Studying Economics at university is certainly by no means an easy feat especially if you are aiming for the top and wanting to get a first class honours degree. This article is going to act and give you some advice and guidance on how you can achieve just that even when being just an ordinary student.
In this article we are going to briefly talk about mainly how to do four main things: properly organising yourself, making effective study notes, quality revision techniques and an exam strategy that works.
If you want to get more detailed advice and tips on how to achieve a first class university degree in Economics then I highly recommend reading such books as 'How to become a straight A student: The Unconventional strategies real college students use to score high while studying less' and 'What smart students know: Maximum grades. Optimum learning. Minimum Time'. If you yourself have any more tips on studying an Economics degree effectively please mention them below in the comments section.
The Key to a First in Economics is Organization
You need to start putting some organization and structure into your studying life otherwise two things are likely to happen. First thing is you are simply going to end up forgetting things, secondly you are causing yourself unnecessary stress.
To add a bit of organization and structure into your busy student life is rather easily solved.
Having a calendar and a scrap piece of paper (or if you have a Mac and Smartphone I highly recommend iProcrastinate and Evernote - for more on them please read 'Free Essential Mac Apps for College Students') where you can take a few minutes out of the beginning of the day to set out a realistic to do list for the day that you can carry around with you (on paper or on your phone), and then when you come across things you need to do, add this to your scrap piece of paper (or Evernote) rather than forget and fill it into the calendar (or iProcrastinate) later.
You will find then you are less likely to miss anything and can start to be well planned for upcoming quizzes, tests and homework (and not have to pull off all nigthers to get them done the day before it is due in), along with freeing up all that stress of trying to memorize everything you need to do hence making you work much more effectively.
First Class Economics Note Making
A real issue amongst undergraduates is that they are pretty bad at making effective notes during lectures, here I am just going to go over briefly how to really improve the quality of your notes, especially when it comes later to revising them.
First - you probably need to be using a laptop especially for subjects that aren't huge on the quantitive side, you can make notes faster, edit them quicker, they are a lot clearer, you can make important information stand out fast. For more about using your laptop in university lectures check out my article 'Advantages and Disadvnatages for Using a Laptop in University Lectures' and why I highly recommend the 'MacBook Pro 13.3 inch' as the best of the lot.
The only time when you shouldn't really being using a laptop is when you are involved with the mathematical side, when paper and pen is probably more suitable unless you get a Mac App such as 'MathType' that makes it really easy to note take during those type of lectures.
Writing lectures: You don't want to be trying to note down everything the lecturer is saying, instead you want to be organising your notes into some kind of structure that makes sense and could be applied to that of an exam question. So you need to clearly note down evidence that argues one thing, then note down counter arguments and evidence also - then an overall riding conclusion. If your notes aren't clear be sure to type them up clearly when you get home, and if you don't understand something just send the lecturer an email.
Quantitative Lectures: You are mainly wanting to try and get down all the samples and how to get from one step to the next so if you have time be sure to clearly show each step and provide some kind of annotation as to what you did, from one step to the next. If you are struggling with particular concepts you need to get it sorted for your notes sake, whether it involves going to see your maths mate about it, emaling your lecturer or even going to see them in the open office hour to get the matter cleared up.
Key to Effective Revision for Economics Exams
When it comes to exams there are two thing that are key to revising and one is again that of organisation, the other is how you go about revising.
Stick to a revision schedule that is both realistic and sufficient to make sure you are studying all the information you need to in order to be getting the top results.
How you revise is vitally important, an huge mistake most students make is that they consider revising to be the same for everyone and that the top students only get the best grades because they simply do 'more', this is wrong. It is because their method of revising is much more effective than other students.
If you are revising simply by reading from notes and rewriting them, this is proven to be one of the worst methods of revision out there, the following articles will show you some of the best ways to revise and dramatically increase the quality of your revision and improve your chances significantly to achieving the best grades for Economics as possible, 'Effective Study Skills for Exams' and also that of 'Modern & Newer Methods to Study & Revise That Can Be Used by College Students for Exam Preparation'.
Top Class Economics Exam Techniques
If you are carrying out an Economics Degree you are likely to be presented with two types of exams that of quantitative and writing exams, both can be applied with the following this simple strategy.
When you are faced with the exam, the first action that you should be carrying out is checking the Economics exam paper through quickly to give you an idea of what exactly you need to be carrying out. Your mind will already subconsciously start to figure out some potential parts of the problems before you have even started the exam, not to mention it should hopefully calm down your nerves dramatically.
You also want to be working out time allocation, how much time you are spending on each question, so do a quick some of the total marks in the paper and see how much time you have to each mark, this should give you a rough indication of how much time you should be spending on each exam question.
You then start with the easiest question first, regardless of the examination paper order as this will allow you to build your confidence and leaving your hardest question until lasts frees your stress of thinking you have other questions to answer, and focus entirely on the last and hardest question where all your efforts should be able to come up with at least a half decent answer. Rather than stressing out and making an terrible attempt and eating in your time more so than you planned as you spent more time panicking than actually doing.