8. 8. Q2: Function of the price mechanism Mean score: 1.82 out of 4 marks Define price mechanism (mechanism to allocate resources through changes in demand and supply) (1 mark) Show diagram depicting a surplus and how a fall in price leads to market equilibrium (1+1 marks)Slide 8
9. 9. Q2: Function of price mechanism Price S P2 Pe D 0 Q1 Qe Q2 QuantitySlide 9
10. 10. Q2: Function of price mechanism How to improve – use a demand and supply diagram. Rejection – option A incorrect since an increase in price acts as a profit incentive to raise supply. Rejection – option C incorrect as government targets are associated with a centrally planned economy. Rejection – option D incorrect since prices vary according to changes in conditions of demand and supply.Slide 10
11. 11. Summary of good practice for supportedmultiple choice questions Define key terms throughout. Consider key concept or model behind question. Apply the information provided e.g. for Q1 the tax on cigarettes can be tested: is it more than 75% of the price? Annotate diagrams provided: Q4 producer surplus; Q6 ad valorem tax; Q7 buffer stock scheme.Slide 11
12. 12. Summary of good practice for supportedmultiple choice questions Draw diagrams e.g. Q2 Price mechanism model to show elimination of a surplus. Calculate percentages. Show working for calculations e.g. Q6 incidence of producer and consumer tax. Reject incorrect option(s) if answer is brief or dubious, e.g. Q4 option A is consumer surplus; Q7 option C will require a poor harvest rather than a good harvest.Slide 12
13. 13. Summary of good practice for supportedmultiple choice answers Time allocation of c.4 minutes per question. Practice past papers – including papers from old syllabus. Make use of examiner reports showing candidate responses, the marks awarded and exam tips.Slide 13
14. 14. Unit 1 Section B: data responseNew format for questions from January 2011 to help maximise candidate performance: Maximum mark base raised from 12 to 14 marks for individual question. Number of sub-questions reduced from 6 to 5 parts in each data response.Slide 14
15. 15. Evaluation marks Significant number of evaluation marks (16 out of 48), especially for high mark base questions. Expect evaluation across three or four of the five sub-questions in the data response. A standard formula for evaluation: 6 from 14 marks 4 from 10 or 12 marks 2 from 8 marks 2 from 6 marksSlide 15
16. 16. Data response questions Both questions were accessible to candidates: 46% selected Q9 on the National Health Service. 54% selected Q10 on the Market for copper. Mean score for Q9: 24.21 Mean score for Q10: 26.30 Candidates performed better on Q10e (external costs) than Q9d (external benefits).Slide 16
17. 17. Q9 The National Health Service Health care theme tested for first time in data response in current course – still very popular among candidates. Candidates often successfully applied concepts to health care e.g. opportunity cost and production possibilities. Less successful in applying private and external benefits to health care.Slide 17
18. 18. Q9(d) Private and external benefits fromconsuming health care Mean score: 6.05 out of 14 marks Many responses made basic errors and so restricted the KAA marks: - incorrect diagram. - incorrect definition of private and external benefits. - failure to distinguish between private and external benefits in the discussion.Slide 18
19. 19. Q9(d) Price MPC=MSC M T P2 Pe Z MSB MPB Qe Q2 QuantitySlide 19
20. 20. Q9(d) Evaluation (2+2+2 or 3+3 marks) Popular responses discussed: Magnitude of the private benefits are huge (1m treated every 36 hours). Difficulty in measuring external benefits. Opportunity cost of the extra spending on health care.Slide 20
21. 21. Q9(d)How to improve Draw and label diagram accurately ( 4 marks). Define private & external benefits accurately (2+2 marks) Explain private benefits (life expectancy / quality of life / income) (3 marks).Explain external benefits (healthier workforce / more profits / tax revenue / less spread of contagious diseases) (3 marks).Slide 21
22. 22. Q10 Market for copper A familiar question on commodity prices requiring use of demand and supply analysis. Generally well answered especially Q10e on external costs; however, many struggled with minimum price diagram in Q10d.Slide 22
23. 23. Q10(d) Guaranteed minimum price Mean score 6.78 out of 14 marks Great variety in quality of answers, full mark range used. Some confused minimum price with buffer stock scheme. KAA 8 marks: Based on diagram and effects: higher output / higher price / incentives to produce / higher government spending / increase in costs for consumers of copper/Slide 23
24. 24. Q10(d) Guaranteed minimum price Price S Excess supply P1 Minimum Price Pe D 0 Q1 Qe Q2 Quantity of copperSlide 24
25. 25. Q10(d) Guaranteed minimum priceEvaluation: 6 marks (3+3 or 2+2+2) Discussion of: minimum price relative to free market price. price fluctuations can still occur above minimum price. price elasticity of demand and supply. government failure / opportunity cost. costs of storage and non-perishability. some producers may remain outside of scheme.Slide 25
26. 26. Q10(d) Guaranteed minimum priceHow to improve Ensure accurate and fully labelled diagram. Offer at least two evaluative points. Consider both positive and negative effects as this automatically triggers evaluation.Avoid confusion of minimum price with buffer stocks scheme – this was a common problem.Slide 26
27. 27. Summary of good practice for data responseanswersDefine key economic concepts in the question.Use the extract information.Calculate percentages / percentage changeDraw diagrams accurately and explain them.Carefully look at question instructions and then attempt toanswer, maintaining relevance.Practise past exam questions under timed conditions.Slide 27
28. 28. Summary of good practice for data responseanswersMaintain quality of presentation, especially in high mark basequestions.Offer evaluative comments when required (especially since 16out of 48 marks comprise this.Time allocation – approximately 1 minute a mark.Make use of detailed examiner reports showing candidateresponses and examiner guidance.Slide 28
29. 29. Unit 2: AS Macroeconomics Overall Statistics Mean score: 53 / 80 marks ‘A’ grade boundary: 63 marks ‘E’ grade boundary: 36 marksSlide 29
30. 30. Data response Significant number of evaluation marks (20 out of 80) especially for high mark base questions A standard formula for evaluation: • 12 from 30 marks • 4 each from two 12 mark questionsSlide 30
31. 31. Data response questions Both questions were accessible to candidates: 55% chose Q1 (inflation and unemployment) • • 45% chose Q2 (interest rates, house prices, savings and growth) Mean score for Q1: 53 Mean score for Q2: 53Slide 31
32. 32. Q1(a)(iii) Usefulness of information whenmaking interest rate decisionsMean score 6.48 out of 12 marksKAA 8 marks:Most answers identified at least one item of information andconsidered its potential impact on the price levelHowever, some candidates Did not explain the impact on the price levelSeemed unaware that the MPC mandate only targets inflationSlide 32
33. 33. Q1(a)(iii) Usefulness of information whenmaking interest rate decisionsEvaluation 4 marks:Many evaluated the effectiveness of monetary policy, ratherthan evaluating the usefulness of the information.How to improve –Make the explicit link between the items of information in the extracts and their effect on the price levelSlide 33
34. 34. *Q1(d) Fiscal and Supply-Side policies toreduce unemploymentMean score 20.33 out of 30 marksKAA 18 marks:Candidates understood the main policies and were able toillustrate their potential impact on unemployment level.A wide range of policies were considered and knowledge ofrecent events in the UK was applied.Slide 34
35. 35. *Q1(d) Fiscal and Supply-Side policies toreduce unemploymentEvaluation 12 marks:Many candidates provided suitable evaluation but some pointswere not developedHow to improve- Avoid generic evaluation points (ceteris paribus, magnitude, etc) unless applied to the question. Weigh up relative effectiveness Consider short term and long term impact such as • threat of default on the national debt • fairness of burdening future generations with debtSlide 35
36. 36. *Q2(c) Conflict between rapid economicgrowth and at least 2 other objectivesMean score 17.49 out of 30 marksKAA 18 marks: Vast majority of candidates identified 2 or 3 objectives Good analysis of conflict with other objectives. Excellent use of examples from the current situation Weaker candidates often wrote about a conflict between low unemployment and high economic growth.Slide 36
37. 37. *Q2(c) Conflict between rapid economicgrowth and at least 2 other objectivesEvaluation 12 marks: Many candidates • identified that much depended on the state of the economy and how close it was to capacity • had a good and efficient essay techniqueHow to improve – • If only two conflicts are identified, then develop each more fully to earn 6 marks for each point • Include evaluation points within analysis, not just in a conclusion.Slide 37
38. 38. Summary of good practice for data responseanswers Define key economic concepts in the question Use the extract information Use knowledge of recent world events and data Draw diagrams accurately and explain them Look carefully at question instructions before writing Practise past exam questions under timed conditionsSlide 38
39. 39. Summary of good practice for data responseanswers Offer evaluative comments when required (especially with 20 / 80 marks for evaluation) Time allocation – around 1 minute per mark Make use of detailed examiner reports showing candidate responses and examiner guidanceSlide 39
40. 40. Unit 3: A2 Microeconomics The Paper was seen as difficult, but the mean mark (48.4) was only 0.4 lower than in June 2010. The mark scheme allowed a wide selection of answers. For example, marking of question 9 was made more generous to compensate for what were perceived to be more challenging questions. SD Mean 1006 10.4 48.4 1106 10.7 48.0Slide 40
41. 41. A plea from many of the examiners: make handwriting legible. The problems in de-cyphering the scripts this year seemed far more acute than ever before, and students are penalised if their meaning cannot be clearly Slide 41
42. 42. Grade boundaries: June 2011 A* 63 A 56 B 49 C 42 D 35 E 28 N 21Slide 42
43. 43. Question 2: Overt collusion KEY: B There was confusion between tacit and overt collusion – many describing features of overt but referring to this as tacit. A common mistake was to choose A. Some candidates referred to oligopoly as having interdependence and therefore more risk of collaboration.Slide 43
44. 44. Question 5: Effect of a change infixed costs on marginal costsKEY: A Very few candidates explained this clearly. Definitions of marginal and fixed costs were sound, but many muddled answers linked an increase in marginal costs to fixed costs. Some top answers used a diagram to show the position efficiently.Slide 44
45. 45. Question 8: Performance targetsin the banks KEY: E Not many showed confidence in this answer, and some used the wording in the question to form their answer – naming “poor service” and “fines” without adding a great deal of explanation. A few attacked banks for “sloppy service” and unwillingness to lend to needy people.Slide 45
46. 46. Question 9c Success of competitionpolicy (12) Most answers included an explicit definition of competition policy. There was little use of the specifics of any cases beyond those seen in the extracts. The fines for price fixing and predatory pricing were seen often.Slide 46
47. 47. Question 9c continued Many used patent law as a competition policy. Price capping (limited relevance) was common, nationalisation, subsidies to start-ups, taxation, the 25% market share threshold and collusion investigations were all used. Weaker responses tended to describe institutions and their procedures.Slide 47
48. 48. 10d Effects on efficiency of themerger(16) This question was similar to 9d, though game theory gave candidates a base for their answer. Some candidates had prepared a game theory matrix but didn’t use it in context; better candidates scored 6 KAA marks easily and used game theory in evaluationSlide 48
49. 49. 10 d continued Evaluation usually took the form of saying that efficiency would worsen (as a counter argument). Better answers linked economies of scale to the context – others gave generic theory. The best answers on efficiency used varied data.Slide 49
50. 50. Reasons for disappointing marks: 8 mark questions often had no evaluation 12 mark questions often had a lone evaluation point (game theory is highly appropriate here). 16 mark questions – many did not leave an appropriate amount of timeSlide 50
51. 51. Final observations Evaluation earns 50% of marks for the data questions (except the 4 mark questions) Questions 9 and 10 will continue to have the mark distribution 4, 8, 12 & 16, although not always in that order. The number of entries was higher in January 2011 than June 2011 (both higher than 2010).Slide 51
52. 52. Review of Unit 6EC04: The Global economy June 2011Slide 52
53. 53. General observations (1)Paper proved to be accessible for most candidatesEssay performance was often good but the part (b) questionswere quite challengingTime allocation was mainly good, but there was evidence ofsome rushing in last parts of the data questionsIllegibility is becoming a more significant problemSlide 53
54. 54. Unit 4: Overall statistics Mean Score: 60.1 Standard deviation: 13.0 A grade boundary: 67/100 A* boundary: 74 E grade boundary: 39Slide 54
55. 55. Section A: EssaysQuestion 3 was the most popular (trading blocs and monetary union)- 47% of candidates attempted itQuestion 1 attracted about 30% of the candidates and 23% of the candidates answered question 2 Mean marks: Question 1: 31.4 Question 2: 29.9 Question 3: 33.3Slide 55
56. 56. Data response questions Question 5 was more popular than question 4 with 57% of candidates attempting Q5 and 43% attempting Q4 Mean marks: Question 4: 29.0 Question 5: 27.7Slide 56
57. 57. Q2(a): Causes of Absolute Poverty in a developing countryGeneral: Some impressive responses with many using case study material to good effect Wide range of factors included Some weaker answers saw Africa as a country!How to improve: Include definition of absolute poverty Ensure answer is related to a specific countryInclude more evaluative comments e.g. why debt might help to reduce absolute poverty in the long runSlide 57
58. 58. Q2(b): Linking reduction in absolutepoverty and economic developmentGeneral: Generally unimpressive answers: too many saw development as synonymous with growth; Too many answers simply focused on ways by which absolute poverty could be reducedHow to improve: Begin with definition of economic development Explain ways a reduction in absolute poverty could help development e.g. more healthcare so better life expectancy Slide 58
59. 59. ESSAYS: SOME ISSUES A failure to focus directly on the question set – candidates often wrote all they knew about a topic Students tried to manipulate questions to answers they had pre-learned Inadequate knowledge of recent economic history e.g. the banking crisis and recession A distinct lack of analysis in many responses59
60. 60. Summary of good practice on essays Write a brief plan Define key terms included in the title Use the context: don’t pre-rehearse Apply key concepts or models Include diagrams integrated into the analysis Include evaluationSlide 60
61. 61. Summary of good practice on essays Time allocation: spend no more than 1 hour on the essay Use paragraphs for each separate point At least 3 points and 1 evaluative comment for part (a) at least 4 points and 2 evaluative comments for part (b) Make use of detailed report and ResultsPlus showing candidate responses and examiner guidance.Slide 61
62. 62. Section B: Data Response5 part questions – with ‘stretch and challenge’ Part (a): 5 marks for knowledge and applicationPart (b): 8 marks for knowledge, application & analysis Part (c): 10 marks of which 4 are for evaluation Part (d): 12 marks of which 5 are for evaluation Part (e): 15 marks of which 6 are for evaluationSlide 62
63. 63. Q5(a) Role of the WTOMean score: 4.18 out of 5 Answered well Most candidates considered WTO role in reducing trade barriers/promoting free trade 2 marks available for data reference e.g. WTO role in settling dispute between US and Brazil How to improve:Refer to role of WTO in settling disputes; have some knowledge about WTO rounds of talksSlide 63
64. 64. Q5(c) Extent to which higher savings inUS might eliminate trade imbalancesbetween China and USMean Mark: 4.64 out of 10 – a challenging questionMain weaknesses: Link between higher savings and lower consumption and imports not established clearly Little by way of evaluation Higher interest rates seen as the cause of higher savings, followed by discussion of effects of higher interest ratesSlide 64
65. 65. Q5 (c) continued Best answers: Used concepts e.g. increase in MPS; link to a fall in C and, therefore, to a fall in M Or employed AD/AS analysis Discussed the link between savings and investment Evaluated well, e.g. on the significance of the size of the US trade deficit How to improve: Use concepts; include data reference; comment on significance of other factors which might correct trade imbalances between US and China65
66. 66. Q5 (d) Extent to which large trade balances are a cause for concernMean mark: 5.94 out of 12 This proved to be challenging for many candidatesWeaknesses: ‘Trade imbalances’ did not appear to be a term familiar to many candidates but it is in the specification! Confusion between trade deficits and budget deficits Too little analysis and evaluation in many answers Theoretical answers with no reference to the context Slide 66
67. 67. Q5 (d) continuedBetter responses often focused on issue of trade deficits- Lack of competitiveness, implications for unemployment Loss of comparative advantage Potential problems of financing trade deficits Evaluation in terms of surpluses on the financial account;exchange rate adjustment; imports of capital goods in the short run which might resolve the problem in the long runHow to improve: Start with an explanation of the term ‘trade imbalances’Consider broader issues e.g. danger of increased protectionism; asset price bubbles67
68. 68. Data Response Performance – some areas for improvement A minority failed to answer all parts of the question Many candidates simply ignore the data Some evidence of difficulty in comprehending the data Many responses jump from identification to evaluation with little or no analysis Quality of Written Communication is an issue in some scripts68
69. 69. Summary of good practice for Unit 4data response answers Define key economic concepts in the question Use the extract information Make use of the charts/diagrams provided Ensure analysis goes beyond a superficial outline Draw diagrams accurately and explain them Include evaluation in the 3 higher mark questionsSlide 69
70. 70. Final word on ECO4…….From the general comments: “Once again it was pleasing to see some superbresponses…….In these answers it was evident that candidates answered the questions in context and had read beyond the syllabus. Such scripts are not only a credit to the candidates themselves but also to their teachers whose inspiration and sound teaching must have played a crucial role.”70
71. 71. TEACHER SUPPORT MATERIALS www.edexcel.com > qualifications > GCE from 2008 > Economics SCHEMES OF WORK More detail on content & timings References to texts, websites, activities GETTING STARTED Major content/focus areas Revision sheets Written with students in mind71
72. 72. TEXTBOOKS Teacher and student preferences vary Current texts still useable New editions for this specification Unit guides and activities Edexcel materials72
73. 73. USEFUL WEB RESOURCES BIZED.CO.UK TUTOR2U & Brynsaseconomicsblog Anforme.co.uk BBC.co.uk (Steph Flanders) Gapminder.org Statistics.gov.uk73
74. 74. Examples of extra resources: THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST [Tim Harford] THE ECONOMIC NATURALIST [Robert Frank] Gapminder.com GLOBALISATION & ITS DISCONTENTS [Joe Stiglitz]74