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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > 🌟 Question Practice = The Secret to A/A* Grades!

Welcome to the 35th 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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🌟 Question Practice = The Secret to A/A* Grades!

Genies
Straight talk?


Without question practice, you're not unlocking your full A-Level Economics potential.

This week, as I guide students through the EdGenie Easter Accelerator (which, by the way, I'm loving – join us from 8th-10th!), a stark truth hit me:

📚 Many students underestimate the power of tackling exam questions head-on.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of exam-style questions.

The fear of failure can be paralysing.But let me be clear:

🎯 Question practice isn't just important – it’s essential.


Here’s how to start your grade-changing strategy:

  • Start Your Day with MCQs: Every morning, challenge yourself with 5 multiple-choice questions. It sharpens your mind and sets a tone of accomplishment.
  • Become a Data Response Nerd: Practice sifting through data. Extract the points and triggers that answers questions
  • Plan to Win: Craft detailed essay plans each day/week. Not just rough outlines – I mean, dissect the questions and construct robust, bulletproof essay plans.

And here's the crucial part:

🔁 Feedback. Adaptation. Repetition.
Get your answers reviewed. Soak up every bit of feedback. Refine your approach. Then, get back to the grind and apply what you’ve learned.

Repeat. Improve. Excel.
I’ll say it as it is – if you’re not engaging with question practice now, your results won't reflect your potential.

So, what are you waiting for?

Hit those questions. Embrace the challenge. Transform your grades.
You have it in you to excel, to surpass even your own expectations.

But it starts with action – today, now, this instant.
Rise to the challenge – because you’re aiming for the top, not just passing the mark.

Let’s do this. Let’s make every question count.

Onward to A/A*,


Emre

Why UK recession may be deeper than two quarters of falling GDP suggest

Summary

📉 UK Enters Technical Recession: The UK confirmed a recession last year, marked by two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction in the third and fourth quarters of 2023. Defence spending played a key role in moderating the decline.
💂‍♂️ Defence Spending Masks Deeper Issues: Increased military and government expenditure hid underlying recessions in manufacturing and other sectors, suggesting a more severe economic downturn.
📊 Population Growth Reveals Greater Decline: Considering Britain's rising population, GDP per head fell significantly, indicating the recession's deeper impact on individual economic well-being.
🌍 Long-term Trade Challenges: UK exporters face long-term difficulties, exacerbated by the financial crisis, Brexit, and trade restrictions with the EU, leading to a substantial trade deficit.
📦 Sharp Drop in Goods Exports: A marked decrease in goods exports to both EU and non-EU countries in 2023, coupled with rising costs of raw materials and energy, highlights the challenges for UK manufacturing.
🏭 Vulnerability of UK Manufacturing: The article underscores the vulnerability of the UK's manufacturing sector to global shocks and the need for enhanced economic resilience.
📈 Population vs. Productivity: While a higher population can increase GDP, without corresponding productivity gains, GDP per head may not recover to previous levels, stressing the importance of enhancing worker productivity.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: Explain how increased government and defence spending can mask underlying economic issues during a recession.
A:Increased government and defence spending during a recession can temporarily support the economy by maintaining employment and demand. In the UK's case of 2023, such spending offset declines in other sectors, preventing deeper GDP contraction. However, this masks underlying economic weaknesses, such as sectoral recessions, by not addressing the root causes of the downturn.

Q: Discuss the significance of GDP per capita as an economic indicator, especially in the context of a rising population.
A: GDP per capita is crucial for understanding the average economic well-being of individuals within a country. Despite the UK's GDP slightly contracting in 2023, the per capita figure reveals a deeper economic impact on individuals due to population growth. It highlights the recession's more profound effects on living standards than aggregate GDP figures suggest.

Q: Evaluate the long-term impacts of trade deficits on a country's economic health. Reference the UK's trade data from the fourth quarter of 2023, and consider the roles of Brexit and the financial crisis of 2008.
A: Long-term trade deficits, like the UK's widening gap in 2023, can indicate underlying economic challenges, such as decreased competitiveness and external imbalances. These deficits, exacerbated by Brexit and past financial crises, suggest the economy is consuming more than it produces, leading to borrowing from abroad and potential vulnerability to external economic shocks.

Q: Assess the reasons behind the decline in UK goods exports in 2023, with a specific focus on the differences in trade with EU and non-EU countries.
A: The decline in UK goods exports in 2023 was driven by challenges such as Brexit-related trade barriers, increased costs of raw materials and energy, and a competitive global market. These factors resulted in decreased export volumes to both EU and non-EU countries, reflecting on the UK's diminished economic resilience and competitiveness.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Evaluate the impacts of having a sustained current account deficit on the UK economy.

Infographic of the Week

Global Shifts: Tracing the Path to the World's Lowest Corporate Tax Havens

The global landscape of corporate tax rates in 2023 reveals a strategic positioning by smaller nations to lure multinational corporations and foreign investments with notably low taxation rates. Among these, Barbados emerges as a standout, offering a mere 5.5% corporate tax rate, positioning itself as a prime tax haven where American corporations alone have redirected profits surpassing the nation's GDP. This strategy reflects a broader trend observed across the globe, where countries like the UAE have recently adjusted their tax policies to a 9% rate, marking a significant shift from their previous 0% rate to align with international efforts towards moderate tax increases while diversifying revenue sources beyond the traditional reliance on the energy sector. This snapshot of the contemporary tax havens underscores a stark contrast to the scenario in 1980, where the lowest tax rates were significantly higher, exemplifying the global drift towards lower corporate tax rates, with 91% of jurisdictions now setting their rates below 30%, highlighting a transformative shift in global tax strategies to foster investment and economic growth.


Chart of the Week

A Five-Year Retail Odyssey: Volume Declines Amidst Price Surges

Over the last half-decade,Great Britain's retail sector has navigated through tumultuous times, marked by a pandemic onset and a subsequent cost-of-living crisis, culminating in a complex retail sales growth of 19.5% up to February 2024, as per the Office for National Statistics. This growth, however, reveals a nuanced picture: a decrease in sales volumes by 1.4%, overshadowed by a significant 21.2% climb in prices, reflecting the changing consumer behaviour and economic challenges faced. Initially, the pre-pandemic year to February 2020 saw a modest retail sales uptick of 0.8%, quickly overturned by a 4.4% slump in the first pandemic year due to reduced spending. A remarkable rebound occurred in the year to February 2022 with a 15.4% surge as consumer confidence returned, only to be dampened by the cost-of-living crisis leading to a 5% increase in sales driven primarily by price hikes in response to inflation. The subsequent year saw a more tempered 2.3% growth, with the tale of the tape over these five years showing an average annual retail sales increase of 3.6%, split between a marginal average annual fall in volumes and a more pronounced average price increase.

Macroeconomic Data


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

If you or your child are looking to Boost your A level Economics Grades in under 30 days, I'd recommend starting with an all-in-one support network where you get 24/7 access to a SuperTutor:

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