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Some students are passionate about the subject whilst others simply want to get the highest grades. The most important thing to remember when revising for A-level Economics is that you remain structured in your answers. If you can work out what the examiner is looking for then that is half the battle already won, however to win the other half you need to structure your answers with clarity and precision in order to allow the examiner to see that you have answered and covered all the relevant assessment objectives.
Unfortunately, the education system, the way it currently stands, does not always lead to the most knowledgeable students acheiving the highest results. Exam technique goes a long way to helping students achieve their desired grades. One would be foolish to underestimate the importance of exam technique.
Past papers, examiners reports and helpful hints and tips from experienced teachers are equally as important as learning the theory in any given subject. My advice to all students is that you need to master the system as well as the subject if you want to get the results that you desire -
Here are some key areas of improvement for Essay Structure for A-level Economics Students:
» Structuring your essays in the correct format:
Whatever your examination board, the longer essay questions always require students to Evaluate. Many students try and make the mistake of evaluating at the end of their essay - this is not advisable. You should evaluate as you go along. However in order to evaluate, we need to know what evaluation actually mean.
To evaluate means to judge the point you have made. Ask yourself the following questions:
• To what extent is the point that I have just made valid?
• Are there any conditions or circumstances under which the point that I have made likely to make my point invalid?
• Are there counter arguments against the point I have made?
• What would someone who always wants to argue with me say with regards to the point I have just made?
Once you have come up with an answer to the above questions, you should write one paragraph IMMEDIATELY after the point that you have made. Therefore good Economics essays tend to be written in the following format:
» Introduction :
• 1st Point then evaluation of 1st point
• 2nd Point then evaluation of 2nd point
• 3rd Point then evaluation of 3rd point
• 4th Point then evaluation of 4th point
• Reasoned Judgement
This advice is particularly important for any EVALUATION BASED ECONOMICS QUESTION IN ANY A-LEVEL UNIT (Unit 1, 2, 3 or 4).
A Conclusion is a “Reasoned Judgement“ remember the examiners want to see a balanced economics essay with arguments supported by Economics Analysis (Diagram + Cause to Consequence) on both sides.
The Conclusion is a summary of the essay and it should be one paragraph long. In order to get into the top marks you should consider the following approach when concluding:
• Summarise your analysis and Evaluation points in 1 or 2 sentences.
• Prioritise which factors you think are more important than others.
• Weigh up both sides of the argument.
• What are the Short-run and Long-Run implications for the points that you have made.
• Finally, choose which side of the argument you prefer and why.
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