Whether you’re majoring in economics, or are taking it as a prerequisite, it can be an intense course. But as intense as it is, it is also an extremely important course. Studying it helps you become a more aware and active participant in the global economy, as a producer and a consumer. In today’s political and economic landscape, knowledge is power, and college economics courses are designed to give you that knowledge to better understand the policies that shape things. In college economics courses, optimal study habits are necessary for comprehension and retention of the material at hand. If you’re currently enrolled in, or are thinking of enrolling in college economics courses, here are a few tips to help you study effectively and actually see results.
1) Using your syllabus as a guide, read the material ahead of time. When you attend a lecture, the material your professor goes over shouldn’t be new. By prepping before class and getting a jump on the material, you can better understand what your professor is actually talking about. This is a universal study habit that you should develop to better succeed in all of your courses, and is especially handy if you’re dealing with complex economic concepts. It goes without saying that you should be taking notes in class. Many professors recommend that students recopy their notes and fill in any missing info using the textbook. If you do this within eight hours after the lecture, you’re much more likely to absorb the material.
2) Speaking of your textbook, you should most definitely engage in active reading. That means you can’t just read your textbook like you would a novel. You really need to delve deeper into the information to help you understand the key concepts. Pay attention to headings, subheads, and bold words. They are there for a reason: to alert you that this is something you need to know. Don’t be afraid to take notes in the margins of your textbook, and underline/highlight important information.
3) When you’re all done reading the assigned chapters and have rewritten your noted, you should try to prepare your own written summaries of the chapters/units. This is another great method of active engagement. A simple way to do this is to write down the main points of each chapter section and then make a bulleted list of supporting points.
4) If you’ve done all of this, and still aren’t making any headway, contact college tutors. College tutors are dedicated to helping students who just can’t make the material stick. There is even online college tutoring out there that can work around even the busiest student’s schedule. In addition to an economics tutor, you can join a study group. Hearing what other students have to say about the material is often helpful, and can help you open your eyes to the material in a whole new way.
Best of luck with your economic course. Don’t give up and remember these tips when you’re having trouble getting a firm grasp on key concepts.
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