Understanding the A Level Case Study Paper
Many students have the impression that when tackling case study questions, the extract serves as the primary source of information. Hence, failure to understand the extract in full will disadvantage them when they subsequently tackle the questions. These students usually falter when moving on to the questions, since there is too much uncertainty and nervousness surrounding their understanding of the extract, which inhibits the way they tackle the questions.
Approach at ThatEconsTutor
Economics tutor Mr Koh has an alternative methodology. Instead of treating the article as a primary reference, the primary source should be a student’s content knowledge.
Aside from questions on definitions or data description, the case study is essentially a test of a student’s theoretical knowledge, overlaid with the need to relate data from the extracts to support the student’s answer. Hence, the ability to see through a question to pick out the relevant theory to apply will put a student in good stead to score in the A Level Economics case study paper.
For example, if the question requires students to explain why the price of oil has risen, we know from a basic understanding of demand and supply that higher prices could be due to strong demand, or weak supply. With this theory-backed framework in mind, it’s easier to scan through the extract to find supporting evidence to back up their answers.
The above approach trains a student’s ability to identify patterns in case study questions, which improves predictability of the answer structure, regardless of the extract content.
Mr Koh’s Economics Tuition Classes
As such, in Mr Koh’s Economics tuition classes, his approach to case study question is all about understanding the specific requirements of each question, and fulfilling the mark obligation. As shown in the breakdown above, case study questions can be broadly arranged into 4 types:
1) Describe data – usually a summary or comparison of data within a specified time period.
2) Explain data – usually to account for a change or to explain the relationship between two indicators.
3) Evidence from data – usually involves citing data from tables or figures to justify an outcome. Anti-theses can be provided.
4) Discuss based on data – quintessentially an essay question. Theses, anti-theses and syntheses are required.
In short, when practicing CSQs, try planning your answers even before you read the extracts.
If you are still insecure in your case-study skills, Mr Koh’s methods have proven to provide clarity in understanding and in turn, stellar results. Sign up for Economics Tuition today!