How to ace college economics | 5 Easy Tips
8 mins read

How to ace college economics | 5 Easy Tips

Wondering how to ace college economics? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one.

Raise your hand if you find economics intimidating [raises both hands]. You aren’t the only one. College economics can be a real GPA bully.

Both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics can prove to be a little or a lot difficult, depending on the college student you ask.

As a student who finished with a 3.64/4.0 GPA, I can say even now that I found economics challenging. From my experience with microeconomics, I came up with strategies to help me do well in macroeconomics. 

Those are the tips/strategies I shall be sharing with you in this blog post.

Let’s begin with the basics.

What is microeconomics anyway? Microeconomics is the social science that studies the implications of incentives and decisions, specifically about how those affect the utilization and distribution of resources. 

Microeconomics shows how and why different goods have different values, how individuals and businesses conduct and benefit from efficient production and exchange, and how individuals best coordinate and cooperate with each other. 

What is macroeconomics? According to Investopedia, Macroeconomics is a branch of economics that studies how an overall economy meaning the market or other systems that operate on a large scale behaves. 

Macroeconomics studies economy-wide phenomena such as inflation, price levels, rate of economic growth, national income, gross domestic product (GDP), and changes in unemployment. 

What is the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics?

Macroeconomics deals with the performance, structure, and behavior of the entire economy, in contrast to microeconomics, which is more focused on the choices made by individual actors in the economy (like people, households, industries, etc.).

How to ace college economics 

1. Attend your classes

I learned this one the hard way. When I took Microeconomics class, I took ill at some point in the middle of the semester and ended up missing an important concept that the professor took the time to explain in detail. 

The problem was that at the time, the classes weren’t held online. So there was no recording.

What’s worse is that he ended up testing that concept in the midterms, which I totally flanked because I just didn’t have as good a grasp as I would have had I attended that class.

Attendance is crucial. Think of the concepts you are being taught as a puzzle. If you attend all your classes, you will have all the pieces of the puzzle. 

The more classes you miss, the more pieces you’ll have missing from your puzzle. Doing well in economics is about stacking everything in your favor. And especially for microeconomics, which I found to be more challenging than macroeconomics.

2. Be attentive throughout

My experience of Economics classes was that you snooze, you lose. I mean that in the most literal sense imaginable. 

You daze out or zone out for a second and something important could fly past you. You really have to stay attentive throughout.

If staying attentive in class is something you struggle with, then don’t worry. I have written a post on how to stay attentive during a boring class because let’s face it, Economics isn’t all that exciting.

3. Read your course text

I might not be able to relate with this one directly because I always really enjoyed interacting with our course texts however, I saw this one bite, several students, in the butt.

Our professor habitually pulled questions directly from the course text because he realized that most students weren’t interacting with it.

Do yourself a favor and read your course text. Why?

Because the course text breaks all the concepts down to the 1+1 which will help all the concepts be easier for you to understand.

You should also interact with your course texts because at the end of each chapter must have practice questions which I have already said our professor would use in our midterms and end of terms and your professor might as well. 

What’s great about these questions is that they help you think about the concepts in a way that can properly answer exam questions.


4. Watch local and international business news

This will be especially useful when taking macroeconomics and your more advanced economics classes.

Realize that economics affects your daily life. The price of milk or fuel goes up, that is inflation.

Watching global and local news will help you tie the theoretical part of economics to your reality, to what is going on in the economy around you daily. 

This will make economics a lot less intimidating and more practical, and therefore more fun for you to learn.

5. Study and practice tests

Finally, last but not least, you have to study and take practice taking tests. 

This should really go without saying for just about any college subject, however, I have to say it for the record.

You can’t remember what you haven’t read. I shall repeat that for the people in the back.

You can’t remember what you haven’t read.

You have to take the time to study. Interact with your course text to learn the material, then interact with it again for revision throughout the semester.

As for practice tests, I don’t believe that practice makes perfect, especially for qualitative courses, it is not advisable to just take the cramming route. 

It is better to understand the concepts in lego-blocks-way, where all concepts connect to each other, and you can comfortably explain any concept in your own words.

I believe that practice makes better. The more practice tests you take, the better your understanding of the concepts.

The goal isn’t necessarily to score all the points, the goal is to ensure that after completing and evaluating each test, your understanding of the concepts is improving.

Your course text will be sure to provide great practice questions for you at the end of each chapter. However, if you need more help, I have provided links to online practice tests for both micro and macroeconomics that are free.

5.1. Free practice tests for microeconomics

5.2. Free practice tests for macroeconomics

In conclusion, college economics doesn’t have to be the enemy. It is possible to become friends with it.

Good grades come when you work for them. It is not impossible. It can be done.

A quick recap. The secret to doing well in college economics is to do five simple things.

Attend your classes, stay attentive during class, interact with your course text, watch local and international business news, study, and take practice exams.

If you are taking an Economics class this semester, I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best! 

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