IB ECONOMICS (HL): Paper 2 (Data Response), Tips to score better

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Economics is an excellent subject to score well on as you are able to rely on formulae, graphs and definitions.

This is my list of tips that should definitely help maximise your marks… they look obvious, so make sure you don’t miss these marks.





  • ANNOTATE the question to ensure that you do not misinterpret it
  • Have an awareness of TIME limitation as you answer
  • Try and read as many real life examples as you can and keep up to date with CURRENT AFFAIRS – read my blogs on the Economist articles so that you have thought about real world issues before you head to the exam


  • give DEFINITIONS for all terms asked about in the question (even though the question will not overtly ask for them)


  • Label the AXIS of graphs to show units
  • ANNOTATE and DESCRIBE graphs in detail- especially the supply /demand curves, showing shifts to the right or left, commenting on gradients with relation to elasticity if relevant
  • You must mark all externality graphs to show WELFARE LOSS, DEADWEIGHT LOSS, POTENTIAL SURPLUS, CONSUMER SURPLUS


  • Avoid terms like CHANGE; refer to INCREASE or DECREASE
  • State DEFINITIONS clearly
  • Pay attention to COMMAND WORDS and respond in accordance with the question
  • CONCLUDE for questions with command words such as evaluate ,analyse, explain, justify
  • SPLIT responses onto SEPARATE lines to ensure you score the marks
  • Write SUCCINCT answers; make more points then focussing on writing style although this does not mean that you not elaborate on answers- it just means, get to the point
  • Use the WORDS of the QUESTION in your answer to ensure you remain focussed
  • Use as much KEY/ TECHNICAL terminology as possible- it saves time and words
  • Refer to SHIFT/ MOVEMENT ALONG and mention LEFT OR RIGHT when describing supply and demand graphs
  • RESPOND to the question; give 2 REASONS if asked for 2