O Levels Physics Exam Format

O Levels Physics Exam Format

O Levels Physics Examination Format (GCE 5059)

Note: The combined science (Phy/Chem), GCE 5105 (NA) and GCE 5076 (O levels) have a similar exam format but with reduced topics and content. Separate classes are opened for students who are taking the subject code 5105 and 5076. We also offer lower secondary science, and lesson timings are found at the end of the page.

PAPER 1 (MCQ)

  • Four options given
  • Mostly recollection of knowledge and direct answers
  • Simple handling of information and problem solving

Exam Tips

  • Familiarity with past year questions
  • Smart elimination when uncertain

PAPER 2

Section A

  • Compulsory structured questions
  • Moderate memorising of scientific laws, definitions, concepts and theories required
  • Ability to link concepts to questions
  • Numerous calculations required
  • Correct use of units
  • Accurate drawings or sketches of graphs required
  • Moderate ability to process information and give conclusions

Exam Tips

  • Understand terms used in papers
  • Scientific laws and definitions provided by Basecamp
  • Formulas and units provided by Basecamp
  • Practice commonly tested questions with data processing
  • Use good intervals and label axis for graphs

Section B

  • 3 long structured questions, first 2 compulsory and the final presented in an either/or form.
  • One of the compulsory question will be data-based question requiring candidates to interpret, evaluate or solve problems using a stem of information
  • Strong memorising and understanding of certain topics required

Exam Tips

  • Detailed guidance on how to interpret, evaluate or solve problems with given data
  • Identify the topic/concept of the question
  • Strategic memorising of certain popular topics for either/or question
  • Presentation skills to include key words to maximize scoring

PAPER 3

School-based Practical Assessment (SPA)

  • A total of 5 graded assessment carried out in school with 3 skill sets tested
  • Skill set 1 – Performing and Observing (2 times)
  • Skill set 2 – Analysing (2 times)
  • Skill set 3 – Planning (1 time)
  • Variation of lab experiments
  • Strong recollection of knowledge required

Exam Tips

  • Ability to link concepts to experiment
  • Memorise and explain common experimental and human errors
  • Read and follow instructions carefully, without assumptions
  • Understanding accuracy of apparatus and their uses

O Levels Physics Syllabus

O Levels Physics Syllabus

Basecamp N, O Levels Physics Syllabus (GCE 5059)

The combined science (Phy/Chem), GCE 5105 (NA) and GCE 5076 (O levels), are a combination of the two sciences with reduced topics and content. Separate classes are opened for students who are taking the subject code 5105 and 5076. We also offer lower secondary science, and lesson timings are found at the end of the page.

PHYSICAL QUANTITIES, UNITS AND MEASUREMENT

Key Understanding Points

  • Physical quantities
  • SI units
  • Prefixes
  • Scalars and vectors
  • Measurement of length and time

NEWTONIAN MECHANICS

Key Understanding Points

  • Kinematics
    • Speed, velocity and acceleration
    • Graphical analysis of motion
    • Free-fall
    • Effect of air resistance*/**
  • Dynamics
    • Balanced and unbalanced forces
    • Free-body diagram
    • Friction 
  • Mass, Weight and Density
    • Mass and weight
    • Gravitational field and field strength
    • Density 
  • Turning Effect of Forces
    • Moments
    • Centre of gravity
    • Stability 
  • Pressure
    • Pressure
    • Pressure differences*/**
    • Pressure measurement*/** 
  • Energy, Work and Power
    • Energy conversion and conservation
    • Work
    • Power

THERMAL PHYSICS

Key Understanding Points

  • Kinetic Model of Matter
    • States of matter
    • Brownian motion*
    • Kinetic model
  • Transfer of Thermal Energy
    • Conduction
    • Convection
    • Radiation
  • Temperature*/**
    • Principles of thermometry
  • Thermal Properties of Matter
    • Internal energy
    • Specific heat capacity*/**
    • Melting, boiling and evaporation
    • Specific latent heat*/**

WAVES

Key Understanding Points

  • General Wave Properties
    • Describing wave motion
    • Wave terms
    • Longitudinal and transverse waves
  • Light**
    • Reflection of light
    • Refraction of light
    • Thin lenses
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • Properties of electromagnetic waves
    • Applications of electromagnetic waves
    • Effects of electromagnetic waves on cells and tissue*/**
  • Sound
    • Sound waves
    • Speed of sound
    • Echo
    • Ultrasound*/**

ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

Key Understanding Point

  • Static Electricity**
    • Laws of electrostatics*
    • Principles of electrostatics
    • Electric field
    • Applications of electrostatics*
  • Current of Electricity
    • Conventional current and electron flow
    • Electromotive force
    • Potential difference
    • Resistance
  •  D.C. Circuits
    • Current and potential difference in circuits
    • Series and parallel circuits
    • Potential divider circuit*/**
    • Thermistor and light-dependent resistor*/**
  • Practical Electricity
    • Electric power and energy
    • Dangers of electricity
    • Safe use of electricity in the home
  •  Magnetism**
    • Laws of magnetism
    • Magnetic properties of matter
    • Magnetic field 
  • Electromagnetism**
    • Magnetic effect of a current
    • Applications of the magnetic effect of a current
    • Force on a current-carrying conductor
    • The d.c. motor*
  • Electromagnetic Induction**
    • Principles of electromagnetic induction*
    • The a.c. generator*
    • Use of cathode-ray oscilloscope*
    • The transformer*

Legend:
* These topics are excluded in combined science (Phy/Chem) GCE 5076 (O Levels)
** These topics are excluded in combined science (Phy/Chem) GCE 5105 (NA Levels)

O Levels English Syllabus

O Levels English Syllabus

Basecamp O Levels English Syllabus (GCE 1128 & 1190)

Paper 1 (Writing)

EDITING

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Identification of general tense of the passage
    • Understanding grammatical rules and possible variations
    • Different tips on spotting errors and testing of potential answers
       
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Using the rules to your advantage and how to achieve the full 10 marks in any given editing exercise

SITUATIONAL WRITING

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Familiarizing the formats of different situations
      • Newspaper Article
      • Report
      • Procedural Writing
      • Email
      • Speech
      • Proposal
      • Formal letter (Proposals, reports, etc)
      • Informal letter
    • Analyzing the situation
      • Identification of the purpose, target audience, tasks, and format required
      • Using the 5Ws 1H model
    • Writing
      • Using embellishing techniques to go beyond what is required of the situational tasks
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Writing an appropriate piece for communicating to the relevant audience group what is required and what is beyond in order to show depth in understanding and thoughtfulness

CONTINUOUS WRITING

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Different writing styles for narrative pieces (Story Arc)
      • Personal Recounts
      • Creative Writing
    • Different writing styles for expository pieces (TEES & PEEL)
      • Definition essays
      • Comparison and Contrast
      • Cause and Effect
      • Argumentative
      • Discursive
         
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Translating thoughts to paper using various techniques that will be explored and taught during lessons
    • How to provide insight for readers in order to “stand out” from the rest of the cohort

 

Paper 2 (Comprehension)

VISUAL TEXT

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Context of the visual
    • Distinction between purpose and message of the visual
    • What is the purpose of the visual
    • 5Ws 1H
  • Answering the questions accurately
    • How to identify key words of the questions
    • How to provide answers based on the needs of the questions
  • Key Exam Focus
    • To be a media literate, and how to discern through the nuances of the visual via the questions provided in the paper

COMPREHENSION PASSAGES (NARRATIVE TEXT & INFORMATIONAL TEXT)

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Reading techniques
      • Deep reading
      • Spot reading
      • Active reading
    • Answering techniques
      • Identification of key words from the questions
      • Extracting ALL answers from the passage and then applying the answers based on what the question requires
    • Summary
      • Identify key themes of the question
      • Identify at least 10 points for the summary
      • Paraphrase 8 of the 10 points identified into a cogent paragraph answering towards the summary question
      • Editing towards an efficient economy of 80 words
         
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Answering the questions accurately
    • Identifying answers from the passage accurately
    • Understanding the different types of comprehension questions and their respective requirement

 

Paper 4 (Oral Examination)

  • Reading Aloud
    • Rubric on how to ace this section with ease and confidence
    • Pace, rhythm, stresses, etc
  • Spoken Interaction
    • 3-Circles Model to structure personal sharing
    • How to identify themes to focus sharing on with relation to the picture

JC Economics Macro Syllabus

JC Economics Macro Syllabus

Note from tutor: Macroeconomics is very context heavy, and most of the material is best taught in a global manner; all of the concepts are linked to  each other and it's not possible to learn any single topic without reference to the other topics. Lessons are heavily focused on drawing links between the different topics and on applying the different concepts across different economies: in particular Singapore, US, China, Europe, and Japan.

KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS

  • Key Understanding Points
    • National income statistics (GDP, GNP)
    • Measures of inflation
    • Measures of unemployment
    • Balance of Payments
    • Significance of these indicators
    • Limitations of indicators
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Interpretation of statistical data
    • GDP as a measure of standard of living and limitations

Income and Employment Determination

  • Key Understanding Points
    • AD-AS Model
    • Determinants of AD
      • Consumption
      • Investment
      • Government spending
      • Net Exports
    • Determinants of AS
    • Multiplier
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Explanation of equilibrium using the circular flow of income
    • Explanation of equilibrium using the AE-Income approach to national income determination
    • Explanation of Multiplier Effect and evaluation of effectiveness in various economies, including Singapore

MACROECONOMIC AIMS

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Growth
    • Inflation
    • Unemployment
    • Balance of Payments
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Explanation of goals
    • Consequences of failure to achieve these goals
    • Relate productivity growth to long run growth

MACROECONOMIC POLICIES

  • Key Understanding Points
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Explain how policies affect goals
    • Understanding of conflicts between goals
    • Appreciation of Singapore's particular context (small and open economy)
    • Assessment of suitable policies for Singapore and other countries

INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND GLOBALISATION

  • Key Understanding Points
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Explanation of gains from trade using theory of comparative advantage
    • Singapore's pattern of trade
    • Economic arguments for and against protectionism
    • Evaluation of the costs and benefits of globalisation on macroeconomic goals

JC Economics Micro Syllabus

JC Economics Micro Syllabus

Microeconomics

Note from tutor: Microeconomics is less context heavy than macroeconomics, and the concepts build on each other in a sequential manner. As Economics is a new subject for most students, lessons are focused on building a solid foundation and clear understanding of the few key concepts, as well as applications to different markets so that students gain familiarity and confidence.

In my experience, students who start lessons with me early in the first year will do significantly better at the end of the year one.

SCARCITY, CHOICE, AND OPPORTUNITY COST

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Concept of Opportunity Cost. (This is a common source of confusion)
    • Cost and Benefit analysis
    • Introduction to marginal analysis
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Using the PPC to illustrate Scarcity, Choice, and Opportunity Cost

DEMAND AND SUPPLY

THEORY OF THE FIRM (H2 ONLY)

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Marginal analysis (Part 3)
    • Cost
      • Marginal costs (MC)
      • ATC
      • AVC
      • AFC
      • Fixed and variable
      • Short and long run
      • Internal and external economies of scale
    • Revenue
      • Marginal revenue (MR)
      • AR
    • Firm Behaviour
      • Profit maximisation condition (MC = MR)
      • Alternative theories
    • Market Structures
      • Price and non-price competition
      • Shut down and exit conditions
      • Perfect Competition
      • Monopolistic Competition
      • Oligopoly
      • Monopoly
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Key features of market structures
    • How firms compete based on analysis of market structure
    • Application of models to real markets
    • Analysis of efficiencies
      • Productive
      • Allocative
      • Dynamic

MARKET FAILURE AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION

Two big topics here, but they are always tested in tandem

  • Key Understanding Points
    • Meaning of market failure
    • Concept of deadweight loss
    • Efficiencies
      • Productive
      • Allocative
      • Dynamic
    • Types of market failures
      • Externalities
      • Market dominance
      • Imperfect information
      • Factor immobility
      • Public good
      • Income inequality
    • Government interventions in market failures
      • Taxes and subsidies
      • Legislation
      • Tradeable permits
      • Public education
      • Concept of government failure
  • Key Exam Focus
    • Explanation and graphical illustration of market failures, especially externalities in both production and consumption
    • Explanation of welfare loss
    • Analyse various means of government intervention

N, O Levels Chemistry Examination Format

N, O Levels Chemistry Examination Format

N, O Levels Chemistry Examination Format (GCE 5073)

Note: The combined science (Phy/Chem), GCE 5105 (NA) and GCE 5076 (O levels) have a similar exam format but with reduced topics and content. Separate classes are opened for students who are taking the subject code 5105 and 5076. 

PAPER 1 (MCQ)

  • Four options given
  • Mostly recollection of knowledge and direct answers
  • Simple handling of information and problem solving

Exam Tips

  • Familiarity with past year questions
  • Smart elimination when uncertain

PAPER 2

Section A

  • Compulsory structured questions
  • Moderate memorising of scientific laws, definitions, concepts and theories required
  • Ability to link concepts to questions
  • Specific calculations required for mol concept
  • Correct use of units
  • Moderate ability to process information and give conclusions

Exam Tips

  • Understand terms used in papers
  • Scientific laws and definitions provided by Basecamp
  • Formulas and units provided by Basecamp
  • Strong understanding of the periodic table (given in exam)
  • Strong understanding and memorising of general chemical reactions and equations 
  • Practice writing in both forward and backward chemical reactions

Section B

  • 3 long structured questions, first 2 compulsory and the final presented in an either/or form.
  • One of the compulsory question will be data-based question requiring candidates to interpret, evaluate or solve problems using a stem of information
  • Strong memorising and understanding of certain topics required

Exam Tips

  • Detailed guidance on how to interpret, evaluate or solve problems with given data
  • Identify the topic/concept of the question
  • Strategic memorising of certain popular topics for either/or question
  • Presentation skills to include key words to maximize scoring

PAPER 3

School-based Practical Assessment (SPA)

  • A total of 5 graded assessment carried out in school with 3 skill sets tested
  • Skill set 1 – Performing and Observing (2 times)
  • Skill set 2 – Analysing (2 times)
  • Skill set 3 – Planning (1 time)
  • Variation of lab experiments
  • Strong recollection of knowledge required

Exam Tips

  • Ability to link concepts to experiment
  • Memorise and explain common experimental and human errors
  • Read and follow instructions carefully, without assumptions
  • Good housekeeping techniques
  • Strong understanding and memorising of general chemical reactions and equations
  • Predict products by evaluating reactants

Chemistry O Levels Syllabus

Chemistry O Levels Syllabus

Basecamp N, O Levels Chemistry Syllabus (GCE 5073)

The combined science (Phy/Chem), GCE 5105 (NA) and GCE 5076 (O levels), are a combination of the two sciences with reduced topics and content. Separate classes are opened for students who are taking the subject code 5105 and 5076. We also offer lower secondary science.

EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY

Key Understanding Points

  • Experimental design
  • Methods of purification and analysis
  • Identification of ions** and gases

ATOMIC STRUCTURE AND STOICHIOMETRY

Key Understanding Points

  • Kinetic particle theory
  • Atomic structure
  • Structure and properties of materials
  • Ionic bonding
  • Covalent bonding
  • Metallic bonding*/**

FORMULAE, STOICHIOMETRY AND THE MOLE CONCEPT

Key Understanding Points

  • Symbols of elements and compounds
  • Formula of elements and compounds
  • Chemical equations
  • Empirical and molecular formulae
  • Mol concept

CHEMISTRY OF REACTIONS

Key Understanding Points

  • Electrolysis*/**
  • Energy from Chemicals**
  • Chemical Reactions**
    • Speed of reaction
    • Redox
  • Acids, Bases and Salts
    • Acids and bases
    • Salts
    • Ammonia*

PERIODICITY

Key Understanding Points

  • The Periodic Table
    • Periodic trends
    • Group properties
    • Transition elements*/**
  • Metals
    • Properties of metals
    • Reactivity series
    • Extraction of metals
    • Recycling of metals
    • Iron

ATMOSPHERE

Key Understanding Points

  • Composition of air
  • Air pollution
  • Production of air pollutants
  • Greenhouse gases

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Key Understanding Points

  • Fuels and crude oil
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols**
  • Carboxylic acids**
  • Macromolecules*/**

Legend:
* These topics are excluded in combined science (Phy/Chem) GCE 5076 (O Levels)
** These topics are excluded in combined science (Phy/Chem) GCE 5105 (NA Levels)

Carboxylic acids (O Levels Chemistry)

Carboxylic acids (O Levels Chemistry)

This is a summary of the topic "Carboxylic acids" in the GCE O levels subject: Chemistry. Students taking pure chemistry will find this useful. These slides are prepared according to the learning outcomes required by the examinations board.

To download this presentation as a PDF, click here. (desktop only)

English: Hybrid Essays – The best things in life…

English: Hybrid Essays – The best things in life…

Hi, welcome to another instalment of our complimentary English tuition resource. This week, we look at writing Hybrid Essays. Our teachers create unique and engaging resources for our English tuition students every week and this is a fine example of the high quality materials that our students enjoy. To download the student's copy, click here.

Teacher's Copy Preview

Teacher's Copy Preview

To download the teacher's copy, follow the link below:

To download the teacher's copy as a PDF, click here. (desktop only)

Lesson Objectives:

  1. To explore what price do best things in our lives come at
  2. To learn about the types of essays and how to plan for them
  3. To understand the different elements of crafting a hybrid essay

Chemistry: Alcohols

Chemistry: Alcohols

This is a summary of the topic "Alcohols" in the GCE O levels subject: Chemistry. Students taking pure chemistry will find this useful. These slides are prepared according to the learning outcomes required by the examinations board.

To download these slides as a PDF, click here. (desktop only)

Sentence Structures Makeover!

Sentence Structures Makeover!

Lesson Objectives:
1. To practise editing exercises
2. To explore different broad themes of the passages
3. To attempt makeovers for expository paragraphs using TEES model

The following English worksheet is used for our Secondary 4 English tuition classes. To download the worksheet as a pdf, click here.

After you have finished the worksheet, take a look at the teacher's copy:

To download the teacher's copy as a PDF, click here. (desktop only)

Macroeconomics Essay: Singapore's Multiplier and Financial Crisis

Macroeconomics Essay: Singapore's Multiplier and Financial Crisis

Essay, Macro: Singapore's Multiplier and Financial Crisis



A two-sector economy has a large multiplier value while a four-sector economy like the Singapore economy has a smaller multiplier value.

a. Explain the multiplier process and suggest reasons for this difference in the size of the multiplier. (12) b. Assess the possible effects of an increase in the marginal propensity to save on Singapore's recovery from the recent global financial crisis. (13)


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Singapore Skyline by Erwin Soo, via flickr.com

Singapore Skyline by Erwin Soo, via flickr.com

def The fiscal multiplier measures the extent to which national income increases in response to an increase in autonomous expenditure. It depends on the marginal propensity to withdraw (MPW), and is calculated as the reciprocal of the MPW. As MPW increases, a larger proportion of each additional dollar spent in the economy is withdrawn from the circular flow of income, leading to a smaller increase in the national economy.

multiplier explanation For example, given an autonomous increase in government expenditure of 100M due to expansionary fiscal policy, households employed by firms which contract for the government will earn higher income of 100M. Assuming MPW is 0.5, these households will in turn half of this higher income in consumption, which further increases the factor income of those in consumer facing industries by 50M, who then go on to spend 25M, and so on and so forth until withdrawals equals injections. The increase in government spending of 100M leads to an eventual increase in national income of 200M.

In a two sector economy consisting of only households and firms, there are no taxes by the government nor are there imports due to international trade, while in a four sector open economy with the government sector, taxes and imports constitute withdrawals, which increase the MPW. For instance, the Singapore economy has a high marginal propensity to import (MPM) due to the country's openness to trade as well as its lack of natural resources. The government further imposes taxes to fund government expenditure, which leads to a marginal propensity to tax. Hence, in a four sector economy, the multiplier is lower as the MPW is higher.


b) Assess the possible effects of an increase in the marginal propensity to save on Singapore's recovery from the recent global financial crisis. (13)

def The marginal propensity to save is defined as the proportion of income saved for each additional dollar of income. A higher MPS would make fiscal policy less effective, and may also lead to an increase in the amount of loanable funds, which lowers interest rates and make more funds available for investment.

thesis An increase in the MPS would hamper Singapore's recovery from the global financial crisis, as it limits the effectiveness of fiscal policy by increasing the MPW, which causes the multiplier to be lower.

eval However, the extent of this effect may be small, as Singapore already has a high marginal propensity to save due to the country's forced savings scheme. Also, consumption as a component of GDP is small as the country is very open and exports make up a big proportion of national income.

Given that the multiplier in Singapore is already small due to high MPS and MPM, the increase in the MPS may have a limited marginal negative effect on recovery. Another factor to consider is the ability of the Singapore government to execute fiscal policy. As Singapore generally has a healthy budget and many years of budget surpluses, it has more flexibility to increase expenditure to compensate for a smaller multiplier effect.

antithesis An increase in the MPS would lead to an increase in the amount of funds available for investment. This would aid recovery from the crisis as the increase in investment would lead to a rightward shift in the AD and lead to growth in income. In the long run, higher savings rates also lead to higher economic growth as the economic capacity of the country grows due to higher investment. This is illustrated by a rightward shift in the LRAS.

eval However, Singapore's interest rates are more determined by international flows of capital, which Singapore cannot control due to her small and open economy. As such, increased savings are unlikely to move interest rates down by much.

Also, investment in Singapore is driven more by the export facing industries, and investments are made based more on expectations of external demand rather than the domestic interest rate.

conclusion Given the nature of Singapore's economy, the extent of the effect of an increase in the MPS on both consumption and investment is likely to be small, and it is likely that Singapore's recovery from the crisis would depend more on global recovery leading to a boost in the economy's exports.


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Ammonia

Ammonia

This is a summary of the topic "Ammonia" in the GCE O levels subject: Chemistry. Students taking either the combined science (chemistry/physics) or pure chemistry will find this useful. These slides are prepared according to the learning outcomes required by the examinations board.

To download this presentation as a PDF, click here. (desktop only)

Microeconomics Essay: Demand and Supply, GST and Rising Incomes

Microeconomics Essay: Demand and Supply, GST and Rising Incomes

Essay, Micro: Demand and Supply, GST and Rising Incomes

In 2007 the rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Singapore rose from 5% to 7%. Incomes also increased in that year.

a. Explain the likely effect of this change in GST on expenditure by consumers on different types of goods. (10)

b. Discuss whether the combined effect of the rise in incomes and the rise in GST is likely to cause the quantities of different types of goods sold to rise or fall. (15)


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def Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a form of ad valorem tax, which shifts the supply curve left. This is shown in the figure:

This leads to a fall in the equilibrium quantity and a rise in the price. Depending on the price elasticity of demand for the good, total expenditure can either rise or fall.

rubber bands by Bill Ebbesen, via flickr.com

rubber bands by Bill Ebbesen, via flickr.com

Price elastic demand In the figure above, demand is price elastic and the rise in price is met with a more than proportionate fall in quantity demanded. This leads to a fall in total revenue, as can be seen by comparing the revenue lost, area A, with the revenue gained, area B. Examples of price elastic goods could be items which take up a large proportion of households' income, or luxury goods.

Price inelastic demand For goods which are relatively more price inelastic, there will be an increase in expenditure as households reduce their quantity demanded less than proportionately to the increase in price. For example, neccessities such as food, or goods habitually consumed, such as cigarettes would have an increase total consumption. This is seen by comparing the revenue lost, area A, with the larger revenue gained, area B in the figure here:


b) Discuss whether the combined effect of the rise in incomes and the rise in GST is likely to cause the quantities of different types of goods sold to rise or fall. (15)

The rise in incomes will lead to a rise in the demand for goods whose YED is positive, i.e. normal goods. This is represented in the figure below as a shift to the right of the demand curve.

The extent to which the demand for different types of goods will increase depends on the magnitude of the income elasticity of demand for the good. For example, luxury goods such as branded handbags will see a larger increase in demand compared to necessities such as water.

As the rise in GST will decrease supply, the overall effect on the quantity of goods sold will depend on which factor is relatively more important.

For the case of luxury goods, the increase in demand is likely to be large as YED is more than 1, and an increase of incomes by 1 percent will lead to an increase in demand of more than 1 percent. This leads to a rise in quantity sold and a sharp increase in price in equilibrium as the demand increase outweighs the fall in supply. This is shown in the figure here:

All things equal, a more price elastic supply will lead to a bigger increase in quantity and a smaller increase in price.

For normal goods such as necessities with a positive YED less than one, demand will increase less than proportionately than the increase in incomes. In such a case, the fall in supply might dominate the increase in demand, leading to a fall in quantity. However, the price still increases, but by a lesser extent than if the goods were luxuries. This is shown in the graph here:

conclusion In conclusion, the rise in income will affect the extent to which demand rises for different goods differently. For luxury goods, the increase in demand is likely to be significant in increasing the equilibrium quantity as it outweighs the fall in supply due to GST. For other normal goods, this increase might be outweighed by fall in supply leading to lower quantity. However, in all cases we would expect price to rise.


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Copyright Basecamp Learning Centre Pte Ltd (CRN: 201536105D). All Rights Reserved.

Permission is granted to you for personal use only. Contact admin@basecamp.sg for commercial or school usage.

Macroeconomics Essay: Balance of payment deficit

Macroeconomics Essay: Balance of payment deficit

Essay, Macro: Balance of payment deficit

a. Illustrating with examples, explain the causes of a deficit in the balance of payments of a country. (10) b. Discuss the view that protectionism can help developed nations deal with balance of payments issues arising from the emergence of developing nations. (15)


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def The Balance of Payments (BOP) is an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world in a given time period, usually a year. A deficit refers to a situation where international receipts are less than payments.

def The BOP is made up of the current account (CA) and the capital account (KA). The current account is the sum of the balance of trade, or net export revenue less payments for imports, and the capital account reflects changes in the ownership of national assets, such as foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investment.

A BOP deficit can be caused by a deficit in either the CA or KA.

CA deficit

A deficit in the CA occurs when imports are more than export revenues.

This can be due to a fall in export demand due to recessions trading partners. For instance, during the Euro debt crisis, Singaporean exports to the Eurozone declined as Europe decreased their demand for imports, leading to a worsening of the CA.

A trade deficit can also be caused by weakened competitiveness of a countries' exports. For instance, higher costs and inflation may push the price of exports up. Since export demand is usually price elastic due to high substitutability, this leads to a fall in export revenue. A strengthening of the exchange rate would also have a similar effect by making exports more expensive and imports cheaper.

KA deficit

A KA deficit occurs when there is net capital outflow.

For instance, lower interest rates may cause hot money to flow out of the economy as funds seek higher interest rates elsewhere.

FDI is also heavily influenced by the business confidence of firms. For instance, Singapore received enormous FDI in its early years due to government policy encouraging FDI. On the flip side, when businesses foresee a fall in the expected returns on their investment, they will tend to withdraw their capital, leading to a KA deficit.


b. Discuss the view that protectionism can help developed nations deal with balance of payments issues arising from the emergence of developing nations. (15)

def With the emergence of developing nations who participate in the global trade market, developed nations have seen more competition for some of their export markets from countries who have a comparative advantage over them. As globalisation leads to falling transport costs and the prominence of global trade organisations such as the World Trade Organisation, exporters in developing economies are beginning to compete more aggressively with exporters in developed nations.

This has led to a fall in demand for the exports of developed nations as importers switch to developing nation exports, as well as an increase in imports by developed nations from these developing nations. This causes the current account to worsen, and a balance of payments deficit.

thesis Hence, developed nations are inclined to deal with the BOP deficit by imposing protectionistic measures such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, and legislation. These measures may be effective.

Image from page 57 of "Report on the emergency tariff act of May 27, 1921" (1922), via flickr.com

Image from page 57 of "Report on the emergency tariff act of May 27, 1921" (1922), via flickr.com

tariffs Tariffs work to reduce imports by making them more expensive. As shown in the figure below, Q2 of goods are consumed in the country, with local firms providing Q1 of output and the rest Q2-Q1 imported. The imposition of an import tariff shifts the world supply vertically upwards by the amount of the tariff, which causes the level of imports to fall to Q3-Q2.

world-trade-tariff.png

quotas Quotas work in a similar way to reduce imports, by restricting the quantity of imports that can enter the country. In the figure, a quota of Q3-Q1 leads to a consumption of Q4 at a price of P1.

world-trade-quota.png

thesis However, protectionism may not be the most effective way for developed nations to deal with BOP problems, as they are short term, have negative welfare effects, and do not address the underlying issues causing the persistent BOP issues.

Protectionism is usually seen as an aggressive trading tactic by other trading partners, who are likely to retaliate with their own protectionistic measures. When carried out, this leads to a fall in exports of the country, which worsens the BOP.

Also, protectionism leads to higher prices for consumers in the country and an overall deadweight loss as consumption switches from lower cost world imports to higher cost local producers. This is illustrated in the figure here:

Developed nations should identify the root causes of a deficit in their current account.

For instance, if weak exports are due to a loss in comparative advantage, they should consider implementing supply side policies to boost productiveness and encourage the formation of new niche industries where they are more likely to be competitive. In the long run this will lead to stronger export performance and economic growth.

Expenditure reducing policies may also be required to address a high level of imports. For example, due to strong government spending and over-expansionary monetary policy in the US, the current account deficit has worsened. The US should consider reducing government expenditure as well as tighten up monetary policy in order to reduce the level of imports. However, such policies are only feasible when the country is doing well economically. During period of economic contraction, economic growth is usually placed at a higher priority that a favourable BOP.

conclusion In conclusion, while protectionistic measures may seem attractive to developed nations in the short run, they are inefficient and may prove counter productive in the long run. To manage the BOP in the long run, countries should implement supply side policies as well as calibrated expenditure reducing policies.


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Timed full paper test for Economics

Basecamp Economics offers a monthly timed full paper test (essay and case study) for H2 Econs JC1 and JC2 students.

The paper is free to take for current Basecampers and for first time non-Basecampers.

The next test is held on 29 Apr 2016, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. There will be two papers, one for JC1, one for JC2, held concurrently.

All papers will be hand graded with examiner comments and emailed to students.

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Chemistry: Speed of reactions

Chemistry: Speed of reactions

This is a summary of the topic "Speed of reactions" in the GCE O levels subject: Chemistry. Students taking either the combined science (chemistry/physics) or pure chemistry will find this useful. These slides are prepared according to the learning outcomes required by the examinations board.

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Microeconomics Essay: Market power and barriers to entry

Microeconomics Essay: Market power and barriers to entry

Essay, Micro: Market power and barriers to entry

a. Explain how barriers to entry influence the market power of firms. (10)

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def Barriers to entry prevent firms from entering an industry, and may be constructed artificially or arise naturally due to the nature of the industry. They can take the form of cost advantages, control over supplies, patents and trademarks, legislation, product differentiation, control over distribution, and credible threats of price wars.

def Market power refers to the ability of firms to set and maintain prices over the marginal cost without significant loss of market share.

thesis In general, high barriers to entry leads to higher market power and higher prices. In an industry with high barriers to entry, there are a low number of substitutes as competitors are unable to enter the market to offer alternatives. This leads to a more price inelastic demand for the incumbent, who is then able to charge higher prices.

example For example, Microsoft is a monopolist over Windows and Office software, which is bought by almost all businesses as there are no suitable close substitutes. Although the marginal cost of distributing software can approximate zero, Microsoft is able to charge high prices for its software.

On the other hand, in markets with low barriers to entry, such as in monopolistic competition, a large number of firms compete with each other and each firm faces a relatively small price elastic demand. This leads to lower market power and firms are restricted in their ability to raise prices.

Low entry to barrier in the hawker market. Eric Pesik, Hainanese Chicken Rice, via flickr.com

Low entry to barrier in the hawker market. Eric Pesik, Hainanese Chicken Rice, via flickr.com

antithesis On the other hand, high barriers to entry may not necessarily lead to market power, and this is clear in the case of regulated public utilities.

example For instance, although public utilities are a natural monopoly and high fixed costs is a barrier to entry for another firm to enter, they are usually regulated by the government. In such a case, while they have an incentive to maximise profits by raising prices, the government may limit their pricing to marginal cost pricing.

In oligopolistic markets where there are only a few dominant firms, the ability of each firm to raise prices is also curtailed by the mutual interdependence between the firms. For instance, Singtel, one of the three major telco companies in Singapore, may not raise prices as they would lose many of their customers to their competitors if they choose to react by not similarly raising prices.

conclusion In conclusion, while barriers to entry are necessary to sustain market power, an analysis on whether barriers to entry are sufficient to lead to market power will depend on the exact nature of the industry and the influence of legislation, mutual interdependence, and market contestability.


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Macroeconomics Essay: Inflation

Macroeconomics Essay: Inflation

Essay, Macro: Inflation

a. Explain why low inflation is a macroeconomic objective of a government. (10) b. Discuss whether globalisation will always help to lower the inflation rate of a country. (15)


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a. def Inflation refers to a persistent increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time, usually measured over a year. Governments usually wish to achieve low and stable inflation, as it increases business confidence, encourages savings, and minimises costs such as menu costs.

business certainty High and unpredictable interest rates are regarded as harmful as they make it difficult for businesses to make long term plans for investments, as they are unsure over the future purchasing power of money. For example, although Vietnam's economy was growing rapidly in the 2000's, high demand pull inflation made many MNCs reluctant to invest more in the country. A low and stable inflation rate allows businesses to make confident forecasts and increase certainty in their production and sales decisions.

encourage savings Low inflation rates also encourage savings. In a country with high inflation rates, households would experience a rapid decline in the real value of savings since inflation depresses the real rate of interest. This incentivises households to spend now instead of saving for the future. In the long run, the level of investments in the country depends on the amount of savings available, and a low savings rate would lead to low investment and slower economic growht.

menu costs Finally, high interest rates imposes costs on businesses, who have to change their prices to keep up with inflation. Frequent changes of prices impose both an explicit cost of printing new menus and implicit costs that come with the extra time and effort needed to adjust prices constantly.

In conclusion, most governments have an incentive to keep inflation low to avoid the problems above. However, governments may sometimes have an incentive to keep inflation high. For instance, inflation would erode the real value of debt, which would make government debt more easy to pay off. Too low an inflation rate might also signal weak demand in the economy, and governments have to be careful in managing the economy to be aware of its other economic goals, such as economic growth.


b) Discuss whether globalisation will always help to lower the inflation rate of a country. (15)

def Globalisation is defined as a process of deeper economic integration between countries involving an expansion of trade in goods and services, transfers in financial capital between countries, and more free movement of labour.

Globalisation can lead to lower prices due to economies of scale and the ability of firms to access cheaper inputs from the global market. At the same time, it might also lead to higher prices as globalisation drives demand and leads to increased competition for resources.

thesis

goods and services The free movement of goods and services between nations and the falling costs of international transport has led to increased trade. As countries specialise in goods in which they have a comparative advantage, the prices of internationally traded goods fall. Also, with a global market, firms can reap larger economies of scale and lower their costs. Finally, the elimination of tariffs and quotas due to the forces globalisation further allows consumers to buy goods and services at lower prices.

labour Globalisation has also allowed labour to move more freely to where demand is highest. Labour supply hence shifts to the right and becomes more price elastic. This leads to a shift in the AS curve to the right.

capital Finally, globalisaton has led to a standardisation of international financial regulations, allowing freer flow of FDI. The inflow of FDI brings with it capital and technology, which increases productivity, reduces costs and expands output in the long run.

antithesis

However, globalisation might also lead to higher inflation rates.

goods and services As nations join the global economy, they will experience in demand in their export facing industries. This would lead to higher aggregate demand and drive demand-pull inflation, especially if the country is already near full capacity. For example, there have been concerns that China's manufacturing industry has been overheating, which has led to inflationary pressures in the country.

Globalisation also leads to an increase in the demand for commodities and energy, leading to higher prices, which drives up the costs of production. This leads to imported inflation in countries which are reliant on imports for raw materials and neccessities, such as Singapore.

labour The free flow of labour also leads to the phenomenon of brain drain. For instance, Spanish engineers might not be able to find suitable jobs due to the current Euro crisis, and can migrate very easily to Germany. While Germany benefits from an increase in engineer supply, the supply in Spain dries up, pushing labour costs for the remaining engineering firms. This causes the AS to shift left.

capital Finally, increase in FDI will lead to a higher demand for labour and raw materials, which leads to demand pull inflation.

conclusion Although globalisation is likely to lead to lower prices in the long run, it may also lead to increased demand and inflationary pressure. Whether globalisation would ease or worsen inflation would depend on its openness to trade, the size of its economy, the availability of capacity to soak up export demand, and government policies to manage inflation.


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