green chameleon s9CC2SKySJM unsplash how to study jc economics a level

Study Smarter, Not Harder: How To Study JC Economics A Level

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green chameleon s9CC2SKySJM unsplash how to study jc economics a level
Study Smarter, Not Harder: How To Study JC Economics A Level 4

No matter how great and brilliant you are as a student, there comes a point where you’ll stumble upon a complex subject. This is quite true when you study JC A Level Economics in Singapore. 

Since you’re probably handling various subjects all at once, staying on top of your economics class can take extra effort. Theories, concepts and government policies are hard to hit right out of the park. 

Besides, how are you supposed to memorise a vast quantity of information you’re not naturally predisposed to appreciate?

We hear and understand you. Economics has always been quite a hard subject to grasp, so it’s okay if you’re having a hard time making sense of everything. 

There are no shortcuts. However, there are habits and tips you can do to score an A and do well in your H1 economics or H2 economics.

Let’s delve deeper into these tips below!

Getting Started: What Is JC A Level Economics?

Before we proceed to the study tips, let’s give you an overview of the subject first. 

JC A Level Economics is one of the most sought-after subjects in Singapore. It is a concept-heavy subject, with approximately 300 concepts and terms that need to be mastered. You will also decide whether you’ll choose H1 or H2 Economics for your JC subject combinations.

The examination formats will also depend on whether you’re taking H1 or H2 economics. The former requires students to answer only 1 Case Study Paper with two case-study questions for three hours long. 

The latter consists of both Paper 1 (2 Case Studies) and Paper 2 with 3 Essays. You can check out more details on the examination formats and a lot of other useful details in our Complete Guide to JC A Level Economics.

10 Tips on How to Study JC Economics A Level

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Study Smarter, Not Harder: How To Study JC Economics A Level 5

Now that you know the basics of JC Economics A Level, it’s time to up your game and be consistent in following these effective habits to ace the Economics exams:

Tip # 1: Seek To Understand
Tip # 2: Follow The DDEE Framework on What to Memorise
Tip # 3: Follow The SWARRA Framework for Revision and Retention
Tip # 4: Use this 4-Step Process When Answering Economic Questions
Tip # 5: Continuously Master The Concepts Taught
Tip # 6: Learn How to Read and Interpret Economic Graphs
Tip # 7: Catch Up Frequently On Current Affairs
Tip # 8: Try Not To Miss Lectures & Classes
Tip # 9: Don’t Get Discouraged!
Tip # 10: Practise More!

Tip # 1: Seek To Understand

It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading economic texts just for the sake of getting it over with. However, when new concepts are introduced, seek to understand them. We highly recommend that you follow these strategies to aid your reading comprehension in a systematic way:


Survey the material to get an overview of the content. You can start by spending 10 to 15 minutes reading the outline of a chapter and identifying the main points. Scan the titles, subheadings, introductions and key points.


You will appreciate reading more if you allow yourself to question the text. Ask yourself:

  • What is this chapter/material about?
  • Do I have previous knowledge about this topic?
  • What did my teacher or tutor say about this economic theory? Have they discussed it before?
  • How does this text relate to what I already know?

Always formulate questions to guide your reading. Another helpful tip is to turn headings or subheadings into a question. For instance, if the heading is ‘Long-Term and Short-Term Economic Growth’, your question may be: what’s the difference between the two?

Active Reading

Since economic concepts are difficult to grasp, it’s totally normal if you don’t understand something at first reading. That’s why it’s important to read materials twice. 

First, do it without taking notes. Try reading actively and reduce your pace for better concentration. If you come across a difficult passage, leave it and continue reading. You might gain a clearer understanding of it when you’ve read enough of the material.

While reading, think of the questions you listed down and look for the answers. Understand the reasoning behind the answers and determine if they are justified. If so, did the author provide evidence?

This is where the diagrams, illustrations and graphs will come into play. Compare them to the written text and understand how they are relevant to one another. You can ask the help of your tutor if you find the graphs hard to comprehend.

Tip # 2: Follow The DDEE Framework on What to Memorise

Taking JC Economics A Level will require you to memorise several concepts and theories. This can be difficult since these concepts have a considerable amount of concepts like economies of scale, monetary policy etc. 

The best technique you can follow to cover all the bases is the DDEE method. In this framework, you study Definitions, Diagrams, Explanations and Examples

That way, your understanding of an economic concept is broken down into key pivots. You will have a more application-friendly approach, helping you form better essay arguments during exams. 

Remember, simply memorising huge chunks of text from books and other materials won’t cut it! Yet, you still need to remember all the content details.

The examples you need to be familiar with should entail both real-world examples of economics concepts as well as model explanations such as those found in our highly sought-after Ace Your Macroeconomics and Ace Your Microeconomics study guides.

Tip # 3: Follow The SWARRA Framework for Revision and Retention

Speak and Write (SW)

If you’re ready for a second reading, grab a notebook and take notes. However, this isn’t to say that you’re just going to copy all the information and call it a day. For better understanding and retention, you have to speak them out and write them down in your own words. What did you learn from what you read?

Without looking at your notes, you should also note down the main idea of each paragraph. This will help you sum up the gist of a chapter or a section in 1-2 sentences.

Active Recall (AR)

When you’re finished taking notes, recall what you’ve read and written. Close and set aside your books, notes and printed materials.

It’s a test if you can remember and express everything you’ve learned from memory. To see if they are correct, check their accuracy against the notes you’ve made and adjust your answers accordingly. 

You may refer to these Economics Syllabus pages:

Can you explain each of the concepts well? Together with Speak & Write above, your target must be to explain the topic or concept to someone else—say your schoolmate who is also studying economics.

Review And Ask (RA)

Review everything you have read at the end of your study session. Read your notes again to help you retain important information such as the main thesis and key points. 

Try going back over the questions you’ve listed for each chapter and see if you can still answer them. This process is a huge factor in building memory and establishing a good mental organisation.

Also, this is the part where you ask your professors, tutors and peers about the parts that don’t quite make sense to you. Try to participate in active learning discussions. Allow yourself to think out loud so you become more confident with your ideas and improve learning retention. 

Our online classes serve as a platform where you can freely ask questions. Don’t be shy! Check out student reviews of our economics tuition online.

Tip # 4: Use this 4-Step Process When Answering Economic Questions

If you find yourself struggling with answering economic questions, you should try the 4-step process. It will help you write down a logical and structured answer. This is how it goes:

  1. What is your key point?
  2. Explain it step by step: Why and how come? Be technical about this as you are tested for your econs analysis.
  3. Make use of given data or examples.
  4. Evaluate your point by following the context of the question and provide viewpoints for a detailed analysis.

This is one of the best ways to score the highest marks on your exams! For small mark questions, you can use the simple 4-step process but for larger mark questions, you should practise our PEELED method as shown in this post on how to write economics essays.

Tip # 5: Continuously Master The Concepts Taught

To appreciate and understand JC Economics, cumulative learning is needed. It is a process where learners build knowledge over time instead of consuming everything all at once. 

This is why you should master the materials and resources provided to you in class—week by week. You need to take your time in comprehending a text before you can proceed to new material. That way, you are prepared to understand what the teacher or tutor will discuss in the next session. 

You can also take advantage of our resources like JC A Level Economics notes, Infographics and Mindmaps, Economics Concept Videos and Economics Real-World Examples to complement your school’s lectures. Please note that those are only samples. Naturally, only students of The Economics Tutor will have access to all the valuable resources.

If you fail to understand, you will fall behind. You’ll find it harder to grasp complex concepts and new principles. This is because you are building a skyscraper. Thus every level is an important foundation for you to ascend well. 

This is also why we strongly encourage JC1 students who have not done well for Promos to join our Dec Hols Catch-Up Lessons. Otherwise, it will be a nightmare come JC2 Economics—with new topics and often more complex stuff. 

Not forgetting that CCA commitments usually increase in JC2 as well! Thus, failure to catch up might lead to excessive cramming, and that is not a wise way to ace your economics at A Levels.

Tip # 6: Learn How to Read and Interpret Economic Graphs

When you take Economics at A Level, you will be trained to think like an economist. Aside from learning jargon-loaded materials, you should also be well-versed in reading and interpreting economic graphs. 

Keep in mind that economics is considered a social science. This means that you’ll mostly study diagrammatic illustrations and provide economic reasoning for various questions. How are you supposed to ace your exams if you have a hard time understanding graphs?

It doesn’t always come easy for most students. However, the key to understanding diagrams and graphs is to start with storytelling. Pause for a moment and ask: What is the economic story that the graph wants to portray?

To really understand and remember the graphs, do the Speak and Write technique above. You must be able to explain the key points of your graph in a step-by-step reasoning process as you are drawing it. 

It is like what we do in our economics tuition classes. Through graphs, illustrations and case studies, we aim to help you develop higher-order thinking skills.

Tip # 7: Catch Up Frequently On Current Affairs

Mastering the nuances of economics and everything it entails doesn’t stop in the four corners of the classroom. Oftentimes, catching up regularly on current affairs can help you truly understand the applications of the concepts you learn in class. 

You can subscribe to The Straits Times or The Economist to keep yourself in the loop on national and international issues. Bear in mind that economic problems typically come in the form of social concerns. 

For example: How did the social unrest, violence and political crisis start in Sri Lanka? When you’ve identified the history and root causes behind these things, it’s easier to look at things through an economic lens.

Our tuition classes also provide an avenue for students to share their knowledge of recent economic news and what they understand from them. The Economics Tutor also posts real-world economics examples through our blog, including:

We highly acknowledge that using real-world examples and talking about economics-related issues can make learning even more meaningful to students. It stimulates critical thinking and helps them understand how societies work. 

Tip # 8: Try Not To Miss Lectures & Classes

This is a piece of basic advice but it needs saying: you can’t afford to miss your economics classes. A huge chunk of information, help and understanding you need to pass your exams will directly come from your lectures. 

Make the most of your classes, take notes and acquire as much content knowledge as possible from professors. If you think that you can just copy your friends’ notes and sail through economics, you will put your JC rank points at risk.

Tip # 9: Don’t Get Discouraged!

Lots of students get disheartened when they face failure, making them lose interest in economics altogether. However, it’s understandable if you fail your first common test. 

Unlike mathematics, English and sciences, economics was not covered in secondary school. Most students take JC/A level Economics without any background on the matter, so they have to build everything from scratch. 

Therefore, it’s perfectly normal if you don’t get things right the first time. That’s why getting economics tuition in Singapore gives you a good start in learning and honing application skills and techniques. 

In fact, 80-90% of The Economics Tutor’s students score A at the A Level examinations every year! Whereas only about 35-40% in the entire Singapore do so. Learn more about the benefits of attending economics tuition here.

Tip # 10: Practise More!

Consistency will be your friend in acing your economics exams. Make sure that you practise regularly, cut down distractions and seek help when you face learning difficulties. Try to constantly apply your knowledge and look at theories from various angles. 

Most importantly, maintain self-discipline. Stick to your study habits and plans no matter what to establish a healthy academic routine. As much as possible, don’t procrastinate.

Remember, hard work and consistent practice can sometimes beat talent. 

This is why The Economics Tutor frequently gives out highly customised assignments, scoring techniques and individualised attention, among others. These things help students encourage themselves to push through every learning obstacle and be exam-ready. 

But above all else, it teaches students that the fundamentals of economics can significantly enhance the way they look at life. Practising regularly will make you appreciate the benefits of economics and make the most out of it!

Final Thoughts

Taking JC economics at A-level is not a walk in the park. However, this isn’t to say that getting an A and fully appreciating the subject is impossible. Through hard work, perseverance and patience, you can train yourself to look at the world using an economic perspective.

If you ever need a hand, you can join The Economics Tutor’s JC A Level Econs Tuition and make the most of their benefits. We aim to transform the attitude of students in learning economics through effective approaches, real-world applications and guidebooks. 

Book your lessons now, learn how to study JC A Level Economics effectively and start seeing economics in a new light!


What is an easy way to study economics?

One of the easiest ways to study economics is through regular applications and weekly practices. If you want to join The Economics Tutor’s next classes, don’t miss the chance to sign up now.

What is the fastest way to memorise economics?

To memorise economic concepts the fast way, try the Read / Cover / Write & Active Recall method. Once you’re done reading and understanding a chapter, voice record yourself and explain things in your own words (whilst scribbling down point forms on paper or whiteboard) to gauge what you’ve learned.

What skills can I learn from taking JC Economics A Level?

There are numerous benefits from studying JC Economics A level. It helps you develop several key skills that can be helpful in your future study plans. This includes problem-solving skills, analytical thinking and critical thinking, to name a few.

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!

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