2 Common Mistakes JC Students Make in GCE ‘A’ Level Economics Exams

Do you know that you are tested a mixture of   1) Lower-order thinking (L.O.T.) and 2) High-order thinking (H.O.T.) skills?   Most JC Econs pupils don’t.Let’s begin by recalling these 5 skills needed in most ‘A’ Level papers.   The 5 skills are : Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis and Evaluation.   The MOST critical skill is that of analysis! Wouldn’t you agree that you can write nothing on evaluation and still get your grade A? Well if you haven’t realised, all the case study and essays questions that you always make you feel uncomfortable, perspiring, suffocating, are questions of highly analytical nature. And that’s where the 2 common mistakes in JC Econs Exam arise.  

MISTAKE #1: Failure to identify the correct analysis required

Here’s something useful right away: out of the 5 skills that are tested, the most difficult one is ANALYSIS. And here’s the gist: Analysis requires you to be very detailed and thorough. All you need to do is to be thorough in your explanation of the key concepts in question  


Here is an illustration:

“Using economic analysis, discuss the possible impact on the macroeconomy of UAE, as a result of persistent increases in the price of oil worldwide.” [6]

Let me think aloud here: the command word here is discuss, so I’ll reserve 2 marks for evaluation. So left 4 marks for analysis. So identify 2 points to analyse will do. The phrase “using economic analysis’ almost always suggest that you cannot solely extract the idea from the case, and so you’ll have to recall and brainstorm from your 2 years of learning. So I’ll need 2 macro impacts. And obviously NEGATIVE impacts, since oil price goes up. How to think of possible impacts? Simple. Just think in terms of the Macroeconomic Objectives of the government. Out of the 4 objectives, you’ll have to pick your 2 that you can explain the best. For eg, I choose to tackle (i) inflation and (ii) unemployment. Oil price leads to inflation. Now saying is not enough, coz there is almost NO ANALYSIS demonstrated. So you’ll have to very detailed. And S’pore context requires you to apply… {S’pore being heavily reliant on trade, imports practically everything, from goods for consumption and also goods that are used in production. Thus, imported inflation is severe for S’pore, as oil price will drive the price of imports upwards.} That’s your 2 marks. Easy right? (Note: On our website, members’ section only, we have full answers to the essay and case studies for every JC, MI and IB Schools. See how you can join us if you are H1 Econs or a H2 Econs student. Otherwise, for its access, call us @ 96959650)  

MISTAKE #2: Failure to provide relevant evaluation that stems from the analysis.

Now this is surprisingly the easier part of the 2. Yet many students still admit they are largely clueless about demonstrating evaluation skills. In a nutshell, what you aim to evaluate and to sound “balanced”, has to stem from your earlier analysis. Otherwise, the evaluation is of lower quality and may yield no marks. Obviously, this skill is best demonstrated with an example. In our Economics Tuition group lessons for Exam Skills, we are very thorough in imparting these high scoring exam skills to all our students.   Request for a group tutor here, because there’s no reason why you should not join us there!   Happy Revision!   Back to: Econ Tuition SG

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