Guide to JC / A Level Economics in Singapore

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Should I study Economics in JC? Is A Level Econs hard? What is Economics anyway? How should I study for it?

We will answer all these and more !!!

JC / A Level Economics is a highly popular subject in Singapore.

Most parents & students know that it is a very useful subject and hence both Arts and Science students are encouraged to pursue it.

If you are still hesitant, do read up more about What is Economics and the Benefits of Learning Economics. Also learn more about How to Choose A Level JC Subject Combinations

There will also be a need to decide on H1 or H2 Economics and that article should be very helpful.

Is studying A Level Economics at JC hard? Let’s begin with the end in mind by looking into the Examinations format.

A Level Economics Examination Format

For H2 Economics (A Level H2 Economics Syllabus), which is what the majority will choose, there is both an Essay as well as Case Studies paper. For H1 Economics (A Level H1 Economics Syllabus), there will only be 1 Case Studies paper, although there are “essay questions” within that paper as well.

Here, we will look at the H2 Economics format as H2 is the more popular choice.

Paper 1 Case Studies

Paper 1 consists of 2 compulsory Case Studies worth 30 marks each. (For H1, they are worth 45marks each!) Your score for Paper 1 will contribute towards 40% of the final grade.

Most students will find Paper 1 more challenging and this is usually the decider between a A or B grade. 

Very good comprehension skills are needed to clearly dissect the case studies and very accurate economics knowledge and understanding will be required to correctly apply to answering questions. 

Higher-order thinking and reasoning skills are also needed. 

Very good time management skills are also essential as many students struggle with answering all the questions within time.

In our JC / A Level Economics Tuition, a major focus is on helping students to deeply understand the economics concepts so that they can easily apply, as well as to train them in thinking and reasoning. 

Our students are trained to read the extracts with “economics lenses”. This is crucial and also will highly benefit them in future, beyond the examination. 

Mr Hong’s years of experience as a policy maker and also an entrepreneur besides being an economics tutor is invaluable in imparting all these skills and insights to the students. 

This is especially critical in helping students take “mature” judgments on issues raised and justify them convincingly. Such answers are needed to score Evaluation marks, which are worth about 16% of total 60 marks for Paper 2. It is a deciding factor between a good and mediocre grade.

A lot of experience is actually needed for that and we impart all our years of examination as well real-world experience to our students.

As if that is not challenging enough, students are also time-pressed (just 2hrs 15mins for 2 rather lengthy Case studies and about a total of 12 questions) and have to think quickly on their feet. That is why we have very special training for them in our  highly interactive online classes. Students are also taught Mr Hong’s very own time management techniques including a strategy we term DUO.

Paper 2 Essays

Paper 2 consists of 6 Essays, which students must choose 3 and complete within 2h 15mins. At least 1 essay must be from Section A (mainly Microeconomics) and 1 from Section B (mainly Macroeconomics). 

There is usually context given (ie preamble) before the actual question. Hence, students must apply their knowledge to the given context and cannot simply ignore  it and just regurgitate content. (Gone are the days!!! The robots have taken over!) 

Questions can also be rather tricky and require good comprehension skills to interpret requirements correctly. Quite often, students receive NAQ comments from their teachers. NAQ stands for Not Answering Question. So accurate question analysis is really important.

Students must also learn to form arguments – For and Against. This is similar to GP essays except they must be backed up by economic theories and rigorous analysis. Again, this is where our A Level / JC Economics tuition lessons come in as well as the many valuable resources provided. Just to show one off. Check out: How to write a good Economics Essay (both JC and IB Economics)?

Finally, just like with Case Studies, there is an Evaluation Component, which requires higher-order thinking and reasoning. Evaluation marks make up 15 out of total 75 marks for Essays. That is a whopping 20%! Some students score zero or almost zero!!! So it does make a very “grade” difference!

Your score for Paper 2 will contribute towards 60% of the final grade. In practical terms, there is no big difference in importance between the 2 papers. Students must work equally hard for both.

Final Words (almost!)

Do note that JC Economics is a concept heavy subject. There are probably about 300 terms and concepts to learn about.

Many of our students also share that they don’t understand what is happening in school. We also don’t understand why. Many share that they can’t really understand what their teachers are saying the pace is simply too fast for them. JC1 economics is usually Microeconomics and JC2 is usually Macroeconomics. But some schools do a combination of Micro and Macro within each year, which I do not recommend as it usually means leaving all the harder topics to JC2. Worse is when a school does all of Micro and also squeeze in 1/4 of Macro within JC1…

Fortunately, at The Economics Tutor, we take it step by step. And we got your backs with our slew of resources from A Level Economics Study Guides and JC Econs Model Essays to Infographics and Mindmaps & Concept Videos all ready to empower you. We even have Economics Real World Examples Database, A Level Economics Definitions Bank, Model Answers to Past A Level Economics Papers, Blog Posts on Real World Applications such as on Taxes and much much more!

Can anyone beat that?!

Most schools steamroll ahead and we try to keep just slightly behind. 

All our students know that they must no matter what remain highly attentive in school (otherwise why bother to attend school!). That is only wise. 

And our programme is tailored such that students must be responsible for basic content knowledge whilst Mr Hong comes in to build up understanding, deepen understanding and help them apply to questions. This is essential as regurgitation of content in exams will not work.

Many students greatly appreciate this approach and the pace in our class. Ironically, RIJC has perhaps the slowest teaching pace among all the JCs. As they say, slow and steady, wins the race. That is also what Mr Hong believes in. Even then, this is what Jeff Li of RIJC had to say:

Classes with you felt a lot better than the lectures and tutorials in school. For one, the lessons were set at a slower pace, where there was more emphasis on understanding rather than just going through the curriculum. Most questions in school are left unanswered. However in your JC Economics Education Centre’s classes, not only do we find the answers to these questions, we were also taught beyond just the surface knowledge. Classes have always been very engaging especially with a vibrant tutor like you.”

And it is not just Jeff alone…look what Rozalin of VJC has to say:

You’re a really great teacher and I can say that my true economics education took place during your classes, not during lectures in school.”

Finally, check this out for an overview on how to study A Level JC Economics.

Our JC Economics Students’ Advantage (10/10)

1) Top Quality lessons by Top Quality Tutor with Top Qualifications & Experiences

If you haven’t, check out the  qualifications, credentials, multiple awards, experiences of The Economics Tutor and read article on Best Economics Tuition or Best Economics Tutor ?

Where to find ??

2) Superior Insights & Evaluation points

A result of super-relevant real-world experience as a previous member of the Administrative Service of the Singapore government and a successful entrepreneur (over 10 companies including overseas).

Don’t forget, as explained earlier, “Evaluative Judgments” / “Evaluative Comments & Insights” make a BIG difference to your grades.

Again, where to find?? And hear it from students like Jun Rong, RIJC.

“I learnt to think deeper and I understood the economics concepts better…very grateful to have a mentor like you.”

3) Learning through real world applications & entertaining lessons!

Hear it from our students!

“I didn’t understand economics in any of my tutorials or lectures…Your examples are one of a kind! I look forward to every one of your lessons. A for Econs!”   

 Jermaine Tay SRJC

“Made Econs fun by applying it to real life.”

Guan Zhuo, HCI

“His method of teaching economics allowed me to engage…in a more fundamental and conceptual manner, allowing me to quickly internalise concepts and apply various techniques that were taught during my examinations. From S to A!”

Eunchan, RVHS

“Mr Hong also makes lessons rather enjoyable with his ridiculous and farfetched but somehow extremely relatable and fun analogies to further boost our understanding of the matter.”

Timothy Teo, SAJC

“Mr Hong is a funny, eccentric and passionate teacher whose classes helped me get an A for A levels when a C seemed out of reach when I joined at the start of J2.”

Wei Yuan, VJC

4) Regular assignments that are detailedly marked (Practise is important!)

“Mr Hong does detailed marking of every script and helped me completely understand and learn from my mistakes.”

Liz Wong, HCI

5) Super Powerful Economics Resources : 

  • Economics Study Guides 
  • Model Essays (even teachers and other tutors use them!),
  • Economics Songs
  • A Level JC Economics Notes / Infographics & Mindmaps
  • Concept Videos
  • JC Economics Definitions Bank
  • Blog Posts on Real World Applications to Current Affairs
  • Economics Real World Examples Database
  • & More!

Again, where to find?

“He provides the best materials for his students and is always very patient to slower students. He has very good understanding on the syllabus in JC  and is extremely competent in passing on his Economics knowledge to his students. He often comes up with methods like songs and even makes Mindmaps for his students.”

Ming Yang, RVHS

6) Patience, Counsel, Encouragement (may come in the form of helpful scoldings)! 

Mt Hong cares for his students. He wants the best for them. 

“Thank you also for working so hard to patiently help me through my misconceptions. Also really appreciate all the times you assured and encourage me to work harder.”

David Vun, SAJC

“Thank you so much for helping me get an A for H1 Econs! Even though I flunked my way through JC, you continued to encourage and push me to do better!”

Nicole Hia, DHS

“Mr Hong is a wonderful teacher,…ensures that every students is not left behind.”

Priyanka, TPJC

“…Mr Hong is a caring tutor, which is hard to come by these days.”

Faith Tay, NJC

“Thank you for making me a better person…”

Brandon Ang, ACJC

“Mr Hong is also very encouraging, and he pushed me for 2 years, allowing me to improve drastically from a U to finally an A in the A Levels for H2 Economics.”

Jia Yuan, VJC

7) Spotted Questions on Practice Exams (so accurate, how not to score?!)

So accurate often times…it can be spooky…

“Mr Hong also systematically analyses past year trends and gives stunningly accurate predictions about A Level topics and questions.”

Marissa Chok, RIJC

“Your spotting was so accurate!”

Cheralyn Liu, HCI

“In the recent A-level examinations, Mr Hong even accurately predicted the case study questions!”

Samuel Tay, HCI

“Mr Hong was really nice & patient, and the questions he spotted were super on point! His notes are also really good would definitely recommend.”

Claire Wong, RIJC

How Mr Hong does it is still top secret…Not even his co-workers know…(“but we are peeping”).

LATEST: >50% of 2022 H2 A Level Economics Questions were spotted accurately and our students went through them 1-2 weeks before the exams!!!

BIG Bonuses

8) Advice on Uni Applications & Tips on Interview Preparation

Many of our students go on to read Medicine, Law, Economics, Computer Science, Accountancy and Business.

Mr Hong is both a seasoned and highly successful interviewer and interviewee.

Relevant Experience includes:

  • PSC Scholarships interviews
  • PHD Senior Tutorship interviews
  • To represent Singapore in Young Leaders’ Initiative
  • Admin Service interviews (several!!)
  • Straits Times, Channel News Asia, MediaCorp, Business Times
  • As employer interviewing candidates for business development, marketing, operations, centre manager positions
  • Plenty more that has been temporarily forgotten!

9) Guidance on Investments & Entrepreneurship

In recent years, students see economics in action, live, with Mr Hong’s foretelling of currency value changes, and tips on property market, gold etc. Some students have benefited from guidance on investments, post- A Levels. Only for those who really seek.

Mr Hong was Chairperson of the National Economics Quiz in 1996. In 2022, he was on a distinguished panel of judges for the international Youth Financial Analysis Competition.

10) Internship Opportunities

Read the many lessons a ex-intern learnt : One Internship, Many Life Lessons

By the way, if you haven’t, we encourage you to read up on How to choose Right Tuition or Tutor? It will help you to make your decisions for all subjects.

CAVEAT: Not every student appreciates The Economics Tutor

Those who expect Mr Hong to do all the work and them just regurgitating wholesale in exams will not appreciate Mr Hong’s JC Economics Tuition lessons.

They just don’t understand how the A Levels work and these are also usually those who refuse to think and who are highly disinterested to learn. Or are plain lazy.

They don’t know they are in danger of being replaced by AI.

Fortunately, Mr Hong has managed to transform even some who enter the programme hating Economics.

“You managed to turn Econs from a dread into something I enjoy studying!”

– Nicole Ng, NJC

“Because of Mr Hong, the subject I hated most turned into the one I now enjoy and have substantial interest in.”

– Jingwen. HCI

“From hate to love!”

– Vania Ng, RIJC

Unfortunately, there have been a few students, over the years, that Mr Hong has quite gladly seen depart from the programme. We just can’t please everyone.😀

All the Powerful Resources for JC / A Level Economics

For your convenience, we pack them all here:

About JC / A Level Singapore:

  1. JC Cut-off points (if you at the stage of choosing between JCs)
  2. JC Rank Points / A Level Scoring System
  3. How to Choose A Level JC Subject Combinations

About JC / A Level Economics:

  1. Why Learn Economics?
  2. H1 or H2 Economics
  3. H2 Economics Syllabus / H1 Economics Syllabus
  4. A Level Economics Study Guides and Model Essays
  5. A Level Economics Notes, Infographics and Mindmaps & Concept Videos
  6. JC/A Level Economics Real World Examples Database
  7. A Level Economics Definitions Bank 
  8. Model Answers to Past A Level Economics Papers
  9. Blog Posts on Real World Economics Applications such as on Politics
  10. How to Write a Good Econs Essay (JC/A Level)
  11. Tips on How to Study JC A Level Economics

Of course, the most important resource will always be, arguably, the Best Economics Tuition in Singapore.

If you are wondering about how JC / A Level Econs may be different from IB Econs, find out more about IB Economics here. Looking for tuition in other subjects, check out our JC Tuition Affiliates too.

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