Economics

Economics

Introduction

Economics at Auckland Grammar School is offered through the dual pathway of NCEA and CIE. Students enter a course of study based on their results from Forms 3 and 4. In general, CIE courses require a greater depth of knowledge and ability with written expression than the corresponding NCEA Level.

In Form 4, students have the option to choose an introduction to Economics and Business Studies (EBS) that covers a wide variety of topics. In Form 5, students can then go on to IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) which consists of three examination papers assessing a wide range of economic topics from introductory micro and macro theories.

At the senior levels, students cover the three main macro-economic issues; inflation, international trade and economic growth. Others theories covered include micro-economic market theory, market failure and measurement in the macro-economy.

In Form 7, students can choose to take the final level of both CIE and NCEA. NCEA Level 3 covers market theory, the behaviour of firms, market failure and aggregate (macro) economic activity. The A2 course, the most difficult economics course offered at the school, offers papers covering the theory of the firm, labour markets, government intervention, macro-economics and development economics.

Form 4

Course description/aims: This course is designed to introduce students to the main concepts and theory involved in consumer behaviour and decision-making. It also introduces students to some of the main theories in Business Studies and is an appropriate base for study at more advanced level in either subject.

Course outline: Topics covered in economics include the basic economic problem, introductory microeconomic analysis including market theory (demand and supply), consumer economics including financial literacy topics such as insurance, budgeting and consumer rights and obligations in the market place. Students also complete a unit on Business Studies, covering some of the main issues such as marketing, business organisation, business success and failure, business accounting and a business management simulation.

Economics/Consumer Financial Literacy

  • Basic economic problem: scarcity and exercise of choice
  • Exchange
  • Income
  • Expenditure, saving and budgeting
  • Consumer rights and obligations - consumer laws
  • Insurance
  • Specialisation
  • Resources
  • Demand, supply and market equilibrium
  • Introductory macroeconomics

Legal Studies

  • Laws and Rules
  • The nature of Crime
  • Sanctions
  • Courts
  • Consumer and Contract Law

Business Studies

  • Why business activity is needed, organised and financed
  • How to start a business and operate it
  • Measuring business success/failure
  • Marketing
  • How and why government and community influence business activity
  • Business accounting

Methods of Assessment: No external examinations, but there are 3 internal examinations - 1 x 1 hour exam at the end of Term 1 and 1 x 2 hour exam each in Term 2 and Term 4. There are also common tests and in-class tests held each term.

Continuation of subject: This course will provide good background and preparation for Economics, Business Studies and Accounting.

Commerce - Form 5 (NCEA Level 1):

Pre-requisites: None, although it is an advantage to have studied Accounting/Business Studies (4ABS) or Economics/Business Studies (4EBS) in Form 4. This course is for students in 4O and 4P in 2019 who will study a full NCEA course at Form 5 in 2020.

Course description/aims: This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts and theories covered in the Commerce subjects of Economics, Business Studies and Accounting. The course aims to give students a basic understanding of:

  • Microeconomics: market theory (demand and supply), scarcity and exercise of choice in economic decision-making.
  • Macroeconomics: sectors of the economy, money flow, and interdependence between households, producers, government and other sectors.
  • Business marketing and success and failure of businesses.
  • The principles and purposes of accounting for individuals and businesses and making a financial decision.

Successful completion of this course provides an appropriate base for study of Accounting, Business Studies or Economics at NCEA Level 2 in Form 6.

Course outline: The proposed course outline for 2020 is designed to cover the following NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards:

Economics

  • 90983 - Demonstrate understanding of consumer choices, using scarcity and/or demand [4 credits, External]
  • 90985 - Demonstrate understanding of producer choices using supply [3 credits, External]
  • 90988 - Demonstrate understanding of the interdependence of sectors of the New Zealand economy [3 credits, Internal]

Business Studies: 90840 - Apply the marketing mix to a new or existing product [3 credits, Internal]

Accounting: 90981 - Make a financial decision for an individual or group [3 credits, Internal]

Methods of assessment: Students complete a mix of NCEA Level 1 internally-assessed and externally-assessed Achievement Standards (as in the Course Outline above). Students will also be assessed by in-class tests and the School examinations which take place in Terms 1, 2 and 4.

Continuation of subject: Successful completion of this course provides an appropriate base for study of Accounting, Business Studies or Economics at NCEA Level 2 in Form 6.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Course description/aims: The course is a wide ranging economics programme that introduces students to a variety of theory, topics and issues domestically and internationally. The course is designed with the NZ economy as a base, together with international comparisons. The aims of the Pre-Q course are to develop:

  • Knowledge and understanding of economic theory.
  • An ability to interpret data in a variety of forms.
  • An understanding of the NZ economy in a global context.
  • An ability to apply economic skills and analysis in particular situations.
  • An ability to distinguish between facts and value judgements in economic issues.

Course outline:

  • Introductory Concepts
  • How Markets Work and Why Markets Fail
  • Money, Exchange and Labour
  • The Theory of the Firm
  • The Government and Central Authorities
  • Macroeconomic Indicators
  • Global Inequality
  • International Economics

Methods of assessment:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2
  • 1 x 3 hour examination - end of Term 4 (Pre-Q), of which the total mark available is 100.
    - Candidates answer 20 multiple choice questions (weighted at 20% of total available marks).
    - Candidates answer one compulsory question, which requires them to interpret and analyse previously unseen data relevant to a real economic situation (weighted 20% of total available marks), and three optional questions worth 20 marks each from a choice of six (weighted at 60% of total available marks).
  • Class assessment: Common and class tests are held each term.

Continuation of subject: Successful completion of Pre-Q Economics provides an excellent base for further study at both Cambridge AS and NCEA Level 2. It is also a very useful foundation for study at both Cambridge A2 and NCEA Level 3.

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Course description/aims: The content of this course is mainly macroeconomics and covers the major macroeconomic issues of: employment, inflation, international trade and sustainable economic growth. Students are taught a variety of economic models and are introduced to common economic statistics and data relating to these topics.

Course outline: The course is divided into equal sections as outlined above. Each topic covers the definition, measurement, causes and effects of the issue. New Zealand's recent historical record in each area is studied together with projections for the future.

NCEA Level 2 Achievement Standards cover:

  • 2.1- Analyse inflation using economic concepts and models [4 credits, External]
  • 2.2 - Analyse international trade using economic concepts and models [4 credits, External]
  • 2.3 - Analyse economic growth using using economic concepts and models [4 credits, External]
  • 2.4 - Analyse unemployment using economic concepts and models [4 credits, Internal]
  • 2.5 - Analyse statistical data relating to contemporary economic issues [4 credits, Internal]

Methods of assessment: A total of 12 credits will be assessed by an external three hour examination and a further 8 credits will be assessed by 2 internally assessed assignments.

School examinations:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1 (internal assessment)
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2
  • 1 x 3 hour examination - end of Term 3

Class assessment: Common tests and in class tests are held each term

Special equipment/costs: A workbook for $20.

Continuation of subject: Successful completion of this course is an advantage for Level 3 Economics.

Form 6 (AS):

Pre-requisites: None. It is an advantage to have studied Economics in Form 5, but not essential. New students to Economics can, with appropriate motivation, realistically attempt AS Economics.

Course description/aims: This course generates marks for the first half of Advanced Level Economics and is correspondingly weighted at 50% (as well as being a course in its own right).

The course covers an introduction to Economics, basic economic concepts and models; an extensive analysis of the market system (demand and supply); issues regarding market failure and the role of the government in attempting to correct market failure; macroeconomic measurement and problems including inflation, unemployment and international trade.

Course outline:

  • The basic economic problem
  • The price system
  • Government Intervention in the price system
  • Measurement in the macro economy
  • International trade
  • Exchange rate theory
  • Government policy for balance of payments disequilibrium and influencing the exchange rate

Methods of assessment: Paper 1 [1 hour] comprising thirty multi-choice questions and Paper 2 [1 hour 30 minutes] comprising one compulsory data response question and a choice of one essay (in two parts) from three.

School examination:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2
  • 1 x 2½ hour examination - end of Term 3

Class assessments: Common tests are held each term and multiple choice tests, data response questions and essays are also set regularly throughout the year.

Continuation of subject: A 'good' grade D or better allows for direct entry into A2 Economics. However, a 'low' grade D requires HOD approval and a grade E or U candidate is unable to attempt A2 (but could consider retaking AS).

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Pre-requisites: None. It is an advantage to have studied Economics in Form 5 and/ or Form 6, but not essential. Although the course starts from first principles, new students to Economics must be prepared to work very hard on basic concepts and terminology as content is recovered from Level 1 and 2 relatively quickly.

Course description/aims: This course covers a variety of topics in microeconomics, public economics and macroeconomics. A number of economics models and theories are covered and current economic issues are used to help explain theory.

Course outline:

  • 3.1 - Demonstrate understanding of the efficiency of market equilibrium [4 credits, External]
  • 3.2 - Demonstrate understanding of the efficiency of different market structures using marginal analysis [4 credits, External]
  • 3.3 - Demonstrate understanding of micro-economic concepts [5 credits, Internal]
  • 3.4 - Demonstrate understanding of government interventions to correct market failure [5 credits, Internal]
  • 3.5 - Demonstrate understanding of macro-economic influences on the New Zealand economy [6 credits, External]

Methods of assessment: Students sit a three-hour external examination assessing four Achievement Standards worth 14 credits.

School examination:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1 (internal assessment)
  • 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2 (internal assessment)
  • 1 x 3 hour examination - end of Term 3

Class assessment: Common and class tests are held each term throughout the year.

Special equipment/costs: A workbook for $20.

Form 7 (A2):

Pre-requisites:

  • Students who gain an A to a good D grade in AS Economics will be admitted to this course. A genuine interest in Economics as well as a willingness and ability to accept the greater workload and difficulty involved is essential. Students with an AS mark of 70% or less are strongly encouraged to re-sit AS in the May/June session.
  • Students who gain a low D grade in AS Economics must consult with the HOD Economics to gain entry into this course.
  • Students who gain an E grade or Ungraded result in AS Economics will not be accepted into this course.

Course description/aims: A2 is a relatively demanding economics extension course that involves a detailed study of micro and macro economics. Students are encouraged to read widely around topics under review and are expected to develop excellent written communication skills.

Essays are very important at this level and require comprehensive knowledge and application of relevant theory and models, together with superior evaluation and analysis skills.

Course outline:

  • Detailed theory of the firm
  • Labour market theory
  • Government intervention in the price system
  • Advanced macro economic studies
  • Development Economics theory and issues

Methods of assessment:

  • External examination: Cambridge International Examination Assessment is in two papers.
    - Paper 3 [1 hour] comprising 30 very technical and detailed multi-choice questions
    - Paper 4 [2 hours 15 minutes] comprising one compulsory data response question and two 25 mark essays from a choice of 6.
  • NZQA Level 4 Scholarship Successful completion of the A2 course is excellent preparation for this optional three-hour examination, held late in Term 4.
  • School examination:
    - 1 x 1 hour examination - end of Term 1
    - 1 x 2 hour examination - end of Term 2
    - 1 x 3 hour 15 minute examination - end of Term 3
  • Class assessment: Common tests are held each term and multiple choice tests, data response questions and essays are also set regularly throughout the year.

Continuation of subject: This course is an excellent base for undergraduate study in Economics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.