IAL Economics: assessment support

13 January 2020

IAL Economics: assessment support

The purpose of this page is to help you understand the assessment of IAL Economics.

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There is a sister page to help you in the delivery of this qualification.

Exam materials

Past question papers, mark schemes and examiners' reports are available on the qualification page.

These are kept locked for the first 9 months after an examination series and you will require an Edexcel Online username and password to be able to gain access.

Exam feedback

Feedback on the 2019 summer exam series (papers 1 and 2) is available in a pre-recorded training session.

Specimen papers

Specimen papers and mark schemes are also available for all 4 units.

Exemplar answers

These exemplar answers from the May 2019 Unit 1 and 2 papers show how examiners have applied the mark scheme to candidate responses:

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Examiners' reports

Examiners' reports are a useful way of understanding the standard that has been applied. You can see exemplar student answers to each question with examiner comments and tips. Combining a reading of the examiners' reports with the mark schemes can provide useful insights.

There are extracts from the examiners' reports as they relate to the different command verbs below:

2 Knowledge (AO1) marks

The two mark define questions require a definition only. The marks available are both for knowledge so there is not a requirement to use examples from the context.

There are no application marks so any attempt to apply to the extract is not required.

Knowledge
• 1 mark for drawing original supply and demand (do not have to include market equilibrium).

Application
Up to 3 marks for the following information included on diagram:
• 1 mark for drawing a shift
• 1 mark for labelling the new price
• 1 mark for labelling the new quantity.

All the marks are for the drawing of the diagram. There is no reward for any written explanation.

Label the new curve differently e.g. S and S1.

Label the new price and quantity clearly e.g. P and P1.

Examiners Tips:
The use of directional arrows is helpful to indicate clearly that the shift is in the correct direction.  

When you shift more than one curve the only two equilibria required are for the original and new price and quantity. Any interim equilibria are not required.

In a PPF diagram make it clear in the diagram the direction of your shift in the PPF. This could be through the use of an arrow or through the labels e.g. PPF to PPF1.

Knowledge – 1 mark for the correct formula
Application - 3 marks for the calculations

Always include units in your answer.

Calculations of PED will always be negative so you must include a negative sign in the answer even if the fact the quantity falls is ignored in earlier calculations. Whilst in May 2019 on this occasion we have allowed for a positive or negative value of PED, it is important to note that it is technically a negative value and candidates must show it is negative in future series. Elasticities of demand are not percentages and the percentage sign must not be included.

Make sure in calculating the change in quantity demanded to include whether it is positive or negative. On its own this was worth a mark which many candidates missed out on.

There are types of Explain question

Type 1: Knowledge 2 Application 2

The first type assesses AO1 and AO2 only. There are no analysis marks in this type of explain question. Examples are: explain the difference, explain what is meant by, explain the term, explain the likely change

Type 2: Knowledge 1 Application 1 Analysis 2

The second type assesses AO1-AO3.

These may start ‘Explain one’ or ‘Explain the likely impact. Illustrate your answer with a diagram’.
This last type is different from the ‘Draw’ questions. The question does ask to explain so it will require more than just a diagram. 2 marks for the diagram.

Knowledge 2 Application 2 Analysis 2

Might include an instruction to illustrate the answer with a supply and demand diagram. A correct diagram would get 3 marks:

• one K for the original supply, demand and equilibrium
• one Ap mark for the correct shift on the diagram
• one An mark showing final equilibrium and the new price and quantity

Knowledge – 2 marks, one for a definition and one for identifying the factor in the case study. A diagram could also get a knowledge mark

Application and analysis – up to 2 marks for each linked explanation up to a maximum of 4 marks

Evaluation – up to 2 marks for 2 evaluative points or one evaluative point developed

On an 8 mark question candidates will typically need to consider 3 factors, whether this be causes or impacts, so considering further factors may be excessive and just reduce the candidates ability to finish the paper in the allocated time.

In the 8 mark question there are two evaluation marks available. These can be accessed through
making two evaluative comments or by developing one evaluation point.

You will find an 8/8 example in the 2019 Unit 1 Examiner’s Report.

KAA: context is very important. Candidates achieve a Level 1 for a generic answer or the bottom of Level 2 for some reference to context.

Evaluation: up to 6 marks are available across 3 levels.
Generic and undeveloped evaluation points achieve only Level 1.
Offering more development can achieve Level 2.
Level 3 candidates not only identify evaluative points and develop these, but answers are fully in context.

In order to access higher level evaluation marks candidates need to develop a chain of reasoning in their evaluative comments. This is an area which centres will need to focus upon.

Students should be encouraged to develop at least 2 and possibly 3 evaluation points.

Candidates offering developed chains of reasoning in context were awarded Level 3.

When asked to draw a diagram it is important to do so as it makes it difficult to achieve the top level without it.

Use accurate diagrams and refer to them in explanations for KAA and for evaluation marks. An accurate diagram, with explanation in context, can shift a response from Level 2 to Level 3 for both KAA and for Evaluation.

A Level 3 response can be found in the 2019 Unit 1 Examiner’s Report.

Grade boundaries

A grade boundary is the minimum mark at which a letter grade can be achieved. For example, if the grade boundary for a B is 60 marks, then 60 is the minimum mark at which a B can be achieved. A mark of 59 would therefore be a C grade.

For modular qualifications, assessments can be taken in various exam sessions throughout the duration of the course.

A raw mark is the actual mark awarded by the examiner for an assessment.

Raw marks are converted to UMS marks for all modular qualifications. This is because raw mark grade boundaries may change from exam session to exam session to take into account variations in the difficulty of assessments.  

Unit 1 WEC11 Markets in Action   Max Mark a b c d e u
  UMS 100 80 70 60 50 40 0
May/June 2019 Raw 80 57
51
45
40
35
0
October 2019 Raw 80 59 52 46 40 34 0
January 2020 Raw 80 58 52 46 40 35 0
Unit 2 WEC12 Macroeconomic performance and policy   Max Mark a b c d e u
  UMS 100 80 70 60 50 40 0
May/June 2019 Raw 80 56
50
45
40
35
0
October 2019 Raw 80 57 51 45 40 35 0
January 2020 Raw 80 57 51 45 40 35 0
Unit 3 WEC13 Business Behaviour   Max Mark a* a b c d e u
  UMS 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 0
January 2020 Raw 80 55
50
45
40
36
32
0
Cash-in grade boundaries   Max Mark A B C D E U
XEC11 International AS Economics
UMS
200
160
140
120
100
80
0

Grade statistics

The grade statistics show:

  • the total number of candidates
  • the cumulative percentage of candidates at each grade boundary as a percentage of the total cohort
XEC11 International AS Economics Number of candidates A B C D E U
May/June 2019
1021
32.1%
53.1%
68.7%
78.6%
87.3%
100%
October 2019 151 19.9% 44.4% 60.3% 74.8% 86.8% 100%
January 2020 298 19.5% 39.9% 56.7% 69.5% 82.2% 100%
May/June 2020 1261 48.8% 69.1% 87.1% 92.9% 96.7% 100%
YEC11 International AL Economics Number of candidates A* A B C D E U
May/June 2020 63 15.9% 57.1% 79.4% 90.5% 93.7% 96.8% 100%

ResultsPlus

ResultsPlus is a free online results analysis tool that gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in their exams.

You can see the actual scores for each exam question for a student, class or group and understand how your students’ performance compares with class and Edexcel national averages.

ResultsPlus can also help you to identify potential topics, skills and types of question where students may need to develop their learning further.

You will need your Edexcel Online username and password to log into ResultsPlus.

Subject advisor

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Business and Economics
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