BlogStudyHSC Economics Review #4: How to Study and Prep for HSC Trials

HSC Economics Review #4: How to Study and Prep for HSC Trials

Got an HSC Economics Trials exam coming up? 

If so, then this is the HSC Economics Review episode for you!

In this video, Rowan and Terry go through how to study and prepare effectively for your HSC Economics Trials. If you want to smash out a Band 6 in Economics all you have to do is follow this simple 4 step process!

Step 1: Notes
Step 2: Memorise
Step 3: Practice
Step 4: 3 Papers

Step #1: Get a Good Set of Notes

This is fundamental to any subject you study but particularly Economics.

You really need a good set of notes so if you haven’t started yet, NOW is the best time!

Some people prefer to write and some people prefer to type, but the important thing is that you make them as succinct as possible.

“So what should I take notes on?”

There are 5 main forms of content you need to include within your notes:

1. Notes on each syllabus dot point

2. Textbook definitions

3. Key theory

4. Contextual economic examples

5. Analysis of examples 

After you’ve covered all of these points, there’s one more thing you should cover in your notes…

Create a Single Page Cheat Sheet

Once you get closer to your Trial exams, extracting all your key statistics and placing them on a single page can be really helpful.

This way you have a cheat sheet with all the statistics you need to know on one page rather than spread throughout the place.

Once it comes to exams, a single page that you can quickly read over to jog your memory will be extremely handy so make sure to include it as an extra resource within your notes!

Step #2: Memorise the Content

Step #2 is where the study actually starts.

It’s crucially important that you learn to memorise content efficiently.

To do so, you need to follow two key tips…

Tip #1: Always Write Your Notes

Did you know that you can only remember 10% of what you read after 2 weeks?

This is a really bad retention rate! Reading your notes might feel like you’re getting heaps done, but in reality, not much content is actually staying in your head.

The critical rule here is:

Always put pen to paper.

Writing your notes is a really powerful way to build your memory! It also helps you to practice writing with a pen for when exams roll around.

Tip #2: The Rule of Three

The rule of three is backed up by a bunch of research.

We asked the top performing students from past years how they work to memorise content. We found that it generally takes three revisions of content for someone to remember it fully.  

So once you’ve completed your notes this is what we want you to do ….

1. Write the Key Points

First things first, go through your notes and identify the most relevant, key information.

Remember, we don’t want you to remember everything word for word. All you need is things like the key definitions, theory, and stats!

2. Focus on Diagrams

This time, go through your notes and redraw all of your diagrams and graphs.

By doing this you’re covering the content in a new and different way. By tapping into your visual and spatial memory, rewriting these diagrams can really improve your memory retention.

3. Respond to Past HSC Questions Using Your Notes

Now you can start applying the content you’ve been studying practically!

However, these past questions shouldn’t be completed with a closed book.

This is because if the answers you’re providing are wrong then you’re going to be memorising the wrong content by mistake.

You can find further information on note-taking for HSC Economics here.

Step #3: Write Practice Essays

If you’re studying for HSC Economics Trials, you need to make sure you’re prepared to cover a range of topics.

Efficiency is key. You want to be able to complete the minimum amount of essays that will give you the maximum coverage of the course content.

You can do this by focusing on the questions and content that have the highest probability of showing up in exams. 

Now, there are 2 essays per topic, that means 8 essays in total. So what specific content should you write your practice essays on for each topic?

Topic 1

For this topic, make sure you revise your case study. This is extremely important.

You should also cover protection or global trade as these are relevant to the current context of the U.S – China Trade War and are therefore probable essay questions.

Topic 2

For Topic 2, you should cover the Current Account Deficit (CAD) and Exchange Rates. These usually come up.

Sometimes they won’t be included in the form of an essay. However, by covering them as practice essays you’ll come to understand the content so that it can be applied within short answer questions also.

Learn how to nail HSC Economics short answer questions here!

Topic 3

A great thing to focus on in Topic 3 is Distribution of Income.

Often, students will get stumped taking into account the various specific economic groups that can be referenced within questions so it’s important to give this one a bit of time. 

You should also revisit content relevant to the environment as well as the labour market and unemployment. 

Topic 4

For Topic 4 you should write both a Macro and Micro essay.

An example of a Macro essay question would be:

“Analyse the impact Fiscal and Monetary Policy have on ALL of the economic objectives.”

Now, this is a MASSIVE question. The point is to prompt an essay response that touches on the majority of the key Economics information you NEED to be aware of. This way you’re covering all of your bases.

For your Micro essay, make sure to focus on all of your Microcomponents but also move into focusing on content relevant to the labour market as well.

All of these topics are interrelated. As a result, you’ll start to learn content by association and become capable of collating information from various topics into a single essay response!

Find out how to write a Band 6 Economics essay in this article!

Step #4: Do a Full Paper

The last thing to do in your preparation for your HSC Econoics Trials is …

Complete a full-length, timed practice paper!

The rule of three also applies here. At a minimum, you should complete three full-length past papers.

Completing a full lengthed paper will help you with TIME MANAGEMENT as well as improve your approach to MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS.

If you’re really struggling to stay within the time limits give yourself 10% less time to complete the paper. When your exam comes around, you’ll be conditioned to complete the paper at a much faster rate!

Now … Let’s Get Started!

Once you’ve completed all of this, you should be ready and confident for your HSC Economics Trials.

All you have to do is follow these 4 easy steps and you’ll be more than capable of getting that coveted Band 6!

Good luck!

What is the HSC Economics Review?

Each month we’re going to bring you new episodes of the HSC Economics Review where our HSC Economics team, will…

  1. Break down the major economic updates and statistics for the last month that you need to know
  2. Discuss any major government economic policy updates
  3. Analyse and deconstruct the changing trends and policies so you can use this in your HSC Economics essays to score that Band 6!

Who are we and why should you trust our HSC Economics analysis?

Meet Terry…

Terry is a qualified teacher who has completed a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Secondary Education at UNSW, where he was awarded 1st Place in the Commerce/Education course. He has taught at some of NSW’s top schools including North Sydney Boys, Normanhurst Boys and Hornsby Girls. Terry loves watching basketball and going to the gym (he has a secret goal to compete in powerlifting).

Meet Rowan…

Rowan is the CEO of Art of Smart Education and has spent the last 10 years conducting research with Australia’s Top 2% of students. He is the author of Secrets of HSC Success Revealed and has worked with over 10,000 students in the last decade. Over this time Rowan has taught HSC Economics (he’s a Economics Nerd) and has helped students achieve State Rankings including 1st in NSW. Rowan has a Bachelor of Arts/Law from USYD and scored a 99.6 ATAR and scored a Band 6 in HSC Economics.

Need more support for HSC Economics?

We’ve got your back with our small classes and 1 on 1 economics tutoring sessions!

Terry and Rowan lead our HSC Economics classes at our campus in Hornsby and we’ve got an incredible team of 1 on 1 tutors who can also support you!

To find out more and get started with our HSC Economics classes or one of  our inspirational tutors and mentors get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Facebook!

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