Mark breakdown 

  • Two types of question: KAA and KAA+EVALUATION
  • Evaluation questions are signposted with the instruction words: "examine", "discuss", "evaluate", "assess" and "to what extent".
  • The evaluation component will always be worth less than 50% of the total marks for any given question i.e for any KAA + EVALUATION question, the mark split will be as follows:
    • 8 marks total = 6 KAA + 2 EVAL
    • 10 marks total= 6 KAA + 4 EVAL
    • 14 marks total= 8 KAA + 6 EVAL 

"Go to" KAA marks

These are the points you should be including as a priority in order to pick up you KAA marks. Identification and explanation you should be including as a matter of course, so remember to make an effort to include definitions and diagrams. There's often a lot of overlap between your identification and explanation marks. See video for more:  

  • DEFINITIONS & FORMULAE: define key unit 1 terms mentioned in the question.
  • DIAGRAMS: shoe-horn in diagrams associated with key terms e.g externalities diagram, PPF diagram for opportunity cost
  • IDENTIFICATION: make explicit references to the extracts e.g “extract 1, line 6”, “extract 2 says...”, “£6,000 from extract 1”
  • EXPLANATION: chain of reasoning will pick up the remaining marks once marks above have been gained. 

June 2012 Q9- full mark responses

Question paper: Edexcel economics unit 1- June 2012 question paper
Mark scheme: Edexcel economics unit 1- June 2012 mark scheme

(a) With reference to the titles of Extract 1 and Extract 2, distinguish between positive and normative statements. 


1. Definitions (2 marks): A normative statement is subjective and cannot be proven/disproven scientifically. A positive statement is objective and can be proven/ disproven scientifically.

2. Identification (2 marks): The title of extract 1 is positive since it is possible to test whether the tuition fees will increase. The title of extract 2 is normative since the term ‘unfair’ is a value judgement. 


(b) With reference to the information provided and your own knowledge, explain the opportunity cost of higher education to students.


1. Definitions (1 mark): The opportunity cost is value of the next best alternative foregone.

2. Diagram (2 marks)

Increasing consumption of good B (tuition fees) from 4 to 5 units has an opportunity cost of 3 units of good A (other uses of the money).
















3. Identification (2 marks): tuition fees have been increased from £3,290 to possibly £7,000 or £9,000 a year.

4. Explanation (4 marks): One of the opportunity costs of going to university is the alternative uses of the tuition fees i.e buying a car or putting a deposit down on a flat. Another opportunity cost is the alternative use of the time spent studying i.e working or taking an apprenticeship course.  


(c) Evaluate the likely private benefits and external benefits of university education. Illustrate your answer with an appropriate diagram.


1. Definitions (4 marks): Private benefits are those received by people within a transaction. External benefits are those received by people outside the transaction. 

2. Diagram (4 marks)





















D represents marginal private benefit, whereas D1 represents marginal social benefit where both marginal private benefit and marginal external benefit are taken into account.

3. Identification/explanation (4 marks) : Using higher education as an example, the private benefits could include the £160,000 salary premium over A-level study. The external benefits could include the wider benefits that are received by society as a whole, e.g the higher incomes from a more productive labour force.


(d) With reference to Extract 2 and using price elasticity of demand calculations, assess the likely impact on student applications of an increase in tuition fees from £3,290 to £7,000.


1. Definition (1 mark): Price elasticity of demand is the proportionate change in quantity demanded for a given proportionate change in price. 

2. Applying formulae (4 marks): PED = % change in quantity demanded/ % change in price

PED for lower income students= -0.14/ (3710/3290) = -0.12

3. Identification (2 marks): Extract 2 shows that demand is more inelastic for students from high income families (9% fall forecast as a result of the rise in fees) compared to low income students (14% fall). 

4. Explanation (2 marks): Price elasticity of demand is negative, but inelastic meaning that applications will fall in response to the rise in tuition fees, but less than proportionately. 


For evaluation components see EDEXCEL ECONOMICS UNIT 1- EVAL QUESTIONS