Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Strategies for the Long Essays in Unit 2: Managing the Economy


Generally, there are three types of long essays (30m) for Unit 2: Managing the Economy:

a)      Many to one. Students will be tested on their ability to use macroeconomic policies to solve a specific economic problem. For instance the usage of demand side policies or/ and supply side policies to reduce unemployment etc

b)      One to many. Students will be required to know how does one specific policy (rise in government spending, lower income tax etc)/ macroeconomic problem (rising unemployment, weaker pound etc) may affect the UK’s macroeconomic objectives

c)       Many to many. Finally, students may be asked to use suitable economic macroeconomic policies to overcome the problems mentioned in last few paragraphs of the Extract or how does a set of macroeconomic policies can affect the UK’s macroeconomic objectives

Quick review:

June 2009 Q1 (the very first Unit 2 examination, after the new GCE specification in 2008)
(d) Evaluate the use of supply side policies to achieve economic growth (30m) (many to one)

June 2009 Q2
(d) To what extent do demand-side policies lead to conflicts between macroeconomic objectives? (30m) (many to many)

June 2010 Q1 (initially, Unit 2 was meant to be an annual paper offered only during the summer)
(d) Evaluate the likely effects of a recession (negative economic growth) on the UK economy (30m) (one to many)

June 2010 Q2
(d) Evaluate three ways in which economic policy can be used to ‘stimulate UK economic growth’ (Extract 1, lines 4 to 5) (30m) (many to one)

January 2011 Q1
(d) Assess the effectiveness of supply-side measures that the government could use to deal with the problems outlined in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Extract 1 (30m) (many to many)

January 2011 Q2
Evaluate the likely effects on the UK’s current account of the balance of payments of changes in consumption, investment and the exchange rate of the pound sterling (£), as shown in Figures 1 and 2 (30m) (many to one)

June 2011 Q1
(d) Discuss the fiscal and supply side policies the UK Government could pursue to reduce the rate of unemployment. Refer to Extract 2 and Figure 3 in your answer (30m) (many to one)

June 2011 Q2 (this question is almost similar to June 2009 Q2, except that the transmission mechanisms do not start from macroeconomic policies)
(c) To what extent might rapid economic growth conflict with at least two other macroeconomic objectives? (30m) (one to many)

January 2012 Q1
(c) Assess the likely impact of UK government labour market policies on any three macroeconomic objectives. Refer to the information provided and to your own knowledge (30m) (many to many)

January 2012 Q2
(c) With reference to Extract 2, evaluate the likely impact of higher inflation on three macroeconomic objectives (30m) (one to many)

June 2012 Q1 (exactly the same question with June 2011, Q1)
(c) Evaluate macroeconomic policies which may be used to reduce the level of unemployment in UK (30m) (many to one)

June 2012 Q2
(c) Evaluate the benefits of economic growth for the UK (30m) (one to many BUT must be ‘good’ macroeconomic objectives)

Last minute tips/ preparations:

a)     There will only be 7 questions. The component marks are 4-8-12 for (a), 6-8-12 for (b) and 30m for (c)

b)    Short evaluation questions normally carry 12m, where 4m are meant for evaluation(s). Candidates may provide one evaluation as 4m or two evaluations that are less elaborated as 2m each

c)     The format for long essays will always be 6-12-12. The introduction carries 6m where 2m are meant for definition while 4m diagram. A correct shift of AD/ AS (1m), axes, line and equilibrium labeled (3m). Edexcel appears to be very generous with the definition for macroeconomic objectives. Any three macroeconomic objectives mentioned will earn you 6m, 2m each

d)    Don’t forget to provide reference. Each reference is 2m and there are four or five questions that may require you to provide reference. Easily, you could have scored 10m in hand. It may be data reference or an evidence quoted from the Extract

e)     Usually each set of question will have 8m allocated for diagram. The first 4m are meant for short AD/AS diagram-based question while the other 4m for the last long essay question

f)     Since January 2012 examinations, Edexcel provides 2m FOR EACH POINT IDENTIFIED (previously was 1m each). It is meant to help average students to lift their scores. Expect 12m from here

g)    Easily and effortlessly, each student can easily get 30m FOR FREE, provided if you remember to insert all reference (10m), correctly draw the AD/AS diagram with proper label (8m) and identification of points (12m). The challenge is, can you remember all the skills/ techniques taught under the exam stress and after ‘mental dehydration’?

h)     Please allocate 35-40 minutes for 30m essay. Nothing less than that

k) There are actually 7 macroeconomic objectives, not 6 as mentioned in most textbooks, The new 7th objective is to reduce budget deficit/ national debt

i)      When the question say ‘effects onto the UK economy’ under the 30m essay, don’t be panic, It is the same if the instruction is ‘effects onto any 3 macroeconomic objective’ 

l) There are new changes for the evaluations under 30m essay. Instead of (6m+6m) and (4m+4m+4m), now it has (2m+4m+6m)

j)      Please practice and perfect your transmission mechanism. I am very sure the MANY-1, 1-MANY and MANY-MANY long essay will appear in your examination

This few can be a good practice before your actual examinations tomorrow:
a) Evaluate the effects of falling pound onto the UK economy (30m) (1-many, think of macroeconomic objectives)

b) Evaluate the effects of falling house prices onto any three macroeconomic objectives (30m) (1-many)

c) Evaluate at least two macroeconomic policies to increase growth within the UK economy (30m) (many-1)

d) Evaluate the effects of expansionary monetary and fiscal policy onto any three macroeconomic objectives (30m) (many-many)

Best of luck!!! Cheers

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