Many of my students frequently ask me – “Mr Teo, is there a JC Econs Model Essay out there that I can memorise and Ace my Econs? Can send me?”
Before we address this question directly, we will go through three big misconceptions 90% of JC students have for their Econs Essay.
Myth #1 : JC Econs Essay is just another Sec School’s Social Studies / History Essay.
Many students tell me – “Mr Teo, isn’t econs essay similar to what I’ve learnt in Sec Sch? Just another essay for me to argue my way out?” Well, yes and no. The only similarities between the two are they require candidates to display independent thinking skills and qualitative writing skill. However, the content difference between what you learnt in Sec School and JC Econs are of the total opposite. In Econs Essay, you can’t afford to “fool” your examiners by being deliberately vague and open-ended. This may work in Sec School but is the surest way to suicide in A Levels Econs. In your Econs essays, you are required to bring in specifically:
- Economic analysis – You have to bring in economic analysis to showcase that you know your stuff. Supposing you are required to explain why housing prices fall in Singapore, you can’t afford to be vague. You have to use demand and supply analysis to showcase your knowledge – fall in demand due to cooling measures (need to elaborate) imposed by Government and increase in supply for property developers (need to elaborate). Lastly, you have to link your economics analysis closely to your diagram(s) (covered below).
- Specific examples – Remember, specific is terrific. You have to bring in specific examples! If essay question requires you to explain expansionary fiscal policy in Singapore – an example of recent government spending in Singapore would be developmental spendings on infrastructures like Thomson and Downtown MRT line.
- Diagrams – You are seating for an Econs paper, not General Paper! If you find yourself not drawing any economics diagrams, there must be something wrong (Tips of Diagram Drawing to be covered below)!
Myth #2: There is no need to plan my JC Econs Essay.
Many students will also tell me: “aiyah.. no time to write already.. where got time to plan.”
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
We’ve asked many students if their school advocate any planning for their essays and 95% of them say no. The lecturers are clearly obsessed in covering how to answer the essay questions but often neglected the important step of planning how to.
90% of the students that are struggling to pass their econs essay do not plan their writing. Without adequate planning, they commit straight into the question, without fully understanding the actual requirements of the essay and this is the surest way to fail! Find out from our previous post: 4 life saving tips of writing JC Econs Essay here to help you with your planning!
And most importantly Myth #3 : There are model answers for essays out there for me to memorise.
According to a reason Straits Times article – Memorising exam answers won’t score you the As, as the heading suggest, candidates are no longer able to memorise their way out.
Candidates who wants to score A must be able to demonstrate clear understanding of economics concepts and independent thinking skills, in another words, put on your thinking cap and start evaluating base on different question requirements, especially when every questions are uniquely different.
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” – Alexander Pope
The most dangerous thing a candidate could do is to go to any major popular bookstores to buy these “so-called” model answers for JC essays. When students try to find shortcut and memorise all the essays in these assessments book, they run into a very big risk in answering out of point.
Yes, you may be lucky in memorising the correct “model answer” from these assessment books. But honestly, what are the odds of two exact same questions coming out for exams?
Also compare the following two questions:
a)”Discuss the usage of Fiscal Policy in Singapore to combat unemployment (15)” vs b)”Discuss the usage of Macro Policies in Singapore to combat unemployment (15)”
One word difference is all it takes to change the entire angling point of your essay paper. Try applying memorised answer of a) on b) (vice-versa) and I assure you this is the surest way to fail! A simple misunderstanding of a command word (fiscal vs macro) is fatal. Having a little knowledge on each question is dangerous. You need to comprehend the requirements of the question carefully by identifying the command words before you approach the question!
“If I can’t memorise, then how? Am I going to fail?”
Don’t worry! Throughout our decade long of teaching experience, we have developed a simple and structured framework called the 4 Step ACE Technique to help students to systematically tackle essay and big case study questions. We have attached a sample essay (for reference only, not model answer by any means) on how I have used this simple writing technique to help many students from “U” grade to “A” grade.
If you have any troubles understanding how the technique work, we welcome you to our program and experience first hand how easily you can apply this technique on various different essay questions.
Lastly, having difficulties drawing diagrams? Don’t know how to effective relate diagrams to your essay?
Click below to download your exclusive e-book on “3 Little Known Ways To Draw Good Econs Diagrams”. Using my special VCR principle and see your essay / case study score improve immediately within 7 days!