1. Economics for you before University
The primary focus of economics is the analysis and description of the production, distribution, and consumption of scarce goods and services. Economics is considered a social science because it attempts to explain behavior of individuals, groups and organizations. However, unlike many social sciences, economics is based heavily on maths and statistics. Economics also tends to be one of the more challenging subjects for students – especially for those in their first and second year of university who didn't study economics in high school. If you have the opportunity to study economics in high school, do so. It will prepare you for more challenging economics courses in university.
2. How to Study for Economics
There are four levels of academic performance students need to demonstrate in order to achieve success in studying economics. These include:
★ Knowledge - Gaining knowledge consists of learning and remembering specific material, including facts, definitions and explanations.
★ Comprehension - Comprehension focuses on grasping the meaning of material. In economics, the primary methods for demonstrating comprehension are (1) converting material from one form into another (e.g. words to numbers), (2) interpreting material (e.g. explaining), and (3) estimating trends (e.g. predicting future effects and implications).
★ Application - Once students have obtained knowledge and comprehension of economic concepts, principles, laws, and theories, they're expected to use and apply material in real world situations.
★ Analysis - Analysis is the ability to break down material (including economic theory) into its individual components in order to gain a better understanding of its overall organizational structure. Analysis typically entails (1) identification of parts, (2) gaining an understanding of the relationship(s) between parts, and (3) being able to identify the organizational principles and laws involved.
3. Tips for success in Economics
★ Prepare assignments before attending class
It's very important to arrive at each class having already completed assignments. Preparing assignments BEFORE class will allow you to ask appropriate questions and understand the class.
★ Read for understanding
Start by spending 10-15 minutes reading any outline or summary provided for the assigned chapter. Try to identify and remember the main points of the chapter. Next, read the introduction. The introduction usually provides a quick summary of the topics being covered and lists chapter objectives. Read each topic one at a time. Make sure you understand the relationship between each topic in the chapter.
★ Attend all classes
Much of the information, understanding and help you'll need to get through your economics course will come directly from your teacher through his classes. Therefore, please try to attend all classes.
★ Master material as you go
Economics is much like maths in that it is a cumulatively acquired subject. Gaining understanding in economics requires cumulative learning. You must master each new concepts in terms of knowledge, comprehension and application before you can master new material.
★ Employ the “Four” classroom behaviours
Using class time to improve your ability to comprehend and apply economic concepts requires the careful combination of four classroom behaviors –
(2) asking questions,
(3) responding to questions, and
(4) taking notes. In order to listen and ask questions, you must come to class prepared.
Author: Jason Tong