A Simple Guide to the A Level Economics Scoring System

A Simple Guide to the A Level Economics Scoring System

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There are a lot of misconceptions about the scoring system in A Level Economics. Some students believe that they need to surpass a certain threshold in order to get a good grade. Others think that if they make a certain number of mistakes, their grade will be penalised. But in reality, it’s not quite as complicated as it seems. In this article, we’ll break down exactly how the scoring system works and why it can be trusted to fairly judge your performance.

The A levels economics paper is divided into H1 and H2. The H1 syllabus has its own paper based on case studies while the H2 syllabus also has its own paper which is based on an essay question and case studies.

So, let’s look at both question types and how to attempt them!

Essay Question

What is the A Level Economics essay? It is a relatively straightforward assessment of your ability to write and analyse. It’s designed to test on some of the basic concepts taught in economics.

You will be expected to show your knowledge of economics by applying it to real world scenarios, and demonstrating how you would solve problems in an economic environment.

To achieve top marks, you need to understand what the examiners look for and know what to write in your answers. The mark scheme gives you an idea of what the examiners want when grading economics essays. It all boils down to the six core thinking skills:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Comprehension
  3. Application
  4. Analysis 
  5. Synthesis
  6. Evaluation 

Let’s look at the marking scheme for a 25 mark essay question to see how these thinking skills add up!

The following marking scheme is directly derived from the official A levels essay examiner marking scheme.

Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis & Synthesis (21 marks)

Level 1 (lower)

Mark value: 1-5 marks

  • is mostly irrelevant
  • has only a few valid points

Level 1 (higher)

Mark Value: 6-9 marks

  • shows some knowledge of the question
  • does not indicate that the meaning of the question has been properly grasped
  • contains basic errors of theory
  • has an inadequate development of analysis

Level 2 (lower)

Mark Value: 10-11 marks

  • shows an ability to identify facts
  • shows some ability at graphs
  • shows fair ability to apply known laws to new situations
  • has an accurate though undeveloped explanation of the facts relating to the question together with an explanation of the theory
  • shows evidence of some ability to discriminate and form elementary judgments
  • does not have a clear logical presentation
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to recognise unstated assumptions
  • does not  show much evidence of the ability to examine the implications of a hypothesis
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to organise ideas into a new unity

Level 2 (higher)

Mark Value: 12-14 marks

  • has a more thorough relevance to the question
  • does not completely explain the theory

Level 3 (lower)

Mark Value: 15-17 marks

  • shows a good knowledge of the facts and theory of the question
  • shows clear evidence of the ability to use the facts and theory with accurate reference to the question that may have presented the candidate with a novel application
  • shows evidence of the ability to examine the implications of the question and an attempt to distinguish between facts and value judgments
  • has clear statements supported by reasoned arguments
  • has some attempt at a conclusion to the question
  • has a reasoned structure to the whole answer
  • does not have many extra illustrative points which are not explicitly referred to in the question
  • does not have much critical comment
  • does not have any recognition of, or comment on, unstated assumptions

Level 3 (higher)

Mark Value: 18-21 marks

  • shows a thorough knowledge of facts and theory with an excellent ability to describe and explain this in a precise, logical, reasoned manner
  •  shows an ability to query some of the assumptions
  • has illustrations and examples apposite to the material discussed to show evidence of the ability to recognise the principles of the question and their application to the relevant current situations

Evaluation (4 marks)

Level 1

Mark value: 1-2 marks

  • Mainly unexplained judgement

Level 2

Mark value: 1-2 marks

  • Judgement based on analysis

Now we are done with the major part of the A levels economics scoring system. Let’s take a quick look at the CSQs too!

Case Study Questions

The A Level Economics case study questions are a common obstacle for students. They can be time-consuming and difficult, especially for those new to the subject.

Luckily, we have gathered the right info to show you what examiners look for in this question so you can score high in your JC economics exam.

The case study questions don’t have a generalised rubric like the essay question as all questions are based entirely on knowledge and understanding and not on the structure of your answer unlike the essay.

In such a situation we can devise an action plan for maximum effectiveness.

Here is a very effective gameplan:

– 7 minutes: Read, unpack, and summarise the case study in your head.
– 24 mins: Focus and complete all short answer questions.
– 16 mins: Focus and complete all 8 mark questions.
– 20 mins: Focus and complete all 10 mark questions.

The key to executing such plans to perfection is to make sure that you stay within the time limit for each section alloted and leave the questions if you are unable to solve and move on rather than waste time looking over them.

And that’s pretty much it. If you follow our advice and practise the ten year series with a  passion, there is no force in this world which can stop you from acing the JC economics exam!

For further advice regarding A Level economics, you can contact our best economics tutor, Mr Anthony Fok. One of the top economics tutors in Singapore, he hosts weekly A Level economics tuition to help troubled students. You can check out his JC economics tuition schedule here.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at JC Economics Tuition Centre, because we are here to help you.

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