Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Economics: Top Ten Tips OCR

The timing for both papers is 112.5 minutes and there are 60 marks. (Almost TWO minutes a mark! Another great reason to improve your English - think of the time advantage you will have!)

The short answer questions should be KEPT short. Yeah, they're easy but spend your extra time on the longer questions. Remember positive marking so make sure you develop and evaluate your answers.

To get an A grade (as many of you did in January) , you need to score 80% or 48/60.

Right, now to the tips (adapted from tutor2u):

1. Read the case study carefully noting any graphs or numerical data. Your answers should be written in context and use information in the case study. Fail to refer to the case study could mean you are not answering the question. And if you don't answer the question....Look for “prompts” which will help you to answer some of the questions.

2. Learn definitions: there will be two or three 2 mark questions which require a definition of a basic term. Go through the glossary in your textbook (s). Also make sure every single term in the syllabus (the one you keep in your BLUE file) can be defined. Try writing out the defintions and keep them somewhere you see every day - a table tennis bat?

3. Look at the numerical data carefully: do not confuse percentages or index numbers with units of currency or any other value. Merely describing the data will get few marks; you are likely to be asked to compare values. Make one or two points and use figures to illustrate what you are writing.

4. Diagrams: When you are asked to draw a diagram, use pencil and ruler, label both axes fully and any lines/curves you draw. Label any points clearly; you need to be able to show how and why the equilibrium changes. (Well-drawn diagrams enable you to get a lot of marks quickly.)
In the question we did in Group E today most people achieved full marks but on the second question, marks were low. Some marks are just there for the taking - especially from graphs.

5. Do not confuse micro and macro diagrams. In F581 (Markets in action) you are likely to use demand and supply diagrams. In F582 (The National and International Economy) you will almost certainly need to draw a AD/AS diagram. Practise drawing diagrams - especially the 24 we practised in April!

6. In F582, do not confuse investment and saving. An increase in output does not automatically mean that the current account of the balance of payments improves. Do not confuse a budget deficit or surplus with a current account deficit or surplus.

7. Three questions on each paper require evaluation. To get an A grade, you must do well in these questions. Look for directions like comment and discuss. Write your explanation and then add a comment about how significant a change is or how much it will affect something or what could limit the effects. (Spend about 10 minutes on 6 mark questions which require evaluation.)

8. Answer the question! Make sure that you answer the question set, not the one you wish had been set. This is very important when we look at model answers etc - don't 'learn' these simply to repeat them in the exam - it may not be the same question!

9. Structuring the longer essay: For the last, 18 mark, question you should think carefully about what is required and spend two or three minutes planning an answer. Write a short essay with an introduction, two or three paragraphs of argument and a conclusion which includes evaluation and answers the question. You should allow 38 minutes for this question.

10. Legibility rules ok!: Papers are scanned before marking. Write neatly in black ink (not PINK) in the spaces provided. If you need to use extra sheets of paper, make this clear.

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