Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick Tips for Unit 2: Managing the Economy (Edexcel)

1. Once the examination started, please ignore the Extracts and Figures. Jump to the page with questions. Quickly run through all those questions and try to get a 'feel' which one you are more comfortable with. Comfortable is highly subjective and of course this technique will not work for those candidates who sit for the paper with very minimal preparations. Logic is, both question 1 and 2 will appear equally tough. As for me, I define comfortable as being able to more or less answer those questions without taking too much time to think/ draft the answers and evaluations/ can be answered without even the need to refer Extracts

2. In case if both questions appear to be equally hard even if you are well-prepared, then watch out for 3 things. First, is whether the Figures presented are easily understood ? Second is look out for the heavyweight questions which are no other than the 30 marks essay. Are they somewhat familiar? Are they about policies to resolve macroeconomic objectives? Finally, look out for shorter questions. Do you think you are more comfortable with the first 50 marks or the last 30 marks question? Again, this is highly subjective and you need to have some good judging skills here and please make it fast since time is scarce here

3. Please make a wise decision. The choice that you make this Friday will either make you or break you!! One of the early indicators that you are heading into trouble is making a U-turn after first 10 minutes. If that were to happen, chances are you will not be able to finish the paper on time and hence I would like to remind you once again, MAKE A WISE CHOICE

4. Stick to my REDD (Refer, Evaluate, Define, Diagram) principle all the time. How well you score highly depends on this 4 fundamental instructions. Believe me. Every question that you encounter will definitely be made up of either 1 or more of the REDD combinations, unless a simple EXPLAIN question

5. JEDATE (Justify, Evaluate, Discuss, Assess, To What Extent and Examine) is the acronym for evaluative questions. Somehow I realise that in the recent, very few evaluative questions use JUSTIFY

6. Analyse, Outline, Explain and Contrast will not be requiring evaluations from you. Providing evaluations for these instructions are a waste of time. I notice that candidates always confuse between Analyse and Assess

7. Short evaluation questions will always have 4 marks as evaluation. It can be single 4 marks or 2 evaluations with 2 marks each

8. Practice your AD-AS question. Confirm there will be one. Anything that influence spending such as interest rate, consumer confidence, government spending and slash in income tax (unless stated otherwise), fall in sterling etc will affect movement of AD. Anything that got to do with EPIC (Efficiency, Productivity, Incentive and Costs) affect AS such as oil prices, wages, deregulation onto businesses etc

9. It is said that demand side essays shouldn't contain EPIC words at all since it will place the examiner in a position to think that you are actually confuse between the transmission mechanism of fiscal/ monetary policy with supply side policies. On the other hand, supply side essays shouldn't have words like consumer confidence, consumer spending etc or else you will be labelled as confused between the transmission mechanisms of supply side with demand side

10. The pillar for the 30 marks essay will be 6+12+12 where 6 marks are for definition of policies, explain phrases in "..", reference to Extract or Figure, any macroeconomic objectives and AD/AS diagram

11. Please fully label the diagram or else you are just doing charity by giving away free 2/3 marks

12. READ all my transmission mechansims towards the bottom of the page

13. Typical 'surefire' evaluations for policies are time lag, depending on which part of the economy UK is operating at (elastic/ inelastic AS), conflicts with macro objectives e.g. growth achieved but at the expense of higher inflation etc and fiscal/monetary policy vs. supply side and you say supply side policies are better because growth achieved without inflationary pressure

14. How to elaborate? Master all the definitions and bring them out at the right time and your writing can be evolving around that key word. If not, bring out an example, or real life situations in UK economy e.g. coal mine workers strike, passive resistance during the World War, Greece is the 'black-sheep' of EU economy, the collapse of Icelandic economy? This are what I called as 'writing lubricant'. They allow you to find more stuffs to write about. To spice up, use power and attractive adjectives like BOE has entered into unchartered territory, peripheral areas of the Eurozone, China is flexing its economic muscle etc

15. Suggested time is 35 minutes for the essay. Please learn how to rephrase. There is no such thing as having insufficient time in the exam. Why write long winded and unnecessary statements/ points when you can actually write it in a much simpler way?

16. Watch out for real GDP/ growth vs. HDI. They haven't been out in a while and can send another shockwave in the exam hall. I won't be surprise if they carry as much as 16 marks

17. Ask simple and yet powerful questions like HOW, WHY and WHAT as you write

18. Watch out for 'tsunami' in the 30 marks essays. I have been observing the trend closely in the past 5 papers. Expect it to be rough this time but nonetheless, it will be evolving around solving any of the 6 macroeconomic objectives

Cheers and may the force be with you!! It is 10pm Malaysian time now. Will be catching a flight in hours time, so don't expect me to reply that soon. This will be the last posting for Unit 2

All da best 

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