Exams can be stressful, we’ve all been there. But have you ever experienced that rare gem of an exam, where it’s almost exciting because you know your material inside out, you feel like a beast, and there’s nothing that can be thrown at you that you aren’t ready for? Today, we’re here to help you get there with your NCEA Economics Exam. Or, if you’re already in that space, let’s take it to the next level.

Regardless if you are in NCEA Economics Level 1 and this is your first time sitting an official external exam, you’re a seasoned veteran in NCEA Economics Level 2 or you are ready to leap into your tertiary studies and begin your career after NCEA Economics Level 3, it’s all go now. Before we get started, if you’re still wondering what to study, be sure to check out our article on sitting your NCEA Economics Exams, or NCEA Economics Scholarship Exams. If you’re still in your internals phase, we’ve got you covered on our comprehensive guide to NCEA Economics. Be sure to check out the NZQA website for further details on examinable content as well.

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NCEA Economics Level 1, 2 and 3

You probably have quite a few externals to sit, right? Or maybe you even have some heavily weighted internals that you are juggling at the moment too. That’s no problem, we can get through them all, we just need to focus on our time management first.  A great starting point is checking out your exam timetable, either with your school for your practice exams or on the official NCEA website for final exams. Start by making a schedule of what days your exams are on. Remember to double-check that you have the correct date and time! Adding these dates onto a calendar will give you that all-important visual guide of how many days you have to study for each exam. Try to allocate a roughly even number of days to study for each one.

Feel free to note down your other commitments, such as work, family, friends, and extracurriculars as well to make sure that you have time to fit everything in. For some people, just the act of writing this down works for them. Forge ahead if this is you. However, if you would like to break it down into more manageable, bite-sized chunks, then note down the components to each task as well. For instance, instead of just saying ‘study for Economics’, do you want to make summary notes? Practice 10 past exams? Get it down on paper and get that game plan sussed.

If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, getting your priorities in order can go a long way to help, too. Let me introduce you to our friend, the Important Urgent matrix. Think to yourself, is task this urgent and important? This is usually determined by a fast-approaching deadline for something important. For instance, Economics exam is tomorrow? You got it, urgent and important. Or, is it urgent, but not that important, aka a chore you must do that does not require much time investment upfront, such as a dentist check-up on Tuesday. Next, we move on to important but not urgent, where the task is of course meaningful to you, but the deadline is a wee while away. For example, starting your career as a Soundcloud rapper has always been your dream but you haven’t quite gotten round to yet? Yes, that could definitely be super important to you, but nothing detrimental is going to happen if you don’t act on that by tomorrow. Finally, if it’s not urgent or important, like tidying up that shelf in the garage you have been meaning to for seven months, put that last.

During your revision period, you may need to trim the excess fat and prioritize your most important tasks first. Start with the urgent and important, followed by the urgent but not important. Remember, it is often deadlines that put pressure on us. Think about it. If you had ten years to study for the same Economics exam you are about to sit now, would you be pressed? No, it’s because it’s coming up soon that’s bringing the heat. So, focus only on the tasks that do have deadlines here, the rest can wait, or they become procrastination fodder.

If you really are a planner or want to ramp up your organisation skills even further, you can even divide your day by hours. Maybe you’ll revise material for two hours, take a one-hour break and then head onto practice papers for the next two hours. Try your best to stick to your schedule, but don’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t always! We all take some time to adjust to a new routine. Finally, schedule in breaks! You deserve it. You’ll actually also be more productive and likely to achieve higher if you are working on a well-rested and balanced brain. Take a walk, get a quick workout in, watch some Netflix/YouTube/TikTok to unwind after a hard day’s work. What protein sources are to muscle growth, foods like bananas, nuts, tuna sandwiches, seeds, berries, yogurt, and plenty of water are to your mental gains, so try to work these in if they suit your dietary needs.

Revising for your NCEA Economics Exams can start with making a schedule
Manage your time well to make the most of your study for NCEA Economics. Image souce: Unsplash

NCEA Economics Revision Roadblocks

Ah, the worst. Even just a few short weeks of hard focus can feel like years. Getting started can be daunting, but the last thing you want to do is be scrambling and cramming the course content for your exam at 4am the morning of. To get you started, why not try the Pomodoro Technique. Schedule your work into 25-minute chunks, with a mini 5-minute break in between, and then have a break of about 15 – 20 minutes after you’ve done four 25 minute sessions. Go on, you’ve earned it. While you do this, eliminate all distractions. Turn those notifications or WiFi off on your phone, fire memes in the group chat can wait.

Past Papers

So, what’s the best way to actually do NCEA Economics Revision? Everyone learns differently. Maybe the traditional reading, making summary notes, and ensuring you understand the concepts work best for you. Why not give this traditional reading writing method the ol’ razzle-dazzle by putting your memory to the test with flashcards? If audio appeals to you more, reading your notes out loud further imprints the knowledge in your brain. Maybe you could give Kanye West and Nicki Minaj a run for their money by making some raps if rhythm and rhyme help you remember better. If you get restless studying, perfect! Record yourself on your phone, chuck on some headphones, and take it for a walk, run, or gym session. Tired of your siblings always busting into your room just when you open your books/fire up the laptop? Why not put them to good use and see if you can explain your material to them. They say one of the best ways to master your knowledge is to be able to explain it to someone else. For our visual peeps, we have classic mind maps and colour-coded diagrams that may also help deepen your understanding. Finally, study groups are great. Call – or make a couple of new – friends from class, and alternate explaining different parts of the material to each other. Who knows, you may even learn a thing or two from what they have to say!

Now that you’ve done all this, you should have a pretty good understanding of the exam material. So how will you do actually applying this in the exam scenario? Why not try reading some of the model answers of papers a couple of years ago (save papers from the latest years for what we are about to do next), so you know what the markers are after. Then, practice a couple of these papers with the help of the revision materials you have prepared, as well as the guidelines for getting Excellence on your Economics NCEA exam. Once you’ve got a handle on this, it’s time to replicate exam conditions and test yourself like a pro.

Find a quiet space – this could even be at school if home is busy – where you won’t get disturbed. Keep an eye on the clock, and go for gold. At the end of this, check how you stacked up compared to the model answers. If your teachers offer this, you may even want to ask if they can give you feedback on your practice papers. If your teachers are unable to do this, however, you always have us. Want to try something a little different? We do have an article on the most effective way to maximise the use of your past exams too.

Past papers is a great way to study for NCEA Economics
Practising past papers is one of the best revision methods for NCEA Economics. Image Source: Getty Images

Still have questions?

At Superprofs, we are here to help. We want you to be wildly successful in all you do and it is our number one mission to help get you there. Let us help you sort your study schedule, habits for success and go over the content too to make sure you are as prepared as possible for your exam. We have a wide range of tutors, find one who is perfect for you and your study needs today.

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