JC Economics can be a rather daunting subject. With a whole new load of information in your way, you may wonder: How to study for JC Econs?
When you break it down, studying JC Econs is actually very straightforward. To aid you in your study, I have compiled all you need to know about how to study for JC Econs and grouped them under 3 main aspects – Content, Structure and Practice. These 3 aspects are the “lifelines” of JC Econs and you have to master each of them to do well.
Many students have trouble consolidating the huge amount of content provided by their schools. While it may seem like there is a lot to read and memorise, JC Economics is actually a very systematic and “common-sense” subject! Break down your lengthy lecture notes into piecemeal portions. You will find it a lot easier to digest and recall during exams. Diagrams and their analyses are also the weaknesses of many students. DO NOT memorise diagrams without understanding. Not only will you be prone to mistakes, it will affect your confidence throughout the examination.
So what are some effective methods to organise your Econs content?
- Definitions list
Definitions are a must-know! You will need it in your intro to define your keywords for every essay. It may also come out in CSQ either as a direct question or as required in your part d/e questions. While you can skip this and try to come up with the definitions while you are planning or writing your essay, it will save you lots of time, effort and even some marks if you just follow what is on your definitions list.
- Concept maps
Concept maps are especially useful for Macroeconomics, where there are many overlaps among topics and every topic is inter-connected. This will make it simpler for you to see these links and draw connections across different topics. Similarly, they can also be very useful for Microeconomics.
Tables are very useful when you need to compare the differences between 2 or more variables. E.g. Comparing across the 4 market structures, 4 main types of unemployment, 4 macroeconomic policies etc.
- Diagram Cheat Booklet
This is something I thought of while I was studying for JC Econs. While you may know how to draw a diagram and understand the explanation behind it, sometimes it is just difficult to verbalise it or recall during exams. Hence this cheat booklet will be very useful in helping you remember the keywords for each diagram so you don’t miss out any important points. Take note: Keywords. DO NOT copy and paste your lecture notes in prose. The main point of this booklet is to help you recall more easily every point you need to include in your diagrammatic analysis and not for you to memorise word for word!
You can do it in any way you are comfortable with. I did it as below:
Now that you’ve nailed what to write in your essay, it is now how you write it that will distinguish your essay from the rest. I cannot emphasise how important it is to plan your essay and to follow a clear essay format that will make your essay neat and coherent.
It is of utmost importance allocate 5 minutes for planning before you start on each essay. What are the keywords you have to define? What are your thesis and antithesis? What are your 3 topic sentences? What diagrams do you have to include? Do you need to/How do you conclude? Planning a quick outline will prevent overlaps of your points. Also, wouldn’t it be a waste of time if you started on an essay without planning, only to realise midway that you had misunderstood the question or run out of points? Planning well will also give you a much-needed confidence boost.
Having marked many JC Econs scripts, I finally understand how much markers love well-organised scripts and loathe the messy ones. It makes it much easier to identify your main points and follow your train of thought (and to award high marks). It shows the marker that you are knowledgeable and confident. Avoid rambling and meaningless repetition – It only signals to the marker that you are unclear yourself and are just trying to squeeze your way through. Having a format also helps you –the student- yourself. Once you determine your topic sentences, it is a lot easier for you to come up with the clarification and evaluation.
3. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Content + Structure done well will give you a perfect essay. But in the examination, where you have unlimited ideas but limited time, examiners are not seeking the perfect essay, but a complete, correct and clear one. Station yourself with only your writing materials somewhere with minimal distraction and practise planning and writing essays under time constraints. Make it a point to do this at least once a week. While it may seem like a huge commitment, it will eventually become second nature and that really translates into more confidence in the exam hall! If you can, it is best to get your tutor to mark your essays. If not, the alternative is to compare your essay to the answer key. Take note: What you should be doing here is to evaluate whether you have gotten the main points and not to copy the “model essay” wholesale! If you find that during some busy periods you are unable to set aside time to write full essays, it will also help to do timed essay planning.
Hope the above tips for how to study for JC Econs were helpful – If you find that you need further guidance and help, there is not much time left! Reach out to us and let us help you work towards an A for Econs together. Meanwhile, happy studying!
Credits: Ms Lee Hui Min (on behalf of Mr Jeffrey Teo)