How_to_achieve_an_A_in_A_level_Economics_(1)

Oct 12, 2023

How To Achieve An A* In A-Level Economics?

Here's a little secret: the IGCSE/GCSE grades that you already achieved in Economics,  they're not the big deal right now. What truly matters right now is how you're gearing up for your next exam.

It’s quite common to hear stories about students either improving or slipping a grade, but I have seen more than enough move up from a D/E to an A/A* grade in a span of two years (sometimes, even in 8 months!). It’s not as difficult as it seems. All that's required is to understand what needs to be done and put it into action. Let’s discuss some insights I have collected from my classrooms in the past years to help you understand and create your own plan of action.

  1. Firstly, try to understand Economics as a discipline. Economics is not like other subjects. It stands in the middle of Sciences and Humanities. We don’t discuss absolute facts but theories and models where we use data and mathematical techniques to find results (which is like science), and we also study human interactions and how they make choices as in humanities (social science). Very often students find Economics challenging because it’s a new form of subject. You experience the subject for the first time in your IGCSE/GCSEs so of course you will take time to get used to it. The key here is to give studying and reading Economics sufficient time weekly.

  2. Start with the fundamentals. It doesn’t matter where you are at in your studies, if you are planning for an A* you have to start with checking how strong you are at the fundamentals of Economics. Your fundamentals should include: Economic thinking and models, Concept of Scarcity, Choice, Utility, Opportunity Cost, Supply and Demand and PPC. Move forward from here to Elasticities (it’s tricky but with little effort it will become the easiest topic in your year). Students usually get stuck here and henceforth Economics becomes hard for them. 

  3. If you get stuck, reach out for help. Seeking help is important! Reach out to your teacher, your friends or classmates, or take help from an external tutor to assist you with your learning. Remember, it doesn’t matter how many times and places you get stuck at - What matters most is your consistent effort. Sometimes that effort needs to be combined with help from others.

  4. Make Notes. Handwritten Notes. I cannot stress this enough. In economics there are several definitions, graphs and concepts that you need to remember. It’s important to physically take notes as whatever you study is all new information. By taking notes, you enhance your understanding and give yourself a chance to check retention of the information (as note making requires summarisation).

  5. Work on Spaced repetition. Once you have your study material and notes ready, you must review. Here’s a trick I use with my students for new or complex topics: Suppose Day 1 is the teaching day, After class they fill in a worksheet (revising the information right after learning it), Day 3: I ask them questions on the same topic (simple discussion) and finally Day 7 I test them on the topic. This method allows retention of the concept so much so that my students continue using this method even at home with their revisions.

So those were my 5 tips for you today. Remember, through focused practice, regular reviews, and the judicious use of resources around you, you can unravel the intricacies of economics and set yourself on a path to success. Right now, it's not about the grades you've earned in the past, but rather the hard-work and correct strategies you employ today that will help you excel in your upcoming exams. Happy Studying!

By: Umaima Maryam, Business & Economics Trainer

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