Examination Strategies for Economics Unit 4 Section A

After years of critical coaching, through observation and some analysis, I managed to arrive at a conclusion on why many students fail to perform at Unit 4: The Global Economy.  Unlike Unit 1 and 3 (the microeconomics units),  which you can perform very well on by memorising, Unit 2 and 4 required critical analysis and how things work/ transmission mechanisms.

My advice to students is that they practice on writing answers within the required time frame, rather than trying to study off a text or note book. But, as a start (definitely not closer to exams though) it’s definitely okay to go through the mark schemes and understand what is required by you in your answer. It’s always good to practice writing correct answers than practice writing incorrect ones.

So, you might find the list of past paper essay questions for Unit 4 useful as part of your revision. Select a question you’re comfortable with, try to plan out an answer plan, check  the answer guide and understand if your plan was accurate (or not) and use the answer guide to write the best answer that you can! Use your text/note book if you’d like. File each answer, and by the time of your exam you will have a collection of correct answers to go through and study with.

Alternatively, you can also use the list of most probable topics for Unit 4 essays I have listed below as part of your revision.

Try to brainstorm all the possible points as well as evaluations for the topics listed below. Some harder topics may require extra efforts e.g. consulting your teacher, lecturer, text/note books or even an internet research.

(A) World trade

  1. Reasons for globalisation
  2. Costs and benefits of globalisation
  3. Economic effects of the increase in numbers and size of trading blocs
  4. Reasons for protectionism
  5. Economic effects of protectionism
  6. Reasons for widening current account deficit
  7. Is large current account deficit a cause of concern?
  8. Measures to reduce current account deficit
  9. Factors that can affect the international competitiveness of UK goods and services
  10. Policies to increase the international competitiveness of UK goods and services
  11. Economic effects of an increase/ decrease in the price of non-renewable resources

(B) Growth and development and poverty

  1. Strategies to promote growth and development
  2. Reasons for the rise in absolute poverty in Sub Saharan African economies
  3. Reasons for widening income inequality in any country of your choice
  4. Problems with over dependency on primary sectors/ FDIs/ international aid

(C) Public finances and eurozone economies

  1. Costs and benefits of adopting the single currency
  2. Reasons for slower economic recovery: eurozone economies vs. non-eurozone economies (UK, Sweden etc)
  3. Reasons for the high budget deficit and national debt in a country of your choice
  4. Economic effects of high budget deficit/ national debt
  5. Economic effects if drastic measures are undertaken to reduce the budget deficit/ national debt


Time spent on Section A? Although the suggested time by Edexcel is 1 hour, most candidates take longer than that. Ideally, it shouldn’t be more than 1 hour 10 minutes. If yet to finish, move on. Section B is equally important too. They carry another 50% weightage for the entire paper


How many points and evaluations do we need to give?

  • question (a) 20 marks:  you are required to give 3 points and 2 evaluations
  • question (b) 30 marks: you have to provide 4 points with 3 evaluations

Do we provide an evaluative point soon after each analysis? This is a matter of preference. There is no right or wrong. You can provide an evaluation after each analysis or write out all the analysis followed by all evaluations towards the end. However, there is a good and bad for these two writing styles.

If you provide an evaluation soon after each analysis, chances are the flows of your essay will look so much better but it may take you quite a while to think of a proper evaluation. There is a possibility that you may use up too much time and hence unable to finish the essay.  On the other hand, candidates who write evaluations towards the end after all the analysis may not have written an essay with good flows but they stand a higher chance to score higher.  So, the choice is your’s. Try out and see what works for you.

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