Common Last Topics (CLT) for GCE A-Level Economics Exams 2021

On 27 July 2021, it was announced that for A-Level exams administered held by Cambridge – UCLES – SEAB, there will be a removal of Common Last Topics (CLT) for each subject including JC Economics (H2 Syllabus 9757 & H1 Syllabus 8823)

If you are to download the updated Econs syllabi pdf files from from SEAB website, The Common Last Topics for econs highlighted in yellow will not be assessed in the 2021 A Levels Singapore national exams. Education Minister Chan confirmed that those CLTs would  dropped for the year 2021. Thanks or no thanks to Covid-19, MOE (Ministry of Education) has decided that a lighter school load for mentally draining students should be addressed


Hence, any questions from the CLT that have been set in the paper, you are NOT required to attempt, all such questions are struck off. As a JC Economics pupil, what does this mean for you? And how will this affect you and your revision strategies? let’s see what topics have been removed.


Common Last Topics for H2 Economics 2021

For higher 2 (H2) Econs exam candidates, the entire topic of Globalisation and the International Economy (Theme 3.3) would be removed and dropped from the exam. Out of the all the part sub-topics of the International / Global Economy, 5 sub-topics have been dropped. Only the reaming 2 topics of Balance of Payments and Exchange Rates are kept (take note…).


1st, one of the largest content knowledge topics of Globalisation and the International Economy is not required this year. Globalisation is the increasing interdependence of the world’s economies, involving larger flows of goods and services, capital, technology, and flows of labour. So we won’t need to answer how does embracing globalization and forming Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) may help to encourage trade, and hence an increase in the level of (X-M), among other things.
Eg 1: Explain how the formation of FTA between S’pore and Brazil can help to increase the level of Singapore’s exports.

Also, there will be no questions on globalisation regarding ’causes’ or factor.  For eg, factors influencing the phenomenon of globalization is out. 
Eg 2: Explain the main factors that may account for the rapid trend of globalisation.

Similarly, no questions of globalisation on an economy and its effects would be tested. Specifically, benefits and costs are not examined.
Eg 3: Discuss whether globalization is more beneficial or harmful to a small and open economy like Singapore [15 marks]


Apart from globalisation trend, the policy of international trade is not in the assessment for 2021. Accompanying trade are the polar opposite policies of protectionism and fair trading practices.

*An awareness of the forms of economic co-operation and trade agreements between countries is sufficient
Detailed knowledge of the forms of economic integration, institutional knowledge and legislation is not required. Diagrammatic analysis of economic co-operation and trade agreements between countries is not required.
(Hence, the various degree of economic integration are nor required, namely, free trade area, customs union, common market, monetary union and fiscal union)


Below are specified in the syllabus document for theme 3.3 that are dropped.

Theme 3.3 Globalisation and the International Economy: Concepts and Tools of Analysis
Theory of comparative advantage (CA)
Dynamic comparative advantage
Free trade
Patterns of trade
Free trade versus protectionism
Protectionist measures
Tariffs and non-tariff measures such as quotas, export subsidies, etc
International and regional economic co-operation


Common Last Topics for H1 Economics 2021

For higher 1 (H1) Econs exam candidates, the partial topic of macroeconomic policies to improve standard of living (SOL) (Theme 3.2.3) would be removed and dropped from the exam. Out of the all the demand side policies (DSP), only fiscal policy has been retained. Both the monetary policies that are centred on either interest rate or exchange rates have been dropped. 

Not only won’t there be policy questions involving interest rate and exchange rates, there also will NOT have questions of demand and supply, asking you to determine the level of exchange rates. However, JC Economics students should still be familiar with the concept of the use of S$ and what macroeconomic objective it aims to achieve (aka managed float in the Singapore context).

Furthermore, no one says exchange rates cannot be tested as a Trend Analysis question!! (H1 Economics exam candidates take note…)


When Encountering CLT in Eventual Cambridge Econs Exams 

When you see these topical questions, the Chief Examiner on that day will spell out the idea of CLTs. he or she will then highlight each and every question that are to be ignored and struck out in exams. pay attention, as you do NOT want to end up tackling questions that have no bearing on your overall performance for 2021 JC Econs.

Caution: If you come across a question that involves a Common last Topic (CLT), but it is NOT crossed out, do raise your hand, and check with the invigilators. During ties of Covid-19, there is NO guarantee that examiners and invigilators won’t make a mistake…


Happy Revision, and 

All The Best for your A-levels!

Jack Tan