Thursday, June 16, 2011

Answering techniques for Section B Unit 3: Business Economics and Economics Efficiency

This will be a short posting. I forgot to mention about the exam techniques in Section B. Under the new specification, these changes have been made:

(a) Only four questions will be tested unlike in the past where some questions may have further breakdown, for instance (a)(i) and (a)(ii).

(b) Each question therefore carries greater weightage and ought to be addressed carefully.

(c) Both question 9 and 10 will have equal distribution of marks for each question. For instance if 9(b) has 8 marks, then question 10 (b) will also has 8 marks

(d) Marks are in ascending order and they are even. For instance, 4 marks, 8 marks, 12 marks and 16 marks which in total made up 40 marks

(e) Explanations carry equal weight with evaluations

How to know which question require evaluations?

Simple. Question (b) onwards. Otherwise stick to my JEDATE rule (Justify, Evaluate, Discuss, Assess, To what extent and Examine). Analyse/ outline/ explain are not evaluation words

(1) How do I tell evaluation marks from explanation marks?

They carry equal weightage as mentioned earlier. For instance 8 marks question will have 4 marks for explanations and 4 marks for evaluations. For a 16 marks question, the breakdown will be 8 marks for explanations and 8 marks for evaluations. This means problem. As far as I can recall, only Unit 3 gives such heavy emphasis onto evaluations, something not seen in other units as they usually carry lesser marks than explanations per question

(2) Do I get marks if I provide evaluations even if the question does not ask for it?

No, you don’t. It is just a waste of time and you are taking the grave risk that you may not be able to complete the paper on time

(3) What is the further breakdown for marks?

Consider a 8 marks evaluation-based question. Explanations carry 4 marks. So it can be 2/2 or 3/1. The same goes for evaluations. If a question has 12 marks, then explanations have 6 marks where it could be 3/3 or 2/2/2. The same goes for evaluations. Finally, if the question has 16 marks, explanations will be 2/2/2/2 or 3/3/2 or 4/4. The same style applies for evaluations. My advice is provide more point in case if you’re weak in providing explanations

All these are easy and effective techniques that some of you may have thought about it, but rest assured, your whole mind might go blank on the exam spot, forgetting all these rules. By the way, the distribution of marks is meant for new specification only and not all those papers before January 2010

Best wishes!

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