H1 and H2 Econs: What’s the Difference? Can I Score?
Ok, so you have worked very hard, spent countless sleepless nights, and finally graduated from secondary school. Congratulations, you are finally in junior college!
You can take a breather because you know you deserve it. But don’t start slacking yet, you should know that JC brings along its own set of problems that you need to tackle and decisions that you’ll be making. Among the most prominent of these dilemmas, for economics students, is deciding whether you should go for H1 or H2 economics.
Today we’ll look through the differences between H1 and H2 economics and discuss which course would be a better fit for you.
What Are The Differences between H1 and H2 Economics?
For starters, H2 economics is longer than H1 economics. Since H2 has a few extra topics such as Market Structure, Cross Elasticity of Demand, and Income Elasticity of Demand included in its syllabus. According to estimates, H1 economics has around 60 percent of H2 content.
The examination content for each level differs too.
H1 economics mainly tests case studies. It contains two compulsory case studies, each carrying 45 marks or 50 percent weightage of the full H1 paper. The time allotment for this paper is 3 hours.
H2 economics focuses on essays along with case studies. It’s divided into two papers: P1 and P2. Paper 1 tackles two compulsory case studies that are worth 40 percent of the overall grade. The time limit for Paper 1 is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Paper 2 consists of 3 essays, of which one will be from section A, one from section B, and the last one can be from either section A or B. Paper 2 constitutes a total weightage of 60 percent of the overall H2 grade.
To give you some context of the type of essay questions examiners test in the H2 exam, here is an example from a mock H2 economics paper.
In 2015, US food processing companies Heinz and Kraft Foods merged to form The Kraft Heinz Company, which is expected to be the fifth-largest food company in the world and third-largest in the US.
(a) Explain the likely reasons why these companies would want to merge.
(b) Assess whether the Singapore government should approve the merger of firms.
So you might have heard H1 economics is much easier than H2 economics from your peers. Or you might have even gotten that impression above when we were discussing the length of the H1 and H2 syllabus as the H1 syllabus is evidently shorter. But this is a long-held myth which we will debunk today.
Yes, granted the H2 syllabus is longer. However, both H1 and H2 economics test the same skills in their exams. If you have those skills, you will likely succeed in both papers.
Both exams have different ways of testing these skills. H1 takes an approach that heavily weighs case studies, while H2 balances the exam between case studies and essays. Granted that many H2 students find the essay section hard, but the rigorousness of both H1 and H2 is on the same level. This fact is also seconded by the SEAB syllabus, which clearly states that both exams test fundamental application and critical thinking skills.
Hence, for this exact reason, our classes at JC economics tuition do not differentiate between H1 and H2 students. All our students study in the same class as the level of rigor is the same for both exams.
What should you pick?
When deciding on which exam you should go for, you need to consider your interests and strengths. Topics covered in H2 are more connected to real-life practical situations, giving you a better view of economics in reality. If that is something that you enjoy, H2 economics is your go-to.
You should also consider how strong you are at different question types. For example, can you solve case study questions quickly? Or is writing an essay a piece of cake for you?
If you are confused regarding both?
Then you should try out a few different questions on case studies and essays and measure your average performance in both, along with gauging your interest in the concerned topics. If you find case study questions relatively straightforward and can’t find your way around an essay, then H1 is the way to go. Or if you can produce elaborate essays from a few lines of questions and are also relatively good at case studies, then undoubtedly go for H2 economics.
You should know that at the end of the day, it all boils down to your skills that can only be perfected over time through practice.
At Best Econs Tuition by Singapore, we have some of the best tutors for JC economics hosting regular tuition classes. Our tutor, Mr. Anthony Fok, is highly experienced in teaching and counseling confused students regarding whether they should take H1 or H2 economics. Contact us today and schedule a meeting and reserve a spot in his tuition class!