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H2 or H1 Economics?


Find out whether you should take H2 or H1 Economics

H2 or H1 Economics?

What are the key differences of the subjects


Learn more about the two subjects of H2 or H1 Economics to understand their distinguishing features. We will provide a concise explanation of the areas of learning and other important aspects, so that you can decide your ideal subject combination.

Contents of H2 or H1 Economics

What will I cover in these two subjects?


Find out more about H2 and H1 Economics, namely the syllabus content based on the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB). In view of the recent changes to the areas of study, it is important to be aware of the latest information to be better prepared for the demands of the examinations.

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H2 Economics (9757)

In Paper 1, students must complete two case studies in 2 hours 15 minutes. As for Paper 2, students are expected to write three essays in 2 hours 15 minutes.

The featured topics are described below:

  1. Scarcity as the Central Economic Problem
  2.  Price Mechanism and its Applications
  3. Firms and Decisions (Market Structures)
  4. Market Failure
  5. Introduction to Macroeconomics
  6.  AD-AS Model, Economic Indicators, Standard of Living
  7.  Economic Growth, Inflation and Unemployment
  8.  Macroeconomic Aims and Policies
  9. Globalisation and the International Economy
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H1 Economics (8823)

For H1 Economics, students are expected to answer two case studies in 3 hours. Each case study feature several visual and text-based extracts that are to be analysed, then students have to answer a series of short and extended questions.

The syllabus content are as follows:

  1. Scarcity as the Central Economic Problem
  2. Price Mechanism and its Applications
  3. Market Failure
  4.  Introduction to Macroeconomic Analysis
  5.  AD-AS Model, Economic Indicators, Standard of Living
  6. Economic Growth, Inflation and Unemployment
  7. Conflicting Aims of Government and Policies

Why Should I take H1 or H2 Economics

Choosing your preferred subject


Given that there are stark differences in the H1 and H2 Economics subjects, it is important that you consider the following aspects as well to make sure that you have made the optimal decision to confirm your subject combination.

If you are reading this article, it is likely that you have considered the JC (Junior College) route in your post-secondary education. Before you embark on your journey in preparation for the GCE A Level examinations, it is important to understand the differences between H2 and H1 Economics.

1. Capacity for extended essay writing

One key consideration before you decide whether to take H2 or H1 Economics is your capacity to do extended essay writing. If you are certain that you have what it takes to answer long questions within a fixed set of time, then H2 Economics is the preferred option.

H2 Economics includes an essay section (Paper 2) that assesses the students’ ability to consider the given perspective and present a well-organised and thorough analysis in a written form.

On the other hand, for those who have a stronger inclination towards case study analysis, H1 Economics may be the better alternative. Although, H1 Economics does not feature an essay section, it’s 8- and 10- mark questions at the end of each set are likened to an essay, but with an additional layer of requirement which entail the need to refer to case study extracts.

2. Depth of conceptual assessment

The second consideration relates to the depth of conceptual assessment, seen in terms of the areas of study. In contrast to H1 Economics, H2 Economics features an additional components, such as the study of International Economics and Decision of Firms. 

International Economics is an important area that covers chapters, like International Trade and Protectionism, Globalization, Balance of Payment and Foreign Exchange. The economics concepts learnt will be useful in explaining real world problems, such as the economic implications of the trade wars in 2018-2019.

The Decision of Firms is an topic whereby students will learn Cost of Production and Market Structures to understand how firms conduct cost minimization and revenue maximization to attain optimal level of profit. The concepts covered will be useful for business-oriented decision-making processes, which are observed in small, medium and large firms.

In view of these two distinctive topics, it is crucial to know that the H1 Economics syllabus is more oriented towards conceptual comprehension and the identification of causal relationships. As such, H1 Economics students are expected to relate the economics concepts learn in class to the case study extracts, so that they can answer the questions effectively.

3. Differences in Skills Application for Essays and CSQs

The third factor involves the skills assessment for essay writing and case study questions (CSQs). As mentioned earlier, H2 Economics students are required to answer both essay and case study questions, whereas H1 Economics students are only expected to handle case study questions. As such, the demands of these two subjects vary significantly.

For H2 Economics students, content application is emphasised more extensively, given the inclusion of the essay writing (Paper 2) component. For example, these students are more likely to expect the use of economic diagrams to illustrate the conceptual application, following by the analysis of determining factors to show the significance of factors.

For H1 Economics students, the skills applied are more oriented towards trend analysis and data extraction. These students are required to process unseen information from the tables, graphs, charts and extracts, then generate points to answer the questions.

4. Examination Format

Lastly, the examination format is starkly different for H2 and H1 Economics. 

For H2 Economics (9757), students are required to sit for Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 features two compulsory case studies that must be completed within 2 hours 15 minutes. Within each case study, there are short and long questions to be answered by using the given information from the extracts and visual data. Paper 2 involves the selection of three essay questions from 6 given questions. 3 questions focus mainly on Microeconomics, whereas the other 3 questions are more oriented towards Macroeconomics.

One key difference is to note that the Paper 1 (CSQs) mark weightage is 40%, whereas Paper 1 (Essays) mark weightage is 60%.

For H1 Economics (8823), students are only required to complete one paper that features two compulsory case studies to be completed in 3 hours. There are short questions and higher-order questions. The distinguishing factor is that there are no essay questions for H1 Economics. Furthermore, each case study carries 50% of the total marks.

In retrospect, it is crucial to bear in mind the above considerations when deciding between H1 and H2 Economics. Should you require any additional clarification, please contact me at 96890510.

This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC Economics Tutor of EconomicsFocus, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialised Economics Tuition and GP Tuition.

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Topical Re-teaching

Establish a firm foundation in Economics with our content revision lessons. We provide useful study materials that are organised by chapters to ensure that you grasp economics concepts well.

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Apps-based Learning

Download our educational apps, namely EconomicsFocus Magazine and JC Economics Study, to get a head-start in your preparation for the GCE A Level examinations. These apps contain useful learning tools and resources.

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Skills Workshops

Attend our skills development classes to build up your basics in essay writing and case study answering. Our workshops are productive as we include notes, class discussion and practice sessions to hone your writing techniques.

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Attempt virtual and physical class practices to be ready for the demands of the examinations. We offer a vast archive of practice questions to ensure that you possess the knowledge and skills competency to tackle various questions.

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