Presentation on theme: "HIGHER ECONOMICS - EXAM TECHNIQUE Mark Moore. Why Bother? Because exam technique can make a significant difference to your final grade."— Presentation transcript:
HIGHER ECONOMICS - EXAM TECHNIQUE Mark Moore
Why Bother? Because exam technique can make a significant difference to your final grade
Allocate your time fairly
Attempt 4 Questions 3 questions, @ 23 marks = 69% B 4 questions, @ 18 marks = 72% A
Choose your Questions Carefully Work out which 2 optional questions to answer
State the Obvious Define the key terms in the questions Give formulae Diagrams help Examples
Plan your Answer
Hints & Tips Weekly exam question practice Weekly round-up quiz Use of interesting resources
Summary Basic knowledge Exam technique Practice
SECTION A – two data response items – 25 marks each - both must be attempted. Read each item slowly and carefully before looking at the questions. Try to gain an overall understanding of the passage and any diagrams, tables etc included. Remember that the items are pieces of data and not case studies.
One paper divided into two sections. Section A – two data response questions, 25 marks each. Section B – six extended response questions, 25 marks each; two of which must be attempted. Duration – 2hours 30minutes
Discuss stability as an economic aim. 25 marks Evaluate the effectiveness of economic forecasting agencies. 25 marks
If a firm increases all its factor inputs by 50% and, as a result, its long run average total costs rise by 50%, which of the following has it experienced? A Internal economies of scale B Internal diseconomies of scale C Constant returns to scale D A 50% increase in total output
The Importance of correct exam technique In Higher Economics exams, a high percentage of marks are lost because of poor exam technique rather than a lack of knowledge or understanding – especially in Section B.
Allocate your scarce resource ie time, efficiently. You have 37.5 minutes per question. Try not to spend more than 40 minutes on any question.
Note the command words – describe, explain, identify etc – and do what they say. Look at the marks for each question and adjust the length of your answer accordingly. If a question is split eg (a) (i) and (ii), read part (ii) before answering part (i). Never leave a question unanswered.
SECTION B - any two of the six extended response questions – 25 marks each Carefully read all the questions in full, and take time to choose the two you will answer, to avoid making a wrong choice. Look at the marks for the dodgy parts and use them to decide which question to answer. Once you have decided which questions to attempt, do not change your mind – this wastes time.
If an ideal question comes up, avoid spending too much time on it. Make sure you answer the question that is asked – not the one you hoped was going to be asked. Have an open mind and avoid trying to distort your model answer to fit the question.
Pay close attention to the command words – and obey them. Make sure you show clearly where one part of your answer ends [eg part (a)], and the next one begins. Use the marks allotted to each part of the question to judge how many points you should make. If the question asks for a specific number of points eg describe two advantages for the UK of joining the eurozone, describe two points only.
As the bulk of the marks are awarded for development the main skill students have to acquire is the ability to develop fully every answer, without drifting from the point or repeating previous points. Assume that the person marking your paper is an intelligent adult who knows very little about Economics.
Continually ask yourself Is the answer I have just written really worth full marks? If not, try to think of new, relevant ways of adding to it.
The marking in Economics is positive. Marks are awarded for statements which are correct and relevant. If a question asks for a diagram, you will not gain full marks unless you draw one.
Make sure that all your diagrams are carefully and neatly drawn and fully labelled. It is usually a good idea to begin your answer by defining the terms used in the question. Answer all questions in ink – pencil fades.
SPECIFIC ADVICE Scarcity What is meant by scarcity? 5 marks. Scarcity is the situation where there are not enough resources to produce all the goods and services people would like to have.
People in every country have unlimited wants (list the reasons) for goods and services but in every country the resources (state what they are) needed to produce the goods and services are limited. Therefore no country in the world has enough resources to produce enough goods and services to completely satisfy all its people.
Resource allocation – especially the price mechanism Make sure you know how changes in demand bring about changes in supply – and do not forget to mention the key role played by profit. Make sure you know the advantages of the PM as well as the disadvantages. Why governments intervene is mainly because of market failure and how they intervene is mainly through some type of government expenditure funded by taxation.
Efficiency Technical efficiency – maximum output from available inputs; economic efficiency – using inputs to satisfy as many wants as possible. Technical efficiency is a necessary but insufficient condition for economic efficiency.
PPCs Remember that PPCs show combinations of goods that can be produced. All points on the boundary are technically efficient combinations. Distinguish between movements within the curve and movements outside it
Demand and Price elasticity of demand Beware mixing up their determinants The main importance of PED is its effect on total revenue. Do not mention regressive demand curves unless the question specifically asks about them.
Price elasticity of supply. The main importance of PES is that it determines the extent to which the price of a product will change when its demand changes. A major importance of PED is that it determines the extent to which the price of a product will change when its ? changes.
Returns and Costs. Returns are output in relation to input and when returns are increasing this reduces costs and vice versa. Practice drawing MC, AFC, AVC and ATC ….. on one diagram.
National Income. The main problem involves the Multiplier. Many candidates fail to explain the link between spending and income ie one persons spending is another persons income.
Inflation and employment. Make sure you know the trends, and the reasons for the trends in both, for the last ten years.
Government in the economy. Remember that government aims can complement as well as conflict. Fiscal policy – do not confuse Budget deficits with Trade deficits. Understand how Budget deficits and surpluses affect AMD and therefore affect inflation, employment, growth and trade.
Current Monetary policy aims to set interest rates to achieve the governments inflationary target. It is therefore aimed at controlling inflation – not necessarily reducing it. Know how and why interest rate changes affect such variables as: borrowing, saving, investment, mortgage payments, real income, spending and exchange rates.
International Trade. Absolute advantage and comparative advantage are easier to explain in terms of opportunity cost than by using figures.
Balance of Payments Need to be able to describe the current and capital accounts and explain how transactions in the latter lead to transactions in the former. Be aware of the UK B of P over the last few years. Know the reasons for our Balance of Trade deficits and our surpluses in services. Be aware of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of trade deficits. If asked about measures to cure trade deficits, do not base your answer solely on import controls.
Exchange rates When describing the factors which influence the demand for and supply of sterling, make sure you mention flows of hot money. Be aware of recent trade developments.
The international environment. The EU Three important aspects. The operation and reform of the CAP The effects of EU enlargement The arguments for and against the UK adopting the euro
Developing economies Questions on developing economies tend now to concentrate more on the effectiveness of different types of aid, rather than the characteristics of developing economies. You should also be aware of the benefits and importance of free trade and debt relief. You should note that sustainable development was recently added at the end of the syllabus.
ALL THE VERY BEST ON MAY 26 TH The multiple choice answer is ………. B