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The allocation or marks, time and weightings has been changed for all for of the papers.
I feel that the rational for this was to ensure that each part of the syllabus is clearly
assessed. At the moment, so students will place more emphasis on certain parts of the
content and try avoid the assessment in the final examinations.

Very simply….

Paper One for both HL and SL students will assess Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.
They will be required for write two extended responses.

Paper Two for both HL and SL students will be use a data response format, but only assess
the International Economics and Development Economics section of the syllabus.

Paper Three will be a HL assessment focused on the quantitative elements of the new
curriculum and Achievement Objective 4: Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate
skills and techniques.

More specifics… I have copied this into my new course outline.

IB Higher Level Assessment
External Assessment consists of three examinations worth 80%.

Paper 1 – 30% weighting – 1 hour 30 minutes

This paper consists of Section A and Section B written extended response questions,
which will be in a Part A, Part B format. This will cover the Microeconomics and
Macroeconomic sections of the syllabus.
Paper 2 – 30% weighting – 1 hour 30 minutes
A Section A and Section B data-response paper based on the International Trade and
Development sections of the syllabus. Each section is consists of two questions, of
which students must chose one.
Paper 3 – 20% weighting – 1 hour
This is a Higher Level extension paper that assesses the quantitative aspect of the
course. It covers elements of all part of the syllabus and is mainly short answer
Internal Assessment consists of a portfolio of three commentaries worth 20%.

IB Standard Level Assessment

External Assessment consists of two examinations worth 80%.
Paper 1 – 40% weighting – 1 hour 30 minutes
This paper consists of Section A and Section B written extended response questions,
which will be in a Part A, Part B format.This will cover the Microeconomics and
Macroeconomic sections of the syllabus.
Paper 2 – 40% weighting – 1 hour 30 minutes
A Section A and Section B data-response paper based on the International Trade and
Development sections of the syllabus. Each section consists of two questions, of which
students must chose one.
Internal Assessment consists of a portfolio of three commentaries worth 20%.
Implications: Will students take a modular approach to the examinations?
It will be interesting to see if students become more compartmentalized in their
thinking in Economics. The course is supposed to be holistic, in that we encourage
students to make links between different parts of the syllabus. Because the exam
questions are now in discrete topics, students will be tempted to focus only on a
particular topic at a time, and will perhaps not make the same links between topics such
as Macro and Trade.

Students need to make reference to other areas of the syllabus, in all questions but
especially in the evaluation element of a question. This will likely support the students
achievement in the higher band descriptors.

For instance, a discussion of the monetary policy, should explain the flow on effects and
potential changes to floating exchange rates which may influence the level of external
stability and trade balances.

References to other parts will be awarded in Paper One and Paper Two. Although the
question will not necessarily prompt students to do so.


This is one large change in the new curriculum. The following broad achievement
objectives explain what the students are expected to follow, once that have been taught
the content. They also establish what kind of questions will be assessed in the final
examinations in conjunction with the command terms. For each of the achievement
objectives a set of command terms are listed which provide guidance on the depth of
understanding and treatment required by the students. Within the guide, their is a full
glossary of what the command terms mean.

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specified content

 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the common SL/HL syllabus
 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current economic issues and data
 At HL only: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the higher level extension
Command Terms – Define Describe List Outline State

2. Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding

 Apply economic concepts and theories to real-world situations
 Identify and interpret economic data
 Demonstrate the extent to which economic information is used effectively in
particular contexts
 At HL only: Demonstrate application and analysis of the extension topics
Command Terms – Analyse, Apply, Comment, Distinguish, Explain, Suggest

3. Demonstrate synthesis and evaluation

 Examine economic concepts and theories
 Use economic concepts and examples to construct and present an argument
 Discuss and evaluate economic information and theories
 At HL only: Demonstrate economic synthesis and evaluation of the extension topics
Command Terms – Compare, Compare and contrast, Contrast, Discuss, Evaluate,
Examine, Justify To what extent

4. Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate skills and techniques

 Produce well-structured written material, using appropriate economic terminology,
within specified time limits
 Use correctly labelled diagrams to help explain economic concepts and theories
 Select, interpret and analyse appropriate extracts from the news media
 Interpret appropriate data set
 At HL only: Use quantitative techniques to identify, explain and analyse economic
Command Terms – Calculate, Construct, Derive, Determine, Draw, Identify, Label,
Measure, Plot, Show, Show that, Sketch, Solve

Implications: How can teachers use these command terms?

Teachers can use these command terms to set practice questions in Economics and
always use these command terms in the everyday language of the classroom. The
glossary will be an important guide for students can could be used to make posters
around the classroom. You could link them to Bloom’s Taxomony to show the
progression in the command terms from each achievement objective and the thinking
skills required in the examinations.

The fourth achievement objective is very new and will be the big focus of higher level
students in Paper 3. Paper There will be assessed using AO1, AO2 and AO4 only.


In my opinion this part of the course has been tidied up and simplified. Students are
now required to write only three commentaries and the assessment criteria have been

Each commentary is assessed in its entirety using the new criteria giving 14 marks per
commentary. There are an additional 3 marks given to students once the entire
portfolio has been submitted and assessed. Teachers can now mark each final draft
throughout the year and then pull the portfolio together at the end and make a
judgement on the final holistic criteria.

Criteria A – Diagrams: (3 marks)

Criteria B – Terminology (2 marks)
Criteria C – Application of economic concepts and theories (2 marks)
Criteria D – Analysis of economic concepts and theories (3 marks)
Criteria E – Evaluation (4 marks)

Total: 14 marks per commentary (x3) plus Criteria F: (3 marks)

Criteria F: Rubric requirement – assessed across the portfolio, for word counts, sections
of the syllabus, different and appropriate sources, date of publication and cover sheets

Again evaluation is the most important criteria and makes up 12/42 marks or 30% of
final grade. Evaluation is now defined as “the extent to which the student synthesizes
his or her analysis in order to make judgments supported by reasoned arguments”

Other criteria such as Criteria B – Terminology are importantly different than the
previous syllabus. Students are now rewarded for the extent to which they use
appropriate terminology in the commentary. Previously they were given marks for the
precise definition of the term, and purely using definitions. This was up to 5 marks and
is now only worth 2 marks out of 14 per commentary.
A rule of thumb should probably be two diagrams which are explained, used, coherent
and integrated into the students analysis. This relates to Criteria A – Diagrams.

Evaluation Questions:

The best strategy is time management. Since you have an hour for paper 1, and two sections,
divide your time according to how many points each section is worth. So if section A is 10 points
and section B is 15 points, allot more time for section B because it was worth more. I would
spend around 25 minutes on section A and 35 minutes on section B. This way you don't waste
too much time on section A when section B is worth more!

When you evaluate, think of the all the stakeholders that would be affected by whatever method
you have suggested. Some examples of stakeholders would be consumers, the government,
businesses, financial institutions, etc. Also, remember that economic policies have many effects.
What the IB likes to see is prioritization of the effects of each policy, and then you should explain
why you think that. So a phrase like "The most important effect of this policy is..." or "The key
disadvantage is..." and then explain why.

Always define economic terms in the question stem. If the question asks you "Evaluate the
possible effects of a devaluation of an exchange rate", then you have to show the examiners
that you know what devaluation is and you know what an exchange rate is. The IB actually gives
you marks for doing this stuff too, so don't forget to do this!

If you can use a diagram to show what you're talking about, draw it! Diagrams make things very
clear and are nicer to look at than a bunch of words. If you mention an increase in demand,
draw a diagram with your demand curve shifting to the right!

Make nice big diagrams! Don't annoy your examiner with tiny diagrams that are impossible to
read! My diagrams took up at least a third of the page. Happy examiner = better chance of
scoring high

If you think what you're saying sounds vague, come up with a good example! If you can't think
of a great definition of an exchange rate off the top of your head, then say something like this:
"An example of an exchange rate is $1 US = 10 British pounds. Yes, I know that that exchange
rate is totally inaccurate in real life but it's fine for an IB exam. You just have to show that you
understand what the term means.

Remember that the answers for "Evaluate" type questions are pretty open-ended. If your
evaluation makes sense, is well-supported, and not off-topic, then you will get marks for your


D - define all the key terms in the questions

E - explain the key concepts (this is the main part of a 10 mark question)

E - evaluate (only for the 15 mark)

D - always include diagrams

A few more obvious things which people often forget:

1. Paragraphing (lack of paragraphs is a result of poor structure and poor planning. write in
paragraphs! this will help you sort your ideas properly and allow the examiner to see that
you know what your talking about and have it all clearly set out)
2. Draw your diagrams with a pencil and ruler (if you make a mistake you can erase labels
or curves. also the ruler is necessary to keep it neat and understandable)
3. Examples!!! (this is the area where most students fail to show their understanding. if you
include specific real-life examples, examiners will hold your exam in a better light. it
shows clear understanding of the concepts and the insight into the applications of
theories to the real world which economics is effectively all about)

D - Definition and diagrams

E - Evaluate and examples

V - Vocabulary (Use economic terms)

I - Investigate

L - Language (How you frame the sentence and the complete structure of the answer)

Real-life examples
If you really can't think of a real-life example, you can do one of three things:

1. Invent one, which will be kind of obvious usually

2. Waffle about one, so for example just say the US has introduced subsidies to farmers (will be
kind of shallow though but at least you are making an attempt)

3. Use a theoretical example, for example say the following about a subsidy: The US (random)
may wish to subsidise their agricultural producers in an attempt to reduce production costs and
protect from cheap imports from Mexico (random)- so integrate the theory with a hypothetical
example of who might implement a policy.

My advice:

Try to know some real-life examples, even if they are brief- as long as they show your
understanding of the application then its fine, one or two sentences should do suffice if the
example is specific.

If however you do not know an example about something I would suggest bringing forth a
theoretical example as outlined above. Examiners should give credit for it if done well.

Avoid making up examples unless they seem very possible and you think it could really be the
case. It might backfire to indicate that you do not understand the theory well if the example fails
to show your understanding between theory and application.

Final tip: if you take history you may be in luck. Last time we did paper 1 I talked a bit about the
Weimar Republic and hyperinflation in 1923 as a result of excess money supply. If tariffs come
up I may write about the League's decision to place tariff sanctions on Italy after its invasion of
Abyssinia. Better than nothing.

say "to an extent _____ is effective because in the SR _________, LR ________"

Hey! So our teacher has been teaching Economics HL for many years now and all his students
always had 6+ on the exams. He always advises us to solve as many past papers as we can and
try to follow this structure:

Question a) DEDE


This means: Definition; Example; Diagram; Explain - So usually you should always define the key
terms from the question, for example if they are talking about the increase of decrease in supply
of a normal good you will have to define law of supply and normal good; you will then follow
that by giving a real world example of what you are talking about; then use a diagram and
explain your diagram and example Try this out! It works every time C stands for Conclusion - if
there is a need for one (usually part B)

For Paper 2 the structure is: DFAC or FAFAC + SAF

D - Define terms
Arguments: - Paper 2 questions are always about comparing two things... 2 policies, 2
approaches etc.. so you will have to know the benefits and drawbacks of both of them in order
to discuss in the end which approach is better. So it follows:

F - For

A - Against

F - For

A - Against

C - Conclusion

If you see you have extra time after writing everything you can throw in both paper 1 and 2
the SAF - Smart Ass Factor which is that extra push that makes you go from the 13 to the full
marks - 15 if talking about part b) or 10 marks if talking about part a) - this however is ONLY if
you have extra time since the 2 extra points will not be very significant if you already have the
minimum required for you 7

So integration of examples is pretty straightforward. Simplest way I can explain it is to use the
example to explain theory. EG: China has invested in robots, which is expected to exceed 30bn$
by 2020. This means that the FOPs have gotten more efficient, yadayada.

Or another way:

Venezuela in 2016 had over 100% inflation. This leads to costs like Shoe leather costs and menu
costs yadayada.

NOTE: This thread was written based on the syllabus for exams in 2012. A lot of this

stuff is still useful for the 2013 syllabus though

Ready to own economics? Alright, here we go! We’ll tackle this paper part by part.

For paper 1, you will always have a choice of 4 questions. Each question has 2 parts, part A and part B. Each
question usually relates to a specific section of the syllabus. For example, there could a question about price
ceilings from microeconomics, a question about unemployment from macroeconomics, and so on. And you just
have to choose ONE out of the four! So, it makes sense to pick the easiest question! Pick the question that you
are most knowledgeable about and could write a lot about.

So during your 5 minute reading time, this is what you should be doing. Read all the questions and think about
which question you want to do. Usually people will really like one question and instantly know that they found
their soul mate question. (OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get what I mean, right? Think through the
different things you could say, the diagrams you could draw, etc. )

In the case that you are stuck between two (or more) questions, then think about part B. Remember that part B
is more important since it is worth more marks (15 for part B vs 10 for part A). Which question do you think you
would be able to best evaluate? Go for that question.
Now that we got the basic structure down, let’s move on to the different parts of the question.

Part A
Part A of paper 1 always asks you to explain something. It is worth 10 marks. It may ask something like “Explain
different factors that cause a change in the nation’s exchange rate.”

So what do you do first?


Right, remember to chill out before you start. You’ve prepared for this (or at least I hope you did), so don’t
panic! Even if ideas don’t come to your head right away they will once you start writing! So take a deep breath
before you start and relax your body.

DEFINE any economic terms you see in the question! Show the examiners that you’re not
confused by fancy-shmancy economics terms! Show them that you know what they are asking

you. Plus you really should define them because you get marks for doing so So define any
economic term you see in the question. Always include an example to back up your definition!
Even if your definition is not totally correct but your example is good, you can still get full marks
for your definition.

For example, an exchange rate is one currency expressed in terms of another currency. An example would be
that 1 US dollar is equal to 30 yen.

Sure, this exchange rate may not be the actual exchange rate, but it shows understanding of what an exchange
rate is. It shows that you understand the concept, which is what your examiner is looking for.

Next, answer the question! Attack the question! If it asks you to explain a concept, do that!

For example, we know that a change in supply or a change in demand could affect the value of an exchange rate
compared to another. Some things that could cause a change in supply are…and then you ramble on about the
different factors. Then state the effects of an increase in supply of a certain currency...

A picture is worth a thousand words. And the best picture you could draw on your exam paper is
a diagram to SHOW what you are talking about! If you say that there will be a decrease in the
demand for a good/service, show it on a diagram! Make sure that you include all your labels, like
axis labels, equilibrium points, etc. Also MAKE YOUR DIAGRAMS BIG. I would say to make
them at least half a page big. Then, your examiner will be able to see nice and clearly what
you're talking about, and they don't have to strain their eyes to peer into some tiny corner of
your page to get the idea of what's going on. Remember, happy examiner = better chance of
scoring high. Any label that you were taught to include on a specific diagram, include it! Then
you can mention the effects of an increase/decrease in supply/demand, etc as shown on your

Time management is key! Don’t spend too long on this question! Remember part B? Part B is
worth 15 marks and part A is only worth 10 marks. Spending too much time on part A means
that you’ll have to rush through part B. You should have a better answer for part B because it is
worth more marks. Since you have 1 hour to write paper 1, I would spend roughly 25 minutes
on this section. Once you’ve passed 25 minutes, stop writing for part A and move on to part B!

Part B
Ok, so we’ve reached the dreaded part B. It will always start with the word Evaluate. Some of you may be
wondering what evaluation is. Evaluation is basically the effects of whatever is happening on different people. It
is very important that you know how to evaluate here!

Example: Evaluate the effect of a lower exchange rate on a nation’s economy.

You might be thinking “What on earth am I supposed to say? That question is sooooo broad!” Yes, it is a broad
question! It’s broad so that it can accommodate many different points of view and many possible answers. It’s
impossible to talk about ALL the possible effects of a lower exchange rate on a nation’s economy, especially in a
time of 35 minutes (given you spend 25 minutes on section 1).

So what do you do then?

Focus on one effect at a time. For example, you could say that a lower exchange rate will result in
inflation due to an increase in demand from foreigners for domestic goods, then write about that
and show it on a diagram. Now that you’ve explained to your examiner why inflation would
occur, then you can mention all good and bad things that come with inflation as part of your
evaluation. Inflation is usually a sign that an economy is growing and that people are buying
more. Real estate owners would win because the value of their assets would increase. People
who borrow money from a bank would also be positively affected because the value of the
money they borrow is worth more than its value when they repay it. However, customers would
lose because their purchasing power decreases. Lenders would also lose because they are repaid
with money that is worth less now than when it was borrowed from them.

In evaluation, you can also talk about businesses, the government, etc. Basically just talk about anyone/anything
that could be affected.

See how both sides of the effects of inflation are incorporated? That’s what you have to do when you evaluate.
Talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

After you talk about one point in depth (inflation) then you can move onto another if you have time. But make
sure you’ve covered the important points first.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. IB likes to see people prioritize their points. There really isn’t a
right answer as to which point should be the most important in your discussion. As long as you
can justify your prioritizing, then it should be fine. Start with phrases like “The most significant
effect of this policy is…” to show prioritization.

Don’t forget about structure! The IB doesn’t have a set rule on whether you should write in point
form or in sentences. However I would say that writing in full sentences looks a lot more
professional. You want your examiner to have a good impression of you right? Not the
impression that you’re cutting corners…

It’s also good, wherever possible, to organize your thoughts into paragraphs so that you can clearly distinguish
between different ideas. This being said, this is not an essay. Do not waste time writing an introduction and
concluding paragraph. At most you could write a sentence or two, but it’s better to spend your time writing
about things that can actually gain you marks.

Well that's it for now...if anyone has any more tips to add, feel free to add on =D
So this article will serve as a kind of extension to a previous article I
wrote which you can access through this link.
Economics. Boring to study (debatable). Very useful later in life.
Today we’re focusing on IB Economics Paper 1 tips. This is gonna be
more technique based.
As with all the techniques I’ve been posting about up until now, you
want to make sure that you know your content fairly well enough.
If you’re going to do well for Econ, you DEFINITELY need to know
your stuff before you walk into that exam. Now, let me just say that the
IB Economics Paper 1 exam is A LOT easier if you have a method for
doing it.
The advice I’m going to share today entirely revolves around your
structure first. We’ll get into the analysis part at a later stage. So let’s
get into it.

IB Economics Paper 1 Tips

Structure/Plan Of Action
Planning is a general theme to pretty much all my articles. There will
be no exception for this IB economics paper 1 tips article. Planning is
key and I know it’s a cliché to say this but when you fail to plan, you
plan to fail. Simple as that.
Don’t worry too much about that though. This is a pretty simple
structure to follow so you won’t need to worry too much. It’s not very
technical. Pretty much “IB Economics Paper One For Dummies” if you
know what I’m sayin’.
So. How should you go about planning? With this, fool proof,
examiner-friendly acronym that I credit my former Economics teacher
for brining to our attention. It’s called DEED in the case of the 10 mark
question and DEEDE in the case of the 15 mark question.
“Ok. Great. Fantastic. Stupendous, Rhys. Yeah I TOTALLY get what
the acronym is supposed to mean”
Whoa calm down not so fast. I’m not done explaining it yet.

So What’s DEED and DEEDE Stand For?

First of all, I have to clarify that you use DEED for the 10 mark
questions only. This is because for the 15 mark question, you need
to add an evaluation. DEED basically stands for this:
D – Definitions
E – Explanation
E – Examples
D – Diagram
And since you know the 15 mark question needs to include and
evaluation part to it, you know the final E in DEEDE is going to be:
E – Evaluation
Now you’re going to want to remember this acronym for the test and
format your answer entirely around that format. Trust me. It’s foolproof
if you’ve nailed your analytical writing.
So how would you go about answering a 10 mark question using the
DEED format? For this, we’re going to look at an example from an
actual past paper (Please don’t sue me IBO if you’re reading this)
This is the Microeconomics Question from the IB Economics
November Past Paper:
For 10 marks:
“Explain why a government might decide to impose an indirect tax on
the consumption of cigarettes”
For 15 marks:
“Discuss the possible consequences of the imposition of an indirect
tax on cigarettes for the different stakeholders in the market”
We’re going to break down these two questions with the handy IB
Economics paper tips I have in mind in the next two sections.

How To Structure Your 10 Mark Questions – IB

Economics Paper 1 Tips
IB Economics Students with 10 markers
So remember DEED? Yeah. We’re gonna apply it now so don’t get
TOO excited.

Let’s start off with the easiest one (assuming you’ve done your
content revision well). This is the part where you define all the
theories or economic terms that you’ll be writing about.
So in the 10 mark question above, you may choose to define what an
indirect tax is and also what demerit goods are (because cigarettes
are demerit goods). Simple as that. Two definitions defined. Next.

You could also write your example here if you wanted. It doesn’t really
matter which route you take. So long as you’re clear, your answer
flows well, and your explanation and examples are good obviously.
For the explanation, you’d have to get analytical and explain the
theory of a government implementing an indirect tax on cigarettes. So
how does the theory work? How does implementing an indirect
tax help a government raise revenue and reduce the overall
consumption of cigarettes?
That’s basically what the explaining part is about. Explaining the
theory, how it works, what it’s affects are and potential flaws (you
don’t actually need to mention the disadvantages of the theory unless
it’s a 15 mark question).
In this part of your answer, you need to basically give an example
supporting your explanation and the theory you used. It can be a real
life example that you know of or you could make up a hypothetical
one .So you could basically go:
“For example, the government of country Y decided to implement an
indirect tax on cigarettes to reduce the negative effects of passive
smoking on non-smokers. As a result….”
That’s probably not such a good example. You should check with your
teachers about it but yeah. That’s the general gist of how you would
approach the example stage of your 10 markers. Remember. It
doesn’t need to be a real world example. It can be hypothetical but
you have to explain it well.

This is probably the easier part of the entire 10 marker. You could get
some very easy marks, I’m talking 2 or 3 marks even, for drawing the
diagram correctly, labelling the diagram correctly, and titling it
Points for diagrams are literally the easiest marks you can get in the
IB Economics Exams. Trust me. It’s so easy to pick up marks here
that you BETTER remember to include them. I know I’m blabbing on
about their importance but let’s take a look at a markscheme shall
Now before I get into anymore detail, let’s PRAY my site doesn’t get
flagged by the IBO for just giving you a sneak peek at a
So. Notice anything different between boundaries 2 and 3?
No? Look again. It clearly says “Where appropriate, diagrams are
included”. Same goes for boundary 4. You see how hard it’s going to
be for an examiner to give you a mark higher than a 6 if you don’t
include a diagram?
See why that’s important? 4 marks. Poof. Gone. Include your
diagrams folks because it’ll make all the difference. You could have
the best theory and explanations and still land a 6 instead of a 10.
Diagrams are easy marks unless you forget to include them.
So. Moving on to the 15 marker.

How To Structure Your 15 Mark Questions – IB

Economics Paper 1 Tips

IB Economics students with 15 markers

This time we’re adding that extra E to DEED. Let’s get right into it.
Here’s the question in case you forgot:
“Discuss the possible consequences of the imposition of an indirect
tax on cigarettes for the different stakeholders in the market”

Looks like indirect tax comes up again as a possible term to define.
Guess what though? No worries! All you gotta do is say “Please refer
to part a) for the definition of an indirect tax.” Bam. Done. Moving on.
You can move on to the next definition which is likely ‘stakeholders’ or
‘the market’. Before we move on let’s just clear things up. You don’t
need to define a term that’s already been defined in the 10 marker.
You can just refer the examiner to the same definition. Gives you
more time to spend on everything else (by the way we’re going to get
into time management after this 15 mark section don’t worry).

This is where you use that thing in your skull called a brain to really
impress your examiners. Keep in mind examiners mark you based on
how relevant your answer is to the question. SO. Your theory has to
revolve around the question.
Basically you have to ask yourself “Ok so it’s asking for possible
consequences on stakeholders in the market…Right so I have to think
about how the indirect tax affects different stakeholders”
In these cases, it’s always good to include 3 stakeholders to really
show off your writing skillzzzz. So for example in this question, the
three that you would pick that would make sense would be the
government, consumers, and producers of cigarettes.
Your explanation revolves around telling the examiner how the
indirect tax affects all three stakeholders.

Like earlier, you gotta include your examples. They can be
hypothetical or real life examples that have to essentially indicate the
effects of the theory you just explained in real life.
So in this case, off the top of my head, you could go:
“The government of country Z for example decided to implement
indirect taxes on alcohol. While the end result was an increase in
revenue, the addictive nature of alcohol meant that country Z was
unable to lower consumption for the demerit good” (In this example
I’m just gonna assume demerit good was define earlier)
Probably a crap example but you get the idea.

Now remember children. You should never ever miss skip your daily
dose of healthy diagrams or the big bad examiner will tell you off and
you’ll fail your exam and you’ll fail your subject and you’ll fail IB and
end up homeless and poor and starving and, and, and….. Need I say
Ok so I’m gonna assume most of you rolled your eyes at that one.
Hey man. Just so you know, I do try to make these posts as unboring
as possible. Yeah I know unboring isn’t a word but I’m using it. Sue
RIGHT enough crappy comedy. Diagrams, easy marks, draw them
correctly and you’ll be alright. You get the picture. Moving on.

Here we go ladies and gents. The final frontier for the economics
paper. Evaluation is probably what chokes up a lot of IB Economics
students. For the 15 mark questions, this part makes all the difference
between a 6 and a 7.
So how do we approach this? Well look at the question again:
“Discuss the possible consequences of the imposition of an indirect
tax on cigarettes for the different stakeholders in the market”
It’s not asking for an evaluation that goes “In conclusion, this theory
creates revenue, reduces consumption and..” NO. DO NOT go down
that path. LOOK at the question again. It says “Discuss” and “Possible
Get it yet? It’s asking for a discussion where you compare the
advantages and disadvantages. If you took another route and didn’t
use advantages vs. disadvantages, then a discussion with the points
you wrote.
Essentially your evaluation should look more like this:
“In relation to the consequences, producers and consumers see to
lose more with this indirect tax as consumers will pay more for goods
that were previously cheaper and cigarette manufacturers may see a
decrease in demand for their product.
Alternatively, the consequences of cigarette consumption towards
society in the form of passive smoking and health problems may
remain as smokers may not react to the indirect tax as cigarettes are
addictive in nature.
On the other hand, the immediate benefits of an indirect tax are an
increase of revenue for the government which could increase
government spending on the economy.
A reduction in cigarette consumption could also lead to a reduction in
negative externalities of consumption in the economy as there would
be a reduction in passive smoking etc. etc.”
You get the idea.
Probably not the best answer in the world but that’s along the lines
you should be writing. Use key words from the question to indicate to
the examiner that you know your stuff. Also, you DO need a
conclusion so you’ll need to pick, in this case, whether advantages
beats disadvantages or the other way around. So it would be
something like:
“Overall, upon further analysis, while it’s true that there are potential
drawbacks to multiple consumers for the implementation of an indirect
tax on cigarettes, there are also numerous more advantages to be
considered which could benefit society and the government in the
long run”
That’s basically how you would answer that.

Time Management
Ok, ok, ok I’m sorry. Look I know you’ve done a ton of reading
already. Don’t worry. This part will be shorter BUT IT’S STILL
IMPORTANT. So read on folks.
Bare with me now. We’re almost at the end of the post. This last part
has to do with managing your time in the exam. It’s crucial so stick
You have an hour and a half for the exam both SL and HL. You want
to be making sure you’re allocating your time efficiently.
Which question deserves more attention? The 15 marker obviously.
So let’s break it down into manageable amount of information:
1 hour and 30 minutes
45 minutes per question
Since the 15 marker deserves more attention, you need to give more
time to it. Depending on how fast you write, you could split it into a 15
minute and 30 minute arrangement; 15 minutes for the 10 marker and
30 minutes for the 15 marker.
Personally, I was taught to allocate 17 or 18 minutes to writing the 10
marker and 28 or 27 minutes for the 15 marker. Either way you do it,
make sure you’re arranging more time for the 15 marker. Also take
into account reading time of 5 minutes.
Do a lot of practice before walking into that test. It’s a monumental
help. Also, just as an FYI. Make your diagrams BIG and BEAUTIFUL.
Ok not beautiful but just make them big. Bigger diagrams are easier to
read, mark, and are generally more appealing to the eye, especially
for an overworked examiner who’s got like 30 other papers to mark.
I may not have mentioned it explicitly with the other IB Economics
paper 1 tips but I will now.
MAKE SURE that you make references to the information given to
you. It’s not mandatory because you’re essentially referring to the
information given to you on the paper but it’s good practice to
explicitly reference of cite the info from time to time. This is applicable
to both the 10 mark question and 15 mark question
Ah yes Economics Paper 1. If you’re an Economics student, either SL
or HL, you’ll know that it can be tough to score enough marks to get
into those higher grade boundaries. So if that’s exactly how you’re
feeling, fear not. There are ways you can score higher marks.
In this article I’m going to cover the following points:

 What DEED/DEEDE stands for

 Practice makes perfect
 Getting your teacher’s help

You can also check out my other article on the Economics Internal
Assessment to see how DEED is used there if you’re interested.

Determined baby
So let’s get into. Just how DO you nail Economics Paper 1?

What does DEED/DEEDE Stand For?

If you haven’t read my Econ IA then I’ll catch you up to speed real
quick. If you have read it then you can skip to the “Practice Makes
Perfect” section.
Now, for those of you who are new to the acronym, DEED or DEEDE,
here’s what they mean:
D – Define
E – Example(s)
E – Explain
D – Diagram(s)
As for the other one, DEEDE is basically all of the above with the
inclusion of the extra ‘E’ which stands for Evaluation because that’s
essentially what the extra 5 marks are in the 15 mark questions.
Just to be clear, you can mix it up if you like. When you answer your
10/15 mark questions in Economics Paper 1, you don’t necessarily
need to follow the DEED format. You can put your explanations
before examples or define your terms at the very end. As long as it
has a good flow that examiners can follow. That’s the important part.
DEED and DEEDE are checklists for what your answer need to

Using DEED/DEEDE In Economics Paper 1

‘Define’ means you need to define the terms you’re going to use in
your answer. For example, if you were going to mention terms like
‘opportunity cost’ or ‘demand/supply’, you would need to define what
these mean.
You need to remember that when you write Paper 1, you need to do
so as if you’re explaining to someone who’s never ever studied
Economics before.
‘Example(s)’ means you should give either real life examples or
hypothetical situations. So for example (pun not intended), you could
write something like:
“The opportunity cost for the government of country X in lowering
income taxes on consumers could be reduced government spending
as the government receives some of it’s revenue from taxes”
‘Explain’ means you need to elaborate on the theory in your answer.
For example, let’s take a look at 10 marker from the November 2015
HL Economics Paper 1:
Explain why a government might decide to impose an indirect tax on
the consumption of cigarettes
In this instance, the ‘Explain’ part of your answer would include
mentioning things like increasing government spending and reducing
consumption of cigarettes since they’re demerit goods. Remember
that you should be writing as though you were explaining to someone
with no knowledge in Economics.
So for example, a sample response might be:
“A government may impose indirect taxes to increase government
revenue and therefore increase government spending, which could
benefit the economy. It might also impose indirect taxes to discourage
smoking and subsequent passive smoking, both of which are health
risks to consumers.”
Something like that.
The ‘Diagrams’ part is pretty self-explanatory. Depending on the
question, you will need to draw an appropriate graph to go with your
answer. For full marks, you need to focus on the details such as
correct labelling and clarity so make sure to make the diagrams large.
As for the ‘Evaluation’ part of DEEDE, this is where you’re essentially
doing a ‘advantages vs. disadvantages’ assessment. Be careful
though. It’s not a simple as it sounds.
A question might ask you to ‘Discuss’, ‘Evaluate’, or any other
relevant term. So you’ll need to be careful with how you word your
answer so that’s it’s NOT just a blunt list of pros and cons that doesn’t
sound like it’s answering the question at all.
Also be aware that the ‘Evaluation’ part is ONLY for the 15 mark
questions in your Economics Paper 1.
For example, the 15 mark question following the 10 mark question
before is the following:
Discuss the possible consequences of the imposition of an indirect tax
on cigarettes for the different stakeholders in the market
Your response might look a little something like this. Remember that
‘Discuss’ is the keyword so make it sound like you’re discussing:
“The consequences of the imposition of such a tax will likely fall on
producers and consumers of cigarettes. Producers will lose out as
demand for their product will fall as a result of higher prices due to the
tax. Consumers may also lose out because cigarettes are addictive
and so may choose to continue paying higher prices.
On the other hand, the government may benefit as government
revenue might increase leading to increased government spending,
which would also benefit the economy. Second hand or passive
smoking by consumers who don’t smoke could also decrease as a
result of the tax which. Additionally, some smokers my be
discouraged from the higher prices and could quit smoking
Whether the above sample response is any good is up for debate but
the point of me writing it is for you to get an idea of how you could
format your answers.

Practice Makes Perfect

One does not simply…

Oh wait you thought this was going to be simple? Nah. Sorry to
disappoint but 90% of whatever grade you’re eventually going to get is
going to come from practice.
That applies to pretty much all your subjects when it comes to exams.
Economics Paper 1 is definitely something you’re going to have to do
a lot of practice runs on so get a chunky stack of blank paper out and
prepare for some long, arduous hours of work.
Try to prioritize polishing up your 15 markers. You’re pretty much
getting a 2 for 1 deal since 15 markers are basically 10 mark
questions plus an evaluation.
Since you’ve got an hour and 30 minutes for your exam and you need
to answer two 10 mark questions as well as two 15 mark question,
you need to use your time efficiently.
That’s 45 minutes per pair of questions. Remember, your 15 mark
questions usually take more time so make sure to give more time for
A combo that worked for me was spending 18 minutes on the 10
marker and 27 minutes on the 15 marker. You can organize your own
time however you like but try timing yourself when practicing. Your
performance under pressure is key to a good answer.

Teacher’s Feedback
Waiting for feedback got me
If possible, try to get some feedback from your teachers. They are
immensely helpful for your Economics Paper 1 practice. They can
spot areas that need improvement and what you’re doing well.
Even sending one or two over could give you a good idea of where
you need to work on. Even if the feedback is harsh, take advantage of
it. There can be some brutal teachers but trust me, they’re doing it for
your own good. The harsher, the better. You kind of need that
Anyway I digress. The bottom-line here is that any and all feedback is
good feedback. Especially from teachers.
I wrote another article that kind of acts as an extension to this one. It
has the same past paper questions but I go more in depth with
DEED/DEEDE and long answer response structuring. Here’s the link.
Paper 2 Evaluation
Uhm regarding the paper 2 evaluations:

• use references from the text (2-3 quotes)

• use own knowledge, basically applied theory, understanding of advantages/



The 8 mark question is actually very similar to the 15 mark question on paper 1

Intro: define key terms, show understanding of debate/ topic and say there are different
viewpoints that should be addressed

P1: Advantages of concept (buffer stock, high exchange rate, supply side policies,...)

P2: Disadvantages of concept (.....)

P3: Conclusion- Make a DECISION! What is better? Do the advantages outweigh the
disadvantages? Is the question/phrase right?


• You make link to diagrams used in part b or c by simply referring to them in your evaluation

• Real-life examples are not really necessary here aince you have the text as a real life example

• Use quotes- you will be penalised otherwise!

• Take some of the content from the text (and it usually gives you already half of the evaluation)
and talk about it without quoting, examiners may regard this as own knowledge

• Roughly 3 quotes are suggested

• Keep it concise and talk about many points- in this case I feel like breadth is more important
than depth since there are many points on the markscheme which you get points for

Methods of evaluation

• Advantages/ disadvantages (usually your best bet)

• Impact on stakeholders (government, poducer, consumer)

• Short-run/ Long-run

• Other policies/methods/ways to solve issues

• Prioritization (what factor is most important,... this is crucial for your concluding remarks)
Time for part

8 marks- my suggestion spend roughly 16 minutes on it, on paper 2 you have two minutes per
mark. Do not go over the time since your other answers will suffer. It is better to have two
questions worth 4 than one worth 6.

I actually don't have that much time to invest into Econ revision because of my higher levels but
I can suggest the Oxford Revision Guide for Economics, the Blink Course Companion, do you
mean that one?

Also check out "pajholden" on youtube, he has some great videos avout all econ topics. very

Best tip though: past papers, past papers, past papers,... I did tons over these two years, we
had about 20 mocks, 5 paper 2s and 15 paper 1s. Time management is the key issue but once
you get that down it shouldn't be a problem.

Evaluation in Economics

Evaluation is a very
important concept in economics. It is what you to when you have finished analysing. By
analysing we mean giving your Definitions, Explanations, Examples and Diagrams
(DEED). Show how the theories relate to the question and explain the theories. Basically
analysing is drawing out the theory and then evaluation is drawing your conclusions
and also challenging the analysis.

The hard part about all of this is making sure that you say enough in your analysis and
in your evaluation. So you don't forget, remember to "Do the DEED" when you analyze
and then "CLASPP it all together" when you're evaluating. On your essay questions and
data response questions (on your exams) you'll need to evaluate. But you don't need to
evaluate in your short-answer questions.
(d.) - A clasp is something that holds things together. But (spelled with 2 P’s) it’s also an
acronym for the 6 types of evaluation in IB Economics.

Use at least 3 of these in your Part B questions. Personally, I recommend to my

students that they try use Stakeholders, Assumptions each time and include a
third one of their choice. We always care a lot about stakeholder effects and
assumptions is impressive because it shows that you really understand the theory.

-What can we conclude from the theory (that you’ve explained in your analysis)?

Long-term and short-term effects

-Is the change good in the short-term, but over in a few years it will have undesirable

-Will the policy be really hard on people in the short-run, but it fixes the long-term

-Will this policy fix one problem, but create another?

-Are there some assumptions being made, that the theory depends on that may not hold
true? This is the same as “ceteris paribus” --the assumption that all other things are
being held equal, when in fact they might not stay constant. Explain what might change
and how that would effect your analysis.

-Tell us the weaknesses in the theory?

-What is unrealistic about the theory?

-What effects would this policy (i.e. an indirect tax) have on the government, consumers,
producers and the rest of society?

-Policies (i.e. price ceilings) are often made with particular stakeholders in mind, so are
there undesirable effects on other parties (i.e. price increases for consumers)?

-Is the policy great for some groups, but bad for others?

-Discussing the priorities of a society, or the government is also a good way to keep
things in perspective. A policy like subsidising schools is good for families, good for the
long-term macro economy, but bad for tax payers who don’t have children, what are the
priorities as a society?

-Is there an important normative (i.e. values aspect) that the theory doesn’t consider?

Pros and Cons

-What are the advantages and disadvantages of this policy?

-What are the costs and the benefits of this policy?

-What are the arguments for and the arguments against this policy?

-This one is to double-check that you haven’t left anything out in the preceding ones.