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    Now 19, over the past two years I've tried different methods to improve my knowledge of politics and economics because - although I'm currently applying for a career in the forces - I am eager to have a career in politics after service.

    I've formed an understanding of the two subjects via a mishmash of reading The Times daily, The Economist weekly (cover-to-cover), watching debates, documentaries, YouTube videos and, more recently through fear of having gaps in my knowledge, studying A Level textbooks.

    Although technically speaking everything I should wish to possibly know is written down in the textbooks, retaining the information I am making notes on is proving exceptionally difficult and frustrating; the concepts from the introductory chapters seem very simple yet are disguised with tiresome jargon that I forget ten minutes later.

    My question: should I just ditch the textbooks and instead build an understanding of politics and economics over time as I have been doing? Or will this leave gaps in my knowledge, and therefore should I study like a student from the textbooks?

    Very frustrating. If anyone with experience studying or reading widely on any subject could reflect on their experiences, I would be very grateful. Thank you.
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    (Original post by Jack1000)
    Now 19, over the past two years I've tried different methods to improve my knowledge of politics and economics because - although I'm currently applying for a career in the forces - I am eager to have a career in politics after service.

    I've formed an understanding of the two subjects via a mishmash of reading The Times daily, The Economist weekly (cover-to-cover), watching debates, documentaries, YouTube videos and, more recently through fear of having gaps in my knowledge, studying A Level textbooks.

    Although technically speaking everything I should wish to possibly know is written down in the textbooks, retaining the information I am making notes on is proving exceptionally difficult and frustrating; the concepts from the introductory chapters seem very simple yet are disguised with tiresome jargon that I forget ten minutes later.

    My question: should I just ditch the textbooks and instead build an understanding of politics and economics over time as I have been doing? Or will this leave gaps in my knowledge, and therefore should I study like a student from the textbooks?

    Very frustrating. If anyone with experience studying or reading widely on any subject could reflect on their experiences, I would be very grateful. Thank you.
    I'm not a politics student, but I feel the same way, reading textbooks and answering test questions doesn't help me to retain any knowledge whatsoever.

    I tend to buy textbooks with broad sections, I then summarise these in bullet points (or better yet, find a textbook with these at the beginning of each chapter), then watch Youtube videos or documentaries etc., making sure that they correspond to all of the bullet points so I don't have gaps in my knowledge and keep meeting the course requirements as a priority. Although not all of the information in the textbooks is interesting, a good understanding of basic concepts from that is really useful to build on.

    If there's something I find interesting that isn't in the textbook I will explore that too, since I figure if you have a genuine interest and want a full understanding of a subject then you need to go outside of the set syllabus.
 
 
 
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