MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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1 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION 2011 ECONOMICS COPYRIGHT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, REPUBLIC OF THE FIJI ISLANDS

2 INTRODUCTION 2. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION 2011 EXAMINER S REPORT ECONOMICS This report contains detailed views, observations and recommendations made by the 2011 panel of markers. A total of candidates sat for the FSLCE Economics paper in 2011 when compared to in The format used was the same as that of previous years. The paper had three sections; Sections A, B and C. The questions were set according to the Form 6 Economics Prescription and Scheme of Work. SECTION A This section was based on recall and comprehensive types of questions covered in Forms 5 and 6 theories. It contained 30 Multiple-Choice questions with the main objective to test whether candidates can recall knowledge and apply it to answer application type of questions. It was interesting to note that most candidates scored well in the knowledge questions but failed to apply their knowledge and thus scored low marks. Students need to understand that in order to pass or to pass well they must score above 25 marks in this section. If teachers encourage their students to read their notes well and not to depend on past years papers, then this section would be a scoring one for their students. SECTION B This section was based on application and analysis types of questions which are covered in Forms 5 and 6 syllabus. It was surprising to see that candidates still could not differentiate between terms correctly, failed to indicate the correct units on calculation parts and misinterpreted the questions. Candidates were not able to answer the very basic Form 3 type of questions such as the three basic Economics problems despite of the extract given similarly, the question on credit buying was answered very poorly. Overall, this section was poorly done. However, candidates could have done better if they had understood the keywords and what the questions were really asking for. It is recommended that teachers prepare worksheets and tutorial questions of different types of skills to assess the abilities of the students in class and then conduct remedial lessons to improve the students understanding.

3 3. SECTION C This section was based on synthesis and evaluation types of questions from the Forms 5 and 6 syllabus and current affairs. This section was very poorly done by many candidates. However, candidates who attempted the essay on poverty managed to score 8, 9 or even 10/10. Most of the candidates are not aware of the correct format and ways to tackle the essay questions. Majority of the candidates chose Question numbers 1, 2, 3 and 6. The following points need to be considered when writing essays: Margin to be drawn Question numbers are to be written Total Number of words used are to be indicated at the end of the essay. There should be five paragraphs only. Introduction should just reframe the question and give the purpose of essay. Paragraphs 2,3 and 4 should have topic sentences and detailed explanations of each Conclusion should sum up the whole essay but should not introduce any new ideas or concepts. The essay should be approximately words (please note no mark is to be deducted if candidates write more than 250 words) Underline the main topic sentence so that it becomes easier for markers to identify the points to award the marks. Using of correcting fluid is to be discouraged. All parts of the question is to be adequately answered according to the mark allocation Where possible, relevant local examples need to be cited to qualify statements Presentation of essays to be legible and above all articulate. The use of diagrams and illustrations should be inculcated to candidates, that they are an integral part of writing an excellent essay. A diagram will help them to illustrate their explanations. It is advisable for teachers to follow the above essay writing format for uniformity purpose and to avoid candidates being penalized. From this year onwards, if candidates do not use the above format for essay writings, then they will be penalized.

4 4. SECTION A MULTIPLE CHOICE ANALYSIS The analysis given below is based on the 180 scripts that were randomally. A B C D ANS B 2 B C A A D 7 C B D C B C D A B B 17 C A 19 C C B C C 24 D REMARKS Poorly done. Most of the candidates are confused between labour and human capital. Well done question. However, some candidates are still confused with 3 sector and 2 sector models. Fairly done some candidates need to understand the difference between efficiency and inefficiency. Fairly done. A number of candidates of did not know the definition of economic goods. Well done. Well done. Fairly done. Some candidates failed to understand the meaning of Fixed cost. Fairly done. The analysis showed that candidates could not differentiate long run and short run period. Fairly done, however, the analysis shows that candidates need to understand the different ways of defining economics. Well done. Fairly done. Well done. Well done. Well done. Well done. Very well done. Satisfactory, the analysis showed that candidates lack the knowledge of insurance. Fairly done. Fairly done some candidates lack the concepts skill of anlaysing elasticity. Fairly done but candidates are still confused with the market structure topic. Well done. Well done. Fairly done. Many candidates chose the wrong option. Fairly done. However, many candidates chose option A which showed that they lacked the knowledge of the formula.

5 A C A C D A Fairly done. Well done. Well done. Fairly done. It can be concluded that candidates did not study their notes on Government Well done. Very poorly done. SECTION B QUESTION 1 (a) (b) This question was very poorly done by many candidates. Candidates were not able to identify the three basic economic problems of what, how and for whom to produce. In some cases, candidates managed to identify them correctly but gave general examples instead of quoting from the extract. For example, candidates were supposed to write both options such as ( fur-line pitches or tomato ). This question was based on the very basic drawing of Production Possibility Curve (PPC). However, it was not very well done. Candidates still lacked the skills and assumptions to draw such graphs. (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Firstly, the labelling of the x and y-axes were not done correctly. Candidates used pens to draw graphs instead of using pencils. Candidates should note that capital goods will always go on y-axis and consumer goods on x-axis. However, in the case of both goods being consumer, candidates should write goods starting with zero (0) value on the x-axis and other on the y-axis. Candidates were not able to identify the two basic economic concepts illustrated by the PPC. Candidates were giving assumptions instead of concepts. In some cases, candidates were able to identify scarcity, choice and opportunity cost but failed to give any explanations. This question was very poorly done by many candidates. It was surprising to see that candidates were not able to calculate opportunity cost and did not include the units with the answers. This question was also very poorly done by many candidates. Some candidates were able to reason out the shape of PPC drawn as per given data. However, in some cases candidates just identified the shape but did not explain the reason thus lost ½ mark.

6 QUESTION 2 6. (a) (i) Very well done. Majority of the candidates were able to correctly state the formula for calculating Marginal Utility (MU). Those candidates who failed to answer the question correctly wrote TC2-TC1 or MU1-MU2, as their answers. (ii) (iii) Very well done. Emphasis on units (utils) should also be emphasized in class. Very poorly attempted. Very few candidates correctly gave the correct answer. (p =mu). Teachers need to thoroughly revise this topic and prepare their students well. (b) (i) Very well done. Few candidates put the dollar sign instead of the units. (ii) (iii) Very well done. (vi) - Very well attempted. Emphasis should be put on the dollar sign wherever appropriate. Parts (a) and (b) were application and analysis types of questions based on the topic Industry. It was very surprising to see that majority of the candidates did not know their basic calculations and rules. QUESTION 3 This question was based on real-life situation. However, majority of the candidates were able get full marks while some did not because they lacked the basic knowledge. (a) (b) Most candidates were able to identify the type of credit buying shown. This part was poorly done. Candidates had converted the weekly installment ($11.31) into a month, then multiplied by 17 months, and as such majority of the candidates got this wrong. (incorrect working shown: ($11.31 x 4 = $45.24 x 17 = $ =$859.03) Because of this incorrect answer, part (c) was also affected. (c) Most candidates had the following as the answer: $ $599= $ It is important that candidates learn to convert into a year before it is changed into a month, week or fortnight, in such cases. (d) (e) (f) This question was done fairly well. Common answers included interest, insurance and administration costs. Done well, most candidates could explain the advantages and disadvantages of this purchase buying. This part was not done well. Common answers written included credit not issued/received, payment card, cheque butt and so on.

7 7. QUESTION 4 Overall this question was done quite well by majority of the candidates. However, candidates who failed to answer the question mixed up value added after every stage. QUESTION 5 (a) (c) Satisfactorily done. Most candidates managed to answer these questions correctly. (d) - (e) Majority of the candidates failed to answer these two questions. One of the reasons was that they ended up doing double counting in question (d) where they put $6 500 as their answer. Double counting in (d) meant wrong answer for question (e). This question is based on market structure. Part (a) revolved around monopolist profit maximization condition. (i) (ii) (iii) Majority of the candidates were not able to calculate marginal revenue at 4 units because from the given table of price and quantity, candidates could not calculate total revenue for 3 rd and 4 th output in order to find marginal revenue. Some candidates even went to the extent of calculating 4 th and 5 th output which was wrong. This question required long working and candidates were confused. Candidates had to find marginal revenue then equate to marginal cost from the given table of price and quantity to determine the equilibrium price and quantity. Candidates could not calculate the total revenue in order to find the marginal revenue then equate to marginal cost. Instead, candidates equated price $5 to marginal of 5%, which was wrong. Since the initial equilibrium calculation was wrong, candidates made the same mistake when marginal cost decreased to $3. Part (b) was based on Demand and Supply. (i) (ii) (iii) Majority of the candidates were able to find the equilibrium price and quantity. few candidates missed out the dollar sign and units of cassava. It was obvious that candidates still do not understand the effects of tax on supply. Majority of the candidates could not find the new equilibrium price after taxation. The shift in supply was wrongly calculated. Candidates had a clear idea of the difference between shortage and surplus. A few of them got confused between the two.

8 8. (iv) Very poorly done. Candidates did not know the difference between derived and composite demand. The linking word such as whereas was not used on which majority of the candidates were penalized. Overall, question 5 was very poorly done; candidates obviously missed out the dollar sign. Only a few candidates got full marks. QUESTION 6 This question was based on the topic of Money and Banking. The main objective was to test the candidates application knowledge of the theory. (a) (b) Many candidates failed to answer this question well. Those that did manage failed to put in the correct dollar sign or million dollar value. This part was poorly done. Major weaknesses were Failure to fill in the Balance Sheet correctly Putting the Assets and Liabilities in the wrong side Putting in notes & coins as an entry. (c) (d) Some candidates got this correct while others left it blank or mistakenly put 0.2 % or 20 as the answer. Candidates struggled in this question in terms of using the correct formula method to successfully answer this question. It is recommended that teachers to ensure that adequate coverage and understanding of concepts and calculations is carried out. QUESTION 7 This was a question based on topic International Trade. The main objective was to test the candidates abilities to analyse knowledge of the theory. (a) (i) 1. This question was poorly done. Candidates were supposed to multiply price per unit with no. of units to find visible export and visible import. 2. This question was again poorly done by many candidates. Candidates ended up putting units to TOT. Teacher should emphasis that there are no units attached to TOT calculation. (ii) This question was very poorly done. Candidates could not understand the question. It was asking for ways to improve Terms of trade in other words how can we improve on the ratio of import prices to export prices. The terms of trade will be favorable to a country when the export prices are high relatively to import prices.

9 (b) (i) This question was done well by some candidates but others failed to answer it correctly. Candidates were suppose to rearrange the table first. 9. (ii) (iii) Candidates were not able to calculate opportunity cost correctly. Inability to calculate the opportunity cost correctly led to the incorrect answer. QUESTION 8 This question was on Economic Development and Issue. The main objective was to test the candidates evaluation knowledge of the theory. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) This part of the question was poorly attempted. Candidates stated the benefit of economic growth rather than defining the term. Teachers need to clearly explain the meaning and difference between economic growth and economic development. Generally well answered. Many candidates answered this question correctly. There 15 clear understanding between employment opportunities and increase in tax revenue. Good effort, but some candidates wrongly interpreted the question. There is a need to have more exercises on extract type of questions. Generally well answered. Candidates were able to identify the social problem and named the government policy that is being carried out to alleviate the problem. SECTION C ESSAY WRITING This question allowed candidates to express themselves through essay writing on the given topics. Majority of the candidates chose to write on Questions1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Overall, this was the only well answered section of the paper with majority scoring above eight marks per essay. However, some weaknesses noted were: Candidates did not write the question number attempted and the heading. Candidates did not have structured introduction and conclusion. Some candidates had more than five paragraphs. Candidates had written each point in different paragraphs which was wrong. Essays should not be more than five paragraphs long. Candidates did not underline the points. The required length of 200 to 250 words was not met. Some candidates did not understand the question thus essay was out of topic. There were a lot of spelling and sentence structure errors.

10 QUESTION Overall, it was not done well. Most candidates were able to give the 3 reasons for the trend. However, most of them compared planned and free market and discussed the same points in paragraphs 2 and 3, hence lost marks. Three roles of global institutions- were not discussed well. Some common answers spoke of goods and services produced by global institutions. It was quite clear that candidates did not know the roles of global institutions. QUESTION 2 Question was done fairly well. Candidates were able to identify features of the Pre-Contact period. However, the second point of the content was not answered well. i.e. the relevance of the 3 features then, not now. E.g. Barter System existed then; but now we use money. This does not explain why barter system is not practical today. Likewise, chiefs and heads of household decision then today government and individuals do so. This again does not explain why that method of decision making then is not practical in today s economy. Most of the candidates lost marks in this area. The problems encountered during the era was answered correctly by only some of the candidates. Another instant where candidates lost mark was when they introduced pre-european era as a time when Fiji came into contact with Europeans and based the whole essay around this. QUESTION 3 Candidates were confused between economic objectives and economic functions of the government. However, they were able to identify the types of intervention by the government. Candidates were writing very surface answers and explanations. However, teachers should encourage their students to read notes on this topic because this is an essay testing topic. QUESTION 4 Many of the candidates who attempted this question failed to explain the 3 tools (they only got ½ mark each for identification of monetary tools.)some could not identify one of the above and showed how it affected money supply. Even some candidates were not able to identify and explain the three roles of RBF. QUESTION 5 Very few attempts and was very poorly done. Candidates were not able to identify three components of BOP current account and capital account. Candidates were not able to explain the relationship between foreign currency reserve and BOP overall account. It simply showed candidates lack of knowledge in their Form 4 work. QUESTION 6 Most common essay was done fairly well. Candidates were able to identify the measures taken by the government such as bus-fare scheme, food vouchers, housing and social welfare. However, many candidates were not to able identify the two types of poverty. THE END

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