Can Economics Tuition Improve The Grade In The Examination?

Can Economics Tuition Improve The Grade In The Examination?

Economics is a very popular subject offered at the pre-university level in Singapore. There are approximately 12000 students who take economics in junior colleges every year. The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, in collaboration with the Cambridge International Examination syndicate, has customised the International Cambridge GCE β€˜A’ Level Economics to cater for students who wish to take economics at the pre-university level. The product is the Singapore-Cambridge GCE β€˜A’ Level Economics. As the Singapore-Cambridge GCE β€˜A’ Level Economics is rigorous by all standards, it has caused great difficulty for JC students doing economics. To cope with the subject, many students have resorted to taking economics tuition. The question is, can economics tuition improve the grade in the examination? There are several factors that will determine the effectiveness of economics tuition for improving the grade in the examination which include the quality of the tutor and the learning attitude of the student.

The Quality Of The Tutor

The quality of economics tuition is a crucial factor. Good tuition will help a student improve their grade in the examination substantially. In contrast, tuition that is not up to mark will be less helpful. This means that a student needs to select a private economics tutor very carefully as failure to do so may cause them to end up with a worse grade in the examination. The quality of tuition depends mainly on the quality of the tutor. A good tutor can improve the grade of a student substantially. In contrast, a bad tutor can do more harm than good to a student. Choosing the right tutor is key to learning and excelling in the subject. There are many tutors offering economics tuition in Singapore but which one is right for you? The following are a few qualities that a good economics tutor should possess.

1. A good economics tutor should have a good and relevant qualification in the subject.  Having a good and relevant qualification in the subject will not only allow a tutor to teach the subject content effectively, it will also enable them to impart a great deal of general knowledge pertaining to the subject to the students. This is key to doing well in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE β€˜A’ Level Economics examination. For a tutor giving economics tuition, this will mean having a good degree in economics from a recognised university. Although many economics tutors have a good degree in economics from a recognised university, there are some who do not. Therefore, parents and students who are looking for an economics tutor should conduct a vigorous background check on the credentials of the tutor.

Note: It is important not to equate the publicity of the tutor with the calibre of the tutor and there is little positive correlation between the two, if any. Indeed, if a tutor spends a great deal of time on marketing themself, they are likely to have little time improving their knowledge of the subject.

2. A good economics tutor should have experience in teaching the subject. Having teaching experience will make a tutor more effective and this is more so for economics tuition than for tuition in many other subjects. This is particularly true for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics which requires candidates to have good essay writing skills and case study answering skills. An experienced tutor will not only know the syllabus well, they can also teach these skills effectively. There are quite a number of experienced economics tutors in Singapore.

3. A good economics tutor should be able to complement what the students learn in school. Economics is a social science pertaining to the study of how society allocates limited resources to the production of goods and services to satisfy unlimited human wants. Therefore, there is no perfect or standard way to teach economic concepts. The teaching methodology for economics differs from school to school. A good economics tutor should not confuse the students with an unorthodox teaching methodology. Instead, they should try to clear the students’ doubts about their school work and complement it in every way possible.

4. A good economics tutor should have a passion for the subject. An economics tutor who is passionate about economics is likely to be able to cultivate the students’ interest in the subject. A student who is interested in economics tends to spend more time on the subject and this generally leads to better grades for economics tests and examinations. In contrast, a tutor offering economics tuition who does not have a passion for the subject is likely to find it difficult to cultivate the students’ interest in the subject resulting in poorer grades.

5. A good economics tutor should have good teaching materials. An experienced and well qualified economics tutor without good teaching materials such as good economics lecture notes and economics model essays is like a skillful swordsman without a good sword. A tutor giving tuition can teach more effectively with good teaching materials. Further, the students will also find studying the subject easier and more interesting and this is crucial to doing well in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE β€˜A’ Level Economics examination.

The Learning Attitude Of The Student

The learning attitude of the student is another important factor. As economics is a social science, there will differences between what a student learns in school and what they learn in tuition. If the student lacks the learning attitude to reconcile the differences, having tuition will not contribute much to the grade the examination. In contrast, if the student has the learning attitude to reconcile the differences between what they learn in tuition and what they learn in school, tuition will improve their grades in the examination substantially. Therefore, it is important for a student to understand why these differences exist and how to deal with them in order to get the maximum benefit from economics tuition.

There are several reasons for the differences between what a student learns in economics tuition and what they learn in school. Macroeconomics deals with variables that interlinked and many of the variables are determined by a large number of factors. For instance, when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for austerity measures in the eurozone, she was met with a great deal of criticism, with valid reasons and arguments. Austerity measures refer to the measures used by the government to reduce a budget deficit which include spending cuts and tax increases. A problem with austerity measures is that instead of reducing a budget deficit, the contractionary impact of the measures on the economy which may lead to an increase in government expenditure on transfer payments and a decrease in tax revenue may actually increase the budget deficit. This, which I shall call the paradox of austerity measures, is due to the interconnectedness of macroeconomic variables. Therefore, there are disagreements among policymakers on the effectiveness of austerity measures. This is one of the several reasons why differences between what a student learns in economics tuition and what they learn in school occur. How should a student deal with the differences?

The differences may occur due to several reasons. If the differences occur in the explanations, the student can simply choose the explanations that they prefer in the examination. This is assuming that both the explanations are theoretically sound which the student can check with the school economics teacher and the private economics tutor. In fact, once the student understands the differences, they should understand the underlying economic concept well and hence be able to explain it in his own way. If the differences occur in the underlying economic concept, the student should consult the private tutor and the school teacher for the reasons. If the school teacher and the private tutor have applied different economic concepts to the economic issue due to differences in their views on the issue, the student should follow whoever makes more sense to them as it is more likely to also make more sense to the marker. In the event that the differences are due to one of them having a misconception about the underlying economic concept, the solution will be obvious. If a student deals with the differences in this way, they will able to get the maximum benefit from good economics tuition.

In every examination, the performance of a student depends on a host of factors such as the mental condition of the student in the examination hall. A good mental condition in the examination hall will lead to a better grade and vice versa. Therefore, it is important that the student manages their stress and nervousness well so as to avoid unnecessarily β€˜blanking out’ in the midst of the examination. One way to do that is to end the revision at least two days before the examination to allow the mind some time to calm down.

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Economics Tuition Singapore @ Economics Cafe
Principal Economics Tutor: Mr. Edmund Quek