As a rule of thumb, materials used in case studies, and as preamble to the essay questions usually come from events occurring at least 2 years ago.
This is probably due to the time lag needed for setting the exam questions and associated answer schemes for the exam graders, and subjecting them to rigorous vetting before finalising them as part of the “A” level exam.
That said, COVID-19 has spawned much impact, and reaction on the Economic front for many countries.
For students taking “A” level this year, it will still be useful to follow the Economic events relating to COVID-19, as the fundamental concepts applied remain the same, and increased exposure to such real-world events will prepare you for different contexts in the exam.
For students taking “A” level exams in the future, whether COVID-19 will appear directly in the exam is anybody’s guess. But it will almost certainly lurk in the case study, especially in excerpts showing economic performances over a period of time (like how the 2008 Global Financial Crisis always appears as a blip in economic data from that period given for the exams).
Students often ask how I am able to do the following:
- Absorb and utilise the multiple case studies excerpts efficiently.
- Grasp very quickly what the exam questions are asking for implicitly.
Besides the fact that I have been teaching for nearly a decade now, it also has to do with the background knowledge I have accumulated within me.
Having background knowledge is a major advantage in piecing the jigsaw pieces in case studies quickly and accurately, which is crucial for the time-compressed nature of the exams.
And so, it definitely pays for students to follow recent events closely.
If you would like to comment on my response to Gareth’s question, please do so at the bottom of this post!