"Economics is too important to leave to Economist” - Steve Keen

What Mr. Keen is saying, is that it would be wise if all of us could have a little bit of knowledge about economics considering it is intertwined with our everyday choices and activities.

Taking economics classes as elective courses in high school can give you a leg up in the future. It can help you decide if economics is a field of study you would like to explore through degree programs after graduation or if you are keener on only learning basic concepts. Whatever your decision, economics is a very important part of your general education. 

High schools offer a variety of economics courses. Each state's Department of Education has different requirements set for students, this is why it is not always mandatory to take an economics course in secondary school. Some schools opt to include additional education programs such as Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes.

The goal of the coursework of an AP or an IB class is to mirror that of a college-level class. These classes tend to be a step above general education and even help you earn college credit. 

If you want to pursue your interest in economics, keep reading to find out everything you will need to do.

Why Study Economics?

Studying economics opens up thousands of doors for your future, everything from possible careers to simply having a better understanding of how the economic world functions.

banks
Banks and financial institutions like to hire economics students. (Photo by Etienne Martin on Unsplash)

Studying economics doesn’t mean that you have to become an economist. Having a background in the field of economics can actually lead to a variety of careers. Almost all industries need employees with knowledge of the economic market.

There are multiple sectors that constantly scout out students with an economics major. Here are a couple of locations that hire economics majors.

  • Banks
  • Insurance Companies
  • Real-estate Agencies
  • Local, State, and Federal Government
  • Universities

Many of these locations and businesses look for economics students because the skills developed by these students are easily transferable to a multitude of other sectors. Employers seek out students with communication, problem-solving and analytical skills.

They also look for math, critical thinking, and detail-oriented students can take what they have learned in high school and college and apply it to a range of jobs and tasks.

It's not just about knowing the economic theory!

Learning economic analysis can also be very beneficial for your personal life. Having a basic understanding of economic trends and wealth can help you make smarter financial decisions down the line.

When it comes time to purchase a home or a car, it will be good to know what factors make up the costs and benefits of each of these decisions. You wouldn't need to major in economics, but having basic information can be helpful.

By learning even a little bit about scarcity, supply and demand, and costs and benefits, you will be a lot more equip to handle the big scary adult world.

Find out why other people choose to study economics during their high school courses.

High School Economics Syllabus

Not all economics classes are the same. It is important to note that economics classes can be just as diverse as the subject is. The course of study is not the same throughout these classes.

Since high school curriculums are not standardized across the US, each state and even each county offers a different set of information. Meaning that not all syllabi are the same.

Check out what your class’s syllabus might contain. Some classes might focus on labor economics, while others in applied economics and others might even teach econometrics.

Most regular and honors classes will only explain the fundamentals. The field of economics is too dense to be explained in only a year's worth of classes, so schools slim down their syllabi to include only the basics.

graphing data
Students learn how to graph trends and predictions of economic systems. (Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash)

This includes the reading and use of charts and graphs. Economics uses graphs and charts to demonstrate economic trends and theories. Using mathematics and data on charts can easily show the correlation between economic systems.

The role of money in our economies is also an important concept that in almost always included in the high school syllabus.

The production and consumption of money is also an important concept to study during an economics course. Money is one of the most important economic principles and a huge driving force in the economy, making it a crucial part of even the most basic school programs.

Learning about how money affects labor and the market, helps us build a base for understating some of the other economic trends.

In addition to regular and honors economics classes, there are a couple of organizations that offer another set of classes in the economics field.

The College Board is one of these organizations. They are the creators of programs such as the SAT and Advanced Placement classes. As part of their selection of classes, the Advanced Placement or AP curriculum includes two economics-related courses.

AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics classes are available in numerous high schools around the US as well as options for online courses if you qualify.

Similarly to the College Board, the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization also provides a select number of high schools and their teachers with the option of teaching an economics course under their accredited high school curriculum.

Best Economics High School Revision Materials

No matter what economics course you are taking, be it honors, AP courses, or IB, you are probably going to have to take a final exam at some point, so we are here to help. We have listed a couple of the best Economics High School Revision Material for all of your classes.

review book
When it comes time to review, official review books can be of great help. (Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash)

There are a ton of review books available for both of the Advanced Placement courses. Some of the review books focus on only one of the econ courses while others have a 2-in-1 deal. No matter the book you get, you will receive a detailed overview of all of the content and terms that you could possibly be tested on.

In addition, most of these books will also include tips about the exam and descriptions of how the exam is structured.

Be sure to pay close attention to the structures of the exams. Knowing what is expected of you in each section will save you precious time.

The AP Micro and AP Macro exams are structured fairly similar but the IB exams vary greatly.

Any review material you acquire should be up to date. These programs change their exams every couple of years so the education requirements might not be the same if you purchase a more outdated review book.

If you are a student that feels they need a more personalized review, it might be a good idea to reach out to a tutor. Review books are great if you already understand the concepts and want to just go over them a couple more time but if you need some concepts explained to you in detail, it would be beneficial to meet with someone that can explain them in person.

Here at Superprof, there is a hundred of economics tutors that are available right in your area. Getting in contact with them is just a matter of clicks.

Find Economics High School Past Papers

There’s no better revision material than actual past exams and papers. Practicing with released exams helps you get sued to the time restrictions as well as the structuring of the exam.

tools for exams
Take time to practice writing out the questions from past exams. (Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash)

The review books mentioned above have one or more practice exams, but these dual credit courses also release past papers.

For example, the College Board has released the free-response questions for all of their past exams. All past papers dating back to 1999 are on the website. It might be much to go that far back, but it would be beneficial to go over a couple of the past papers if you haven’t already done so in your class.

The program requirements might have changed they still hold a common core in the content presented.

College Board provides not only the free-response questions but also includes the scoring guidelines and sample responses for all courses. To test your knowledge, try writing out the responses for the sample questions in the time frame indicated.

You can compare your answers and graphs to the sample responses. You can even grade your own work and note which sections you need a little more practice with. If you continue to follow this technique, you will eventually identify the kind of answers that get the highest scores.

So when the time of the exam rolls around, you’ll know exactly what methods to use to impress our readers.

The IB program does not release their old exams but make sure to ask your teachers if they have any official practice test from the organization.

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Maria