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THE INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS IN IRELANDEDUCATORS’ BRIEFING 2008/2009FORMATION 1 ECONOMICS AND THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTComments on Performance in 2008 Examinations.
The standard of the paper was in keeping with that of other examinations of the subjectat this stage and the performance of those candidates who passed the examination is inkeeping with the standard of previous years. Overall the standard of performance by thestudents was very satisfactory; a significant number of students earned marks over therange of (70 to 90)%.In general students had a good grasp of definitions but often the application of theconcept to the business environment left something to be desired.One could not fail to notice the extent to which the general pattern of performance andchoice of questions by candidates, in this exam is similar to the pattern in previousexams.
Answering of Individual Questions.
Q.1.As in other years those students who performed well in question one invariably didwell in each of the other questions while those that had difficulty with question onetended to perform less than convincingly when attempting the other individual questions.Price Elasticity of Demand and the multiplier were the two most popular choices and theappropriateness of their popularity was justified in the quality of the answering.The most common error in relation to Regressive Taxes was a lack of awareness of theproportion aspect --- not realising that if rich and poor pay the same absolute amount oftax then it is regressive because it takes a higher
of income from the poorerperson.In relation to section (iii) of the question there were some very good answers, and mostcandidates were able to define GDP. Any difficulties that arose were in distinguishingthe determinants of potential and (more often) actual levels of GDP.Some candidates could define Opportunity Costs but had little else of consequence toadd.Q.2.This was the most popular individual question. The answering to section (a) of thequestion was particularly good and the answering to section (b) was satisfactory.The answering to section (c) tended to be either excellent, which it often was, or justabout adequate. Given the nature of this question it is not possible to relate commonerrors, it tended to be a case that candidates who understood what was being askedscored well.Q.3. This was by far the least popular choice being attempted by only 8 of thecandidates. Two of the three parts of this question related to newer elements of thesyllabus viz: sections 3 & 4. These sections of the course, which are contained inchapters 6, 7 & 8 of the Begg & Ward text (see syllabus booklet), relate to matters at the