The DSE economics exam is as much an assessment of a student’s mastery of concepts as a test of their ability to apply them. Young position spoke to Daniel Yu, a seasoned tutor at King’s Glory Education Center, for tips on how to pass this year’s exams.
To start, Yu reminds candidates that exam questions were set last year and the focus should be on hot conversation topics in 2021. He suggests students pay attention to the “zero Covid” policy. of Hong Kong and lockdown measures in relation to vaccination.
“Last year’s reviews only covered CuMasks, and there are so many other dimensions of the pandemic to delve into. Among these are the impact of lockdowns and strict restrictions on mass vaccination and the effects of vaccination on economic activity,” he says, while noting that it could be a likely answer question to the data in which candidates may be asked to compare the effect of these two strategies to different stakeholders.
Be sure to study the high frequency topics that appear on the exam each year. Photo: Shutterstock
Other topics worthy of attention include the rising rate of inflation in the United States; electricity shortages in mainland China and related case studies on economic theory; Hong Kong’s digital voucher programs; the next northern metropolis and its effect on the AD-AS model; as well as the basic ideas of cryptocurrency and how it affects the demand for money.
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Master the concepts and theories
While a good understanding of these hot topics can give you an edge on exams, Yu points out that candidates shouldn’t overlook the “high frequency” theories that never fail to come up every year.
These “high frequency” concepts and theories include price elasticity of demand, imbalance analysis, externalities, reservoir creation and trade theory. He explains that these questions typically take six to seven marks and are relatively easy to score as long as candidates have a solid understanding of the concepts and their applications.
Yu also provides insight into how to approach these concepts and the different scenarios in which they could be presented. For example, the analysis of imbalances could be linked to questions related to how Covid-19 affects airlines and hotel accommodation in Hong Kong. “This is a common weak point for many students because although they are familiar with the theories, they often don’t know how to apply them to scenarios,” he says.
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Regarding externalities, he recommends understanding the positive versus negative externalities, and applying them again to possible scenarios of the pandemic, such as weighing the positive impacts of vaccination against the possible consequences of not doing so. do it.
In terms of deposit creations, Yu suggests focusing on application and computing. “These are usually the make-or-break questions – you’ll either get full marks or zero,” he says, while pointing out that more attention should be paid to the inflationary gap in the AD-AS model. This year.
Another regular topic that will almost always come up on the last question in Section A of Paper 2 concerns absolute advantage, comparative advantage terms of trade, and gain from trade.
“If students can spend time reviewing these topics instead of wasting time on tips and tricks, they’re almost guaranteed to get a good score,” he says.
What impact has the pandemic had on the economy? Photo: Shutterstock
Answer data answer questions
According to Yu, many candidates lose marks on data-response questions because they don’t use the provided data to explain their answers. Citing the 2020 Exam, Paper 2, Section A, Question 11 as an example, he says students had to compare the different impacts of each strategy to tackle traffic congestion and assess from the perspective of different stakeholders. for both strategies.
He adds: “Also if we have a question about the Covid-19 lockdowns and the zero-Covid policy in relation to vaccination [to live with the virus]applicants should analyze the impact of each strategy on different stakeholders.
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Candidates should aim to spend 45 minutes on Paper 1, one minute per question, and allow at least 15 minutes to check their answers. As with paper 2, Yu recommends a “45 minute rule”, i.e. 45 minutes for section 2A; 45 minutes for the Data Response questions and 45 minutes for the other questions in Section B. This should give candidates a 15-minute buffer to review their answers in detail.
It also provides a brief indication of how much to include for each question. For one-point questions, candidates can simply write concepts without elaboration. Two-point questions require both concept and elaboration; an example is needed for a three-point question.