What Should Students Expect From Economics Tuition?

Most economics students in Singapore take tuition in one form or another. This is partly due to the high level of requirements of the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination. A natural question is, what should students expect from economics tuition?

Expectations Of Economics Tuition

Some students expect an economics tutor to teach every single economic concept in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics syllabus in detail. This, in my view, is not the best for them. There are simply too many economic concepts in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics syllabus for most students to fully master. Nevertheless, the truth is that students need not understand all the economic concepts very well to excel in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination. Some economic concepts are more important than others. Due to the large amount of time that economics teachers need to cover the large amount of course content, which include both the more important economic concepts and the less important ones, they have limited time to spend on essay discussion and case study practice. Therefore, an economics tutor should focus on these areas to better prepare his students for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination. However, to be able to have the time do that, they should focus on the more important economic concepts and spend less time on the less important ones. Therefore, students should expect an economics tutor to focus on the more important economic concepts in economics tuition.

Apart from conducting regular lessons, students should expect an economics tutor to allocate some time for consultation before or after each lesson. This is to allow them to clear any doubts that they may have pertaining to the lesson or their school work. It is important for an economics student to clear his doubts about the concepts as soon as possible. This is because economic concepts are interlinked as hence lack of understanding of some economic concepts may impede the understanding of other economic concepts.

Students should expect an economics tutor to teach ahead of the school. It is easier for an economics tutor to teach economic concepts to a class of 15 students than for an economics lecturer to make a lecture hall of 150 students understand the same economic concepts. If students are taught in  advance the important economic concepts in a particular chapter in economics tuition, they will be able to understand the lecture on the chapter in the school better.

Students should expect an economics tutor to give economics lecture notes. The economics lecture notes need not contain as many details as those handed out by the school. Instead, they should concisely and clearly explain the key economic concepts which students need to master to excel in economics examinations. In addition to good economics lecture notes, an economics tutor should also provide good economics model essays. A related question is whether individual tuition or group tuition be more suitable for a student.

Individual Economics Tuition Versus Group Economics Tuition

Both individual economics tuition and group economics tuition have plus points and minus points. Some students like to learn at their own pace and they will find individual tuition more suitable for them as the economics tutor can adjust their teaching speed to cater for the learning pace of the students. Students who do not like to or do not have the time to travel will find individual tuition more suitable for them. This is because individual tuition very often means that the tutor travels to the student’s place. Some students like to have more essay writing practices and they will find individual tuition more suitable for them as the economic tutor can give them more essay practices and go through the essays in the lessons. Students who like to learn economic concepts beyond those that are tested in the examination for interest will find individual tuition more suitable for them. This is because the tutor can only go some way towards teaching economic concepts which are beyond the syllabus in a group setting. The minus point of individual tuition is that it is very much more costly than group tuition. Furthermore, students who take economics tuition on a one-to-one basis do not get the chance to interact with other students and hence may not be exposed to more perspectives. However, if the student comes from a wealthy family which does not have any financial constraint, and the economics tutor is knowledgeable, these limitations should be minimal.

Group economics tuition is more suitable for students who like to interact with other students, and believe that in the process, will gain a better understanding of economic concepts and their applications. For obvious reasons, students who have a tight budget will find group economics tuition very much more affordable and hence more suitable for them. However, the minus point is that they will have less essay writing practices compared to students who take economics tuition on a one-to-one basis.

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Principal Economics Tutor: Mr. Edmund Quek