Economics (H) 2015: Required students to have non-textbook, independent knowledge


Comment/ analysis on Economics paper (Higher Level) by Ray O’Loughlin, Economics teacher at The Institute of Education

A fairly well-balanced paper that gave good scope to hard working students to showcase their knowledge and ability. In line with last year, the paper contained an amount of non-textbook material that needed independent knowledge. These are items that many students would have had difficulty with. Students were required to have knowledge of a wide range of topical issues outside of their textbooks.

Section A:
There was reasonable choice in this section, and students would have been able to get six good questions here.

Question 4 on oligopolists and Question 8 on the value of the Euro going down, were fair and students would have been well prepared for them.

Section B:
There were some very demanding topics in this section that contained an amount of non-textbook material that required students to have independent knowledge.

Question 1, part c asked students to discuss whether there should there be a rent ceiling for private rented accommodation. Very topical, but also very challenging.

Question 2, part C, asked students to discuss whether Irish Water should be regulated. This was a very demanding question.

In Question 5, part B students were asked to examine the economic impact of the recent Central Bank mortgage restrictions on the Irish property market. Again, a very topical, but demanding theme.

The importance of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to SME’s appeared in part c of Question 5. Again, a very tricky topic that students may not have been familiar with.

Question 3, on costs, Question 7 on national income and question 8 on government were well-balanced, accessible questions which students would have welcomed.