Achieving full marks in your short answer… | tutor2u Economics
Exam technique advice

Achieving full marks in your short answer questions of Edexcel's Economics A Paper 1

Examiners require you to have three elements in your answers:

  • Knowledge – this is usually identification of different points OR definitions of key theories.
  • Application – you need to provide examples illustrating your economic theory OR identifying some facts from the information provided. Make sure that your examples are ALWAYS related to the examples used in the question.
  • Analysis – here you need to refer to the impact or consequences of the theory you have discussed OR provide a benefit or cost of the theory discussed.

Here is an example to make you understand better what you are required to do:

Briefly explain the market structure in the grocery industry in the UK for the period shown. (5)

Knowledge – this market is an oligopoly, where a few large firms dominate the market.

Application – the 4 firm concentration ratio is 73.4%, showing that the 4 largest firms, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons control more that half of the market.

Analysis – As a result it can be inferred that the market is highly concentrated and there are likely to be high barriers to entry and exit from the industry.


Given the changes made in your A-level exams, you have to be extra careful when it comes to the structure of your answers. Make sure you do not miss any of the above stages, to ensure you score the highest of marks.

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