1. Study Tips and Features for IB Economics
|Content of Study
|1.Introduction to Economics
Economics HL (Higher Level)
1.2 Overview of Economics HL
For IB economics, the topics for both HL and SL are fairly similar. However, the HL course dives into a deeper analysis of the topics provided. For example, you will learn about theories based around development economics as well as calculations used to analyse and explain economic relationships such as the impact on stakeholders (consumers, companies, government) when products are taxed. Therefore, students are required to have advanced analytical skills and the ability to evaluate and handle knowledge comprehensively. In addition, due to the number of calculations, students who are good at mathematics may find it easier to study HL economics than others.
1.3 Study Tips
- Read the textbook thoroughly and make notes so that it will be easier when it comes to revising.
- Try to apply concepts, such as unemployment rates, to real life situations as it can help you understand them in a better way.
Economics SL (Standard Level)
1.4 Overview of Economics SL
In IB Economics, students are not required to have prior knowledge of the subject. As you navigate through the course, you will be able to develop the skills needed for the study of economics such as the ability to analyse markets with charts, and the ability to apply theories when analysing the economy. During the exams, students will be required to understand abstract concepts and provide explanations in a logical manner.
1.5 Study Tips
- Watch the latest news related to economics on TV or read newspapers as the real life situations might be able to help you with your essays!
- Read the textbook thoroughly and revise after every lesson so that you will not forget the materials.
- Use the practice questions at the end of each chapter to practice answering the essay questions.
2. Assessment Model for IB Economics
Studying for IB Economics requires dedication and could be time consuming. It is important to master the exam techniques for each paper in order to gain a higher score. Always seek for help from your teachers or peers when you are stuck or unsure about a topic so that you can study efficiently without wasting your time!
|Economics HL (Higher Level)
|Economics SL (Standard Level)
3. Advices and Tips for Improving Your Score
3.1 Advices and Study Tips for Economics
1. Make notes from the textbook
Your class time is limited so make sure you read the textbook outside of class on your own time. In addition, making concise notes from the textbook in your own words can help you consolidate the information into your memory. Reading the long paragraphs in the textbook can be daunting but your notes will surely be shorter and easier to read so make sure you try out this revision method!
2. Practice drawing diagrams
You will be asked to explain concepts, such as the relationship between supply and demand, by drawing diagrams in your essays. Train your muscle memory so that you know how to draw all these diagrams in a flash of light. This is especially important in the “market failure” unit as there will be four types of diagrams in total. These diagrams can be quite similar so try to understand whether the demand curve moves or the supply curve moves. Don’t mix them all up!
3. Discuss the topics with your friends and check each other’s essays
Memorising the textbook is important but in the end, you will have to know how to develop your discussions in your essays. By discussing the topics with your friends, you might be able to gain new perspectives and widen your knowledge. Checking each other’s essays can also be helpful as it can resolve any misunderstandings you might have for certain topics.
4. Make a list for vocabulary
In IB economics, you will have to know the definitions of specific economic terms. Try to memorise all the words and terms that you see in your textbook and know how to define each one.
5. Watch YouTube videos
Sick of reading the textbook? Watch some YouTube videos on the content that you are studying. The visuals you get from watching videos can sometimes help you understand more about the concepts and you can also watch them several times in your own speed. This method can be helpful for those who learn better from visualising!
3.2 Strategies for Each Paper
Paper 1 (An extended response paper):
Paper 1 is divided into Section A and Section B and the questions will be based on any of the four units. Include case studies and diagrams to effectively provide an explanation for the economic concepts. When evaluating the policies, include perspectives from both long run and short run; advantages and disadvantages; and the impact on consumers, governments, firms and stakeholders. Use the criteria to develop a good response and always ask yourself whether you are answering the question.
Paper 2 (A data response paper):
This paper is also based around all four units. There will be both short response questions and long response questions. In the short response questions, you will be asked to define some terms, do some calculations and answer some questions with diagrams. For the long response question, you will have to use the case studies learned in class to answer the question. The question can be long so make sure you read the question carefully and know what they are asking for. Again, use the criteria to help you when you study.
Paper 3 (Policy paper):
Again, questions can be asked from all four units including both quantitative and qualitative questions. There will be questions that require calculations so bring your GDC (graphic display calculator) and know how to use it. You will be asked to suggest a policy towards an economic dilemma so be prepared!
4. Economics IA (Internal Assessment) & EE (Extended Essay)
4.1 Economics IA (Internal Assessment) Advice
You will be required to complete a portfolio for your IA and this applies to both SL and HL students. The internal assessment (IA) will be assessed by your teachers in school and the IBO will check the gradings externally. 20 hours of class time will be dedicated to your IA for IB economics. You will be asked to make three commentaries on published extracts from the news media by analysing them with the concepts you learned in class. The maximum word count for each commentary is 800 words and they all have to based on different units of the syllabus excluding the introductory unit. The maximum marks you get for the IA is 45 marks and the key is to choose a good extract.
Tips for writing your IA:
- Choose an extract that contains numerical data as it will be easier to draw diagrams, analyse, and evaluate it.
- Read new articles from news media such as BBC or CNN to familiarise yourself with the current society.
- Make sure you choose an extract that is published within a year. Don’t choose anything that is older than a year as that is a requirement.
4.2 EE Advice and Tips
The IB Economics Extended Essay (EE) requires the student to use their knowledge to analyse economic issues in the current society. Conducting data through first-hand field surveys can be a good way to show originality, which can potentially lead to obtaining higher marks. Include the following elements to craft an effective argument for your extended essay: introduction, theory, research, analysis, conclusion, and evaluation. It is also important to do your citations properly when it comes to writing the EE. Know how to cite in certain formats such as the MLA (Modern Language Association) format.
Things that you should be careful about the EE:
- Choose a supervisor who is knowledgeable in the subject area of your EE. Your supervisor is the person who is going to monitor your progress and give you advice. Therefore, you should schedule meetings with your supervisor regularly to make sure you are on track.
- For HL students, choose a market place that is relatively close to your place when it comes to interviewing and have fun with your structural analysis!
- Read the other chapters too even if you haven’t learned anything from those topics as it will make it easier for you to choose the perfect topic for your EE.
- Choose a topic that you are interested in as you will have to stick with it until the end of the IB course.