Are Good Economics Lecture Notes A Close Substitute For Good Economics Tuition?

Unlike school teachers in many other countries, the school teachers in Singapore generally hand out lecture notes to students. This is not only true for English, Mathematics and Science, it is also true for economics. Due to the tremendous effort put in by economics teachers, many of these economics lecture notes are good. Nevertheless, there are still a large number of students in Singapore taking economics tuition. This makes one wonder whether good economics lecture notes are a close substitute for good economics tuition?

Qualities of Good Economics Lecture Notes

It is important to have good economics lecture notes. However, the question is, what are good lecture notes? Although economics tutors and economics teachers have different views on the qualities that make up good lecture notes, they generally agree on a few qualities which good lecture notes should possess.

1. Good economics lecture notes should be clear and concise in the explanations of economic concepts. Too many unnecessary details may cause students to suffer from information overload which is also known as infobesity or infoxication. This is because if information overload occurs, decision quality is likely to fall. In the context of reading lecture notes, this means that students may not be able to distinguish the more important concepts from the less important details. Therefore, although detailed lecture notes may seem informative, they are likely to do students more harm than good. This explains why a large number of junior colleges in Singapore have simplified their economics lecture notes in recent years which has reduced their students’ reliance on economics tuition.

2. Good economics lecture notes should be coherent in their explanations of economic concepts. Links between concepts should be clearly explained. Effort must be put in to ensure that concepts that are required to understand other concepts are explained in the initial parts of the lecture notes. An example of bad lecture notes is one in which all the concepts are explained in point form without clear links between the concepts. Unfortunately, some junior colleges in Singapore hand out such economics lecture notes which explains why their results are consistently below the national average despite their students getting external help from economics tuition.

3. Good economics lecture notes should not be overly technical in their explanations of economic concepts. It is true that good responses in the economics examination should be rigorous. However, this does not mean that the explanations of concepts should be technical. Rather, it means that they should involve the use of the economic terminology. Lecture notes which are technical in their explanations of concepts are unlikely to be of great help to students as they are difficult to read, understand and remember.

Applications of Economics Concepts

Good economics lecture notes are not a close substitute for tuition from a good economics tutor. Although good economics lecture notes can help students understand economic concepts, they do not teach students the applications of the concepts. Without understanding the applications of the concepts, one will not be able to fully understand the concepts. Therefore, good economics lecture notes are not a close substitute for good economics tuition. Taking tuition from a good economics tutor will not only help students understand well economic concepts, regardless of how good the economic lecture notes are, it will also enable them to learn the applications of the concepts. This is crucial to getting a good grade for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics as higher order thinking skills are tested. Therefore, good economics lecture notes should be viewed as a complement rather than a substitute for good economics tuition. Indeed, a good economics tutor is likely to hand out good lecture notes. Therefore, it is important to get an economics tutor who is good and experienced. In addition to good economics lecture notes, a good and experienced economics tutor is also likely to provide good economics model essays.

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