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IB Examination Review » IB Economics SL Review

IB Economics SL Review

These pages are designed to help students preparing for the IB Economics SL exam.  I won't be doing too much economics content here - your notes and books can help you with all of that.  Instead I'll be focusing on the structure of the test and on specific strategies to prepare.

The Nature of Economics - a way of thinking + a body of concepts

Remember that economics is as much a way of looking at the world as it a body of knowledge.  For the economist society consists of individuals making choices to maximize their utility.  These choices follow patterns of perceived cost and benefit, and each of those terms can have personal definitions from individual to individual.

Economists also believe in and use models.  You've learned several of them this year, the most famous of all is the model of supply & demand.  This is why graphing is so important in economics - it shows the grader that you can select and apply the appropriate model for a given question or scenario.

The point here is simple: a satisfying answer for an economist is one which includes both some awareness of the choices made by people (or by governments) and the application of a model which explains that choice.   

The Structure of the Examination

IB Economics SL consists of two exam papers:

Paper 1: Thursday, May 2, 1:00, La Sierra Community Center - Smith Hall.  Paper 1 asks students to answer two questions in total, one from section A (microeconomics) and one from Section B (macroeconomics).  Each question consists of two parts: a and b.
 Part a of each question is worth 10 marks.  In part a students will need to define a concept, apply it and graph it. 

   Part b of each question is worth 15 marks.  In part b students will need to work with the concept defined in part a and apply it to a real world case.  This involves students using information from class, graphing concepts and most importantly evaluating the impact of this concept on the subject of the question.

Paper 2: Friday, May 3, 9:00 am, La Sierra Community Center, Smith Hall.  Students again answer two questions, one from section A (international economics) and the other from section B (Development economics).  Here each question has four parts, a through d.

   Part a of each question asks a student to identify and define a concept. (4 marks)

   Part b of each question asks students to work with the same concept, applying it and providing a graph. (4 marks)

   Part c of each question asks students to go into more depth with the same material (4 marks)

  Part d of each question asks students to write a short essay which explains and evaluates the impact of the concept as it appears in the article. (8 marks)

Preparation for the Exam

As you study for the exam remember the key terms for IB Economics.  If you've lost your sheet you can download a copy at the bottom of this page - writing those terms down on cards and working through the cards is a great way to prepare for this exam.

Remember that you need to know all four parts of the class: micro, macro, international and development.  Each one of these parts is equally weighted in the exam, so study them all.

Finally be sure to come to a review session.  Mr. Posner will be conducting one in Folsom on Saturday the 27th (check with him for the exact time).  Mr. Mathews will be doing a review session on campus that same Saturday morning - 10 to 12 in room f3.

Related Files

    doc Key Terms for IB Econ SL (doc file - 40 KB)

    pdf IB Economics Guide, last exam 2012 (pdf file - 764 KB)
    This is the guide for the May 2012 exams

    pdf .pdf: You need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5 or higher) for PC or Macintosh to view this file type.
    doc .doc file: You need the Microsoft Word Program, the free Word Viewer 2003, or a program that can import Word files in order to view this file type.

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