Unit 1 Economics (Micro) Exam Tips


Published on

A selection of exam tips for improved performance on this unit 1 paper

Published in: Technology, Economy & Finance
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Unit 1 Economics (Micro) Exam Tips

  1. 1. AS Micro Exam Tips Command words in questions Command Word Argue Assess Discuss Evaluate Explain Interpret State Define What does it mean This term appears often in essay questions and requires you to examine, analyze carefully and present considerations for and against items involved Express the meaning of, translate, exemplify (give examples of), solve, or comment upon the subject. Usually you will give your judgement or reaction to the problem, but always make use of evidence Give reasons or present facts for and against an issue; try to provide by giving reasons or evidence for and against Give reasons or present facts for and against an issue; try to provide by giving reasons or evidence for and against Present in brief, clear form Make a careful judgement of the worth of something (e.g. a theory) in the light of its truth, usefulness etc. Give supporting evidence. You might include your opinion to a lesser extent, or refer to other theories. Clarify and interpret the material you present. State the ‘how’ and ‘why’, the results, and where possible causes Give concise, clear meanings Remember that during the exam, in your writing you should take particular care with your spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as the clarity of expression Objective test questions for AQA  Bring a calculator  Draw sketch diagrams if needed  Aim to complete the 25 questions on the paper in 20-22 minutes  Expect approximately 8 questions on supply and demand; 8 on market failure and government intervention; 3-4 on elasticities and 5-7 on others (PPC, opportunity cost, factors of production etc.) Supported Multiple Choice Questions for EdExcel (i) (ii) (iii) There is one mark for selecting the correct option There are three marks for explanation It is possible to achieve 3 explanation marks even if the incorrect option has been selected The correct answer is B (1 mark) but how best to get the full 3 marks for this question?   Define your terms i.e. price mechanism (a mechanism to allocate scarce resources through changes in demand and supply (gets 1 mark) Show a supply and demand diagram depicting a surplus and how a fall in price leads to market equilibrium (contraction in supply and extension in demand) (1+1 marks)
  2. 2. General advice for supported MC questions (note: this refers to the EdExcel Board only)           Define key terms throughout questions 1 to 8 on the EdExcel paper Consider the key concept or model that lies behind question Apply the information provided e.g. the effects of a tax or a subsidy on a market Annotate the diagrams provided in the question paper e.g. shading in or labelling areas of consumer & producer surplus, Govt spending on a subsidy or agency spending on a buffer stock Be prepared to annotate tables of data too - complete them or make some simple calculations Be prepared to calculate percentages and show your workings, including a relevant formula Reject one or more of the options – remember to briefly explain why you have rejected them A suitable diagram can score two marks out of three - be prepared to offer simple diagrammatic analysis - this unit credits the application of demand and supply diagrams to economic issues Be prepared to offer economic analysis, for example, explaining how the free rider problem occurs in the provision of public goods. This will always be credited with marks. Offer real world examples as a way of applying theory - for example causes of geographical immobility, causes of imperfect information Hints for getting higher scores on data questions One data response question is usually based on applying the theories of supply and demand and also government intervention in markets i.e. indirect taxes, subsidies, price floors or ceilings, buffer stock schemes, carbon trading and so on). The other question is usually on one or more aspects of market failure (externalities, merit or demerit goods, public goods, monopoly and also the distribution of income). Keep in mind that some questions will overlap these two broad areas. Definition questions:     A clear, accurate succinct definition is all that is needed for full marks. Where appropriate, this could be supported by an example or by a relevant formula It is often the case that one full sentence is sufficient A correct diagram to show understanding of a term may also get full marks Data Description E.g. “Identify 2 points of comparison”, “Identify 2 significant changes”, “Compare 2 significant changes” or “Identify 2 significant features”.         2 Two features should be clearly stated, ideally each in a separate paragraph Each point should represent a significant feature of the data. A good answer provides overview, backed up by evidence from the data Each feature identified must be supported by the use of relevant statistics Use of data must be accurate, e.g. the units must be correctly stated (e.g. $s per capita) No marks are awarded for candidates who just ‘trawl’ through the data – the instructions are to identify two main/significant features of the data For time series data, give an overview, i.e. “over the whole period the price of coffee rose by X%” Do not try to explain the data! This is not what the question is asking – you will be wasting valuable time in the exam and might struggle to complete the questions carrying the highest marks www.tutor2u.net
  3. 3. Analysis and Explanation Questions These nearly always require at least one analysis diagram to score full marks e.g. “With the help of a demand and supply diagram.” Here are some of the key diagrams you will need to know for AS microeconomics Production Possibility Curve (and shifts in) Negative externalities in production and consumption Price elasticity of demand and total revenue Positive externalities in production and consumption Shifts in supply and demand Economies of large scale production Consumer and producer surplus Maximum and minimum prices Allocative efficiency in a market Indirect taxes De-merit goods and information failure Government subsidies for producers and consumers Buffer stock agency schemes Elasticity of supply – different supply curves To score high marks on explanation and analysis      Define the economic terms that are in the question Make good use of one (possibly more) diagrams - fully labelled with correct units on axes. When explaining something, there are marks for identifying a relevant factor and constructing a logical argument linked to the factor identified Additional marks are awarded for relevant use of elasticity concepts – if you change the elasticity, often you get a different outcome (e.g. the effects of taxation on demand for de-merit goods) Carefully look at question instructions and then attempt to answer, maintaining relevance Developing your evaluation skills For students taking EdExcel Unit 1 there is a standard formula for evaluation:  6 from 14 marks  4 from 10 or 12 marks  2 from 8 marks  2 from 6 marks  Evaluation may be spread across three or four of the five sub-questions in the data response. Here are some thoughts from the examiners (i) Before you can evaluate you must analyze! (ii) Evaluate each argument as it is introduced into the answer (iii) Examiners like students who develop clear chains of reasoning in their answers (iv) Try to make at least 3 “explicit” references to the data given in the question (v) “Answers do not always have a clear, logical structure”. Hints for better marks: a. Identify the area of economics which is being tested in the essay-style question b. Outline the relevant theory, using a diagram if possible (they really do help!) c. Evaluate arguments/policies as you go d. Develop one key point per paragraph and leave a clear line between each paragraph e. Remember to come to a ‘final judgement’ including referring back to the data f. A conclusion is essential and should not just repeat earlier points g. Leave 5 minutes for a final judgement of 4-5 lines. This is time well spent. Try to incorporate a new idea, e.g. how a policy may impact on different parties; how the policy may have different short v long run effects  Some attempt should be made to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the different viewpoints. [Rank them if possible]  Where possible, use data to provide support for arguments or to refute a point of view  Final judgement might be qualified by statements that include phrases such as ‘it depends on’.  Useful evaluative words: “However, nevertheless, it is likely that, on the other hand….” 3 www.tutor2u.net