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IB Economics Paper 1 Tips

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

Structure or plan of action

The first thing to remember in your IB Economics Paper 1 is structuring your answers. If you get the structure right, the rest becomes simple and adds to the flow of your response. Thus this is the first thing you need to work on.

The questions you have to face in your IB Economics Paper 1 are the 10 and 15 markers. Thus time management is also critical, but more on that later.

Coming back to the structure, it’s not very technical, so you don’t have to worry too much. All you must do is remember the acronyms DEED standing for definitions, explanation, example, and diagram (for the ten marks question) and DEEDE, standing for definitions, explanation, example, diagram, and evaluation (for the 15 marks question).

Structuring the ten marks- part (a) of the question

This section explains DEED.

Definition: If you have revised, well, this part is easy because to start the answer, you must give a simple textbook definition of the economic terms and theories in the question.

Explanation: The paragraph(s) explains the theories’ working and influence with or without examples. The flow of describing the thesis is critical here, and it must link to your definitions.

Example: Here, you give an example supporting your explanation. It’s simple as that. The model could be from real life, or you can also make a dummy example. Whatever the case, it should be clear and easily linked to the explanation.

Diagram: There are three parts to a diagram, labeling, titling, and drawing. If you get these correct, you can easily get 2 or 3 marks straight away. The diagram is easier than the other fragments, so work on improving this section first.

Structuring the 15 marks -part (b) of the question

This section explains DEEDE. For the 15 marks question, even though we have an evaluation as an extra part, a few things have changed in definition and explanation. Let’s see them now.

Definition: You don’t have to define the theories you wrote in part (a). You can write refer to part (a) and move on. Just specify the new terms here, and you are good to go.

Explanation: Since it’s a 15 mark question, you must also write the flaws in the theories. Like before, this explanation also needs to revolve around the definition.

Example: This section remains unchanged. Like before, you can either give a real-life or dummy example.

Diagram: this section remains unchanged as well.

Evaluation: This is the most challenging part that will make all the difference in your total marks. Read the question twice, focus on keywords, and try using them to ensure your answer has a critical analysis. Then, further research is essential (for instance, weighing the pros and cons, followed by a short discussion ).

Time management

Whether you are an HL or SL student, time management is vital in your exam. Thus allocating your time efficiently is critical. For the IB Economics Paper 1, you get a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes, equally divided into 45 minutes for each question. However, since the 15 mark question is more critical, giving it more time is wise.

Ideally, the time management depends on your writing speed, for example, 30 minutes for ten markers and 45 minutes for 15 markers or whatever suits you. So the idea is to allot more time to 15 markers. It is also crucial to set aside time to go over your answers once before handing them to the invigilator.

Other essential tips to remember.

Three more crucial tips will help you nail a 6 or 7 in your paper. Here they are.

· You must have explicit knowledge of the syllabus. Even if you are an SL student, you must read the entire syllabus, even if some sections say HL only.

· Please write the answer like you are explaining it to a non-specialist. Therefore, your answer must be as clear, simple, and detailed as possible.

· Solve past papers and judge yourself like an examiner would, i.e., harshly. One of the best ways to improve your scores drastically would be to work on as many past papers as you can afford to.

We hope this content will help you in the IB Economics Paper 1.

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