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Economics GCSE and IGCSE are both assessed by written exams - no coursework - so either is straightforward from home education. Many have found this subject one that worked well for self-study from a textbook and free online resources, while others prefer to use courses.

Edexcel International GCSE Economics

Edexcel International GCSE Economics page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2019
  • Available in June and January (until 2023) and November (from 2023)
  • Specification code: 4EC1

Subject Content

Content is broken in to 2 components.

Component 1: Microeconomics and Business Economics

The market system: The economic problem, Economic assumptions, Demand, supply and market equilibrium, Elasticity, The mixed economy, Externalities

Business economics: Production, Productivity and division of labour, Business costs, revenues and profit, Business competition, The labour market, Government intervention

Component 2: Macroeconomics and the Global Economy

Government  and  the  economy: Macroeconomic  objectives, Government  policies,  Relationships  between  objectives  and  policies

The  global  economy: Globalisation,  International  trade,  Exchange  rates

Assessment

100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - Investigating Small Businesses - 1hr 30 minutes - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and long-answer questions, and is presented in four sections.
    • Covers Component 1: Microeconomics and Business Economics
  • Paper 2 - Investigating Large Businesses - 1hr 30 minutes - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and long-answer questions, and is presented in four sections.
    • Covers Component 2: Macroeconomics and the Global Economy

Resources

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Pearson publish a textbook and a teachers guide for the specification. Details can be found here

Answers can be found here

Pearson have a Qualification Guide on the specification page which is essential for understanding how the exam questions are marked.

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here. Papers with an R suffix were available in a different time zone. They are the same specification and can be used as practice.


CAIE IGCSE Economics

Cambridge offer 2 IGCSEs in Economics from 2020. The difference is in the grading, 0987 being 9-1 and 0455 being A*-G, otherwise the syllabus is identical.

CAIE International GCSE Economics (0987) page and specification

CAIE International GCSE Economics (0455) page and specification

0987 was new in 2020, there were changes to 0455 at the same time but lots of overlap so papers from pre-2020 will still be useful.

  • Exams from: 2020
  • Available in Autumn and Summer series
  • Specification code: 0987 (9-1) or 0455 (A*- G)

Subject content

The CAIE IGCSE in Economics comprises six topics:

  1. The basic economic problem
  2. The allocation of resources
  3. Microeconomic decision makers
  4. Government and the macroeconomy 
  5. Economic development
  6. International trade and globalisation

Assessment

100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - Multiple Choice - 45 mins - 30 marks - 30%
    • 30 multiple choice questions
    • Covers full syllabus
  • Paper 2 - Structured questions - 2 hr 15 mins - 90 marks - 70%
    • One compulsory question and three questions from a choice of four
    • Covers full syllabus
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Resources

There are several different textbooks, workbooks, teacher books and revision books available for this specification - a list can be found here. Check whether answers to student books are included as for Cambridge they are often in the teacher's guide.

Past papers can be found on the specification pages or sites such as Papacambridge. Each series of 0455 (besides the March series - which is only sat in India) has 3 sets of papers available. These are because they were sat in different time zones. They are the same syllabus and useful for practice. You can use both 0987 and 0455 papers to practice either spec. 0987 was new in 2020, there were changes to 0455 at the same time but lots of overlap so papers from pre-2020 will still be useful.

AQA GCSE Economics

AQA GCSE Economics page and specification

  • Exams from: 2019
  • Available in June
  • Specification code: 8136

Subject content

The AQA GCSE in Economics comprises 11 topics:

Microeconomics - How markets work:

  • 1. Economic foundations
  • 2. Resource allocation
  • 3. How prices are determined
  • 4. Production, costs, revenue and profit
  • 5. Competitive and concentrated markets
  • 6. Market failure

Macroeconomics - How the economy works:

  • 7. Introduction to the national economy
  • 8. Government objectives
  • 9. How the government manages the economy
  • 10. International trade and the global economy
  • 11. The role of money and financial markets

Assessment

100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - How Markets Work - 1hr 45 mins - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and long-answer questions
    • Covers topics 1-6
  • Paper 2 - How the Economy Works - 1 hr 45 mins - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and long-answer questions
    • Covers topics 7-11

Resources

There are few resources available for the AQA Specification. There is no published textbook. Because of the overlap in content between the GCSEs those who study AQA usually use the OCR books.

Tutor2U publish downloadable topic guides. They also have a Knowledge Book - this is a book with guided sections for students to add their own notes.

Economics Help produce a downloadable revision guide

Past papers can be found on the specification page or here.


OCR GCSE Economics

OCR GCSE Economics page and specification

  • Exams from: 2019
  • Available in June
  • Specification code: J205

Subject content

The OCR GCSE in Economics comprises 2 components:

Component 1: Introduction to economics

Students are introduced to fundamental economic terms and concepts and apply them to explain how markets work in contemporary and historical economic contexts. They study the roles of the main economic agents, how they interact, and the importance of financial markets.

There are two topics:

  • Introduction to economics
  • The role of markets and money

Component 2: National and international economics

Students develop their understanding of how governments aim to achieve economic objectives and the effects of economic policies on markets, as well as the importance and impact of international trade.

There are two topics:

  • Economic objectives and the role of government
  • International trade and the global economy

Assessment

100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - Introduction to economics - 1hr 30 mins - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and longer-answer questions
    • Covers component 1
  • Paper 2 - National and international economics - 1 hr 30mins - 80 marks - 50%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and longer-answer questions
    • Covers component 2

Resources

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Hodder publish a textbook and a revision guide for the specification.

Answers for the textbook can be found on the link to the book.

There are some excellent topic packs and other support resources on the OCR site.

Tutor2U publish downloadable topic guides. They also have a Knowledge Book - this is a book with guided sections for students to add their own notes.

Economics Help produce a downloadable revision guide

Past papers can be found on the specification page or here.

Resources

Economics Help

Bank of England

Tutor2U - A level focused but useful for GCSE level

Crash Course

Khan Academy

Microeconomics for Dummies and Macroeconomics for Dummies

Business and linked subjects for UK Home Educators (self-study) Facebook group

Many home-educated students study this subject successfully using just the textbook and free online resources, but some find a distance learning course suits their family better, or want to use a tutor occasionally for marking essays or past papers. Course providers can be found on the Distance Learning Providers page.

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