Learning Minds Special
Excelling in economics
For many students taking A-Level examinations, private tuition may be the answer to helping them achieve better grades.
Once primarily attended by academically weak students, tuition classes today are attended by a large number of students, even those who are doing well academically, said Mr Anthony Fok, founder and principal tutor of JC Economics Education Centre (jceconomics.com).
This is because tuition is no longer about playing academic catch-up, shared Mr Fok. Instead, it gives students a leg up as tutors teach ahead of the school syllabus.
He said: “Students these days are more self-motivated and have a strong urge to excel. Even students doing well in school go for tuition as they want to maintain good grades.”
EVOLUTION OF ECONOMICS
Having been a tutor for more than a decade, Mr Fok noticed that students’ understanding of economics has become increasingly sophisticated over the years.
“These days, the syllabus requires students to understand the fundamental economic principles, theories and concepts, while being able to use economics reasoning to analyse and evaluate policy decisions, and resolve economic issues,” said Mr Fok, who is also an author for the A Level Economics H1 and H2 Ten Year Series as well as several A-Level economics guidebooks.
To do well, students need to develop the habit of reading critically from a variety of sources, and gather information about changing economic activities and policies at both the national and international levels, said Mr Fok.
GETTING THAT 'A'
Besides being well read, students should also understand the connection between the theories they study and real life.
Said Mr Fok: “Economics is dynamic and constantly changing. Students need to stay abreast of current affairs and be aware of global economic events. They will stand out if they are able to quote up-to-date information and statistics in their exam scripts. They must also be able to apply economic concepts in the right context in order to excel.”
He said that students must integrate different topics to construct a coherent line of argument, or reconcile conflicting ideas. In addition, students must be able to evaluate the effectiveness and limitations of the various economic policies learnt.
“Most of all, the answers given must be logical, clear and concise as examiners reward quality, rather than the quantity of response given in the essays,” he said.