It is natural for first year JC students to be apprehensive about new subjects like Economics and General Paper as they are foreign to the syllabus and content knowledge. However, with the correct mindset, appropriate study methods and a thorough understanding of the requirements of the various papers, students will be able to work towards achieving good results in these subjects.
Here are the 4 ways that students need to remember:
Maintain a positive mindset
First, students should maintain a positive attitude towards learning. For example, when they face difficulties early on in their studies; they should clarify their doubts with their school teachers or tutors in the first instance since it’s critical to have a strong foundation to build upon. Once students have the basics covered, they will find it easier to adapt to the demands of the particular subject and have the confidence to tackle more advanced topics progressively.
Make Comprehensive study notes
Second, both Economics and General Paper are subjects that cover a vast spectrum of political, economic and social issues at the local, regional and global levels. This means that students need to maintain a keen interest and read widely in order to gather as many different perspectives as possible. One way that students can cope with the large amount of reading is by forming study groups to divide up the reading materials, and share summarised notes as well as newspaper and magazine article clippings.
At the same time, students must prepare a comprehensive set of notes for each subject; this can include summarised topical notes, definitions of important key words and concepts. Sample essays and answers to a variety of Economics Case Study Questions (CSQs) can also be consulted as points of reference.
Learn to apply knowledge to context
Third, students need to nurture their writing skills and their capabilities in applying theoretical concepts to context in these two subjects as these are essential in helping them to excel in examinations. For example, in Economics, the ability to apply economics principles to context in the essays and CSQs, and thereby develop sound arguments to explain and support one’s answers is critical in scoring a good grade.
The same goes for General Paper where students must first identify exactly what the questions are asking, then form key points and themes upon which to build their arguments and illustrate with clear examples drawn from their reading. If students encounter difficulty in these areas, they should consult their teachers and tutors for assistance on how to brush up their study techniques as well as techniques for answering questions.
Practise consistently with a wide exposure to different question types
Lastly, students must be prepared to practise a wide range of questions consistently. Through developing essay-writing structures, writing essays, answering comprehension questions and CSQs regularly, students will learn to think faster on their feet and write with more confidence since they have been exposed to a wide range of topics.
When going through questions in class with teachers or tutors, students should take note of their errors and areas of weaknesses, and learn from their mistakes. At the same time, it is important to consciously cultivate the ability to write and answer questions in a logical and concise manner so that students can manage their time well during examinations.
In all, JC Economics and General Paper are subjects which are complex, given the breadth of the topics and concepts that need to be covered, as well as the need to relate them to the world we live in. However, it is precisely these qualities that allow students to hone their analytical abilities, enrich their lives and make them better learners for tomorrow.
Source: With reference to an educational magazine.