What is evaluation?
Evaluation is about making critical judgements and coming to reasoned conclusions on the basis of the evidence that you have in front of you.
Strong evaluative answers use supporting evidence to justify an argument. Some of that evidence might be found in the stimulus material that accompanies a data response question.
Frequently the evidence can come from your own knowledge and awareness having studied a subject for nearly two years.
Justifying an argument carries more marks than making the argument since stating an argument is often a relatively simple task.
Examples of command words in a question that require or invite evaluation
The command words within a question that definitely require evaluation include the following:
Evaluate – e.g. compare a number of possible views about an economic problem or an issue and come to a reasoned conclusion about which view holds most weight
E.g. evaluate the record of the Bank of England since it was made independent of government in May 1997.
Assess - analyse an economic issue and then weigh up the relative importance of different strands E.g. assess the possible effects of a rise in the external value of the pound against the currencies of our major trading partners
Do you think – a question that invites a personal response to a question but where the highest marks are awarded for good analysis backed up with reasoned argument and supporting evidence.
E.g. do you think that a national system of road pricing should be introduced for
Discuss – a question that prompts you to provide and then compare a range of possible views about an issue or a problem.
E.g. discuss the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a national minimum wage into the
Criticise analyse the problems facing
To what extent – again a question that invites quite a broad analysis and discussion and in particular a judgement on the relative importance of something or the relative merits / de-merits of a policy
E.g. to what extent should the government run a high budget deficit as a way of stimulating economic growth