k0by
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I keep being really indecisive about my a level choices and one I’m stuck with most is wether to pick economics or not.

I watched some videos on it (Crash course economics) and it seems quite interesting. However when I looked at some a level past papers on it, it seems quite dull?

What are people’s opinions on it? And do you study a lot of graphs?
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ashaxo99
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personally, i would say it's a good a-level to take, especially if you want to do it at university. there are quite a lot of graphs, though not a lot of maths at all really. just simple maths.

it is quite interesting. it's a really logical subject, all the theory behind it, which makes it quite satisfying to learn. there's a eureka moment when you can understand some of the more complex graphs - for example, market structures or labour markets. and also, the past papers may seem quite dull, and maybe i'm saying this because i've just become accustomed to writing a daily Econ essay, but they're actually quite fun! you get to discuss economic theory and apply it to different contexts, and then evaluate the theory and think outside the box to come up with certain cool points to write about.

i would honestly say that even if you aren't planning on Econ at university, it gives you a good grasp as to things which are going on around us in the news, etc. which is why it's also a very good subject to take. plus, revision isn't very time-consuming either. as long as you understand the theory, it's all about perfecting exam technique as opposed to revising. it's a really pleasant a-level, to be honest.

best wishes with whatever you choose to do
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k0by
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(Original post by ashaxo99)
personally, i would say it's a good a-level to take, especially if you want to do it at university. there are quite a lot of graphs, though not a lot of maths at all really. just simple maths.

it is quite interesting. it's a really logical subject, all the theory behind it, which makes it quite satisfying to learn. there's a eureka moment when you can understand some of the more complex graphs - for example, market structures or labour markets. and also, the past papers may seem quite dull, and maybe i'm saying this because i've just become accustomed to writing a daily Econ essay, but they're actually quite fun! you get to discuss economic theory and apply it to different contexts, and then evaluate the theory and think outside the box to come up with certain cool points to write about.

i would honestly say that even if you aren't planning on Econ at university, it gives you a good grasp as to things which are going on around us in the news, etc. which is why it's also a very good subject to take. plus, revision isn't very time-consuming either. as long as you understand the theory, it's all about perfecting exam technique as opposed to revising. it's a really pleasant a-level, to be honest.

best wishes with whatever you choose to do
Thanks for such a detailed reply, could you give me a few examples of what types of things you cover? And your favourite topics within Economics?
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ashaxo99
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(Original post by k0by)
Thanks for such a detailed reply, could you give me a few examples of what types of things you cover? And your favourite topics within Economics?
you're welcome - i love talking about economics

i do AQA economics, so some things may differ to other specs although a lot of the basic stuff you cover should be the same.

the first things i did in my first term was supply and demand to understand how prices are set within a market. then, learning about things like minimum and maximum prices set by the government and how this impacts supply and demand of a certain good. (and you can see how the theory you learn relates to real world markets where prices have been set by the government, as opposed to by supply and demand). the main topic in unit 1 is market failure. so you learn about how some markets may be not socially efficient (such as the oversupply of alcohol and cigarettes) and what has to be done to correct this market failure - for example, in an essay question, you may be asked, do these bad things (demerit goods) need to be banned? but then you can evaluate, and write about how banning alcohol/cigarettes may be good for the NHS saving money, but it could cause unemployment for people selling these products - it could also encourage a black market forming. i would also say that economics is quite a creative subject, because you really get to discuss a whole range of things in the essays. for example, if banning cigarettes/alcohol doesn't work, you could propose other solutions to fix this market failure. you could write about maybe how the government should be encouraging substitutes for cigarettes instead, which are less harmful. you could also discuss how advertising could be used to reduce consumption of cigarettes, etc. there's always a chance to talk about real-world events in economics too, which is why it is such a dynamic subject! for example, you can talk about how there is regulation in place for all cigarettes to have "smoking kills" labelled on them - to try and deter people from consuming them. however, you can always argue that this doesn't stop consumption, as cigarettes are addictive anyway - this is where you can use further economic theory you'll learn about, like elasticity, to evaluate this point further.

(sorry i'm literally bombarding you with information loool)

the second unit i learnt about was the macroeconomy - which is basically the country's economy as a whole, as opposed to individual markets for certain goods. this is very interesting as you get to learn about GDP, exchange rates, trade. policies used by the government to regulate the level of demand in the economy - extremely fascinating, relevant to everyday-life stuff.

at the end of last year, i also learnt about labour markets (although it is a year 2 topic). that's all about how wages are set, how trade unions influence wages, how and why employers employ a certain amount of people, etc. i also slightly learnt about development economics, which, in the a-level, is all about taxes and benefits, ways to relieve poverty, etc. throughout the year, i also learnt about behavioural economics too (applicable for unit 1 really), so that's all about why consumers act the way they do and make the decisions they do, and why governments may not always introduce the best policies. suuuuuper interesting stuff.

this year, i've just finished unit 3, which is all about market structures - diagrammatical ways of representing things like oligopolistic markets (eg. the supermarket industry), monopolies, things like that. there's quite a few graphs but it's all very logical and very exciting!

the topic i'm just starting right now is all about financial markets. i don't really know too much about what this one will entail, but i'm enjoying it so far. (we're currently just talking about unemployment and inflation, which you would've been introduced to in unit 2).

what's really great is that all the economic theory you learn links together, so it all makes a ton of sense. it's like learning little pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to get the bigger picture. my favourite topics in economics are, if it's impossible to tell by now, everything! there's not a single dry thing i've learnt about, legitimately. what is also particularly enjoyable is the way the economic theory allows you to understand the news, economic books, things like that! (books relating to economics are very, very interesting by the way. i recommend reading a couple, like Freakonomics which is a more fun one, or something like why nations fail which is very excellent and very comprehensive!)

sorry once again for literally writing an essay on this! but i hope this was of some help and not too boring to read haha
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Its a great subject to take !
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k0by
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(Original post by ashaxo99)
you're welcome - i love talking about economics

i do AQA economics, so some things may differ to other specs although a lot of the basic stuff you cover should be the same.

the first things i did in my first term was supply and demand to understand how prices are set within a market. then, learning about things like minimum and maximum prices set by the government and how this impacts supply and demand of a certain good. (and you can see how the theory you learn relates to real world markets where prices have been set by the government, as opposed to by supply and demand). the main topic in unit 1 is market failure. so you learn about how some markets may be not socially efficient (such as the oversupply of alcohol and cigarettes) and what has to be done to correct this market failure - for example, in an essay question, you may be asked, do these bad things (demerit goods) need to be banned? but then you can evaluate, and write about how banning alcohol/cigarettes may be good for the NHS saving money, but it could cause unemployment for people selling these products - it could also encourage a black market forming. i would also say that economics is quite a creative subject, because you really get to discuss a whole range of things in the essays. for example, if banning cigarettes/alcohol doesn't work, you could propose other solutions to fix this market failure. you could write about maybe how the government should be encouraging substitutes for cigarettes instead, which are less harmful. you could also discuss how advertising could be used to reduce consumption of cigarettes, etc. there's always a chance to talk about real-world events in economics too, which is why it is such a dynamic subject! for example, you can talk about how there is regulation in place for all cigarettes to have "smoking kills" labelled on them - to try and deter people from consuming them. however, you can always argue that this doesn't stop consumption, as cigarettes are addictive anyway - this is where you can use further economic theory you'll learn about, like elasticity, to evaluate this point further.

(sorry i'm literally bombarding you with information loool)

the second unit i learnt about was the macroeconomy - which is basically the country's economy as a whole, as opposed to individual markets for certain goods. this is very interesting as you get to learn about GDP, exchange rates, trade. policies used by the government to regulate the level of demand in the economy - extremely fascinating, relevant to everyday-life stuff.

at the end of last year, i also learnt about labour markets (although it is a year 2 topic). that's all about how wages are set, how trade unions influence wages, how and why employers employ a certain amount of people, etc. i also slightly learnt about development economics, which, in the a-level, is all about taxes and benefits, ways to relieve poverty, etc. throughout the year, i also learnt about behavioural economics too (applicable for unit 1 really), so that's all about why consumers act the way they do and make the decisions they do, and why governments may not always introduce the best policies. suuuuuper interesting stuff.

this year, i've just finished unit 3, which is all about market structures - diagrammatical ways of representing things like oligopolistic markets (eg. the supermarket industry), monopolies, things like that. there's quite a few graphs but it's all very logical and very exciting!

the topic i'm just starting right now is all about financial markets. i don't really know too much about what this one will entail, but i'm enjoying it so far. (we're currently just talking about unemployment and inflation, which you would've been introduced to in unit 2).

what's really great is that all the economic theory you learn links together, so it all makes a ton of sense. it's like learning little pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to get the bigger picture. my favourite topics in economics are, if it's impossible to tell by now, everything! there's not a single dry thing i've learnt about, legitimately. what is also particularly enjoyable is the way the economic theory allows you to understand the news, economic books, things like that! (books relating to economics are very, very interesting by the way. i recommend reading a couple, like Freakonomics which is a more fun one, or something like why nations fail which is very excellent and very comprehensive!)

sorry once again for literally writing an essay on this! but i hope this was of some help and not too boring to read haha
Thank you soooo much, you’ve made the subject appeal to me a lot. I’m most likely going to choose it now, thanks again Super helpful

What are you planning on doing at uni? Economics? Haha
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ashaxo99
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hahahahah it'd be a real plot twist if i didn't pick econ at university you're very welcome!
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(Original post by k0by)
I keep being really indecisive about my a level choices and one I’m stuck with most is wether to pick economics or not.

I watched some videos on it (Crash course economics) and it seems quite interesting. However when I looked at some a level past papers on it, it seems quite dull?

What are people’s opinions on it? And do you study a lot of graphs?
It appears that one of the posters above me has already explained in depth the content of the course, so i won't go into that, but I do agree, it is (in my opinion) one of the most interesting A-Levels you can take.

Touches upon factors that you see in your day-to-day (employment, inflation etc) and actually helps you understand everything that's going on around you. Even very basic things, such as the concept of supply and demand, so many don't understand and it underpins pretty much everything in a capitalist economy.
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iViiRaLz
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There have been mixed replies from the people taking it in my school. If it helps, they said that its not a bad subject, a lot of workload and essays but if you're up for then its good. If its anything like the geoeconomics essays I have to write in geography then its not that bad its quite repetitive and time consuming however.
It's regarded as a better subject than something like business though.
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k0by
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(Original post by iViiRaLz)
There have been mixed replies from the people taking it in my school. If it helps, they said that its not a bad subject, a lot of workload and essays but if you're up for then its good. If its anything like the geoeconomics essays I have to write in geography then its not that bad its quite repetitive and time consuming however.
It's regarded as a better subject than something like business though.
I don’t mind if something is repetitive as I’ll learn it better haha
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Doing it for a level hate it,it's boring and it just overcomplicates basic concepts and uses fancy terms and graphs.I like my other a levels though chemistry,biology and maths.
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k0by
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Doing it for a level hate it,it's boring and it just overcomplicates basic concepts and uses fancy terms and graphs.I like my other a levels though chemistry,biology and maths.
Aah sorry to hear that, I’m guessing you’ll be dropping it at the end of Year 12? Lol
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Aah sorry to hear that, I’m guessing you’ll be dropping it at the end of Year 12? Lol
I dont think many schools at all do AS levels now though; they are mostly 2 year linear A level courses :/
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(Original post by iViiRaLz)
I dont think many schools at all do AS levels now though; they are mostly 2 year linear A level courses :/
Yeah that’s the same at my school, it’s all 2 year courses now so you just start Year 12 with 3 and not 4 subjects
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(Original post by k0by)
Yeah that’s the same at my school, it’s all 2 year courses now so you just start Year 12 with 3 and not 4 subjects
Yeah same; ,much harder for us lot because we wont be able to resit any AS modules if we messed one or two up unlike previous years but because of the exams at the end of 2 years recalling and remembering so much info is sooo much harder smh
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(Original post by iViiRaLz)
Yeah same; ,much harder for us lot because we wont be able to resit any AS modules if we messed one or two up unlike previous years but because of the exams at the end of 2 years recalling and remembering so much info is sooo much harder smh
Oh I didn’t know it was like that? So you don’t have exams at the end of Year 12 now? It’s all at the end of Year 13?
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(Original post by k0by)
Oh I didn’t know it was like that? So you don’t have exams at the end of Year 12 now? It’s all at the end of Year 13?
Well we have exams at the end of year 12 but they are 'UCAS Exams' meaning they would use those grades for Uni / UCAS predictions but they wouldn't count to anything except for that. All official A level exams are at the end of year 13 now so all content from year 12 has to be learnt as well as year 13 which is a pain in the ass.
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(Original post by k0by)
I keep being really indecisive about my a level choices and one I’m stuck with most is wether to pick economics or not.

I watched some videos on it (Crash course economics) and it seems quite interesting. However when I looked at some a level past papers on it, it seems quite dull?

What are people’s opinions on it? And do you study a lot of graphs?
It's the best subject you can take at A-Level in terms of making you a better citizen.
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(Original post by k0by)
I keep being really indecisive about my a level choices and one I’m stuck with most is wether to pick economics or not.

I watched some videos on it (Crash course economics) and it seems quite interesting. However when I looked at some a level past papers on it, it seems quite dull?

What are people’s opinions on it? And do you study a lot of graphs?
Can't really add much to the excellent posts of ashaxo, but I will emphasise the logical aspect of it. For me, Economics has really always been the subject of dressed-up common sense - that is, things which are very intuitive that has been sugar coated with confirming academic theory. That makes it easy to explain once you get the sometimes complex reasoning behind it. Is this a good thing to practice and have? Absolutely! The ability to ingest qualitative and quantitative data, break something down into it's fundamental parts and to explain that thing coherently and concisely is an exceptionally invaluable process to master in life, not just academia. :yy:
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