Essay Mark Scheme

To obtain the marks required to achieve a good grade, you need to know what the markers look for and show them in your answers. The following mark scheme will give you an idea of what the markers look for when marking and grading economics essays. As you will see, it all boils down to the five core thinking skills in economics tuition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis, and evaluation.

Although the following mark scheme is for a full-length 25-mark essay question, the scales and criteria also apply to a two-part essay question. Typically, a two-part essay question is split into Part (a) that carries 10 marks and Part (b) that carries 15 marks. Some two-part essay questions, however, are split into Part (a) that carries 12 marks and Part (b) that carries 13 marks.

Full-length 25-mark Essay Question

An answer to a full-length 25-mark essay question will be marked in the following way.

Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis & Synthesis

Level 1
(Lower)

1-5
marks

  • is mostly irrelevant
  • has only a few valid points

Level 1
(Higher)

6-9
marks

  • shows some knowledge of the question
  • does not indicate that the meaning of the question has been properly grasped
  • contains basic errors of theory
  • has an inadequate development of analysis

Level 2
(Lower)

10-11
marks

  • shows an ability to identify facts
  • shows some ability at graphs
  • shows fair ability to apply known laws to new situations
  • has an accurate though undeveloped explanation of the facts relating to the question together with an explanation of the theory
  • shows evidence of some ability to discriminate and form elementary judgments
  • does not have a clear logical presentation
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to recognise unstated assumptions
  • does not  show much evidence of the ability to examine the implications of a hypothesis
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to organise ideas into a new unity

Level 2
(Higher)

12-14
marks

  • has a more thorough relevance to the question
  • does not completely explain the theory

Level 3
(Lower)

15-17
marks

  • shows a good knowledge of the facts and theory of the question
  • shows clear evidence of the ability to use the facts and theory with accurate reference to the question that may have presented the candidate with a novel application
  • shows evidence of the ability to examine the implications of the question and an attempt to distinguish between facts and value judgments
  • has clear statements supported by reasoned arguments
  • has some attempt at a conclusion to the question
  • has a reasoned structure to the whole answer
  • does not have many extra illustrative points which are not explicitly referred to in the question
  •   does not have much critical comment
  • does not have any recognition of, or comment on, unstated assumptions

Level 3
(Higher)

18-21
marks

  • shows a thorough knowledge of facts and theory with an excellent ability to describe and explain this in a precise, logical, reasoned manner
  •   shows an ability to query some of the assumptions
  • has illustrations and examples apposite to the material discussed to show evidence of the ability to recognise the principles of the question and their application to the relevant current situations

Evaluation

Level 1

1-2
marks

Mainly unexplained judgement

Level 2

3-4
marks

Judgement based on analysis

Two-part Essay Question with a 10/15 Mark Split

An answer to a two-part essay question with a 10/15 mark split [where part (a) carries 10 marks and part (b) carries 15 marks] will be marked in the following way.

Knowledge,   Comprehension, Application, Analysis & Synthesis

Part (a)

Part (b)

Level 1
(Lower)

1-2
marks

1-2
marks

  • is mostly irrelevant
  • has only a few valid points

Level 1
(Higher)

3-4
marks

3-5
marks

  • shows some knowledge of the question
  • does not indicate that the meaning of the question has been properly grasped
  • contains basic errors of theory
  • has an inadequate development of analysis

Level 2
(Lower)

5
marks

6-7
marks

  • shows an ability to identify facts
  • shows some ability at graphs
  • shows fair ability to apply known laws to new situations
  • has an accurate though undeveloped explanation of the facts relating to the question together with an explanation of the theory
  • shows evidence of some ability to discriminate and form elementary judgments
  • does not have a clear logical presentation
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to recognise unstated assumptions
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to examine the implications of a hypothesis
  • does not show much evidence of the ability to organise ideas into a new unity

Level 2
(Higher)

6
marks

8
marks

  • has a more thorough relevance to the question
  • does not completely explain the theory

Level 3
(Lower)

7-8
marks

9-10
marks

  • shows a good knowledge of the facts and theory of the question
  • shows clear evidence of the ability to use the facts and theory with accurate reference to the question   that may have presented the candidate with a novel application
  • shows evidence of the ability to examine the implications of the question and an attempt to distinguish   between facts and value judgments
  • has clear statements supported by reasoned arguments
  • has some attempt at a conclusion to the question
  • has a reasoned structure to the whole answer
  • does not have many extra illustrative points which are not explicitly referred to in the question
  • does not have much critical comment
  • does not have any recognition of, or comment on, unstated assumptions

Level 3
(Higher)

9-10
marks

11
marks

  • shows a thorough knowledge of facts and theory with an excellent ability to describe and explain this in a   precise, logical, reasoned manner
  • shows an ability to query some of the assumptions
  • has illustrations and examples apposite to the material discussed to show evidence of the ability to recognise the principles of the question and their application to the   relevant current situations

Evaluation

Level 1

1-2
marks

Mainly unexplained judgement

Level 2

3-4
marks

Judgement based on analysis

economics tuition, back to homepage

Economics Tuition @ Economics Cafe
Principal Economics Tutor: Mr. Edmund Quek