International Advanced Levels Economics (2018)
IAL Economics: assessment support
IAL Economics: assessment support
The purpose of this page is to help you understand the assessment of IAL Economics.
There is a sister page to help you in the delivery of this qualification.
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.
Feedback on the 2019 summer exam series (papers 1 and 2) is available in a pre-recorded training session.
Specimen papers and mark schemes are also available for all 4 units.
These exemplar answers from the May 2019 Unit 1 and 2 papers show how examiners have applied the mark scheme to candidate responses:
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.
• 1 mark for drawing original supply and demand (do not have to include market equilibrium).
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.
When asked to a draw a diagram all marks can be achieved through the diagram and no written explanation is required. The majority of students support their response with a written explanation when in fact the diagram has achieved full marks.
Label the new curve differently e.g. S and S1.
Label the new price and quantity clearly e.g. P and P1.
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
Some students provide evaluation for this question, having misinterpreted the command word in the question. No marks are available for evaluation.
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.
Some students are providing a lot of analysis in their answer and overwriting for this type question. This makes timing in the exam difficult.
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.
Examine questions do require an evaluation which can either be achieved through the development of an evaluation point or the identification of two evaluative comments. A significant number of students do not attempt an evaluation.
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.
Most students attempt to evaluate their responses, but it seems that most are struggling to develop their evaluation sufficiently to receive a Level 3 mark. In order to rectify this, students should perhaps be advised to focus on writing longer chains of reasoning to develop two evaluative points, rather than identifying and partially developing three points.
Candidates offering developed chains of reasoning in context are awarded Level 3.
Students who receive higher marks for evaluation tend to use information in the extract as the starting point for their evaluation, going on to use their economic knowledge to explain the relevance of the data, rather than beginning with a generic evaluative point.
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.
Students are encouraged to have a clear structure to their answers. They must avoid writing essays in bullet points or in long blocks/paragraphs without making a distinction between their analysis and evaluation points. Essays should be structured in paragraphs so that each covers discussion of one issue. Evaluation of this point may be included in that paragraph.
In the best responses for KAA students demonstrate a precise knowledge of concepts, developed chains of reasoning, accurate diagrams that are explained clearly and reference to context. Evaluation points should be made and linked to the context of the question. These should have a chain of reasoning or sufficient development to be able to achieve Level 3.
A 20 marker will normally require 3 or 4 evaluation points for 8 marks.With regard to evaluation the best answers included chains of reasoning linked to the context and an informed judgement.
Candidates often make a number of valid separate points but do not develop a coherent chain of reasoning. In addition, a number of candidates do not include any form of contextual reference and consequently will not achieve more than a Level 2 KAA mark. Context can be from the stem in the question and/or from other examples used effectively by the candidate.
For their evaluation candidates should provide a partially-developed chain of reasoning to attain at least Level 2. An informed judgement is needed in order to gain a Level 3 evaluation mark.
For evaluation, students should provide a partially developed chain of reasoning to attain at least Level 2. Writing a list of points will only give students access to Level 1. An informed judgement is needed in order to gain a Level 3 evaluation mark.
Unlike the previous paper (WEC04), students are not expected to write four analysis and three evaluation points. They can select two or three analysis points and develop them by focusing on those points rather than trying to cover as many points as possible.
- Define the key terms relevant to the question.
- If relevant, include a diagram and explain it as part of the write up. When including diagrams it is important to incorporate the details from the diagram in the analysis.
- It is not enough to identify factors. The depth comes from the chains of reasoning to access the analysis marks.
- Evaluation points should be made and linked to the context of the question. These should have a chain of reasoning or sufficient development to be able to achieve Level 3.
- To achieve Level 3 for evaluation in the essay it is necessary to include an informed judgement.
There is a top level candidate response in the 2019 Unit 1 Examiner’s Report.
• measurement problems in terms of the difficulty in measuring
• time frame, short-term/long-term
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|
|Unit 2 WEC12 Macroeconomic performance and policy||Max Mark||a||b||c||d||e||u|
|Unit 3 WEC13 Business Behaviour||Max Mark||a*||a||b||c||d||e||u|
|Unit 4 WEC14 Developments in the Global Economy||Max Mark||a*||a||b||c||d||e||u|
|Cash-in grade boundaries||Max Mark||A||B||C||D||E||U|
|XEC11 International AS Economics
|YEC11 International AL Economics||UMS||400||320||280||240||200||160||0|
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 2020 (CAGs)||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 (CAGs)||63||15.9%||57.1%||79.4%||90.5%||93.7%||96.8%||100%|
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.
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