Change in Exam Format for Introduction to Economics – the Quickienomics view


If you are a student taking Introduction to Economics, you have to read this.

Introduction to Economics is known as one of the most challenging units in the University of London International Program. We are sure you would have heard about the change in the exam format from this academic year onwards. What is the new format like? How will students, like yourself, be affected? What can you do about it?


Let’s compare and contrast the old and new exam formats so that we can better understand the circumstances of the changes:


If you have taken the exam before, what you will notice is that the change is simply this: All the short questions will now be changed to 30 COMPULSORY multiple choice questions. As discussed in the UOL VLE by the Chief Examiner, the multiple choice questions come with 4 options for you to choose from, of which only 1 is correct. Obviously, this change in the exam format would affect you in a relatively big way. Your studying strategy would have to change.

In the new format, it is still unclear how many of the MCQs will be microeconomics or macroeconomics topics. We are guess that it might be a fair split between both sides – 15 micro & 15 macro – as deduced from the Chief Examiner’s words on the VLE video, “…15 from micro, 15 from macro, MORE OR LESS…” (6:41 into the video).

For students taking Introduction to Economics for the first time, this change might throw you off your current progress into the unit as your expectations of the exams will have to change along with the new format. Hence, you will have to modify your strategy as well.


Contrary to popular belief on the ease of tackling multiple choice questions, we believe that this would pose a greater challenge to UOL students. Here’s why:

1. You do not have the liberty to choose which question you want to answer

With a shadow of doubt, this would be a challenge because there is no room, whatsoever, to spot topics or to focus on certain topics which students have a natural strength in or favour. Your efforts have to be evenly distributed to all the topics to ensure that you can attempt majority of the 30 MCQs.

2. The syllabus is wide

Although the Chief Examiner has commented that the Introduction to Economics is “…not a very big syllabus… with not many topics to cover…”, it is still proven to be an extremely challenging unit for most students. There are 14 chapters in this unit and 30 compulsory MCQs simply mean that students will have to cover ALL the topics to be safe.

3. The key purpose of the change in exam format is DEPTH

In the Chief Examiner’s VLE video of his discussion, he emphasised on “…depth…” being the key consideration of the format change. With 14 chapters, going into depth simply means that touching the surface of all these chapters isn’t going to cut it; there is a greater need to be proficient in all topics.


Do not spot topics. Study all the chapters.

The good news is that the syllabus is not going to change. Your lecture notes will still be up to date and there is still a track history of the long questions for students to practice. Are the old short questions still useful? Definitely. It has been mentioned by the Chief Examiner that the old short questions were designed with the intention of testing a student’s depth of knowledge. Therefore, it is still relevant to practice with the old short questions and answers.

We recommend to rely on the past year papers, both short and long questions, for practice purposes. The only adaptation you have to make is:



Quickienomics has always emphasised on 3 key aspects of learning:

1. Simplicity

We will continue to produce Lecture Series videos which are simple to understand so that you can cope with every chapter in the syllabus. The key to covering all the chapters before the exam period would be to be able to understand and apply what you study into the exam questions, which is an objective of the Lecture Series.

2. Specificity

You will notice that we will be producing more long questions tutorials in the Exam Series. There will still be short questions tutorials. As discussed earlier, these short questions WILL STILL HELP YOU. We encourage you to watch these videos so that you can be ready for the new exam format. We will also attempt to transform our versions of the short questions into MCQs to simulate the new exam format.

3. Captivity

Well, what can we say? Don’t we entertain you in our videos?


Change is inevitable. Our ability to adapt plays a key role in our success – both academic and non-academic. We foresee this to set a trend for other UOL units as other Chief Examiners might attempt to replicate the Introduction to Economics model. We must encourage ourselves to be fully involved in the units we partake so that we can be well-versed in the each unit as a whole; not in parts. Examiners around the world are working hard to tackle question spotting. Therefore, we have to adapt and be ready for all possible scenarios the exams can throw at us.

Challenge accepted?

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