Welcome to IGCSE-GCSE Economics Section
This section is specifically written for Cambridge IGCSE Economics Syllabus 2013. However, students and teachers from other curriculum will find this section equally useful as most of the topics covered here are common. All GCSCs from various Examination Boards such as EDEXCEL, AQA, CECA and others will find it equally useful.
The syllabus has been divided into the following themes. The topics covered and learning outcomes are given in these themes so everybody can find something of interest here. There are revision notes, interactive quizzes, worksheets, case studies and lot of interesting stuff.
So what are you waiting for ? Go ahead ! Click an icon and start learning!!!
• define the nature of the economic problem (finite resources and unlimited wants)
• define the factors of production (land, labour, capital, enterprise)
• define opportunity cost and analyse particular circumstances to illustrate the concept
• demonstrate how production possibility curves can be used to illustrate choice and resource allocation
• evaluate the implications of particular courses of action in terms of opportunity cost.
• describe the allocation of resources in market and mixed economic systems
• demonstrate the principle of equilibrium price and analyse simple market situations with changes in demand and supply
• describe the causes of changes in demand and supply conditions and analyse such changes to show effects in the market
• define price elasticity of demand and supply and perform simple calculations
• demonstrate the usefulness of price elasticity in particular situations such as revenue changes, consumer expenditure
• evaluate the merits of the market system
• describe the concept of market failure and explain the reasons for its occurrence
• define private and social costs1 and benefits and discuss conflicts of interest in relation to these costs and benefits in the short-term and long-term through studies of the following issues:
- conserving resources versus using resources
- public expenditure versus private expenditure.
• describe the functions of money and the need for exchange
• describe the functions of central banks, stock exchanges, commercial banks
• identify the factors affecting an individual's choice of occupation (wage factors and non-wage factors)
• describe likely changes in earnings over time for an individual
• describe the differences in earnings between different groups of workers (male/female; skilled/unskilled;
• describe trade unions and analyse their role in an economy
• describe the benefits and disadvantages of specialisation for the individual
• analyse the different motives for spending, saving and borrowing
• discuss how and why different income groups have different expenditure patterns (spending, saving and
• describe the type of business organisation in the public and private sectors: sole proprietors,
partnerships, private limited companies, public limited companies, multinationals, co-operatives, public
• describe and evaluate the effects of changes in the structure of business organisations
• describe what determines the demand for factors of production
• distinguish between labour-intensive and capital-intensive production
• define productivity and recognise the difference between productivity and production
• define total and average cost, fixed and variable cost and perform simple calculations
• analyse particular situations to show changes in total and average cost as output changes
• define total and average revenue and perform simple calculations
• describe the principle of profit maximisation as a goal and recognise that business organisations may
have different goals
• describe the characteristics of perfect competition and monopoly
• describe pricing and output policies in perfect competition and monopoly
• describe the main reasons for the different sizes of firms (size of market, capital, organisation)
• describe and evaluate integration, economies and diseconomies of scale
• discuss the advantages and disadvantages of monopoly.
• describe the government as a producer of goods and services and as an employer
• describe the aims of government policies, such as full employment, price stability, economic growth,
redistribution of income, balance of payments stability
• explain fiscal, monetary and supply-side policies
• analyse the use of fiscal, monetary and supply-side policies
• discuss the possible conflicts between government aims
• describe the types of taxation (direct, indirect, progressive, regressive, proportional) and the impact of taxation
• discuss the government's influence (regulation, subsidies, taxes) on private producers.
With regards to prices, candidates should be able to:
• describe how a consumer prices index/retail prices index is calculated
• discuss the causes and consequences of inflation
• discuss the causes and consequences of deflation.
With regards to employment, candidates should be able to:
• describe the changing patterns and levels of employment
• discuss the causes and consequences of unemployment.
With regards to output, candidates should be able to:
• define Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
• describe and have a general understanding of the causes and consequences of economic growth
• define the term recession
• describe and evaluate measures and indicators of comparative living standards, such as GDP per head,
Human Development Index (HDI).
• describe why some countries are classified as developed and others are not
• describe the difference between absolute and relative poverty
• recognise and discuss policies to alleviate poverty
• describe the factors that affect population growth (birth rate, death rate, fertility rate, net migration) and
. discuss reasons for the different rates of growth in different countries
• analyse the problems and consequences of these population changes for countries at different stages of development
• describe the effects of changing size and structure of population on an economy
• discuss differences in standards of living within countries and between countries, both developed and developing.
• describe the benefits and disadvantages of specialisation at regional and national levels
• describe the structure of the current account of the balance of payments
• discuss the causes and consequences of current account deficits and surpluses
• define exchange rates
• discuss the causes and consequences of exchange rate fluctuations
• describe methods of trade protection
• discuss the merits of free trade and protection.
Syllabus IGCSE Economics Code 0455
The syllabus can be downloaded from the CIE website.
For your convenience, here are online versions of the syllabuses shown from the CIE website via the Google Docs viewer (pick the one that relates to the year that you will sit your IGCSE exam):
Cambridge IGCSE Economics [ Syllabus code 0455] For examination in and after June and November 2009
A KNOWLEDGE WITH UNDERSTANDING
Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in relation to:
1. economic facts, definitions, concepts, principles and theories;
2. economic vocabulary and terminology.
Students should be able to:
3. select, organise and interpret data;
4. apply economic knowledge and understanding in verbal, numerical, diagrammatic, pictorial and graphical form;
5. use economic data, to recognise patterns in such data, and to deduce relationships.
C JUDGEMENT AND DECISION MAKING
Students should be able to:
6. distinguish between evidence and opinion, make reasoned judgements and communicate them in an accurate and logical manner;
7. recognise that economic theory is subject to various limitations and uncertainties;
8. evaluate the social and environmental implications of particular courses of economic action.
D CRITICAL EVALUATION
Students should be able to:
9. draw conclusions from economic information and critically evaluate economic data;
10. communicate conclusions in a logical and concise manner.
Scheme of Assessment
Cambridge IGCSE Economics [ Syllabus code 0455] For examination in and afterJune and November 2009
Candidates who have followed the curriculum are eligible for the award of grades A* to G.
Paper 1 (45 mins)
30 multiple-choice items (all questions to be answered).
Paper 2 (2 hours)
Candidates must answer Section A and three questions in Section B.
Paper 3 (1 hour 30 minutes)
A variety of questions which test enquiry skills.
Novel data will be presented for interpretation and analysis of a real economic situation.
Changes to scheme of assessment applicable from June 2014 exams
- Paper 3 'Analysis and Critical Evaluation' has been removed. Interpretation and analysis of unseen data are now included in the compulsory question in Paper 2.
- Paper 2 'Structured Questions' is increased by 10 marks, making question 1 worth 30 marks. The duration is increased by 15 minutes.
- Paper 1 'Multiple Choice' has not changed but it now accounts for 30% of total marks instead of 20%. Paper 2 accounts for 70% of total marks.
Past Year Exam Papers
Past Papers (IGCSE Economics Code 0455)
We cannot provide past papers for you through this site since CIE owns the copyright to these documents.
However, some past exam papers (theory and practical) along with mark schemes can be downloaded from the CIE open site.
At the moment the following papers and mark schemes are available from the CIE website (clicking a link will open the document up from the CIE website in an online Google Docs viewer):
- November 2011 Question Paper 1 (137Kb)
- November 2011 Paper 1 Mark Scheme (86Kb)
- November 2011 Question Paper 2 (111Kb)
- November 2011 Paper 2 Mark Scheme (105Kb)
- November 2011 Question Paper 3 (129Kb)
- November 2011 Paper 3 Insert (71Kb)
- November 2011 Paper 3 Mark Scheme (99Kb)