An Overview of A Level H1 Economics Part 3: The National Economy
In a world where change is the only constant, having Economics knowledge is useful to understand the working behind those changes, and have more insight into how the world works. By definition, Economics is said to be a social science directed at the satisfaction of needs and wants through the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses. Simply put, it is the study of scarcity and choice.
This subject is explored at a Junior College level and is offered as both H1 and H2 subjects. Of course, while the general themes of both levels are the same, the content and the scope taught at H2 level will definitely be higher than that of H1. Assessment-wise, H2 Economics students will have to sit through two written exam papers – one case-study based and the other being essay-based, while H1 students will only have to sit through the case-study based exam paper.
Economics is an interesting subject to learn, and the content learnt can definitely be useful when you study other courses in university. However, since the scope of the subject is broad, you might be wondering what exactly will be taught for your JC curriculum.
The course will be divided into three themes which, as mentioned earlier, is the same for both H1 and H2 students. These themes are:
- The Central Economic Problem
- The National Economy.
For our H1 students, we have prepared a three-part series where we break down each theme, giving you a bite-sized summary. We have already covered the themes The Central Economic Problem and Markets in part one and two of the series respectively. If you have not read them yet, do check out Part 1 and Part 2 here!
So, let’s hop right into Theme Three: The National Economy!
Theme Three: The National Economy
In Theme 1, as a student, you will have explored the basic concept of scarcity and how choices are made by economic agents. In Theme 2, you will have acquired basic knowledge of markets, how economic agents make choices based on the markets, how markets may fail and consequences of government intervention.
Theme 3 – the National Economy–will be your first step into Macroeconomics Analysis. You will be using concepts and theories learned above as well as macroeconomics analysis to assess the problem of scarcity, and concept of trade-offs at the level of the national economy. You will learn how governments make policy choices at a national level to improve standard of living by:
- Considering competing needs
- Weighing costs and benefits
- Recognising opportunity costs
- Understanding the consequences
In a nutshell, the main content you will be covering under this theme would be basic concepts and tools used in Macroeconomics Analysis, as well as indicators, factors and macroeconomics policies related to Standard of Living.
Here is a full breakdown of content and tools of analysis you are required to learn (according to SEAB) –
- Aggregate Demand (AD) and factors affecting it
- Aggregate Supply (AS) and factors affecting it
- National Level
- General Price Level
Standard of Living
- Standard of Living and its indicators – both material and non-material aspects
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI)
- Human Development Index (HDI)
- Income distribution
- Factors affecting Standard of Living (Economic Growth, Price Stability and Employment)
- Nominal and real concepts
- Macroeconomic policies to improve Standard of Living – Discretionary Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy and Supply-Side Policies
- Government budget surplus and deficit
Likewise with the previous parts in this series, these long lists of concepts and keywords may all seem daunting to you at first. As a student new to this topic, it might be a steep learning curve to get used to. Don’t worry too much though, it takes time and once you get the hang of it – doing well for the subject is something that is definitely attainable. You need to make sure that you put in the effort to practice and keep it consistent. At the same time, it is also essential to get a good grasp of the content. After all, only when you know what you are writing about, can you write your answers clearly and coherently!
It is natural to feel uncertain when it comes to an unfamiliar topic, but there are plenty of resources around you – including us! It is worth considering taking tuition as an extra resource as firstly – it is a form of professional guidance with qualified tutors, and plenty of content for you to get more knowledge and a better understanding of the subject.
Our tuition classes at JC Economics Tuition Centre are the perfect supplement to your Economics journey – with lessons that are informative and engaging at the same time! Headed by our star tutor, Mr Anthony Fok, with his passion for the subject, you can rest assured you are in good hands.
Thousands of JC students over the years have benefited from and recommend Mr Fok’s A Level Economics tuition. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for our lessons today!