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How to gain 'easy marks' for any economics and business exam

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Is there such a thing as 'easy marks' in an exam? Short answer: YES. This is a step by step guide on how to gain a maximum of these marks!


This guide is perfect for you if:

  • You are an A level, O level or GCSE student

  • You are sitting for economics and/or business exams


Why these two subjects? You ask. The reason is simply that I personally took these subjects, thus I have some hard-earned tips that I learnt with experience to share with you!


Also, while the content of these two subjects is different, the exam format is virtually the same. That is, exam papers for both economics and business will have:


That's why this guide is broken into the above three categories.


1. Multiple-choice questions


In a multiple-choice question, you are required to select only correct answers from the choices offered as a list.


(Before the exam) Scan past papers for recurring questions


This is obvious, right? However, students don't often perform this step properly. While questions in exam papers will never be 100% the same, you will notice a pattern.


Steps:

  1. Grab past papers for the past five years

  2. Look for recurring MCQs, they might be on a similar topic or format

  3. Think about what is the link between these questions. A diagram? A formula? A definition?

  4. Note down all key definitions, formulas and diagrams that are frequently examined

Not only this method will give you more confidence in answering past paper questions, but it will also help you revise specific areas of the syllabus


(During the exam) It's all about strategy


Make use of the time in the examination most efficiently and effectively. You may think that this is obvious advice but it cannot be stressed enough. The best method to apply is to:


  • Answer the multiple-choice questions that you feel fairly confident about as quickly as you can. Come back later to those you find more difficult

  • Never leave a blank answer! If you really (REALLY) don't know, just choose something at random


2. Data response question


Data response questions generally consist of a case study (or scenario) and a series of questions based on the case study


Answers that are focused on the specific elements in the case study will gain more marks than regurgitation of knowledge.


Yes, we did use the word 'regurgitation'!


As a guide, an answer to a data response question should consist of the following elements:


Your general knowledge + Reference from the case study


For example, if you are given the case study question:


Explain why there is a rise in inflation in Country X. Your answer should look like this:


Inflation can occur when prices rise due to increases in production costs. (General knowledge) + In country X, cost-push inflation was caused due to a rapid wage increase by x%. (Reference from the case study)



Read the question carefully and more than once, to ensure you are actually answering the specific requirements.


Pick out keywords such as 'describe', 'evaluate' and 'discuss'. These all mean something specific. · 'Describe' means to communicate the key features of · 'Evaluate' means to assess the value of · 'Discuss' means to examine in detail by argument



3. Essay type questions


Even if you are not well prepared to write a detailed essay, the following steps will help you gain minimum marks:


Steps:

  1. Define the keywords in the question

  2. Break down your essay into sections, paragraphs and include headings

  3. Discuss both sides of an argument.

  4. If you don't have enough time left, explain the main bullet points

  5. Refer back to the question. Don't go out of subject

  6. Provide a sound conclusion, maybe a personal opinion



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