Is learning economics easy? Unlike other subjects, which students have been studying and building a foundation over the years, economics is a very new subject for most. There are many new concepts that students have to learn and understand in a short span of 2 years. This is in contrast with other science and humanities subjects. For those subjects, the foundation has already been firmly grounded by the time students reach JC or the IB programme. It is estimated that there are at least 200 economic concepts that students will have to master.
Thus, it is quite a no-brainer that economics tuition will be of great help whether you are doing JC economics or IB economics. If you are still puzzled about what economics is all about and the benefits of learning it, do read this post.
Common Difficulties for Students
Words like Demand and Supply are commonly known English words that students would already be used to. However, that often poses a big hindrance. Layman + Singlish logic like “Price lesser then I demand more” is inaccurate in the economic model of demand and supply and will lead to many costly errors in analysis. Hence, one of the very first challenges is to “unlearn” all these layman’s logic and association with such words and to correctly lay the foundations behind these economic terminologies.
This will be quite an initial struggle! Good thing we provide an accurate economics definitions bank for all our students.
Economics is also challenging for students to relate to since they are not yet in the working world.
It would be difficult to link investment or tax to their personal lives. This is why hiring an economics tutor who can simplify concepts and make them easily relatable to students is vital and will help them to get more economics tuition benefit. For some reason, many students tell me that they cannot quite understand lessons in school, even through personal consultations with their teachers. Many students appreciate that I can “make learning economics so simple” through somewhat “ridiculous and hilarious examples.” (I have no idea what they are talking about! :-0) You can read up more of students’ testimonials here.
One of the very first challenges is to “unlearn” some of these layman logic and association with such words and correctly lay the foundations behind these economic terminologies. This will be quite an initial struggle!
School’s Fast Teaching Pace
Time is also not on our side. There is so much to learn and do, and by the time students realise they are far lost…JC1 is almost over, or JC2 has already begun…and now they may be totally lost as more and more theories and concepts are taught. For the IB diploma programme, there are always many submissions to fulfil and the list of concepts you have to learn is even longer!
Schools also tend to go through the topics very quickly, and the pace may not be suitable for most students. Even students from top schools like RI and HCI have expressed appreciation for my approach of a moderate pace, focussing on building solid understanding with the belief that “slow and steady wins the race.” Moreover, due to relatively larger class sizes in schools, teachers usually cannot devote much time to each student. Yet because this is such a new subject, very often, students may not exactly know what they are lacking and need a lot more hand-holding to learn from their mistakes.
Understanding Economic Concepts & Higher-Order Thinking Skills
In addition, it is important for students to acquire higher-order thinking skills and develop the ability to interpret case studies content accurately and link to textbook economics concepts. These are skills on top of learning economics concepts! Most of the time, these are very challenging, and a lot of training and coaching are needed. That is the way to master any skill. Regular coaching and practice are needed. Very often, this requires a lot more than what is done in schools.
Think you have an advantage because you can write very good English compositions or Literature essays? Or perhaps you can’t write to save your life?
Both groups of students often struggle. Flowery language and writing like a novelist or even a journalist will not cut it.
That’s because economics is a social science. A lot of economic reasoning is needed in the answers. Diagrammatic illustration and analysis is also needed, unlike for English and literature essays. The economic reasoning required is akin to providing “workings” in solving a Math problem. The explanations required are similar to what is required for the Sciences.
Those who can’t write so well will obviously also struggle as there is a need to concisely and accurately convey many points in writing, and sometimes the arguments can be quite complex.
Several top students who had little difficulty understanding economics concepts could not do well in the subject until they received training and correction to help them express themselves accurately and concisely.
There are some who are strong in Math, Science, and reasoning abilities. However, strong language ability is also needed in Economics. It is needed to understand the theories and concepts. It is needed to understand the Questions, which can be worded in a rather indirect way. It is also necessary to understand extracts in Case Studies, which are usually news or opinion articles, which requires a strong language ability to understand as well as infer and deduce from.
Time-Management for Excelling in Economics Exams
Finishing on time is also a massive struggle for many students. There are so many factors involved here. How quickly can they understand an extract and “see” all the economic links? How quickly can they understand a question? How quickly can they generate the necessary points? How concisely yet rigorously can they produce their points? And finally, what are their overall time-management strategies? Wow. That’s the entire culmination of our economics tuition programme.
It is, therefore, no surprise why attending tuition benefits economics students. However, it’s also important to highlight the need to hire a really excellent and experienced tutor as many factors are involved to ensure an A grade.
How To Maximise Your Benefits From Economics Tuition?
Economics Tuition is a hefty investment. You have chosen an economics tutor. Now there is also a responsibility on your part to ensure you maximise your learning. It can be the best economics tuition in the whole universe but yet brings no benefit for you unless you are willing to cooperate.
Here are 5 key steps:
- Read up before and after class.
This will allow one to be already familiarised with content that will be applied during a lesson and reinforce the learning points and retain them by running it through after class. A responsible tutor will give you a heads-up on what will be covered in the next lesson. A responsible student will take some time (toilet breaks! :-)) to prepare. The one-ear-in-one-ear-out phenomenon is also common. Other than using earplugs, running through the lesson the very night or the day after provides a great way to achieve retention.
- Secondly, pay full attention during class!
Some students daydream or get distracted by their phones and miss out on valuable points or end up copying down the wrong points to disastrous effects! This is why a responsible tutor like myself enjoys confiscating phones. If you don’t wish to donate your phone, pay full attention in class!
- Thirdly, ask!
Some students don’t bother to, and others are too shy. Why should you be? Ask until you really, really know! I love taking questions and always encourage my students to fire them at me. You ought to!
- Fourthly, do the assignments seriously well!
And check if you’re unclear about the tutor’s comments. This is valuable practice. Well, first and foremost, make sure you have signed up for a tuition programme that consists of assignments!
- Fifthly, make full use of all available resources and channels for help.
For example, our economics tuition program students receive economics real-world examples, economics notes, infographics and mind maps, concept videos, which are additional resources outside of lesson time. Stop wasting your time on TikTok when you should be tuning in to Mr. Hong’s economics songs and videos!
After reading this article, you should be able to see all the benefits of attending economics tuition and ensure that you will make the best of it. Feel free to consult us further! We love to help!
About The Economics Tutor
Founded by Kelvin Hong in 1998, The Economics Tutor is one of the leading economics tuition in Singapore. We provide a comprehensive program to guide students in understanding complex economic concepts and applying them through case study analyses, essay writing and discussion of real world events.
For 24 years, the way we teach JC Economics Tuition (A Level Economics Tuition) and IB Economics Tuition classes helped learners appreciate economics and everything it entails on a much larger scale. We take things step-by-step, implement effective techniques in memorising frameworks and give every student the chance to nurture their ideas.
We don’t just solely focus on helping you get stellar grades and perfect scores. We make sure that we also hone the critical thinking skills and investment / business decisions you can use outside the four walls of your classroom.
Looking for a fun, engaging and probably the best economics tutor in Singapore? Look no further—check out our extensive and high quality economics resources on the website such as our IB and A Level Economics Publication. Click here to order.
Book your lesson today and master the nuances of economics in our next class!