How good do you need to be in Maths for Economics?

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StudyMunchkin
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Hi,

I got a C in my GCSE maths but i was hopping to go on to study economics. Does the subject involve a lot of maths and if so would you recommend not choosing it?

Any insight into what the subject involves and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Jkizer
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(Original post by StudyMunchkin)
Hi,

I got a C in my GCSE maths but i was hopping to go on to study economics. Does the subject involve a lot of maths and if so would you recommend not choosing it?

Any insight into what the subject involves and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
For A level economics there really isnt any maths which will stretch you, but i can only speak on Aqa

I think in AS theres some maths in one of the units which involves fractions and multiplying. Theres 3-4 formulas which give a result. Pretty basic stuff when you look into it in a bit of detail but its like in gcse physics with all those triangle formula stuff.

A2 theres usually some calculations in both papers. Usually its stuff like finding averages. Little bit of practice, you should nail it without many issues
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StudyMunchkin
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(Original post by Jkizer)
For A level economics there really isnt any maths which will stretch you, but i can only speak on Aqa

I think in AS theres some maths in one of the units which involves fractions and multiplying. Theres 3-4 formulas which give a result. Pretty basic stuff when you look into it in a bit of detail but its like in gcse physics with all those triangle formula stuff.

A2 theres usually some calculations in both papers. Usually its stuff like finding averages. Little bit of practice, you should nail it without many issues
Thanks for the response. That has really cleared it up for me, if i were to do it Economics would be the subject I would drop at A2 so i'm not to worried about how much maths is required in the second year .

Do you mind me asking what you got in it?
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Jkizer
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(Original post by StudyMunchkin)
Thanks for the response. That has really cleared it up for me, if i were to do it Economics would be the subject I would drop at A2 so i'm not to worried about how much maths is required in the second year .

Do you mind me asking what you got in it?
Yeah i screwed up the calculations in A2 - probably because i gave up on doing past papers long agoooo. In A level though you wont have to go beyond multiplying & dividing

I think in AS i got something like 86 + 88 ums which was pretty good

I then somehow got 94 + 78 or something close to that in A2 - Tbh i was expecting maximum C's in these papers since i felt i repeated myself a hell a lot of time and had to blag so much of it >.< So ended up with an A which i was relieved about! Mainly because my teacher somehow became extremely bad in A2, so i ended up learning the specification myself during lessons, ignoring him XD

What other subjects are you doing & any plans on what you want to do after?
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StudyMunchkin
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(Original post by Jkizer)
Yeah i screwed up the calculations in A2 - probably because i gave up on doing past papers long agoooo. In A level though you wont have to go beyond multiplying & dividing

I think in AS i got something like 86 + 88 ums which was pretty good

I then somehow got 94 + 78 or something close to that in A2 - Tbh i was expecting maximum C's in these papers since i felt i repeated myself a hell a lot of time and had to blag so much of it >.< So ended up with an A which i was relieved about! Mainly because my teacher somehow became extremely bad in A2, so i ended up learning the specification myself during lessons, ignoring him XD

What other subjects are you doing & any plans on what you want to do after?
Thanks again. Those are some solid grades! I'm hoping to do Biology, Sociology, Economics and either Government and Politics or Psychology. if you anything about these subjects I would love to know!

I would like to peruse a career in Law after my AS levels but I am not entirely sure yet.
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Jkizer
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(Original post by StudyMunchkin)
Thanks again. Those are some solid grades! I'm hoping to do Biology, Sociology, Economics and either Government and Politics or Psychology. if you anything about these subjects I would love to know!

I would like to peruse a career in Law after my AS levels but I am not entirely sure yet.
I did psychology aqa too and it was a hell a lot of work ! (Got an A* on it )

Easily the subject which i spent most time revising for. You will be likely revising from essays which includes the all the details + supporting/criticism of the title. A lot of text you will need to learn ;P. If your not very good at memorising, be warned!

However on the positive note, the exam is a lot more predictable and fairly straight forward if you put the time in. The grade boundaries tends to be quite low since not all teachers teach the most effective exam technique. Basically, if you spend good time writing/typing your essays + notes, the exam will be cake. Its definitely not like other subjects such as Sciences or History where they can twist topics around a lot and make you say to yourself 'Oh crap wtf do i do, with you spending 5-10 minutes just staring at the page looking for a starting point'
Theres also loaddddds of resources and help online and on TSR. Probably since its one of the most popular a levels
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StudyMunchkin
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(Original post by Jkizer)
I did psychology aqa too and it was a hell a lot of work ! (Got an A* on it )

Easily the subject which i spent most time revising for. You will be likely revising from essays which includes the all the details + supporting/criticism of the title. A lot of text you will need to learn ;P. If your not very good at memorising, be warned!

However on the positive note, the exam is a lot more predictable and fairly straight forward if you put the time in. The grade boundaries tends to be quite low since not all teachers teach the most effective exam technique. Basically, if you spend good time writing/typing your essays + notes, the exam will be cake. Its definitely not like other subjects such as Sciences or History where they can twist topics around a lot and make you say to yourself 'Oh crap wtf do i do, with you spending 5-10 minutes
just staring at the page looking for a starting point'
Theres also loaddddds of resources and help online and on TSR. Probably since its one of the most popular a levels
Thanks, out of the subjects you took which did you find the most difficult?
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StudyMunchkin
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(Original post by Jkizer)
For A level economics there really isnt any maths which will stretch you, but i can only speak on Aqa

I think in AS theres some maths in one of the units which involves fractions and multiplying. Theres 3-4 formulas which give a result. Pretty basic stuff when you look into it in a bit of detail but its like in gcse physics with all those triangle formula stuff.

A2 theres usually some calculations in both papers. Usually its stuff like finding averages. Little bit of practice, you should nail it without many issues
If possible, could you give me an example of the types of mathematics involved??
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Jkizer
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(Original post by StudyMunchkin)
If possible, could you give me an example of the types of mathematics involved??
Out of the subjects i took, i suppose difficulty could be split into exams vs revision
Revision wise, Psychology definitely the hardest (more due to the amount of content than the nitty gritty details) then economics
Exam wise, Economics / maths are much more harder due to the unpredictability. Psychology tends to have very generic questions which doesn't go beyond a standard essay note on the topic.

Example of AS economic math q' (i quickly snabbed from an Aqa paper)
An economy in which average incomes have fallen by 5% has also seen the demand for holidays overseas fall by 20%. It can be concluded from this that the income elasticity of demand for holidays overseas is
A + 4.0
B – 4.0
C + 0.25
D – 0.25

You will learn that income elasticity... (short for YED) has a formula for
% change in quantity demanded (QD)
% Change in income

So basically looking at the question, QD has fallen by 20%, so expressing that as a decimal will be -0.2. Income fell by 5%, so thats -0.05 as a decimal. So using your formula, divide -0.2/-0.05 and you will get 4 so the answer is A

Yeah doesn't reallllly go beyond that. Sometimes they may flip the question so that you get for example, YED and % change in income and need to work out the change in QD. But can't think of many other maths questions for AS!
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StudyMunchkin
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(Original post by Jkizer)
Out of the subjects i took, i suppose difficulty could be split into exams vs revision
Revision wise, Psychology definitely the hardest (more due to the amount of content than the nitty gritty details) then economics
Exam wise, Economics / maths are much more harder due to the unpredictability. Psychology tends to have very generic questions which doesn't go beyond a standard essay note on the topic.

Example of AS economic math q' (i quickly snabbed from an Aqa paper)
An economy in which average incomes have fallen by 5% has also seen the demand for holidays overseas fall by 20%. It can be concluded from this that the income elasticity of demand for holidays overseas is
A + 4.0
B – 4.0
C + 0.25
D – 0.25



You will learn that income elasticity... (short for YED) has a formula for
% change in quantity demanded (QD)
% Change in income

So basically looking at the question, QD has fallen by 20%, so expressing that as a decimal will be -0.2. Income fell by 5%, so thats -0.05 as a decimal. So using your formula, divide -0.2/-0.05 and you will get 4 so the answer is A

Yeah doesn't reallllly go beyond that. Sometimes they may flip the question so that you get for example, YED and % change in income and need to work out the change in QD. But can't think of many other maths questions for AS!

Thank you for that! . Just out of curiosity, are you allowed a calculator in the exam??
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Skill Twix
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The top universities want you to have an A* in A-level mathematics for instance UCL.
I would say yes.
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Jkizer
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(Original post by StudyMunchkin)
Thank you for that! . Just out of curiosity, are you allowed a calculator in the exam??
Yeah yeah your allowed one If i recall from AS, i only picked up the calculator maybe 3x max.

Forgot to mention that depending on your exam board, you may need to do a 'data analysis' question in the essay section. This is actually very straight forward once you learnt the technique and is probably the easiest marks you'll get in the exam since you dont need any econ knowledge . Anyways, if you do this you'll compare points of the data and sometimes you might write to the examiner the difference / total between the points in extended pros - not very difficult by any means but just another thing to know :P
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