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Should I switch from business to economics?

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Hi,

I've currently got about 4 more weeks of pre-IB before I start DP. I've been taking business but have found it really difficult, and despite I know the theory I have significant trouble getting marks on the explanation questions that are supposed to simulate that of real IB exams. I am thinking of switching to economics because it seems more theoretical rather than practical (which is what I'm good at), and everyone says it's just a much easier subject. My school is supposed to go over everything learnt during pre-IB again during DP and everyone tells me that there isn't that much to catch up on. Would economics actually be much easier for a person who succeeds in theory-based subjects?

Should I switch despite all the work I will have to catch up on?

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Hi,

My suggestion is that you look through the IB Economics guide and also read a couple of chapters of an economics textbook to see what you can expect. The guide lists all the questions in the Syllabus content (pp.16-73) that you'll have to know at the exams. As for the results, based on the latest statistical bulletin (May 2017), there is a significant difference in the results only at HL: here, almost 45% of econ students got 6 or 7, while only a bit more than 30% of B&M students got the same results. However, at SL the results are similar.

Nevertheless, it's not the statistical bulletin that you need to consider first, but looking at the guide and a textbook. Also, at higher level, it's good if you're familiar with linear functions as many calculations are based on them. I agree with the everyone else that there should not be much to catch-up on as during DP the school has to teach everything you need to know at the exams.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

EconDaddy
IB Economics teacher, examiner and tutor

www.econdaddy.com

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Edited by EconDaddy

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2 hours ago, EconDaddy said:

Hi,

My suggestion is that you look through the IB Economics guide and also read a couple of chapters of an economics textbook to see what you can expect. The guide lists all the questions in the Syllabus content (pp.16-73) that you'll have to know at the exams. As for the results, based on the latest statistical bulletin (May 2017), there is a significant difference in the results only at HL: here, almost 45% of econ students got 6 or 7, while only a bit more than 30% of B&M students got the same results. However, at SL the results are similar.

Nevertheless, it's not the statistical bulletin that you need to consider first, but looking at the guide and a textbook. Also, at higher level, it's good if you're familiar with linear functions as many calculations are based on them. I agree with the everyone else that there should not be much to catch-up on as during DP the school has to teach everything you need to know at the exams.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

EconDaddy
IB Economics teacher, examiner and tutor

www.econdaddy.com

  • T
1

Thanks so much. I had already looked at the IB economics syllabus, textbook and a few past papers and it seems to me that economics is more theory based and also more mathematical. It also seems a lot less ambiguous (i.e there are right and wrong answers) than business. This looks very appealing to me as I am usually better at this type of subject. Am I correct in these observations?

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You're correct in that there is a lot of theory and concepts to understand, and indeed, there is a little math too (only at HL though). But examiners (including me) will always look for answers that show how students are able to apply the theory to real life (using specific real-world examples). If you think about it, all the different sciences exist to make us understand the world around us more. Economics is no exception, it tries to understand what drives human interaction, behavior and decision-making so that we can allocate (scarce) recources in a more efficient way. But if the students know only the theory without connecting it to the world, then this knowledge is pretty useless. So all in all, while it is true that it's pretty theory-based, it is not to say that it isn't practical (or that you can get away with only knowing the concepts). 

Does this answer your question? Let me know if you have more.

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