Sunday, December 21, 2008

HP3 (and SP2): A 'how to' short manual

Note: This list is intended for my kids at the Moraitis School IB Program. If you are not an IB2 candidate at The Moraitis School please bear in mind that your teacher's advice is what you should follow. Many colleagues may disagree with what I say below. Constructive criticism is much appreciated so feel free to comment.

IB Economics: On HP3 (and SP2)

1.Do (a), (b) and (c) in 15 minutes without having read the extract. Only very few (b) or (c) questions require that you read a paragraph or two from the extract. If that is the case, the question usually directs you to the relevant paragraph(s).

2.For question (a): each definition should not be more than 2-4 lines long. Never explain more than is necessary. Be succinct. Also remember that a 'vague' explanation accompanied by a relevant and correctly drawn diagram may earn 2 points.

3.For (b) and (c) questions that explicitly ask for an ‘appropriate diagram’ remember that you earn 2 points for the diagram and 2 points for the explanation.

4.Thus, explanations must be brief and to the point, referring to the specifics of the diagram you have drawn (explanations should not be more than 5 - 10 lines maximum). The diagram must be large enough, clear, well labelled and drawn using a pencil and a ruler. You could read from my 'Economics Study Guide' p. 147 on how to effectively construct diagrams.

5.If a diagram is not required, you could still employ one if you consider it directly relevant, as diagrams are in general rewarded. In such (b) or (c) questions (that do not require a diagram) you may need to write anywhere between 8 - 15 lines maximum.

6.Once done with (a), (b) and (c), devote the remaining 25 minutes on (d)

7.First, carefully read, making sure you clearly understand, what you are asked to evaluate (rephrase the question if necessary)

8.Brainstorm for a couple of minutes, thinking of the different stakeholders, the different perspectives and the economic theory relevant to the specific issue

9.Then, go to extract and start reading it, noting with a pencil the phrases / sentences that you could use in (d).

10.Make sure you write at least 2.5 to 3 (I.B.) pages on question (d)

11. Make sure you use quotations and data from the extract to support what you write. Use quotation marks and in a paranthesis the paragraph from which the qute is drawn. You need not refer to the text for all the points you make. Make sure though that your evaluation is 'not in a vat' but that it is directly relevant to the specifics of the extract. An excellent evaluation without references can not earn more than 5 points. You could read from my 'Economics Study Guide' pp. 145-146 on how to evaluate.

12.Make sure you separate each point you explain in your evaluation with a blank line as it greatly helps the examiner in his/her assessment.

13.Use a 3B pencil (and a ruler) for your diagrams (also have a colored pencil with you – not red or green)

14.Have a watch and place it on your desk: HP3 (and SP2) are all about time management.

15. Copy and paste the above onto a word file and print

16. Do as many past papers you can under test conditions: do several in 40 minutes and also groups of 3 in 2 hours. You should also try doing separately (a),(b) and (c) in 15 and only (d)'s in 25. Practice is the key to success in this exam.

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