Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

OCR GCE AS/A2 Economics

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

OCR GCE AS/A2 Economics

Article excerpt

In line with the changes to all GCE qualifications, OCR's popular Economics course moves from six to four units to reduce the burden of examinations. As with the previous OCR specification, the new qualification has no coursework option - so no change there. Exams will be available in January and June for each unit. The changes have been accommodated with relatively few substantive alterations.

Units 2881, The Market System, and 2882, Market Failure and Government Intervention, have been merged into the new unit F581, Markets in Action. This deals with what markets are, how they operate, and what makes markets efficient or sees them fail. The new unit F582, The National and International Economy, is essentially the old unit 2883. This unit deals with the main national and international economic indicators, policies and problems.

These units, F581 and F582, form the overall AS qualification, and they are equally weighted at 50 per cent each. The structure of the exams changes from three one hour papers to two 90 minute exams. Despite this change, the overall style of the exams has not changed. Both exams still focus on an unseen case study with a set of compulsory questions. As before, last question will be a mini-essay task. The marks available for both exams has increased from 45 to 60.

At A2, there are now only two option units (whereas previously there were four). Students will have to choose one of the two new micro units, either F583, Economics of Work and Leisure, or F584, Transport Economics. They will also have to complete the compulsory macro unit F585, The Global Economy.

The micro units (F583 and F584) are broadly similar in nature to the previous units 2884 and 2885. There has been some updating of the content to reflect developments since the last overhaul of the qualification. Again the number of marks has been increased from 45 to 60 and the exam has been extended by 30 minutes to two hours. In the exam for the option units, Section A will feature a compulsory data response question and Section B will require completion of a structured essay from a choice of three questions. These exams are similar in nature to the current exams on offer. The micro unit selected will count for 25 per cent of the overall qualification.

The three existing macro units - 2886, Economics of Development, 2887, The UK Economy and 2888, Economics in a European Context - have been merged into the new macro unit F585, The Global Economy. …

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