Economics: Myths and Effective Study Techniques

For those of you going into year 11, you may be wondering, ‘did I really choose the right subjects for me?” Or even, “should I be changing these subjects to less heavy subjects, so I can ace my HSC?”. 


For the year 12’s, congratulations!!! You guys have officially survived the first term of your HSC year, I’m sure you’re all feeling thrilled. Nevertheless, you may also be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information you’re being faced with along with the countdown to your HSC exams. 


Either way, this blog is for you!!


When I first decided to take economics in year 11, the first thing I was told was how “content heavy” the subject was. 

“It’ll be too much for your HSC”

“You won’t be able to learn all the content in time”

Now, while there are some aspects of truth to these statements, they are in large, a myth. Allow me to explain:



Going into year 11, you could say I was faced with a LOT of information. With six topics to cover in three terms, the statement, “content heavy” began to hold true. Despite undertaking commerce in year 9 and 10, I was faced with an array of new concepts, ideas and information. So you can only imagine the difficulty for those who hadn’t. Furthermore, having to learn from a chunky Dixon book didn’t exactly make things any easier. The exams were much different to those I had undertaken from Years 7-10. Unlike those I had done before, they were structured as:

  • Multiple choice 
  • Short answer 
  • Long response 

What was that all about? And how do I even begin to approach it?! Now I’ve probably scared you off from HSC economics completely, but now let’s delve into the myth and how to really overcome this fear of content. 



While Economics has a considerable amount of content, it is also a very approachable and straight-forward subject, something I didn’t find many of my other subjects to be. The belief that the content is too much to be learnt in time is far from the truth. The trick is to find which method you learn best from, and using this consistently! It’s crucial to know that your study methods will always differ from your friends, your teachers and your parents. My number one motto in learning economics would be to be open to change. What I mean by this is to be open to changing the mechanisms in which you learn, even during your post-trial period. 


Taking myself as an example, I changed the ways I learnt up until the day my last HSC exam was over. 


In year 11, I studied by writing my notes up again and again. I would begin by typing up my notes in class with my friend, followed by rewriting it out on paper by condensing notes I would summarise from the textbook. Leading up to my exams I would again rewrite these notes in summaries, condensing information I wasn’t particularly thorough in, before summarising all information into a page.While this meticulous and largely extensive approach was effective in aiding me in becoming thorough with the information, it was highly time consuming and inappropriate for year 12. 


Beginning year 12, I began to make audio recordings of myself speaking, allowing me to listen subconsciously while I was on the train or bus going to and from school. This reduced my study time because I began to understand harder content and concepts much faster. After trials, I realised that there was too much to be learnt in too little time, so I adopted a more visual approach. I would write up key points within my notes that I was not entirely clear of and learn them. I also used palm cards where I would draw visual representations of graphs and stick them on my mirror, my door, and other places that I would visit on a day-to-day basis. 


By adding my learning into my daily life, I was once again able to reduce my study time, whilst improving efficiency as I was subconsciously learning content whilst brushing my teeth and getting dressed. 



Economics is a subject that requires a persistent mindset to learning. It’s certainly not a subject that you can squeeze in at the last minute before your exam. It requires a strong foundation, after which you build upon your skills each and every lesson. Adding in statistics and graphs allows you to help fill in the blanks and further your knowledge. 


For those of you in your second term of year 12, if you are considering dropping the subject due to troubles in year 11, I urge you not to. Year 11 economics in my opinion, is much, much harder than year 12. Allow me to put this in perspective for you. In year 11, you are required to complete six topics in three terms, as opposed to the four topics you have to complete in four terms, during HSC Economics. 


In essence, I do think that the statement that “economics is a content heavy subject” is true to a certain extent. However, it’s definitely not something that is unachievable, having received a band six in economics myself. By finding your way of learning and consistently practicing and revising like any good student, you can do it too!

(1) Comment

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    Steven Ballam 4 April 2021 @ 1:37 am

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