The long awaited 2021 HSC Economics exam question predictions are finally here!
Making informed guesses about what’ll be in your exam is a great way to narrow down your study and help you focus on content that really matters.
Do you like this practice in theory, but don’t know how to do it yourself? Well, look no further because our HSC Economics extraordinaires are all over it.
In this episode, Rowan and Terry sit down to discuss what they believe will be in the upcoming exam.
Let’s jump right in!
HSC Economics Exam Short Answer Predictions
Prediction #1: Monetary Policy
Number one on the list of predicted short answer questions is Monetary Policy.
This topic is rarely tested as an essay due to the fact that there are far weightier syllabus points to discuss in that space. However, recent changes to how NESA assesses monetary policy could indicate that they are going to be interested in testing it.
Monetary Policy now requires students to recognise the corridor mechanism and how that actually functions. This is the first year where all of the textbooks are consistently teaching this new content and Terry believes that this consistency means it can finally be tested in the HSC exam!
Prediction #2: Enviro and Microeconomic Reform
An Environment question appears in nearly every single HSC Economics paper. It’s not a matter of if, but how.
In recent years, there has been an alternating pattern between an Environment essay or short answer question. If examiners follow this trend, then the 2021 paper should include the latter.
Beware, Rowan notes that this topic is commonly understudied by students. It is not enough to simply know types of environmental policy — students must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of how it relates to a certain economic goal.
Prediction #3: Free Trade and Protection
Free Trade and Protection is a super versatile topic to examine. There is a lot of range, with room for diagrams and reference to contemporary events.
It is a topic which lends itself favourably to the assessment of skills — which is always a big tick for NESA.
Rowan guesses that if it is included in the 2021 paper, it will be combined with Globalisation in some way.
Prediction #4: Inflation
Terry’s prediction is that Inflation will appear as a short answer question. It has been present in recent years as an essay and so it might be time for NESA to try something new.
The calculations for this topic can also be pretty tricky, so it is likely to be assessed on exam day.
Prediction #5: Exchange Rates
Exchange Rates pretty much appears in every HSC Economics paper. In recent years, it has been assessed in the essay question, leading Rowan to believe that it might be time for it to appear as a short answer.
Additionally, COVID-19 has led to volatility surrounding the dollar. This makes it a highly relevant topic to include in the exam.
Prediction #6: Economic Growth and Distribution of Income and Wealth
Again, these topics make for a good skills-based question, which is definitely something examiners are looking for. Both topics have been tested in essays in recent papers, so Rowan and Terry predict it could possibly appear as a short answer in 2021.
HSC Economics Exam Essay Predictions
Prediction #1: Fiscal Policy
Terry argues that NESA has a bit of an obsession with Fiscal Policy. He predicts that because of this, it will feature in the 2021 exam and be paired alongside Net Debt.
It makes for a pretty accessible essay question, especially given this year’s budget and how much there is to discuss there.
Prediction #2: Monetary Policy
According to Rowan, Monetary Policy has been severely under tested as a standalone essay in recent years. This is because, during this time, not a lot has been happening in this sphere.
However this year, we’ve seen a whole heap of activity — quantitative easing, alternative forms of monetary forming and liquidity support for banks, just to name a few.
Because of these sudden changes, Rowan believes it would make for an exciting and substantial essay response.
Prediction #3: Balance of Payments
Similar to Monetary Policy, Balance of Payments has been under-tested in the HSC Economics exam simply because of a lack of activity in this area, with Australia being in a current account deficit (CAD) for approximately 40 years.
However this has recently changed, with Australia entering a historical current account surplus (CAS). This change will make assessing Balance of Payments interesting, as students are going to have to flip their approach to this question.
Because of the recency of this change and the potential for examiners to get creative with their question, Rowan believes it is likely Balance of Payments will appear in the form of an essay.
Prediction #4: Full Employment Policies
Terry predicts that Full Employment Policies could also be a potential essay question. Including it means that the examiners are assessing each section of the syllabus, which is something they would be definitely trying to do.
Prediction #5: Labour Market and Full Employment
Rowan agrees that Full Employment will be tested as an essay, but argues that it will probably be assessed alongside the Labour Market. While the 2020 paper did include an Employment and Economic Growth essay, it specified a macro focus.
This year, Rowan believes looking into Full Employment through the micro lens of Labour Market Policies would give students a lot to talk about. COVID has changed these policies considerably.
Thus, not only would it make for a highly relevant question, but also one which gives students the ability to show how well they can work with interconnected topics.
Prediction #6: Case Study
A Case Study essay question pops up every 2 to 3 years. The 2021 HSC Economics exam is the 4th year in this cycle, and so a Case Study question is well overdue.
Recent developments with how countries have responded to COVID make it a particularly interesting topic to look at.
But be warned, it is likely this question will include a slight tweak. It is super easy for students to rote learn a Case Study essay.
As a result, examiners are going to try and catch people out by asking for something unexpected, such as a comparison or getting students to look at distribution of income and wealth.
Bonus Topic Essay Prediction: International Organisations
One final Economics exam prediction is that International Organisations is a topic that has seen some pretty interesting developments as of late. While it hasn’t really been tested in the past, examining the new role and prevalence of International Organisations in a post-COVID economy would be a super relevant question.
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Jessica Arentz is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney where she studies a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) (Marketing). She currently volunteers at 2SER community radio station as a producer and newsroom reader. When not writing, you can find Jess searching the web for cheap flights or spending her days with her head buried deep in a book.