Mr Toh’s 5 Steps to Acing Economics
- Knowing how NOT to study
You have less than 6 weeks to the A Levels. There is no time to waste doing ineffective revision. At this stage, you need to know what is effective and what is not. What you should not do is to be sitting down and just flipping through your lecture notes – that is highly ineffective.
What you should do is to have your lecture/revision notes ready on your desk, to refer to, but you should not be studying those now. You should be attempting essay or CSQs paper but have these resources to immediately refer to when you have any content gaps.
- Understand what is tested
H1 Econs 8819:
Know your enemy, and you will win every battle.
Looking at the syllabus requirements is something so basic, but nobody bothers doing it anyway. One way to check your current understanding for the examinations is to look at the section that says “Candidates should be able to:”
And ask yourself, if you satisfy the requirements in the checklist. At the same time, you can also look for essay questions / case study questions that satisfy these requirements to attempt
- Exposure & Practice is Key
This is a no-brainer. The more exposure and practice you have before the A Levels, the more confident you will feel about attempting the paper.
This is my recommendation:
- Get an A4 sized exercise book
- Pick 50 Essay Questions (when you attend the essence workshop, Mr Toh will provide 20 for this year, and give you access to last year’s materials as well) of a wide variety – make sure your 50 questions spans across a wide range of topics and concepts
- Make sure you have good answer outlines for these 50 Essays
- Attempt to plan an outline for each question
- After the planning is done, refer to the answers outline
- Are you anywhere close? If yes, then just add in the points that you’ve missed out
- If not, then proceed to copy the entire essay out, while consciously trying to commit the key points to memory, understand what you’ve missed out and make sure you are able to reproduce this essay should it be tested at the A levels.
- If you complete this exercise, you should be at least achieving a “B” grade for your essays.
- Be willing to seek help
It is so hard to try to fight this battle on your own. The more people you can get on your side, the better your chances of doing well.
Who do you need on your side?
Your school Economics tutor
Remember this! Your school Economics tutor is there to help! If he/she has offered consultation slots, GRAB them! They are valuable. But please don’t waste their time, have questions prepared. Attempt essays & csqs, try to mark them yourself, and bring any queries to them and ask them how you can further improve. Also bring them a list of any content questions you may have to clarify
A few study buddies
Your friends could be better at Economics than you are. It could be useful to study with a few friends who are getting decent grades in Economics. Discuss essay outlines and talk to them about how each question should be approach. A typical study session can involve bringing 20 essay questions, and then discussing them 1 by 1, trying to solve them together
I am always available on WhatsApp at 8182-3036. Don’t ask me long questions through WhatsApp though – I can’t really type long answers there. You can email me long questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am quite busy most of the time, so if I miss out on replying you, you can bug me on Facebook as well – same email to add me on Facebook, email@example.com
- The rule of the “4Es”
Whether be it answering essay questions or the higher marks range questions for CSQs, please remember Mr Toh’s ‘4Es’ rule to apply. For every policy that you are trying to explain – have you done the following
- Explain – Provide an explanation of the policy that you are trying to discuss
- Elaborate – Have you linked the policy that you are trying to discuss to ‘Economics’, i.e. by providing an Economics framework or analysis that the policy would do to solve the ‘problem’
- Examples – Have you provided useful examples in reality that could help strengthen or further illustrate your point
- Evaluate – Have you provided a substantiated opinion on whether this could work? Why or why not?
Note: This is the first part of a series of revision tips that Mr Toh will be sharing progressively over the weeks leading to A Levels to help you revise better!
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