GCSE Economics Revision Material
You are following the AQA new specification for Economics. It is hoped that both teachers will have completed the delivery of the syllabus by spring half term. Lesson time after this holiday will be dedicated to revision of topics and practice of exam papers.
You will take 2 exam papers in the summer:
- Personal Economics
- Investigating Economic Issues
What we are doing at school to help you
Mr Tomasevic: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lunchtime Revision Sessions
We are currently running lunchtime revision classes. This is an opportunity to go over any topics you find tough, or to ask questions you might not get a chance to in class.
Exam day warm ups
We will organise sessions for you to attend just before your exams. These will focus on exam paper structure, key reminders for dealing with different types of questions and getting your minds focussed on business topics/issues.
If you require any other teacher support or have good ideas that help you in other subjects please discuss these with your teachers.
What should you be doing at home
In order to do well in business studies you need to master two key issues. Firstly you need to be secure on subject knowledge. Secondly you need to be able to show your knowledge in the way the examiner wants to see it.
Getting the knowledge secure
Can you explain different business terms?, Go through glossaries, the key terms book and read through terms. You could use a traffic light system red, amber and green for terms you don’t know, sort of know and are OK with. See if you can describe the terms to a friend or parent. See if you can write your own definitions to terms. Check answers and update your traffic lights. If there are terms you don’t know use websites or ask teachers to explain.
Learning the maths bits!
You will be given the ratio formulae but you still need to be confident with working out cash flow and working out gross and net profit. Topic cue cards can be useful to make to help learn the concepts.
Showing your knowledge in the right way
Examination questions have key words that prompt you to answer in a certain way. In business studies they often ask you to describe or explain issues. This means you need to answer in sentences not in lists! You will be asked to analyse or consider advantages and disadvantages. In these questions you need to explain the good and bad points of an issue. Lastly you will be ask to make decisions and justify these or evaluate an issue. In these questions you need to consider the ‘best’ idea/alternative based on the advantages and disadvantages that you have presented.
To help practice these skills try the following:
- Take an issue e.g. should firm A raise its prices? Identify why it might be a good or bad idea. Then try to identify things that will swing the decision one way or the other e.g. how many competitors are there? How will they react? Will people pay higher prices?
- You can also draw mind maps. Put a key topic or question in the middle of a sheet of paper and then try to develop links or other questions in a diagram.
- Try revising with a friend. This can help, but you need to have a plan of what you are going to do and stick to it! You can discuss issues, test each other, write answers and read each other’s work etc.
Good luck, and please seek help from staff when you need it.
Exam Board Links
The AQA website has detailed information about the specification, past papers, examiners reports. These are accessed by the following web link http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcses/business/new/business_overview.
If you are unable to access the page from the above link please go to www.aqa.org.uk, then select qualifications on the left hand side. Then select GCSE from the drop down menu then business studies 4135.
We will be using past papers in lessons and for homework between now and the summer exams.
A number of websites have good business studies revision materials:
- www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/: this link takes you to bite size homepage. Pick Business Studies and access notes and short tests.
- www.tutor2u.net: Tutor2u have lots of good notes. If you investigate the site you will find other revision tools.
- www.bized.co.uk: bized again has loads of good notes and materials. The resources are more geared up to A level students, but they are a good reference source.
- www.revisionguru.co.uk: this site has an online text book with definitions and diagrams on key topics.
The web sites listed above are a sample of what is available. You need to be careful as all sites will cover different issues in different levels of depth. Some of the materials are not on our GCSE syllabus.
How should websites be used?
It depends on your needs. They are good to read through notes on a specific topic e.g. if you want an overview of balance sheets find a set of notes, read them through, make some summary key points.
Don't spend hours on end just skimming through website materials without doing anything else like summary cards, questions or mind maps etc.
GCSE revision guides from BBC Bitesize are available from any bookstore at a cost of £5.99. The text book that we use is AQA Economics By David Horner et al – Published by Nelson Thornes.
Answering exam questions
- Tip 1: Read the question carefully and think about what it is asking you
- Tip 2: Look at the number of marks allocated and answer the question accordingly
- Tip 3: Give a full definition and an example if you can think of one
- Tip 4: Nine mark questions should be structured as follows:
- Define the key terms from the question
- If the question asks you to discuss or analyse a particular situation give some advantages and disadvantages – make sure you develop each one to state why it is an advantages/disadvantage for the Government/Economy
- If the question asks you to give a number of ideas/solutions – make sure you list the ideas giving advantages and disadvantages of each one
- Do a conclusion using the following structure
- I think that… give your view and answer the question
- If the questions has asked to list a number of ideas/solutions say which one you think is the most important one and the least important
- Say why you have that view
- Give a recommendation for going forward
- Say what the success of this will depend on e.g. finance, management style, economic climate
- Tip 5: Do not waste time in the exam at the end. Read through your answers and see whether you can add any more
- Tip 6: Feel free to use extra paper for longer answers if necessary