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Causal relations were understood correctly, and, for example, the consequences of the EMU decision were elaborated from various points of view.Different sub-consequences were dealt with in depth, and the essays exhibit the writers understanding of abstract economic concepts (consequences for foreign trade, the significance of the great economic community, impossibility to devaluate Finnish currency anymore).They have been widely used, despite the fact that the proponents of objective testing methodology have criticized them due to the risks of subjectivity in scoring written responses.
On the basis of essays one can also make inferences about the students approach to knowledge, e.g.
Both tasks required understanding causal relations and abstract economic concepts. Major differences were revealed both in contents and in knowledge organisation.
In higher level essays economic phenomena were discussed analytically and they indicated understanding abstract concepts.
The material consisted of 113 essays from the humanities and natural sciences sub-test of the Finnish matriculation (final) examination after the upper secondary level.
The assignments dealt with 1) the consequences of a major economic decision, and b) background factors of an economic crisis.