Common mistakes singapore jc students make in gce ‘a’ level economics exams

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

In most GCE ‘A’ Level Examinations, 5 exam skills are commonly tested. Let’s begin by recalling these 5 skills:

 – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation.

The MOST IMPT is analysis! Wouldn’t you agree that you can write nothing on evaluation and still get 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 arise.

MISTAKE NO. 1: Failure to identify the correct analysis required

Here’s something useful right away: the paper tests 5 skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation.

The most difficult is ANALYSIS. And here’s the solution: 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

Let me illustrate:

NJC 2008 Prelim Section A, Q1(c):
“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 2m for evaluation. So left 4m for analysis. So identify 2 points to analyse will do. The phrase “using economic analysis’ almost always suggest that you cannot 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. If you wish to have access, just sign in here

MISTAKE NO. 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 Exam Skills Intensive Workshops, we are very thorough in imparting these high scoring exam skills to all our students.

by Adam Smith Economics Tuition Agency

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