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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > ⌛ Is this why you run out of time in your A level Economics exams?

Welcome to the 36th 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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⌛ Is this why you run out of time in your A level Economics exams?


Let’s cut to the chase....

....if you’re running out of time in your A-Level Economics exams, it's time for a tactical shift.

🤔 Recognise this scenario?

You're faced with an early 4 or 5 marker, and you pour minute after minute into it, trying to squeeze out every possible point because it seems straightforward.

Truth bomb:

⏱️ Each extra minute you spend on these questions is robbing precious time from the heavy-weight questions later on.

Here’s the snowball effect: those minutes stack up, and before you know it, you're 15 minutes down and the major 12, 15, and 25 markers are looming like giants.

Here's where it gets real:

Those extra minutes on the early questions?

They often don’t yield the marks you’re banking on.

If you're not securing full marks within the allocated time, there's a hitch in your technique – not your knowledge.

So, you reach the end, short on time for the big 25 marker, and it’s easy to think, “I just needed more time.”

But the truth? The time was lost way back at the start.
✨ Here's the Game Plan:

Minutes per Mark: Get crystal clear on your minutes-per-mark ratio. Edexcel? Aim for roughly a minute per mark. AQA and OCR? You have more like 40 minutes for those juicy 25 markers.

Exam Technique Drill:
Know the breakdown of knowledge, application, analysis, and evaluation marks for each question. Structure your answers with precision.

Consistent Practice: Don’t wait for the final to get this right. Practice like you're in the exam hall, time yourself, refine your approach, repeat.
It’s not just about the final sprint – it's the pace you set from the starting block.

So here’s the deal:

You’ve got this. Understand the tempo of the exam. Get into the rhythm. Train yourself to be as sharp in minute 1 as you are in minute 120.

🚀 Time is a resource, and you're the economist. Allocate it wisely, and watch as those A’s and A*’s start to materialise.

Ready, set, manage that time – and I'll see you at the finish line!


Brexit import charges may mean rise in food prices, say trade groups


📈 Rising Costs: Trade groups predict an increase in food prices due to new post-Brexit import charges on EU food and plant products, set to begin later this month.

🇬🇧 UK Government's New Fees: Fees up to £145 will be implemented for small imports of animal products and plants like sausages, cheese, and yoghurt via Dover and Eurotunnel.

🛃 Border Inspections: The charges, starting 30 April, aim to fund border inspections and boost biosecurity by preventing plant and animal diseases from entering the UK.

🔍 Industry Disappointment: Industry leaders criticise the new fees, warning they will elevate business expenses, food prices, and might limit consumer choices.

📦 Impact on Small Importers: A flat rate fee is seen as particularly detrimental to small and medium-sized importers, with costs adding up quickly for even small consignments.

⏰ Last-minute Announcement: The Cold Chain Federation states the charges were announced too late, giving businesses minimal time to adjust their dealings with EU partners.

💷 Direct Effects on Pricing: With the new charges applying from 30 April, UK importers will need to pass these costs onto EU importers, UK retailers, or directly to consumers.

🌿 Horticulture Hit Hard: The UK horticultural sector faces challenges as these fees could hike costs, reduce consumer choices, and risk biodiversity and environmental goals.

🔄 Policy Delays: The introduction of these charges has been postponed five times since Brexit, partially to allow businesses to prepare and mitigate supply chain disruptions.

🤝 Government Response: The UK government claims the charges will recover costs for biosecurity checks at border facilities and has consulted extensively with the industry to set a cap to aid smaller businesses.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: Discuss how the introduction of post-Brexit import charges on EU food and plant products could influence the price elasticity of demand for these products in the UK.
A:The introduction of import charges is likely to decrease the price elasticity of demand for EU food and plant products. As prices rise due to the added costs, consumers might find fewer available substitutes and become less responsive to price changes in the short term. Over time, if substitutes from non-EU countries become more available or if consumers adjust their consumption habits, elasticity could increase again.

Q: Evaluate the potential impact of the new import charges on the UK's balance of trade with the EU.
A:The new import charges could negatively impact the UK's balance of trade with the EU by making EU products more expensive and potentially reducing the volume of imports. This might improve the trade balance if imports decline significantly. However, if UK consumers and businesses cannot find alternative sources at comparable prices, the overall cost of imports may increase, worsening the trade balance.

Q: What are the implications of setting a flat rate fee for the import of most animal and plant products into the UK?
A: Setting a flat rate fee simplifies the administrative process but can be regressive, impacting smaller importers more severely than larger ones. The uniform fee structure does not account for the scale of goods imported or the importer's ability to pay, potentially leading to decreased market participation by smaller businesses and reduced consumer choices.

Q: Analyse the possible effects of increased import charges on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.
A: Increased import charges will likely place a financial strain on SMEs, particularly those relying on small consignments of goods from the EU. The flat rate fee could disproportionately affect smaller businesses that have less capacity to absorb additional costs, leading to higher prices for consumers, reduced competitiveness, or even business closures if they cannot pass on the costs.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Discuss the macroeconomic effects on the UK economy of an increase in Tariffs.

Infographic of the Week

European Wage Landscape: An Overview of Average Hourly Salaries

Europe not only boasts some of the world's largest economies and a significant single-market area, but it also offers varied economic prosperity reflected in the average hourly wages across different countries. The heatmap visualization of average hourly salaries, derived from Eurostat data up to 2023, reveals a stark contrast between Northern and Western Europe and their Southern and Eastern counterparts. Luxembourg leads with the highest average hourly wage at €47, attributed to its status as the financial powerhouse and having the highest per capita GDP globally. Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Norway also top the list with wages around €42 per hour, while Bulgaria has the lowest at €8 per hour. This geographic wage disparity aligns with historical economic shifts and current differences in economic development, cost of living, and overall wealth.

Chart of the Week

The Implications of Generative AI on New York's Labour Market

The advent of generative AI is poised to significantly alter the labour landscape within New York by 2030, potentially impacting around 380,000 jobs. However, this transformation is not synonymous with job loss, as explained by senior partner Yael Taqqu and colleagues. Instead, generative AI is expected to enhance job roles, particularly in sectors such as customer service and office support, which could experience growth despite the technological shifts. While some occupations may undergo substantial transitions, the overall effect of generative AI on employment could be an evolution of job functions and the creation of new opportunities, rather than a reduction in job numbers. This shift underscores the dual nature of AI as both a disruptor and an enabler in the contemporary job market.

Macroeconomic Data

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

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Emre Aksahin
Chief Learning Officer at Edgenie