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A State Ranker's Guide to Economics (Part 2) (1 Viewer)

mreditor16

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Sorry for the late reply, guys. I've been overwhelmed with university final exams....

Query for you mate. I always seem to struggle with the essay component of economics. That is, my marks tend to hover around 15-16/20, which, according to my teacher, means that I'm nailing the basics. But I still don't know how to breach the 17+/20 barrier for extended responses; I have short and concise paragraphs, statistics and diagrams and explain my stuff in the clearest way possible; yet this hasn't improved my overall essays which is annoying lol. So what does it take for my eco essays to reach the A-range?
Tbh this is going to sound like a dog reply, but I would really need to look at an essay or two of yours to figure that out. Especially an essay which you produced in exam conditions

And an addition to this question, how do you manage your time well for essays, because if we were to write everything the board of studies expects us to write about, it would take at least 50 mins-1 hour.
What's wrong with that?

In my hsc, i did the mc in 10 min and short answer in 50 min so i had 1 hr for each essay. I would then spend 10 min planning each essay and write for 50 mins.
Okay, this is a good question. I would actually recommend the following approximate time structure - 20 minutes for MC, less than 60 minutes for short-answers, and more than 50 minutes for each extended response.

The suggestion to rush through the MC to give extra time for the latter parts of the exam is something I disagree with, as I sort of get at here:

Also, don’t fall into the common trap of rushing short answers, in order to give you maximum time for the extended response questions. Put it this way – if I gave you 5 extra minutes, you are much much more likely to pick up some marks by spending it on the short answer questions versus spending it on the extended responses (i.e. each mark in short answers is relatively easier to gain than in the extended response section). At the same time, make sure you don’t go through short answers too slowly – you do need enough time for the extended responses.

Personally, I usually aimed to spend 20 minutes on Multiple Choice (don’t rush MC either!!), 60 to 70 minutes on short answers, and 40 to 50 minutes on each extended response. Of course, don’t be rigid with your time schedule – be flexible but at the same time, keep track of the time! :)
^^ What I've said about short answers in the first paragraph there is equally applicable and relevant to MC - especially the red section.

How many words does your essay have? 800? If so, you might consider increasing it.
Short and concise is good - it saves you time, but I don't think it earns you marks (this isn't english, lol). Also, your essay might not be as "concise" as you think it is. If you're only bringing in 2-3 arguments, then that is not enough. What you want in your essay is content - addressing every point there is. One of my essays had 8 body paragraphs (I think???) - in any case, it is a lot - because I tried to cover every point I could think of (including the random ones that just popped in my head).

That's what eco essays are about. content. content. content. (and that's what markers look for!). I think that's the most common pitfall of most students - only dishing out 3-4 pages is not good enough!

If you don't believe me, check out some of the exemplars from ARC. I opened a random essay: http://arc.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/standards-packs/SP02_15110/ - and it had 15 (written) pages!

edit: perhaps find other exemplars/responses by past students/sample essays from past papers and compare and contrast theirs with yours. That's what I pretty much did to find out what it takes to do well :)
+1 to that. Markers in economics give relatively little worth to conciseness - its content that matters. Also, while I'm at it, the sophistication of your expression means nothing to most markers, so don't waste time on that.

I can write at least 8-9 pages with broken up paragraphs in my body of my essays, however my issue goes back to my previous question, time. I spend 50 minutes on my essay trying to get all the essentials down while skimming/mentioning some extra points. The reason why I asked about time allocation in the exam was because my teacher said we should write essays in 35-40 minutes.
In my honest opinion, I strongly disagree with that. Your teacher has probably said that, because that's close to what is recommended by BOSTES on the front of exam paper. At the end of the day, do what gets you the marks.

I spent approx 1 hour on each essay. 35-40 minutes is not enough time for me to get everything I wanted to say down :/
Also Hawk, aim for at least 1.2k if you want to secure A range. If everything you wrote is relevant (and that you're not just repeating points that you make, lol), it should be pretty hard for markers to not give you that...
I think that's how you stand out from others (since most of the arguments that you include will be the same as others + there's not really a *band 6 statistic* that really pulls the quality of your essay up). Most would probably write 800 words (or less). By writing more, you impress the markers :)
Tbh all the talk about aiming for a certain number of words is utterly fruitless, in my opinion. Get down what you want to say, and get down as much as you can without sacrificing quality. That should be it. I don’t see any need to quantify it. Each individual’s circumstances are different, so yeah, there is no clear-cut rule.

Your linking sentence shouldn't be too long. Something like "Thus, ___ is a way the government manages economic growth" should suffice (provided you explained the stuff in your paragraph, ofc.)
I got the idea from others here, but I'll just repeat what they said.
Paragraph structure can be something like: (e.g. for a question on how fiscal influences employment) - this is the style that I write in at least.
1. Make a point (e.g. Fiscal policy can influence employment levels through tax rates, as higher tax rates can promote reduce employment)
2. Explain the point. high tax rate -> less profits -> employers maintain margins by cutting costs -> reduced employment - 2-3 sentences
3. Stats (1 or 2). make something up about how a high tax rate in 2009 caused a reduction in employment by x - 1-2 sentences (i usually do 1)
4. Linking sentence. Thus, one way fiscal policy can influence employment is through tax rates. (linking sentence is somewhat the same as your topic sentence - this is what my teacher said about it anyway).

Oh, and just on that point (just to highlight how you can cram a lot of content into this), you can then stretch it into international employment (hence bringing in topic 1), fiscal's effects on inflation, fiscal's actual policies that influence the economic microeconomically etc etc. Just think of everything inside the syllabus and somehow link it into your question (within relevance ofc.).
WOW that is a perfect post – this is how you should be approaching the structuring of your body paragraphs. Tbh I never consciously implemented a structural approach to my essays, but in hindsight, upon reading this, that is pretty much what I did (Y) Great job, iStudent!! :D
 

Drifting95

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Factoring reading time into it though, you can still spend a good 14-15 min on mc without compromising time on the larger sections.
 

siggy

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@mreditor and other strong economics past hsc students:
Just wanted thoughts on going back and redoing workbook questions (From Dixon) from earlier chapters before starting trials papers or is this a waste of time? In otherwords, do workbook Qs then trial Qs or just do trial Qs?
Thanks!!
 

mreditor16

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@mreditor and other strong economics past hsc students:
Just wanted thoughts on going back and redoing workbook questions (From Dixon) from earlier chapters before starting trials papers or is this a waste of time? In otherwords, do workbook Qs then trial Qs or just do trial Qs?
Thanks!!
I would only bother going back to the workbook questions, if you're still hazy on the content. Once you feel your knowledge of the content is solid, I personally would dive straight into past trial papers!
 

siggy

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I would only bother going back to the workbook questions, if you're still hazy on the content. Once you feel your knowledge of the content is solid, I personally would dive straight into past trial papers!
Ok I may do so just for the oldest topics in that case :)
Thanks for the advice !!
 

iStudent

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Why not do both? :D
Write essay plans. Remember the points (not word for word!). If, in the exam - there is a question that favours your essay plan - use it!
However, if you come across some curveball question (which is not very common except in the real HSC exam...) then write your essay on the spot.

That was sort of my plan anyway (except I didn't do practice essays). Luckily, all the essay questions in the exam (including any school assessment) fitted my essay plans. Partly because I make massive plans (3k+ words) that had enough content to cover all the past questions that I could find (and still dish out 1.2k words). Obviously though, there are still those odd questions that if I was forced to write on, I'd be screwed.
 

Ekman

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Why not do both? :D
Write essay plans. Remember the points (not word for word!). If, in the exam - there is a question that favours your essay plan - use it!
However, if you come across some curveball question (which is not very common except in the real HSC exam...) then write your essay on the spot.

That was sort of my plan anyway (except I didn't do practice essays). Luckily, all the essay questions in the exam (including any school assessment) fitted my essay plans. Partly because I make massive plans (3k+ words) that had enough content to cover all the past questions that I could find (and still dish out 1.2k words). Obviously though, there are still those odd questions that if I was forced to write on, I'd be screwed.
How did you structure your plans exactly? Did you just do dot points with explanations or did you just say for paragraph 1 talk about XYZ.
 

mreditor16

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Late reply, but thanks for your input guys. Also, I have another dilemma. Initially, I was intent on doing practice essays and knowing the content for the extended responses as I can counteract certain Q's that are left-field. But now, I'm thinking of preparing essay plans prior to the trials so that I can maintain expression and coherency.

Yet, I'm still unsure... I thought that bringing my knowledge in from other topics to support my argument (because lets face it, eco is highly interconnected) is not a bad idea. Tbh, mreditor what I'm saying is that I'm a bit skeptical that your way of attacking the essays for eco is fully plausible because it seems there's just as much merit for prepared essay plans as well, but will the dividends pay off for writing on the spot?

I'm still leaning towards doing the former, but yeah, I need confirmation LOL
Tbh if prepared essay plans are something which really suits your style, then go for it. I'm just saying that it won't serve you any good for left-of-field questions and thus, if you are not prepared to answer such a question (because you've become used to adapting pre-prepared essay plans to the questions you encounter), you could essentially be screwed over.

If essay plans work for you, then I would suggest developing them. But then once you finish doing that, tackle as many essay questions as possible (not necessarily writing out a full answer to each - sometimes, thinking about what you would write - by writing an essay plan - is just as useful but uses much less time). Think about which questions you would adapt an essay plan to and how you would do so, and think about which questions you would not be able to use an essay plan and thus what you would talk about. For questions of the latter type, I would highly recommend writing out an essay plan, as if you were in the actual exam.
 

teridax

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tbh, i cbf learning essay plans for eco

just know the content and know how to structure an essay lol
 

iStudent

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How did you structure your plans exactly? Did you just do dot points with explanations or did you just say for paragraph 1 talk about XYZ.
I'll give an example.
All questions in macroeconomics (let's say, fiscal policy) are fairly similar except they can assess on a variety of things.
Intro is approximately the same
First few body paragraphs (explaining what fiscal is) is approximately the same (including diagrams etc.)
Then I'd add paragraphs about fiscal-unemployment
fiscal-inflation
fiscal-international trade etc.
Then conclusion.

In the exam, I'd copy down the intro + first few bodies and the rest I chose the body paragraphs that fit the question.
 

iStudent

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Here's a table I made grouping essay q's according to chapter/topic... Almost certain that a few of your trial questions will be similar or is a spinoff from one of these.
It was a table on my one note - but unfortunately there are no borders on this website :( - you should still be able to figure though (the numbers represent how many of each category there is)

Analyse the various economic issues facing the Australian economy over the recent economic cycle 1
• Explain the current influences on unemployment in Australia and outline a potential policy mix that addresses Australia's unemployment concerns 9
• Outline the causes of unemployment and analyse the policies available to the Australian government to reduce unemployment
• Examine the possible effects of lower rates of employment, inflation and sustained economic growth on Australia's economic performance and environmental quality
• Outline the possible effects of lower rates of unemployment and inflation on Australia's economic growth and environmental quality
• Discuss the causes and consequence of a high inflation in the Australian economy
• Analyse the effectiveness of government policy initiatives aimed at managing unemployment in Australia and examine the extent to which these initiatives may conflict with other macroeconomic objectives in the Australian economy
• Discuss the effects of inflation and high levels of employment on economic growth in the Australian economy
• Discuss the types and causes of unemployment in the Australian economy and Government labour market policies that could be used to reduce the Non Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU)
• Outline factors that influence unemployment in Australia and analyse the policy options available to the government to achieve full employment
• Explain why a macroeconomic AND microeconomic response is necessary to address the problems of current account deficit and inflation 19
• Evaluate the effectiveness of Australian government policies (both macroeconomic and microeconomic) designed to control inflation
• Discuss how microeconomic policies in Australia aim to improve the efficiency of the economy
• Discuss the use of current Australian macroeconomic policies to achieve economic objectives
• Analyse the impact of economic policies designed to promote sustained economic growth in the Australian economy
• Explain the role of economic policies in achieving price stability in Australia
• Discuss the effectiveness of monetary policy and other economic policies in achieving price stability in Australia
• Explain how macroeconomic and microeconomic policies may be used to achieve external balance for the Australian economy
• Examine policies options available to the Australian Government in achieving a productive, efficient and internationally competitive economy
• Discuss policies available to the Australian government for dealing with inflation and analyse the effectiveness of these policies
• Discuss the cause of inflation and analyse the effectiveness of monetary policy in achieving price stability in the Australian economy
• Analyse policy options in managing the productive capacity issues in the economy
• Discuss the use of macroeconomic policies in achieving the Australian government's objectives of economic growth and full employment
• Discuss the use of the federal government's microeconomic policy agenda in assisting the economy to improve productivity and international competitiveness
• Analyse the factors that have contributed to Australia's recent economic growth performance and assess the impact of this performance on Australia's macroeconomic objectives
• Discuss the effectiveness of government macroeconomic policies in maintaining the government goals of sustainable economic growth in recent times
• Assess the effectiveness of monetary policy in the management of Australia's economy
• Discuss the Government's use of macroeconomic policies in achieving economic growth, full employment and price stability in the Australian economy
• Discuss the impact of the current stance of monetary policy on the level of inflation and economic growth in the Australian economy
Explain why the Australian government is restricted in simultaneously achieving its economic objectives 1
• Discuss the role of fiscal policy and monetary policy in Australia and assess their effectiveness in achieving the government's current economic objectives 17
• Explain the role of monetary policy in achieving goals of economic management in Australia
• Discuss the use of fiscal policy in achieving the government's economic objectives in Australia
• Explain the role of monetary policy in achieving the economic goals of full employment, inflation and economic growth
• Outline the objectives of economic management and analyse the role of Fiscal Policy in achieving these objectives in the Australian economy
• Examine the current stance of Monetary Policy in maintaining economic growth and economic stability in the Australian economy
• Analyse the cause of Australia's on-going current account deficit and its impact on external stability. Discuss the policy options the Australian government can use to achieve external stability
• Discuss the policies available to the Australian government for achieving external stability and analyse the effectiveness of these policies
• Discuss the causes of inflation and analyse the effectiveness of monetary policy in achieving price stability in the Australian economy
• Discuss the impact of changes in fiscal policy on the performance of the Australian economy
• Discuss the impact of recent budgets on resource use and economic activity in the Australian economy
• Examine the economic policies available to the Australian government to achieve stability in the Australian economy, and the limitations of these policies
• Discuss the use of fiscal policy in assisting the federal government to achieve its economic objectives
• Analyse Australia's monetary policy stance since 2000 and its effectiveness in managing the Australian economy
• Discuss the impact of the federal government's use of fiscal policy on aggregate demand and unemployment in the Australian economy
• Discuss the Reserve Bank's use of monetary policy in achieving economic policy objectives of internal balance and economic growth in Australia
• Analyse Australia's monetary policy stance since 2000 and its effectiveness in managing the Australian economy
• Discuss the impact of the current stance of monetary policy on the level of inflation and economic growth in the Australian economy
• Examine the use of macroeconomic and microeconomic policies by the Australian Government to achieve the objectives of price stability and full employment
• Explain the use of fiscal policy by the Australian Government in recent years to achieve its objectives
• Outline the causes of inflation in Australia and analyse the effectiveness of monetary policy in sustaining low inflation in Australia
• Analyse the impact of movements in the exchange rate on the Australian economy and the Balance of Payment 5
• Analyse the current changes in the exchange rate of the Australian dollar and on the operation of the Australian economy
• Analyse the impact of fluctuations in Australia's exchange rate on the economic performance of the Australian economy
• Analyse the impact of fluctuations in Australia's exchange rate on the economic performance of the Australian economy
• Analyse the impact of fluctuations in Australia's exchange rate on the economic performance of the Australian economy
• Discuss the policy options for addressing inequality in the distribution of income and wealth in the Australian economy 1
Examine the current state of external stability in Australia and its possible impact on future growth in the Australian economy 1
• Discuss the main features of the current Australian industrial relations system and its impact on productivity and Australia's economic performance 2
• Discuss the main features of the current Australian industrial relations system and its impact on productivity and Australia's economy performance
Examine the impact of changes in the global economy on Australia's economy performance 1
Examine the consequences of changes in interest rates for the Australian economy 1
Examine the factors responsible for Australia's Balance of Payments performance in the current global climate 1
• Discuss the impact of persistent fiscal deficits on the level of economic activity in the Australian economy 2
• Discuss the impact of persistent fiscal deficits on the level of economic activity in the Australian economy
• Examine the impact of changes in the global economy on Australia's trade and financial flows 2
• Explain the impact of changes in the global economy on Australia's trade and financial flows
Discuss the effects of the global recovery on the economic performance of an economy other than Australia 1
Assess the effectiveness of labour market policies on achieving economic objectives in the Australian economy 1
 

chrisalam

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hey do you recommend doing the questions at the bottom of each exercise in the textbook?
 

iStudent

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I did them - helps in understanding/remembering the content

Doesn't take much time anyway so I'd say go for it
 

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