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September 25, 2020, 07:38:15 am

Author Topic: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics  (Read 2475 times)  Share 

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NomotivationF

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How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« on: December 16, 2019, 04:37:58 pm »
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Hey guys!! I’ve been getting quite a few messages and been asked for tips and tricks on how to score well in eco so I’ve just decided to make a post about it. I’m not exactly sure how to structure it but I’ll do my best.

Personally, I was seriously considering not taking up Economics as a 3/4 subject in Yr 12 due to the horror stories from my mates that completed the subject the previous year. I kept being bombarded with the fact that to get an A+ on the exam you could only afford to drop 8 out of 80 marks on the exam. Additionally, some of my friends got three A+s and still ‘only’ ended up with a 39. BUT, thankfully I followed my gut (and passion) and chose to undertake Economics and it worked out pretty well.

1.   General advice

- Make sure you understand the basic economic concepts. A lot of the other commerce subjects such as Busman and Accounting require a decent amount of memorisation for the theory, and while it may seem like you can get away with memorisation in Economics, it is definitely not the case. There are so many ways a question can be asked about a basic concept, all requiring the same information, but just slight variations in the way you answer the question in order to actually get the marks. For example, the two following questions both relate to the market mechanism, and require the same basic understanding of the concept, but variations in the answer. If you memorised one ‘perfect’ answer for this type of question it is likely you’d be able to get a few marks for the question, but actually understanding the concept would help you ace the question.

Eg 1 - Explain how Perfectly competitive marks impact efficiency in the allocation of resources (4 marks)
A perfectly competitive market would involve characteristics such as a low barriers to entry and exit, homogenous products, and a large amount of buyers and sellers and perfect information,  all of which help achieve an efficient allocation of resources and to improve living standards. For example, if firms see an increase in the price of apples, they can assume that this increase in price was caused to an increase in demand for the product. This sends ‘price signals’ to producer, who in order to maximise their profits, will re-allocate their resources towards the production of apples (with low barriers to entry and exit aiding this process), thus simultaneously satisfying more needs and wants of society and achieving allocative efficiency.

Eg 2 Explain the role of relative prices on the achievement of allocative efficiency in perfectly competitive markets. (4 marks)
Relative prices refer to the price of a certain good or service in comparison to another. In a perfectly competitive market, relative prices, along with the predeterminants of a competitive market (homogenous products, large number of buyers and sellers, perfect information and low barriers to entry and exit) play a major role in the achievement of allocative efficiency. For example, if firms see an increase in the price of apples relative to pears, it is likely this had been caused due to an increase in the demand for apples. Due to the increase in profit incentives, these ‘price signals’ will incentivise firms to reallocate their resources towards the production of apples rather than pears. Thus, the increase in relative price of apples, in conjunction with perfectly competitive markets guide firms on what to produce, helping them increase profits and simultaneously satisfying the most needs and wants of society to achieve allocative efficiency.

As you can probably tell, both the answers have a very similar structure and content in them, however there are slight variations in the actual answers, and it would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to actually understand the market structure in order to answer the questions rather than memorise an answer. This goes for a lot of the questions/concepts in economics.

- Don’t waste your time memorising definitions. This may just be more of a personal preference, but I found that many of my friends wasted their time creating flashcards for definitions of certain terms instead of completing practice questions. Although the study design states you need to know the definition of basic economic concepts/words, there IS NO SET DEFINITION and as I said before as long as you understand something, you will likely be able to provide an accurate description of what the question requires.

- That being said, there are certain ‘key phrases’ that you can/should memorise. As you get towards the end of the year and start completing practice questions you’ll start to notice there’s a lot of repetition in certain parts of the course, especially those linking to macroeconomic goals (Low inflation, Strong and sustainable economic growth and Full employment.) Examiners tend to be pretty petty about definitions and links relating to the macro economic goals, so I would strongly suggest getting your definitions for the goals as well as how to link AD to all the goals down pat as early as you can during the year.

2.   Sacs

- This goes for all subjects, and as much as people say that sacs don’t matter, I would still put as much effort as possible into your sacs. Personally, I didn’t put as much effort into my sacs as I did for the first half of the year, but I was luckily able to grind my way to rank 1. Even though it may not seem too important, the other student that was rank one for most of the year ‘only’ ended up with a 40, and if he was rank 1 at the end of the year it likely would have had an impact on my own study score, and on other people on the cohort as well.

- In terms of revision for sacs, as I said before, make sure you understand your concepts rather than memorise answers for questions.

- Make sure you work with your teacher prior to each sac, and if possible, have a one on one with your teacher and go through at least one practice sac prior to the sac in order to be able to better understand and target your weak points.

3.   Exam
Some of these tips are relatively insignificant and apply to a lot of subjects but I hope it’s useful either way.

- In terms of multi- choice, one of the smaller things I suggest doing during the actual exam is to complete the multi-choice on the actual question booklet prior to filling in the answer sheet. For my Psychology exam, I made the mistake of directly filling in my answer sheet rather than crossing out incorrect answers and properly reading the question on the question sheet. As you complete your practice exams, it is unlikely that you’re going to use a multi choice answer sheet, and in order to best re-create the same setting as when you were completing practice exams, do the multi choice on the actual booklet, and once you’re done fill out the answer sheet.

- Don’t be afraid to answer things out of order. During my exam, I completed the multi choice section first, and almost every other question following that I answered out of order. This is of course a personal preference, but I chose to answer questions I was confident about first to get them out of the way first, and then focus on the harder questions that required more thought.

- Make sure to overwrite. People may disagree with me here, but I tended to, and encouraged my classmates to over-write for each and every question on the exam. The marking allocations in Economics tends to be very vague compared to many other subjects, so I found that overwriting was a safer bet rather than the alternative of not including enough information in your answer. That being said, during the exam I filled out all 3 pages of extra writing space and almost ran out of time, so if you do decide to overwrite, make sure you write fast enough to do so. 

- Know your statistics and real world information. Although it is not explicitly listed to know statistics apart from the ones on macro economic goals and the budget, I highly suggest making a stat-sheet a week prior to the exam and a list of the trends for the past two years on things such as the TOT, consumer confidence and the AUD. This may give you a slight edge over some of the other students and it really makes answers seem more sophisticated.

- Work with your friends. I spent a lot of my study time, especially as the exam grew closer talking to friends about economics and solely about questions/concepts that we found hard. Talking to others was an exceptional help (shout out to Seamus Wong) and helped broaden my understanding on certain topics. Additionally, helping explain concepts to others helps improve your own understanding of the subject, and also helps pin point weak areas that you can work on.

- Use the study design. I think this is probably one of the most important things on the list. The study design is a gold mine, it literally tells you everything that can possibly be assessed on the exam. About three weeks prior to the exam, a friend and I went through the entire study design and highlighted our areas of weakness, as well as areas that have not been assessed much on the exam. This proved to be a MASSIVE help in revision as we were able to focus our revision on certain aspects of the subject.

- Your teacher is your best friend. Make sure you have a good relationship with your teacher because they are likely the ones going to be marking all your practice exams and giving feedback. My teacher was a massive help to me personally, and make sure to keep asking them questions about anything you have trouble with and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help.

- Write questions based of the study design. This is also a personal thing and may not work for everyone, but once I felt like I had a grip on most of the things off the study design, I decided to write my own questions based on my weaknesses and allocate a marking guide to them in order to improve on my weak points.


Frequently asked questions
1.   How many hours of study per night?
-Honestly, during the year it wasn’t that much. I just completed the given homework, and prior to each sac I completed 4-5 practice sacs which cumulatively ended up at around 10-11hrs per sac. I usually started revision exactly a week and a half before each sac.
-Leading up to exam period it changed a lot. Prior to my first exam (English) I was doing around two hours every two-three days. However, due to the fact economics was my last exam, following my methods exam I put in three hours of work into economics per day for around a week.

2.   Handwritten or typed notes?
-This varies per person and per subject. In subjects that require more memorisation (ie – Psychology) I preferred to handwrite my notes, however my notes in Economics were all typed up.

3.   Hardest part of the course?
-Personally, like many other I found Unit 3 AOS 3 the hardest, which is the part of the course relating to international trade and such. Apart from this year’s exam, this has been heavily tested on the exam and people tend to not do too well on it. There were a few concepts in this part of the course that I found hard to get my head around (Net foreign debt, Balance of payment, etc) but once you understand the content, it isn’t so bad.

4.   Did you do tutoring or go to any workshops?
-No and no. Tutoring and workshops are definitely things that help people excel in a subject but from what I heard from friends most (not all) of the workshops they went to prior to the exam were a waste of time that could be better spent studying.

5.   How many practice exams?
-This really isn’t something that matters as I think that if you’re not working on the mistakes you make on your practice exams you aren’t going to improve. I did around 20 practice exams but I made sure to go over my mistakes with my teacher to understand why I lost marks on certain questions, and what I could do to avoid losing those marks. I would also suggest to create a document with questions that you lost even a mark on, and re-do them a few days before the exam to ensure you’re not making the same mistakes.

6.   What did you do the day before the exam?
-Most people like to take a break and clear their mind the day before the exam. Personally, I spent the morning prior to the exam day just talking to my friends about what’s been going on in the economy, and finalised my stat sheet.
-On the day of the exam, I sat in a room with my friends and just talked about random things to get the good vibes flowing, and right before entering I listened to my favourite song. 


Economics is a great subject, good luck to everyone and if you guys have any questions feel free to reply to this thread or private message me 😊.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 04:43:20 pm by NomotivationF »
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

rkjthguakj

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 04:50:19 pm »
+1
Thanks so much for this!! I'm hoping to aim for a similar score too  ;D
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NomotivationF

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 04:52:00 pm »
+1
Thanks so much for this!! I'm hoping to aim for a similar score too  ;D

No problem :). Let me if you have any questions.
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

rkjthguakj

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2019, 04:58:05 pm »
0
No problem :). Let me if you have any questions.

Awesome! Just wondering what type of preparation for economics should I be doing during the school holidays? Thanks!
2019: Business Management [43]
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NomotivationF

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2019, 05:08:34 pm »
0
Awesome! Just wondering what type of preparation for economics should I be doing during the school holidays? Thanks!

I didn't do too much last summer holidays in all honesty, so I would suggest just completing holiday homework (if you were given any). If not, I suggest going through Unit 3 AOS 1, which is micro economics and basically a recap from 1/2 economics
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

rkjthguakj

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2019, 06:20:32 pm »
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I didn't do too much last summer holidays in all honesty, so I would suggest just completing holiday homework (if you were given any). If not, I suggest going through Unit 3 AOS 1, which is micro economics and basically a recap from 1/2 economics

Oh cool. Thanks so much!!
2019: Business Management [43]
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pahm

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2019, 07:42:49 pm »
0
Wow thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write up this amazing guide!!

I am doing 3/4 econ next year without having done u1/2, I was wondering what are some things you would suggest I look over before the school year starts - eg what are some things from u1/2 that crosses over to u3/4? Thank you!
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NomotivationF

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2019, 07:50:36 pm »
0
Wow thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write up this amazing guide!!

I am doing 3/4 econ next year without having done u1/2, I was wondering what are some things you would suggest I look over before the school year starts - eg what are some things from u1/2 that crosses over to u3/4? Thank you!

Hmm there's a decent amount of cross over from units 1/2 but you shouldn't have to worry too much, one of my classmates jumped straight into eco 3/4 and scored 40+. I think the main things you should try to do is get your head around basic economic concepts. Looking over things such as the demand/supply curve and things that can shift the curve to the left and right etc. Unit 3 AOS 1 (Microeconomics) tends to be run through quite quickly in most schools due to most of the content already being covered in 1/2, so it is probably the thing you are going to struggle with most, but once you understand it you should be fine. If you don't have any resources to start on currently, there's a lot of helpful video's on youtube if you just search up something like 'Microeconomics' or 'demand and supply curves.' Another topic that crosses over is the concept of Aggregate Demand and the three economic goals, but I wouldn't worry about this until you understand microeconomics first. The rest of the course is mainly just expanding on concepts learnt in 1/2, but it's usually re explained from the basics so you shouldn't find it too hard to get your head around them.
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

pahm

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 01:55:23 pm »
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Hmm there's a decent amount of cross over from units 1/2 but you shouldn't have to worry too much, one of my classmates jumped straight into eco 3/4 and scored 40+. I think the main things you should try to do is get your head around basic economic concepts. Looking over things such as the demand/supply curve and things that can shift the curve to the left and right etc. Unit 3 AOS 1 (Microeconomics) tends to be run through quite quickly in most schools due to most of the content already being covered in 1/2, so it is probably the thing you are going to struggle with most, but once you understand it you should be fine. If you don't have any resources to start on currently, there's a lot of helpful video's on youtube if you just search up something like 'Microeconomics' or 'demand and supply curves.' Another topic that crosses over is the concept of Aggregate Demand and the three economic goals, but I wouldn't worry about this until you understand microeconomics first. The rest of the course is mainly just expanding on concepts learnt in 1/2, but it's usually re explained from the basics so you shouldn't find it too hard to get your head around them.

Thank you so much!! This is so incredibly helpful.
All the best for university :)
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BobStone

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2019, 04:08:38 pm »
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Hey NomotivationF,

Congrats on doing so well in Economics!
Loved the journal btw.

Just like the others who've replied, I too will be studying Economics 3/4 next year, soo just wondering whether you used any additional/external resources other than your textbook, e.g. study guides like CPAP one.

Cheers,

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and get into your desired course!  ;D


NomotivationF

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 09:08:23 pm »
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Hey NomotivationF,

Congrats on doing so well in Economics!
Loved the journal btw.

Just like the others who've replied, I too will be studying Economics 3/4 next year, soo just wondering whether you used any additional/external resources other than your textbook, e.g. study guides like CPAP one.

Cheers,

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and get into your desired course!  ;D

Hey Bob,

I actually didn't use any external resources and I honestly hardly used my textbook either. Most of my knowledge was gained from my teacher's ppts which I took notes on, and what I found most useful was reading the assessors reports for the vcaa exams, and also just improving and polishing my answers by reading some of the sample answers for company practice exams. The responses for the company exams usually tend to be low quality, but companies like CPAP and sometimes QAT have good answers.
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

WackyWill

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2019, 11:22:03 pm »
0
Hey

You mentioned in your journal "I highly suggest making a stat-sheet a week prior to the exam and a list of the trends for the past two years on things such as the TOT, consumer confidence and the AUD."
I was wondering if you're able to send that stat-sheet to me somehow as I really want to keep up to date with trends to do with economics as my teacher hinted that they'll be on a few of the sacs.

You also mentioned "Know your statistics and real world information."
My question to this is how did you keep up with statistics of the real world? Like did you read the newspaper or watch the news or something? If you read the newspaper, could you please recommend me with some newspaper, provided that you dont need a subscription for them (Herald Sun).

Thanks and again, congratulations on your great score :)
2019
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NomotivationF

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2019, 10:35:36 am »
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Hey

You mentioned in your journal "I highly suggest making a stat-sheet a week prior to the exam and a list of the trends for the past two years on things such as the TOT, consumer confidence and the AUD."
I was wondering if you're able to send that stat-sheet to me somehow as I really want to keep up to date with trends to do with economics as my teacher hinted that they'll be on a few of the sacs.

You also mentioned "Know your statistics and real world information."
My question to this is how did you keep up with statistics of the real world? Like did you read the newspaper or watch the news or something? If you read the newspaper, could you please recommend me with some newspaper, provided that you dont need a subscription for them (Herald Sun).

Thanks and again, congratulations on your great score :)

Hey Will,

I'm glad you liked my journal. I still have my stat sheet, but since the stats change each quarter (and some monthly), they will be no use to you. I'll just list out everything I had on the stat sheet.

For all of the following, I recorded the overall trend and the specific stat; (Inflation, unemployment and growth are most important)
Consumer confidence   
Inflation   
Unemployment   
Growth   
AUD (to USD)
Cash rate
Budget

For each of the following I recorded the overall trend and effect on AD (if stats were available I used them);

Global growth
Consumer confidence
Exchange rates
Interest rates

For each of the following I recorded the trend and effect on AS (if stats were available I used them);

Exchange rate
Climatic conditions   (stuff like the NSW drought)
Costs of production   (Stuff like wages growth)

In terms of keeping up with real world information, there's really not much you should be doing apart from reading the monthly report from the rba. (https://www.rba.gov.au/). Obviously other articles relating to economics would always be useful and would add to your knowledge. But on the first Tuesday of every month there is a cash rate update report and I would suggest reading that.

Hope this helps :)
Offering tutoring for Economics, Further Maths and Psychology in 2020!!!! (Email [email protected])

My journey through VCE

How I got a Raw 48 in Economics


2018 - Accounting [42] Further Maths [44]
2019 - English [39] Economics [48] Psychology [44] Maths methods [33]
ATAR - 97.5
2020-2023 - Bachelor of Commerce/Science @Monash

IThinkIFailed

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Re: How I got a raw 48 in VCE Economics
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2019, 06:27:57 pm »
+2
Hey

You mentioned in your journal "I highly suggest making a stat-sheet a week prior to the exam and a list of the trends for the past two years on things such as the TOT, consumer confidence and the AUD."
I was wondering if you're able to send that stat-sheet to me somehow as I really want to keep up to date with trends to do with economics as my teacher hinted that they'll be on a few of the sacs.

You also mentioned "Know your statistics and real world information."
My question to this is how did you keep up with statistics of the real world? Like did you read the newspaper or watch the news or something? If you read the newspaper, could you please recommend me with some newspaper, provided that you dont need a subscription for them (Herald Sun).

Thanks and again, congratulations on your great score :)

The RBA governor’s statements always provide a nice summary of the current economic situation, I found them really useful in gaining insight into what’s actually happening right now
2019:
Biology [42]   Economics [46]

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Methods[ 25-30]
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