Urgently need advice for AQA A Level Economics!

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tommy458
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#1
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#1
So i sat my AS economic papers(unit 1 &2) in june and got a Solid E In both papers in the rest of my subjects I got B's. So this year I have decided to retake unit 1 &2(all of AS) whilst also taking my A2(unit 3&4) I am willing to put in hours on end worth of work and also willing to spend as much money as needed to help me succeed in economics. I would like to ask for any advice anyone would recommend to me as in terms of what sort of work/technique to use and do now up until my exams in june. And how I can get from an E grade to maybe an A/B ! Really determined just need someGuidance on how to achieve it the best possible way. Many thanks for looking
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#2
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User1333171
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#3
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#3
(Original post by tommy458)
So i sat my AS economic papers(unit 1 &2) in june and got a Solid E In both papers in the rest of my subjects I got B's. So this year I have decided to retake unit 1 &2(all of AS) whilst also taking my A2(unit 3&4) I am willing to put in hours on end worth of work and also willing to spend as much money as needed to help me succeed in economics. I would like to ask for any advice anyone would recommend to me as in terms of what sort of work/technique to use and do now up until my exams in june. And how I can get from an E grade to maybe an A/B ! Really determined just need someGuidance on how to achieve it the best possible way. Many thanks for looking
In economics it really helps to develop a natural instinct. That way you can answer any question that pops up just by using your own experience/common sense, rather than trying to memorise answers to a variety of problems. In order to improve your natural instinct in the subject I'd suggest getting some popular books (The Undercover Economist, The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, and A Very Short Introduction to Microeconomics are some that I can recommend-I read these after doing my A level and they brought back a lot of memories of what I'd studied, so I can safely say that they'll be relevant to the course you're now on). If you've already read those books, all I can suggest is reading them again until you start thinking about economics every time you enter a supermarket/see an advert/hear a news item.

Obviously learn definitions for economic concepts-often a definition in the answer to a question/essay response will get you a few marks and it also gives you something to build on in terms of the rest of your answer. Diagrams are important too, not just knowing what a diagram looks like but understanding the concept behind it so you can draw on it in answers-you should know what an elastic demand/supply curve looks like and what it says about the good/service and substitute/complementary goods.

In macroeconomics you have to be up to date with the news. If you're not lucky enough to have a teacher who shares articles with you about how the UK and world economy are doing, make sure you go on the BBC news site every so often and check out their economics section. You don't have to know everything that's going on, but reading real life examples about economics can help when it comes to data response questions, and just cementing theoretical knowledge in your head. Recent news can also make the exam paper, as examiners can be very up to the minute when it comes to economics (I sat my A2 exams in 2009 and our paper was rewritten because of the recession).

If you don't already have a revision guide, I'd suggest getting one. I can personally recommend 'Revision Express' because I used that one. The most important thing in terms of passing exams is doing some past papers and double checking your answers with the answers given by the exam board. You then get used to the format and what can get you extra marks-this should then help you in your final exams, because every question requires a similar number of points/style of answer.
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tommy458
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#4
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#4
Thank you so much for your help, really appreciate it! Now i have a more clear idea of what I need to do. But if you don't mind me asking, how do you think I should structure my revision as I'm basically doing the whole AS & A2 economics papers. In lesson im learning A2, and i want to focus on both and get good grades in both without one effecting the other as I hear the units get confusing if you are doing them at the same time. Sorry if I'm not making enough sense


(Original post by mscaffrey)
In economics it really helps to develop a natural instinct. That way you can answer any question that pops up just by using your own experience/common sense, rather than trying to memorise answers to a variety of problems. In order to improve your natural instinct in the subject I'd suggest getting some popular books (The Undercover Economist, The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, and A Very Short Introduction to Microeconomics are some that I can recommend-I read these after doing my A level and they brought back a lot of memories of what I'd studied, so I can safely say that they'll be relevant to the course you're now on). If you've already read those books, all I can suggest is reading them again until you start thinking about economics every time you enter a supermarket/see an advert/hear a news item.

Obviously learn definitions for economic concepts-often a definition in the answer to a question/essay response will get you a few marks and it also gives you something to build on in terms of the rest of your answer. Diagrams are important too, not just knowing what a diagram looks like but understanding the concept behind it so you can draw on it in answers-you should know what an elastic demand/supply curve looks like and what it says about the good/service and substitute/complementary goods.

In macroeconomics you have to be up to date with the news. If you're not lucky enough to have a teacher who shares articles with you about how the UK and world economy are doing, make sure you go on the BBC news site every so often and check out their economics section. You don't have to know everything that's going on, but reading real life examples about economics can help when it comes to data response questions, and just cementing theoretical knowledge in your head. Recent news can also make the exam paper, as examiners can be very up to the minute when it comes to economics (I sat my A2 exams in 2009 and our paper was rewritten because of the recession).

If you don't already have a revision guide, I'd suggest getting one. I can personally recommend 'Revision Express' because I used that one. The most important thing in terms of passing exams is doing some past papers and double checking your answers with the answers given by the exam board. You then get used to the format and what can get you extra marks-this should then help you in your final exams, because every question requires a similar number of points/style of answer.
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gr8wizard10
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#5
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#5
(Original post by tommy458)
Thank you so much for your help, really appreciate it! Now i have a more clear idea of what I need to do. But if you don't mind me asking, how do you think I should structure my revision as I'm basically doing the whole AS & A2 economics papers. In lesson im learning A2, and i want to focus on both and get good grades in both without one effecting the other as I hear the units get confusing if you are doing them at the same time. Sorry if I'm not making enough sense
You would really want to gain a foundational understanding of the concepts that underpin unit 1 and 2. Unit 3 and 4 is just a more technical development of the first two units. Make sure you understand the theories and how different economic variables effect other variables. Also get to good grips with the graphs and make sure you understand what the movements mean and how different economic events effects the world we live in either to businesses or on a macro-economic level. From that you can start applying the higher level concepts taught at A2.

I did AQA Econ and can personally say I don't think I could've coped with doing all the units in a year maybe because I did a lot of extra-curricular reading to fully understand what I was talking about. As above, you want to develop a natural for economics. You want to read a piece of news and come up with your own opinions on how it can affect the market/economy. i.e Governments raising interest rates.. what effect will that have on the economy?

"Oh in Economics I was taught that's a contractionary monetary policy and will increase the cost of borrowing which is likely to result in people spending less in the economy... Oh that will lead to less consumption which is a factor of Aggregate demand so AD will shift in relative to AS. However the reward for savings will increase. If the interest rate of the UK is bigger relative to other countries, there's likely to be a inward flow of hot money, as people want to save with UK banks. This is likely to increase UK exchange rates which is bad for domestic businesses as an increase in the exchange rate will make UK goods more expensive on the global markets. However an increase in exchange rate is good for the everyday consumer as I can buy more foreign currency with the same £.."

I don't want to babble on.. but you get what I mean. Read even BBC news Politics/Business section and start accumulating your own ideas of the on goings using economic theory to support or challenge your conclusions. All the best.
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User1333171
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#6
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#6
(Original post by tommy458)
Thank you so much for your help, really appreciate it! Now i have a more clear idea of what I need to do. But if you don't mind me asking, how do you think I should structure my revision as I'm basically doing the whole AS & A2 economics papers. In lesson im learning A2, and i want to focus on both and get good grades in both without one effecting the other as I hear the units get confusing if you are doing them at the same time. Sorry if I'm not making enough sense
I second what the above poster has advised you. I don't think the units will get confusing if you're doing them together, if anything it should help you to have strong knowledge of Unit 1 and 2 as you sit Units 3 and 4. The more confident you are in the earlier topics the more you'll be able to draw on those topics and expand on them in your A2 units.

I was lucky that I had some really organised teachers, one taught me macro and one taught micro, so it was fairly easy to remember what information I needed for certain units/knowledge and I could easily split my time between each unit so I wasn't over focusing on one while neglecting another. I think if you focus one day on micro, the next on macro, making sure you work your way through the topics as they appear in the syllabus you can't go wrong.
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stephen95
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#7
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#7
Resitting AS economics on top of doing A2 isn't really bad especially for AQA. Firstly because unit 4 macro is literally unit 2 in much more depth so everything you did at AS for unit 2 you're going to recap it so that is going to greatly help with your revision for unit 2.

For unit 1 micro though you're going to have to relearn it all again because unit 3 micro doesn't go over much of the stuff you learnt at AS, this will probably be the more difficult unit to revise for.

If you break down the marks at AS 25 marks for multiple choice, 5 marks for definition, 8 mark for comparing data, 12 mark for the analyse extract then the 25 mark essay.

The multiple choice will be a key component in getting an A/B so I would recommend doing all the past multiple choice papers, they repeat quite a few questions every year so if you have done all of them before and know the answers already to certain questions then you pretty much have free marks if they come up again. Multiple choice should be constantly done throughout the year to keep it fresh in your mind so you understand how to answer them correctly


The 5 mark definitions are just a case of you learning all the relevant ones and for the 8 mark it usually comprises of peaks troughs where they intersect or the whole time period of the data comparison (what it was at the beginning to end)

With the 25 mark essay I'm just assuming here but you probably need to brush up on your exam technique, so things like what is analysis and what is evaluation, you're going to need to work on these writing skills in order to achieve good marks. Again these exam techniques will also be improved upon in A2 as you're going to be answering more difficult essay questions so you're still doing revision for it but I would keep attempting past AS essay questions and get your teacher to mark them.

Like the multiple choice the essay questions tend to repeat as well in terms of what economic concepts you write for them and what your evaluation will be but you just tailor it for the wording of the question and what its asking for

The best way to revise is to keep attempting past papers for both unit 1 and unit 2, literally do every single past paper and do both of the data responses for every past paper, by the time it comes to your retakes you would have done all the past questions and be prepared for it fully.

The only problem I can see is you not having enough time to revise for it as you will be doing A2s as well, so I would suggest you plan out when you want to do revision for your AS, you do have till like may/june so you can do revision like once a week or something maybe switch between units every week you have a lot of time to revise so I would make the most out of it but consistency will be needed. Hope that helps
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tommy458
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#8
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#8
Thank you so much! Really helped me a lot! Appreciate it! Will work hard from now! And going to make a plan tonight! Thanks a lot


(Original post by stephen95)
Resitting AS economics on top of doing A2 isn't really bad especially for AQA. Firstly because unit 4 macro is literally unit 2 in much more depth so everything you did at AS for unit 2 you're going to recap it so that is going to greatly help with your revision for unit 2.

For unit 1 micro though you're going to have to relearn it all again because unit 3 micro doesn't go over much of the stuff you learnt at AS, this will probably be the more difficult unit to revise for.

If you break down the marks at AS 25 marks for multiple choice, 5 marks for definition, 8 mark for comparing data, 12 mark for the analyse extract then the 25 mark essay.

The multiple choice will be a key component in getting an A/B so I would recommend doing all the past multiple choice papers, they repeat quite a few questions every year so if you have done all of them before and know the answers already to certain questions then you pretty much have free marks if they come up again. Multiple choice should be constantly done throughout the year to keep it fresh in your mind so you understand how to answer them correctly


The 5 mark definitions are just a case of you learning all the relevant ones and for the 8 mark it usually comprises of peaks troughs where they intersect or the whole time period of the data comparison (what it was at the beginning to end)

With the 25 mark essay I'm just assuming here but you probably need to brush up on your exam technique, so things like what is analysis and what is evaluation, you're going to need to work on these writing skills in order to achieve good marks. Again these exam techniques will also be improved upon in A2 as you're going to be answering more difficult essay questions so you're still doing revision for it but I would keep attempting past AS essay questions and get your teacher to mark them.

Like the multiple choice the essay questions tend to repeat as well in terms of what economic concepts you write for them and what your evaluation will be but you just tailor it for the wording of the question and what its asking for

The best way to revise is to keep attempting past papers for both unit 1 and unit 2, literally do every single past paper and do both of the data responses for every past paper, by the time it comes to your retakes you would have done all the past questions and be prepared for it fully.

The only problem I can see is you not having enough time to revise for it as you will be doing A2s as well, so I would suggest you plan out when you want to do revision for your AS, you do have till like may/june so you can do revision like once a week or something maybe switch between units every week you have a lot of time to revise so I would make the most out of it but consistency will be needed. Hope that helps
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User1255194
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#9
I didn't do too badly in Econ, I could probably help you out a bit. Quite a few people have asked me questions so it would be a matter of copying and pasting what I sent to them


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Cherx
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(Original post by mscaffrey)
I second what the above poster has advised you. I don't think the units will get confusing if you're doing them together, if anything it should help you to have strong knowledge of Unit 1 and 2 as you sit Units 3 and 4. The more confident you are in the earlier topics the more you'll be able to draw on those topics and expand on them in your A2 units.

I was lucky that I had some really organised teachers, one taught me macro and one taught micro, so it was fairly easy to remember what information I needed for certain units/knowledge and I could easily split my time between each unit so I wasn't over focusing on one while neglecting another. I think if you focus one day on micro, the next on macro, making sure you work your way through the topics as they appear in the syllabus you can't go wrong.
Would this make it harder with the new A-level changes?
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Cherx
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(Original post by EHZ17)
I didn't do too badly in Econ, I could probably help you out a bit. Quite a few people have asked me questions so it would be a matter of copying and pasting what I sent to them


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How did you find Economics I A-level?

I'm thinking about doing it for my A-levels..
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User1255194
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(Original post by Cherx)
How did you find Economics I A-level?

I'm thinking about doing it for my A-levels..
Pretty easy if you put the work in. Quite interesting, very easy going and common sense based. The better stuff should come at Uni!


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Cherx
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#13
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(Original post by EHZ17)
Pretty easy if you put the work in. Quite interesting, very easy going and common sense based. The better stuff should come at Uni!


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Thanks for responding

What can you do with it if you do it at Uni? I've literally no clue as to what I want to do when I'm older
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User1255194
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Cherx)
Thanks for responding

What can you do with it if you do it at Uni? I've literally no clue as to what I want to do when I'm older
So much. The obvious path is finance though. In finance there are so many different types of work. For example I want to be a forex strategist, commodity analyst or go into economic consultancy. Analysis of global trends is essentially what I want to do.


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Cherx
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(Original post by EHZ17)
So much. The obvious path is finance though. In finance there are so many different types of work. For example I want to be a forex strategist, commodity analyst or go into economic consultancy. Analysis of global trends is essentially what I want to do.


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Ahh, I guess it requires you to have Maths A-level? I'm not that good at maths..
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#16
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(Original post by Cherx)
Would this make it harder with the new A-level changes?
I've just taken a look at the new specification, as well as the sample exam papers, and I still think a micro/macro split is the best way to study for the A level. Although both areas of economics will be on the same paper it still means that you'll be able to look at a question, recognise if it's micro or macro, and then apply your understanding to the question based on that information. Splitting economics into micro and macro also just makes sure that you're revising each area equally, rather than focusing too heavily on one or the other when they're both weighed equally in the A level. And I don't think the new way of examining makes the A level any more difficult-we still covered the same topics you'll be covering, we just happened to sit down to more exams.
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