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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > A Level Economics: Where do your marks come from?

Welcome to the 16th edition of Wednesday Wisdoms by EdGenie!

Every Wednesday I send out actionable tips, tricks and real-world application insights from my 13-year experience coaching students to achieve As and A* in their Economics and Business A Levels.

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A Level Economics: Where do your marks come from?

Hey Genies, 🌟

Today, I want to address a surprising revelation: many students are navigating their A-Level Economics studies without a clear understanding of where they get their marks from.
😲Specifically, two critical areas remain foggy for many:
  • Understanding precisely where each and every mark stems from for every question you face.
  • Mastering the tactics to effectively deploy Knowledge, Application, Analysis, and Evaluation for optimal scoring.

    It's time we shed light on these crucial aspects (drawing insights from Edexcel A but equally relevant to AQA and OCR):

📘 1) AO1: Knowledge
Demonstrate knowledge of terms/concepts and theories/models to show an understanding of the behaviour of economic agents and how they are affected by and respond to economic issues

Where do the marks come from:
  • Definitions 🔍
  • Theories 🧠
  • Models 📈
  • Your 'Points' in answering the question ✍️
  • Connection to Economic Agents 👥

🌐 2) AO2: Application - Bringing Economics to Life
Apply knowledge and understanding to various economic contexts to show how economic agents are affected by and respond to economic issues.

  • Knowledge applied to the question 🎯
  • How your point, explanation links with data/real world 🌎
  • How you use the data/real world to DRIVE your answer 🚗
  • Applying your diagrams to scenario 📊

🔬 3) AO3: Analysis
Analyse issues within economics, showing an understanding of their impact on economic agents

  • Explanation of your point 🗣️
  • Deep chains of reasoning (use of connectives and the WHY, WHAT, WHO Method) 🔗
  • How your point impact Economics agents and the causes/consequences of this ⚡

⚔️ 4) AO4: Evaluation
​Evaluate economic arguments and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues

  • Challenging the status quo 🤔
  • Challenging and Commenting on the previous Analytical point/explanation 💬
  • Using EdGenie's E.V.A.L.U.A.T.I.O.N Framework to comment 🖋️
  • Validity of your argument? ✔️
  • Judgment Paragraph 📝

Remember, these insights are just the beginning. Understanding where your marks come from is crucial, but applying this consistently is what will elevate your Economics game.

​Royal Mail loses 360-year monopoly on delivering parcels from Post Office sites


💸📦 End of Monopoly: Royal Mail to lose its 360-year-old monopoly on parcel delivery from Post Office branches.

🤝 New Partnerships: Post Office to offer services from couriers Evri and DPD, starting later this month.

📈 Customer Dissatisfaction: Decision driven by increasing dissatisfaction with Royal Mail's service quality.

🏢 Historical Separation: Royal Mail and Post Office were part of the same group until 2012; separated due to privatisation.

🚚 Delivery Challenges: Royal Mail criticised for poor performance, under investigation by Ofcom, and impacted by strikes and weather issues in the last trading period.

🦠 Pandemic Strain: Royal Mail's performance affected by high parcel volumes and staff sickness during the pandemic.

📊 Consumer Survey Results: 48% of parcel senders desire the option to choose different providers, reflecting concerns over late deliveries and lost parcels.

🔍 Quality Concerns: Both Evri (formerly Hermes) and DPD, the new partners, have faced their own customer service criticisms.

💻 Online vs Branch Services: Post Office has offered alternatives to Royal Mail online, but this is a first for branch services.

📯 Future Plans: Post Office aims to partner with more carriers, as part of its transformation, according to CEO Nick Read.

🤕 Horizon Scandal Fallout: The Post Office still addressing the repercussions of the Horizon IT scandal, which wrongly accused hundreds of fraud and led to imprisonments and suicides. CEO Read has returned a bonus linked to the scandal inquiry.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: How might the introduction of competition in the postal service market impact consumer welfare?​
​A: The introduction of competition with carriers like Evri and DPD could enhance consumer welfare by offering more choices and potentially better services. Consumers may benefit from more competitive pricing, improved service quality, and innovative delivery options. When companies compete, they are often driven to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction, which can lead to better overall consumer experiences.

Q: Discuss the potential impact of Royal Mail losing its monopoly on the postal service's operational efficiency.
A: The loss of monopoly might compel Royal Mail to enhance its operational efficiency to remain competitive. Facing competition, it would likely need to address issues such as delivery delays and service quality. This could lead to innovations in logistics, better management practices, and investment in technology, ultimately improving efficiency. However, there's also the risk that intense competition might lead to cost-cutting measures that could adversely affect service standards.

Q: Evaluate the impact of privatisation, using Royal Mail as an example.
A: The privatisation of Royal Mail, leading to its separation from the Post Office, can be seen as an effort to increase efficiency and profitability through market competition. Privatisation often aims to reduce public sector costs, improve service quality, and bring in private capital. However, in the case of Royal Mail, privatisation has also led to challenges such as workforce disputes and operational inefficiencies. This shows that while privatisation can bring benefits like innovation and improved services, it can also create challenges like job insecurity and a focus on profit over service.

Q: Analyse the potential economic implications for Royal Mail as it faces increased competition from Evri and DPD.
A: Increased competition from Evri and DPD could pressure Royal Mail to revise its business strategies. Economically, it might need to streamline operations and innovate (dynamic efficiency) to maintain market share. There could be a short-term increase in costs due to these changes, but potentially long-term benefits in terms of efficiency and profitability. However, if Royal Mail fails to compete effectively, it could lose significant market share, impacting its revenue and potentially leading to job losses.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Evaluate the benefits for consumers with the introduction of competition in the parcel delivery market. 

Infographic of the Week

Google's Unwavering Dominance in the Global Search Engine Market and Emerging Antitrust Challenges

In June 2023, Google maintained its dominance in the global search engine market with a staggering 90.7% share, far outpacing competitors like Bing and Yahoo, each holding just 3.2%. This overwhelming market presence has triggered a U.S. antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing it of monopolising digital advertising technologies and engaging in exclusionary practices. Despite its dominance, Google faces a significant legal challenge, akin to the major United States v. Microsoft Corp trial in 2001. Meanwhile, Bing, with a higher 5.5% market share in the U.S. compared to its global presence, has not shown significant growth in 2023, even after integrating GPT-4 technology following Microsoft's $10 billion investment in OpenAI. This suggests that, despite efforts to innovate and compete, Bing has yet to make a substantial dent in Google's market dominance.

Chart of the Week

The Crucial Need for Global Economic Resilience and Cooperation Amid Rising Protectionism

As the world faces increasing economic shocks, the risk of protectionism leading to global fragmentation is high, potentially slashing global output by 7% or $7.4 trillion. The rise in trade barriers, technological decoupling, and disrupted capital flows underscores the urgent need for enhanced international cooperation. The IMF stresses the role of global institutions in fostering collaboration and trust among nations to build resilience against future economic challenges.

Macroeconomic Data

Whenever you're ready there is one way I can help you.

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Join EdGenie 🧞‍♂️: Transform your A-Level Economics essays and exam marks (genuinely) with our comprehensive on-demand learning platform. This carefully curated course blends engaging content with effective exam techniques, the same ones that have empowered over 1,000 of my students to achieve an A or A* over the last 13 years. 
A huge thanks for hopping on board EdGenie's Wednesday Wisdoms newsletter! 
I'm Emre, and I've got a big goal - to make A* education accessible to all A-level students.
And it Starts With You!

Emre Aksahin
Chief Learning Officer at Edgenie