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A Level Economics

Cambridge International A/AS Level Economics

A/AS Level Economics syllabus aims to:

provide a basis of factual knowledge of economics encourage the student to develop:

  • a facility for self-expression, not only in writing but also in using additional aids, such as statistics and diagrams, where appropriate the habit of using works of reference as sources of data specific to economics
  • the habit of reading critically to gain information about the changing economy we live in
  • an appreciation of the methods of study used by the economist, and of the most effective ways economic data may be analysed, correlated, discussed and presented. 

Syllabus code 9708

Centres and candidates may choose to:

  • take all Advanced Level (A Level) and Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level) components at one exam session, leading to the full A Level qualification (Papers 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  • take the AS Level components (Papers 1 and 2) at one exam session and, having received the AS qualification, take both A Level components (Papers 3 and 4) at a later session, leading to the full A Level qualification
  • take the AS Level components only (Papers 1 and 2) at one exam session, leading to the AS qualification.

Paper 1 [1 hour] 

  • 30 multiple choice questions based on the Additional AS Level syllabus content
  • 30 marks 

Paper 2 [1 hour 30 mins]

  • Section A: one data response question (20 marks)
  • Section B: one structured essay from a choice of three (20 marks)
  • Based on the AS Level syllabus content
  • 40 marks

Paper 3 [1 hour 15 minutes]

  • 30 multiple choice questions based on the Additional A Level syllabus content
  • 30 marks

Paper 4 [2 hours 15 mins]

  • Section A: one data response question (20 marks)
  • Section B: two essays from a choice of six (50 marks)
  • Based on the additional A Level syllabus content
  • 70 marks
Students appearing for AS Level have to sit for only Paper 1 and Paper 2

Students appearing for A level have to sit for all the four papers i.e. Paper 1,2,3 and 4.

Papers 3 and 4 test the topics in the Supplement, but also require a knowledge and understanding of the topics in the Core.


A Level Economics syllabus at a glance


Core: AS and A Level

Supplement: A Level only (Additional material for A Level)

Basic economic ideas

  • Scarcity, choice and opportunity cost
  • Positive and normative statements
  • Factors of production
  • Resource allocation in different economic systems and issues of transition
  • Production possibility curves
  • Money
  • Classification of goods and services
  • Efficient resource allocation
  • Externalities and market failure
  • Social costs and benefits; cost-benefit analysis

The price system and the theory of the firm

  • Demand and supply curves
  • Price elasticity, income elasticity and cross elasticities of demand
  • Price elasticity of supply
  • Interaction of demand and supply
  • Market equilibrium and disequilibrium
  • Consumer and producer surplus
  • Law of diminishing marginal utility
  • Indifference curves
  • Budget lines
  • Types of cost, revenue and profit, short-run and long-run production
  • Different market structures
  • Growth and survival of firms
  • Differing objectives of a firm

Government microeconomic intervention

  • Maximum and minimum prices
  • Taxes (direct and indirect)
  • Subsidies
  • Transfer payments
  • Direct provision of goods and services
  • Nationalisation and privatisation
  • Policies to achieve efficient resource allocation and correct market failure
  • Equity and policies towards income and wealth redistribution
  • Labour market forces and government intervention:
    • Demand and supply of labour
    • Wage determination in perfect markets
    • Wage determination in imperfect markets
  • Government failure in microeconomic intervention

The macro economy

  • Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply analysis
  • Inflation
  • Balance of payments
  • Exchange rates
  • The terms of trade
  • Principles of absolute and comparative advantage
  • Protectionism
  • Economic growth, economic development and sustainability
  • National Income statistics
  • Classification of countries
  • Employment/unemployment
  • The circular flow of income
  • Money supply (theory)
  • Keynesian and Monetarist schools
  • The demand for money and interest rate determination
  • Policies towards developing economies; policies of trade and aid

Government macro intervention

  • Types of policy: fiscal, monetary and supply side policy
  • Policies to correct balance of payments disequilibrium
  • Policies to correct inflation and deflation
  • Government macro policy aims
  • Inter-connectedness of problems
  • Effectiveness of policy options to meet all macroeconomic objectives




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