IGCSE Economics

The Course

Economics will open your eyes and challenge you to think in different ways about the world around you. The Economics IGCSE is designed to offer understanding of the major issues in Economics and how these affect us in our daily lives and in the future. You will be taught to think from a micro-economic perspective and learn about the fundamental problem of how best to allocate scarce resources like time and money. Knowledge and understanding of how the laws of supply and demand affect the price of oil, gold, shares, cars and houses will also be provided. You will learn about the dynamics of the government’s macro-economic policy and how this affects interest rates, exchange rates, taxation, and unemployment. You will study why the core of macro-economic policy is the control of inflation. You will also learn all about globalisation and the advantages and disadvantages it brings to us and in developing countries like Brazil and India. 

There are eight topic areas in the course: (i) Basic economic problems: choice and the allocation of resources; (ii) The allocation of resources: how the market works and market failure;  (iii) The individual as producer; consumer and borrower; (iv) The private firm as producer and employer;  (v) The role of government in economy; (vi) Economic indicators; (vii) Developed and developing economies: trends in population and living standards; and (viii) International aspects.

What skills do I need?

In addition to a natural curiosity, an interest in current affairs, and a joy of reading, the key skills to study economics include: logical thought used in solving problems, observation and inference from data, and presenting ideas in compelling writing and speech. Logical analysis underlies an economist’s ability to understand economic phenomena.

How is the course assessed?

There are two papers. In Paper 1, you will have 30 multiple choice questions. It lasts 45 minutes and is worth 30% of the total marks. In Paper 2, you will have interpret and analyse previously unseen data relevant to a real economic situation, and three optional questions from a choice of six. It lasts 2 hours 15 minutes and is worth 70% of the total marks. There is a good balance in this syllabus between the two written exam components.

Reading

IGCSE Economics
By S. Grant
Published by CUP, ISBN 978-1107612334 

Useful sources: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/economy, www.tutor2u.net, GCSE Bitesize (the business page is still relevant), Economics Help

Exam Board and Specification Code

Cambridge 0455

Raymond Henry
Head of Department