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    I did AQA AS Economics and got a solid A. Here is some advice that I picked up from my teacher who was an AQA Senior Examiner. Hopefully it will be helpful for some of you doing them this year.

    For the multiple choice questions, don't spend any longer than 20 mins max on them, ideally 15 mins max. In theory there's one minute per mark in the exam, but any time you can save on the earlier bits can go into the 25 mark essay which needs as much time as you can, as it requires more than 25 mins really.

    To practise for the MCQs, go through all the past papers - the questions are often repeated. The more you practise them, the easier they become, and similar questions often appear.

    For the definition one sentence should be enough, providing it is a solid definition. Looking through past papers again and learning to write good, concise definitions is good practise.
    Ideally you want to have finished the MCQs and first three written parts within about 40 minutes, which then leaves 35 minutes for essay.

    For the 8 mark comparison, make two points. For example, if it was some data about oil prices, and it said to make two significant points of comparison, you could compare the beginning and the end point, and the highest and the lowest. You need to use precise data - price and date. So for example you could say (completely made up!):
    'Oil prices were higher at the end of the period than at the beginning. At the beginning, in June 2010, they were $130 a barrel, where as at the end in June 2011 the price was $160 a barrel. The highest price was in April 2011 at $165 a barrel, where as the lowest was at $125 a barrel in July 2010.' This for example should get 8 marks. The key to this one is using data accurately from the data provided.

    For the 12 mark explanation one, you need a definition or two, ideally related to the question, but is not the same as the one already done in part a. You then need a chain of events. X happens which causes Y to happen, which causes Z to happen, and so on. If they ask for two reasons then do two!

    The 25 marker essays are definitely the most difficult. Usually good to start with a couple of relevant definitions, which could be the same as the ones in the 12 marker if appropriate. The basis for these is to use the data that is provided, as usually all the answers are in there, or at least some ideas for answers. Use the data, apply theory to it, and then evaluate. Evaluation is the most difficult, but it is the key to getting into the higher grades. For the 25 markers, they tend to propose one idea, and say whether it is the best policy for a certain problem, such as inflation. You need to say why the proposed policy is good, why it could work, and why it is bad and may not work. Always think about trade offs - lower unemployment can lead to higher inflation (Philips curve). And then propose other policies that could also be used - the main ones are monetary policy (interest rates), fiscal policy (taxes and benefits/subsidies), supply side policies, laws and regulations, education.
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    (Original post by mespannerhanz)
    I did AQA AS Economics and got a solid A. Here is some advice that I picked up from my teacher who was an AQA Senior Examiner. Hopefully it will be helpful for some of you doing them this year.

    For the multiple choice questions, don't spend any longer than 20 mins max on them, ideally 15 mins max. In theory there's one minute per mark in the exam, but any time you can save on the earlier bits can go into the 25 mark essay which needs as much time as you can, as it requires more than 25 mins really.

    To practise for the MCQs, go through all the past papers - the questions are often repeated. The more you practise them, the easier they become, and similar questions often appear.

    For the definition one sentence should be enough, providing it is a solid definition. Looking through past papers again and learning to write good, concise definitions is good practise.
    Ideally you want to have finished the MCQs and first three written parts within about 40 minutes, which then leaves 35 minutes for essay.

    For the 8 mark comparison, make two points. For example, if it was some data about oil prices, and it said to make two significant points of comparison, you could compare the beginning and the end point, and the highest and the lowest. You need to use precise data - price and date. So for example you could say (completely made up!):
    'Oil prices were higher at the end of the period than at the beginning. At the beginning, in June 2010, they were $130 a barrel, where as at the end in June 2011 the price was $160 a barrel. The highest price was in April 2011 at $165 a barrel, where as the lowest was at $125 a barrel in July 2010.' This for example should get 8 marks. The key to this one is using data accurately from the data provided.

    For the 12 mark explanation one, you need a definition or two, ideally related to the question, but is not the same as the one already done in part a. You then need a chain of events. X happens which causes Y to happen, which causes Z to happen, and so on. If they ask for two reasons then do two!

    The 25 marker essays are definitely the most difficult. Usually good to start with a couple of relevant definitions, which could be the same as the ones in the 12 marker if appropriate. The basis for these is to use the data that is provided, as usually all the answers are in there, or at least some ideas for answers. Use the data, apply theory to it, and then evaluate. Evaluation is the most difficult, but it is the key to getting into the higher grades. For the 25 markers, they tend to propose one idea, and say whether it is the best policy for a certain problem, such as inflation. You need to say why the proposed policy is good, why it could work, and why it is bad and may not work. Always think about trade offs - lower unemployment can lead to higher inflation (Philips curve). And then propose other policies that could also be used - the main ones are monetary policy (interest rates), fiscal policy (taxes and benefits/subsidies), supply side policies, laws and regulations, education.

    Thanks, that's really good advice
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    Some helpful tips and reminders, thanks


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