Recently, a man in Los Angeles was fired… by the business’ computer system.
Nobody knows exactly why the system deemed him suddenly unworthy of employment at that firm.
It is postulated that the manager who hired him had been made redundant through changes in the company’s corporate structure.
The computer system thus saw every employee that manager had hired as superfluous as well.
It proceeded to throw up a series of blocks and disablements, from access badges for the building’s security system to computer logins, culminating in an AI-constructed order to escort that hapless employee from the building.
This mildly frightening but very real scenario underscores two points this article would like to drive home:
1. Artificial intelligence is logical in the extreme, but not sensible and not always correct.
2. If artificial intelligence really were that smart, we would not need economists – computers would figure everything out for us: economic equilibrium, demand and supply graphs, and the comparative advantage of trading with this country or that one.
Fortunately, nobody demands that students preparing to sit A-Levels in Economics possess extraordinary knowledge about the world economy, macroeconomics or microeconomics.
However, you should have sufficient knowledge of economic systems, and it would help if you knew what was on the A-Levels economics syllabus!
Still, knowing what to study is really only half of the battle: knowing how to study is equally important!
We will lead this article off with that oft-overlooked aspect of revising for a major exam.
If your textbooks make you feel bored, perhaps you need new materials to revise! Source: Pixabay Credit: PDP
In the months leading up to their career-defining exam, Chinese university students are chased out of bed by 6 a.m. every morning.
Soon after, entire classes full of English majors gather in stark rooms, in universities all over China, for mandatory review sessions before the first class bell.
Drilling continues throughout the day, interspersed between classes, with groups meeting at lunch and in the evening.
All over campus, students can be found obsessively copying words into their notebooks and subsequently muttering them over and over.
This pattern of rote memorisation continues until the dorms’ lights out at 11 p.m.
One cannot fault the dedication of these learners, or the drive that compels the teachers to supervise their students morning, noon and night.
Should rote repetition be your preferred learning style, you may adopt these methods as well – but please! Not quite to such an extreme.
The way individual students learn and retain information is as varied and complex as economic concepts themselves.
Nevertheless, just as a good work/life balance is necessary for a healthy being, so too is a well-planned study schedule.
With a full understanding of the import, your A-Levels exams carry, wracking your brain all day, every day may actually be counterproductive to your aims.
You may see similarities between the law of diminishing returns and that study model: the more you put in, the less you get out.
Superprof recommends you set a schedule of review.
First, determine how much time you would spend on your economics studies each day.
And then, if you resolve to study for four hours each day, distinguish which four hours: 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. and giving yourself an hour for lunch is vastly different than 7 p.m. till 11 p.m with no breaks in between.
Both in terms of your brain power and in terms of motivation: who wants to stay up all hours of the night, revising principles of economics?
Tip number two: keep things lively by employing a variety of study tools.
Your class notes and textbooks are a good source of information, and so are A-Levels past exam papers.
Furthermore, you may want to investigate online resources such as Quizlet study sets.
This is an interactive learning tool that promotes the use of flashcards as well as games and quizzes to help you diversify your learning.
One final piece of study advice…
You may enjoy expounding on economic theories more than the maths and statistics that are fundamental features of your studies, and there is nothing wrong with that.
The social science aspect is a pertinent reason to study economics, after all!
Nevertheless, you should devote sufficient time to mathematical modelling, as it is an integral part of the study of economics.
Alternating between mathematics and economic principles will give your studies a satisfactory rhythm that will make the more unsavoury topics more palatable.
Alternating between aspects of economic studies can help prevent burnout Source: Pixabay Credit: Kalhh
The species of artificial intelligence that terminated the bewildered worker in Los Angeles could be portrayed as sinister and malevolent.
Conversely, the vast collection of information available to you via the Internet might be considered positively munificent.
At the end of this article, you will find a table with an expanded list of websites that provide in-depth economics study tools.
For now, we present highlights of select pages that will hopefully advance and expand your knowledge base of supply and demand, of wealth and inequality; of economic theory in general.
If you already have an account with The Student Room, you may have already run across their page of economics study notes.
If you’ve never heard of that site – or if you have but haven’t visited it, allow us to introduce you.
At the top of the page dedicated to economics exam revision, you will find select topics pertinent to your aims, primarily A-Level revision notes.
You will also find links to pages that discuss:
The bottom half of the page is entirely dedicated to A-Levels review, with links to a further 41 pages to learn from.
Scrolling beyond those, you will find an assortment of study tools, such as partner study, quizzes and games and, most importantly, a study planner.
If you are more of a visual learner, preferring to see and hear explanations of applied economics rather than read about them, you will be pleased to find these next treasures of economic issues.
That is the name of a YouTube channel dedicated to the learning and revision of economic subject material.
Each video addresses one specific economic concept or law, and they are grouped by who would benefit the most from them.
For example, you would not need the set of tutorial videos meant for international baccalaureate candidates, and you might not even need to watch the ones addressing Year 1 A-Levels.
The tip to using this channel most effectively is to target the videos that correspond to your level of learning.
Might we call this an amplified revision tool?
If you don’t mind tuning your ear to an American accent, you may find an abundance of review material at the Khan Academy.
The basis of this learning tool is videos, but the site goes further, to provide every learner with reinforcement exercises, quizzes and even a question and answer utility.
You can ask a question yourself, or read questions from other students, along with tutors’ responses.
If you are struggling with calculus, statistical models and the higher level math associated with the study of economics, you might review Khan’s pages addressing those subjects, as well.
Bear in mind that this site is based in America, meaning that the video titles correspond to that country’s education system. You may have to fish around a bit to find the maths and economics topics you seek for the level you’ve attained.
Perhaps you need more interaction than posting on a message board and hoping/waiting for a reply. Maybe you’d like to review with a person who has studied economics…
Some A-levels economics students seek out the guidance of a private tutor Source: Pixabay Credit: Nrjfalcon1
It is not unreasonable to want to bounce ideas around with a person knowledgeable in your subject matter, such as a tutor or someone who is more advanced in his/her economics studies.
You may contact tutoring agencies in your city to retain an economics tutors, or you might prefer engaging an undergraduate or someone who just graduated university – someone who remembers the stress of sitting the exam you are preparing for.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of revising with a university student is that s/he may still have review materials used for his own ordeal, and the fact that the age gap would not be so great.
Also, their fees may be lower!
Conversely, established Economics tutors bring their years of experience to the table, along with any materials they have gathered throughout their tenure.
They also have a pretty good idea of what it takes to score successfully on A-Levels.
Superprof Economics tutors are ready to take you on, in person (in select cities) or via webcam.
Whereas you might turn away from tutoring agencies due to sticker shock, you may be pleasantly surprised at the affordability of a Superprof tutor!
In all cases, a tutor can help you stay motivated, offer different perspectives on aspects of economics that you just don’t understand and, above all, help keep you to a healthy revision schedule!
While you hunt for your ideal tutor, you may also want to look into these revision sites…
|Site Name||Web Address||Contents summary||Cost|
|The Economics Network||http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/links/othertl.htm||A compilation of video, audio and text related to economics study||free|
|O&A Level Notes||http://www.oalevelnotes.com/economics-as-and-a-level-notes/||A miscellaneous collection of notes for review||free|
|Tutor 2 U||https://www.tutor2u.net/economics||Halfway down the page: flashcards and select essays to review||Between £5 - 14 per item|
|Cambridge Notes||https://www.oxbridgenotes.co.uk/t/economics||An assortment of economics-related papers||Starting at £16.95|