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5 tips on combating the JC Economics CSQ section

Regardless of whether you are studying A Level Economics at an H1 or H2 level in Singapore, the dreaded case study portion of the examination is inescapable. Many struggle with this for a multitude of reasons. It could be due to the huge chunks of information thrown at you to digest in a limited amount of time or it could be the insane time crunch you face. Because of this, it is not uncommon for students to develop a distaste or even fear of this section, but fret not! Here are 5 A-level Economics tips compiled by the top JC Economics tuition center in Singapore that can help you to combat these issues to ace your paper with ease.

Tip 1: Read the questions first, not the case studies

The first (and arguably most important) tip that every JC student should adopt would be to dive straight into the questions. Yes, it might sound counterintuitive to some because the first thing that greets you upon starting the case study would be the case studies themselves. However, Zenith recommends you to flip straight to the questions and have a quick run-through before reading the case studies. Have a highlighter in one hand and a pen in the other while you simultaneously switch between both tools, highlighting important details and circling keywords to make sure you don’t go off on a tangent when answering the questions. This is a golden tip highly glossed over by many but highly emphasized here at Zenith as part of our A Level Economics tuition program. This would not only flag the important portions of the question to be addressed but also gives you a few extra minutes to calm your exam jitters.

Tip 2: Plan your answers

As Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Another common mistake committed by many JC students in Singapore is the failure to plan out their answers before diving in headfirst. Taking a few extra minutes to plan your answers not only helps to frame it in a more coherent way but it can also save you a lot of time while you’re writing down your answer. Find a planning style that works well for you! This could be in the form of jotting down key points that need to be addressed in each paragraph in point form or writing down a few keywords that can remind you of what needs to be present in your argument. It could also be adopting the question analysis technique taught to you during your economics tuition at Zenith. It doesn’t matter which method you adopt. What matters is finding one that works best for you and sticking to it during your practices and exams so that it becomes muscle memory and instinctive.

Tip 3: Make use of the information present in the extract

The information might be lengthy, but it’s there for a reason! Many questions can be answered purely based on your existing economic knowledge and understanding, but that’s not the main point of the case study question (CSQ). The main point of the CSQ is to test your application of the aforementioned economic knowledge in a real-world context. The most blatant and straightforward way to assure your marker that you are not just regurgitating model answers you haphazardly memorized a few nights before the exam is to include relevant quotes and data given to you in the case study. Treat these extracts like a gold mine. In these extracts lie key information and important quotes that when used correctly, might just be the distinction between a B and an A grade. Thus, it’s vital that you use them to your advantage and strategically plant them in your answers.

Tip 4: Manage your time well

As we all know, the questions vary from simple 2 mark questions to complex 15 mark essay questions. Use the marks allocated for each question as a general guide to help you allocate your time wisely. You might get carried away when answering the lower-order questions at the start of the exam, only to find yourself struggling to finish the higher-order questions later on in the exam. If you often find yourself facing a time crunch like this, you need to strategically decide on what needs to be ditched, and what you should fixate on with the remainder of your time. Many students fall into the trap of being too descriptive and often neglect evaluation, which is instrumental in their analysis. Being able to work under such a strict time limit might be a struggle for many, so make sure you practice, practice and practice! Timed practices are often shelved and are not as prioritized as content revision but a good balance of both might just be your key to success - something Zenith champions for and practices with our students during the various JC Economics tuition sessions when preparing for A Level Economics exams.

Tip 5: Breathe

With the previous 4 tips focusing on aspects related to the actual case study exam, such a simple and mundane tip to breathe might seem out of place but it isn’t! You might walk into the exam hall knowing every economic concept under the sun but the failure to calm your nerves might result in you not being able to showcase your knowledge. It is definitely nerve-wracking to sit in the exam hall while you anxiously await for the A Level Economics examination to commence. However, instead of using this time to re-visit the content over and over in your head, be confident in yourself and use this time to calm your nerves and steady your heart. Have the assurance that you have adequately prepared for this and that you got this in the bag. Remember, confidence is half the battle won, so just keep calm, breathe, and do your thing!

With these 5 tips in mind, commence on your journey towards transforming the CSQ portion from something you once feared, to something you enjoy doing!. Adopt these tips provided to you by the top JC tuition in Singapore and find a rhythm and pace that works best for you. This section will start to grow less and less daunting, and soon enough, you will find yourself scoring in these sections and acing your Economics exams!

We hope you’ve found these A Level Economics tips useful. Click here to be part of Zenith’s JC Economic tuition program today!

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