What should H2 Economics students take note of?
The first component of the paper relates to two Case Study Questions (CSQs), where students are presented with a series of economic data, as represented in text, numerical and graphical forms. For each CSQ, you are required to answer six to seven questionnaires based on thorough examination and analysis of the information provided. These questions will test your ability to incorporate the necessary economic concepts and theories into your answers. You are expected to complete the two CSQs within a duration of 2 hours 15 minutes. Paper 1 occupies 60 marks, which is 40% of the overall grade.
The second component relates to three essay questions. In this paper, it is compulsory to answer one essay question each from section A and B. The third essay question can either be from Section A or B. When answering an economics essay question, you are expected to apply relevant economics concepts, theories and principles to analyse the raised economics issues. These application skills are to be developed during your own revision phase before the examination as it takes considerable amount of time to be refined. Similar to paper 1, you must complete your essays within 2 hours 15 minutes. Paper 2, however, occupies 75 marks, which holds 60% of the overall grade.
In view of past year papers, the A Level Economics examination has changed significantly, in terms of the way that questions are being set. For example, in the case for Paper 2 (Essays), Section A will not focus solely on Microeconomics and Section B is not restricted to topics on Macroeconomics. The most recent examination has shown that either sections will feature both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. As such, this means that you are required to have a mastery of all Economics topics and hence highlights the importance of establishing a strong Economics foundation. Furthermore, you should learn to integrate knowledge from different chapters to consolidate your revision comprehensively. Should you require assistance in this process, you may consider enrolling in our economics tuition classes, which are exam-oriented and effective.
For the first theme, you will be introduced to the main issue of Economics, seen in terms of unlimited wants and finite resources, which gives rise to the problem of scarcity. As such, there is a need to make rational choices, which incurs opportunity cost. Additionally, students will also be exposed to Economic diagrams for the first time, as represented by the Consumer/Production Possibilities Curve. This theme acts as a foundation of Economics and enables students to understand rationality behind decisions as well as depicting conceptual graphs.
The second theme introduces the notion of markets and injects the problem of scarcity. You will learn how markets deal with scarcity to achieve equitable and efficient outcomes. The study will feature the basic principles of demand and supply analysis, where market forces determine changes that set the market equilibrium. While in theory, market forces create outcomes efficiently, there are cases when the price mechanism fails, which gives rise to market failures. Therefore, you will examine the underlying causations of such failures and how governments can introduce measures and policies to correct market failures.
In addition, you will be introduced to the roles of firms and how firms make pricing and output decisions. Students will learn how decision making by firms is assessed in different market structures, such as perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly.
For the third and final theme, you will study Economics from a broader angle, seen in terms of the assessment of economic performance via the use of indicators, as well as the implementation of government policies to pursue certain aims, like economic growth. Within this theme, you will learn to relate and apply economics principles to a particular country’s local context as CSQs and questions may be based on domestic markets.
Furthermore, the study of International Economics features International Trade and Globalization, as well as Balance of Payment and Foreign Exchange. These topics examine economic behaviours between and amongst nations and how countries forward their aims with myriads of economic measures based on their own local context. It also demonstrates the far-reaching impacts of policies which often affect not one, but many countries in this highly globalised world.
For more information about the SEAB content, please refer to the 9757 H2 Economics Syllabus (2018).