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Bristol Year 12 Conference Answering Data Response Questions John Birchall.

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1 Bristol Year 12 Conference Answering Data Response Questions John Birchall

2 Key Skills – similar to AS The economics exam tests four types of assessment objectives: knowledge, application of knowledge, analysis and evaluation: Many questions are marked against a Levels Response scheme. They normally focus on: Level 1 tests your knowledge of the syllabus and your ability to express that knowledge e.g. the make up of the balance of payments. Or ways of measuring unemployment and inflation. Defining terms clearly is often a good way to start an answer. Level 2 test your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to particular problems and issues.

3 The higher level skills – tested more at A2 Level 3 tests your ability to use economic theories and concepts to analyse micro and macroeconomic problems e.g. to use aggregate demand & supply diagrams to show rising unemployment caused by a negative output gap. Or show the effects of an import tariff on domestic producers and consumer. Level 4 tests your ability to evaluate problems and policies and make informed and reasoned judgements based on theory and the evidence provided e.g. short term and long term implications. Evaluation must be based on analysis for the top marks to be awarded.

4 Command Words Lower Order Skills Knowledge & Application of Knowledge Knowledge & Application of Knowledge Calculate: Work out using the information provided Calculate: Work out using the information provided Define: Give the exact meaning Define: Give the exact meaning Describe: Give a description of Describe: Give a description of Give (an account of): As `describe Give (an account of): As `describe Give an example: Give a particular example Give an example: Give a particular example How (explain how): In what way or in what ways How (explain how): In what way or in what ways Identify: Point out Identify: Point out Illustrate: Give examples/diagram Illustrate: Give examples/diagram Outline: Describe without detail Outline: Describe without detail State: Make clear State: Make clear Summarise: Give main points, without detail Summarise: Give main points, without detail Which: Give a clear example/state what Which: Give a clear example/state what

5 More on Command Words – Higher Order Skills Analyse Economic Problems and Issues Analyse: Set out the main points. Apply: Use in a specific way. Compare: Give similarities and differences. Consider: Give your thoughts about. Explain (why): Give clear reasons. Justify/account for: Give reasons for.

6 More on Command Words – Higher Order Skills = more marks at A2 Evaluate Arguments and Evidence: making informed judgements Assess: Show how important something is. Criticise: Give an opinion, support with evidence. Discuss: Give the importance arguments, for and against. Evaluate: Discuss the importance of, making some attempt to weight your opinions. To what extent: Make a judgement.

7 Lets think about what you will be asked The data response questions are ones that students often find difficult. So, lets look at what they normally ask you to do. Describe the main changes / fluctuations in a data series – these will appear as they do in AS exams in a table or chart. Describe the main changes / fluctuations in a data series – these will appear as they do in AS exams in a table or chart. Making relevant comparisons between two or more pieces of data – this is a popular FIRST QUESTION – again quite like AS. Making relevant comparisons between two or more pieces of data – this is a popular FIRST QUESTION – again quite like AS. Accounting for changes in economic data – again a familiar style at AS level. Accounting for changes in economic data – again a familiar style at AS level. Explain basic economic relationships – once again AS papers have these in them. Explain basic economic relationships – once again AS papers have these in them.

8 Some other things they will want you to answer Identify and evaluate possible effects of government policies – again in AS. Assess problems in forecasting future movements in economic variables – less common at AS. Assess / evaluate the impact of changes in a variable – not quite so common at AS. So, lets spend a few minutes thinking about what each of these really means.

9 Types of Questions Lets think about what they might ask you. As there are 3 Awarding Bodies in England alone I do not know which Specification you will be following. So, I have taken a typical question and developed some suggested answers. Look at the suggestions and think how that cover the skills you are supposed to show Remember Economics has concepts, principles and theories, so please use them. We also like the correct diagrams to appear Also, its your interpretation + skill use of what they give you.

10 Lets look at how you should answer a Data Response paper at A2 (a) Using the extract BRIEFLY compare the real income growth of the poorest and richest households for and (4 marks) What is the framework against which you should work? 1 mark for EACH valid point and 1 mark for each supporting reference.

11 Question (a) continued You MUST keep to the SPECIFIC time period(s) mentioned. You must answer BOTH time periods. You MUST include MAGNITUDES. So, a good answer would have included: A quick description of – with the difference between rich and poor being noted. A quick description of – with the difference between rich and poor being noted. The second period saw more equal growth between the rich and poor. The second period saw more equal growth between the rich and poor. Use of data to support above. Use of data to support above.

12 Question (b) (b) EXPLAIN (Command Word) WHY changes in unemployment and labour inactivity rates CAUSED the GROWTH of income inequality in UK to slow down in 1990s (6 marks) The data showed that the growth in inequality slowed and NOT that income inequalities were reduced. ALWAYS READ THE DATA VERY CAREFULLY.

13 Question (b) continued What did they want? Definition of unemployment Definition of unemployment Definition of labour inactivity Definition of labour inactivity Explain WHAT is meant by income inequality Explain WHAT is meant by income inequality 2 marks for each = 6 marks available USE the CASE STUDY wherever possible

14 Question (b) – some tips Look and see if both sets of the DATA changed in same direction. See if there is a LINK regarding the TWO sets of data and if so explain this. Watch your timing as in most Awarding Bodies this low order question will only be worth a small number of marks.

15 Question (c) Now the skills and marks start to be more demanding. Level Response Mark Scheme – so think about wide-ranging analysis (causes and consequences), clear focus and explicit and accurate examples. Think CONTENT, APPLICATION, ANALYSIS and EVLAUTION. Look at marks available and command word. Then think TIMING.

16 Question (c) (c) Analyse how an increase in income tax rates can affect total tax revenue (10 marks) Once again always DEFINE where possible. So, tell them what is meant by the terms included above, such as high levels of income tax, labour market incentives. Then address the direction of the question, which is HOW.

17 Question (c) To score highly they will want you to show explicit and accurate explanations. So, they will want you to consider the SIGNIFICANCE of this relationship. Is it or is it not a major influence on total tax revenue? Use the numbers they will give you to SUPPORT your analysis. There might also be quotes you can use from Case Study to SUPPORT your findings.

18 Question (c) Then its HOW that needs careful consideration. Will higher taxes have an adverse affect on labour market incentives? If so WHY, HOW, etc. Will higher taxes impact on the amount of hours worked = supply and so a DIAGRAM could be included – backward bending supply curve of labour

19 Question (c) Laffer Curve, are your findings the same for EACH part of the LABOUR MARKET – all of these will add value to your answer. ELASTICITY is a concept that pops up in most questions. Always ask if your analysis needs BOTH a macro and a micro inclusion – again this tends to add value. The MULIPLIER is another favourite in A2 answers.

20 Question (c) Your conclusion will return to your opinion as to the MAGNITUDE/SIGNIFICANCE of the relationship they have asked you to analyse. Be bold, say I think that …. etc. Its a HIGH ORDER question but not one to spend too much time on. Probably 2 marks for explanation, 2 marks for relevant diagrams and then the balance depends on how well you support your use of theory to explain the nature of the relationship.

21 Question (c) Now, these last questions tend to be high markers. In this example I am assuming 30 marks will be available. They will want you to use TWO ways of developing your answer. These are: the data/information they have given you and YOUR economic knowledge. You MUST evaluate, else your ceiling in 2/3 of marks available.

22 Question (d) – Evaluate the opinion that the benefits resulting from a more even distribution of income outweigh the costs So, its YOUR opinion based on data/theory. What are the benefits? – fairness, social cohesion, better access to services such as health What are the costs? – disincentives, why work, gap between progressive tax rates and benefits So, WHAT direction will you take?

23 Question (d) If you have any examples, numbers, etc. use them = add value. Look for quotes and number from Case Study = adds value. Stick to TWO or THREE valid observations (that are based on economic theory) and develop these. Possible inclusions – is fairness a nice idea or will disincentives arise? Say HOW such disincentives might have an adverse affect on the macro economy.

24 Question (d) Think MACRO objectives – how might this scenario impact on growth, employment? Always think MARKET FAILURES – how have these arisen and what can be done? Is GOVERNMENT FAILURE part of this topic and how will affect your opinion Form an opinion – yes you agree with the opinion BECAUSE, BECAUSE and usually a BUT or HOWEVER = balanced evaluation

25 Question (d) Remember – you must SUPPORT your opinion with BOTH data and economic theory/knowledge. A little trick: think – What has happened and why and what would I do about it and why? Timing, presentation, diagrams, etc. This tends to decide your grade outcome. Any questions?


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