Map Out The Subject.

In economics we study Macro and Micro economics. "Macro" refers to the economy of a country as a whole. "Micro" refers to the economic behaviours of individual people, households and businesses.

Often in business we refer to a "Top-down view" and a "Bottom-up view." This is a similar type of thing. We can look at a situation as a whole and we can look at the individual parts of that situation. To understand that situation well we generally need to analyse it in both ways. This allows us to manage it better.

I believe that it is important to think about your subject in the same way. In a "micro" sense you need to know what each model you are taught does. You need to know how to apply it to, say, analyse a situation.

In a "macro" sense you need to know how the models fit into the subject. This means you need to understand when you use a particular model. Sometimes, to analyse a particular situation, more than one model is taught.

Teachers select particular models and theories that have been developed by academics to use in their subject. For some topics in a particular subject there can be many theories that have been developed over the years. Sometimes a model falls out of favor and may be replaced by another. The bottom line is that there are often many that your teacher can chose from.

Your teacher may teach you more than one model covering a particular topic in their subject. Sometimes these models "overlap" meaning that while they cover some similar ground they also both cover some new ground.

To do well in an exam you need to:

  • - Know which model to use.
  • - Know how to apply the model.
  • - Provide sufficient detail to show you are using it well to fully answer the question or sub-question.

I recommend that you "Map out" your subject as part of your exam preparation. This means to carefully think through what each of the different models is there for. It has been taught for a reason and you need to understand in what situations you use the model. This helps ensure that you are using the right model to answer exam questions.

A mind-map is a great way to map out the subject. You can also practice drawing out this map so that the structure of the subject is crystal clear.

In the weeks leading up to the exam I recommend that you ask your teacher to clarify any models that are unclear. This includes any models that are overlapping. This helps take away the confusion about which model to use and when to use it.