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Thread: Chemistry or Economics?

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    Chemistry or Economics?

    Hi guys. I'm about to make my subject selections for year 11 2018. The subjects I chose were acc + Ext 1 maths, Adv + Ext 1 English, physics, chemistry and legal. Maths is my favourite and strongest subject. For this reason I decided to pick chemistry, although some people tell me to pick economics and other people say the content for Economics is too heavy and takes too much of your time. I'm sort of stuck between the two. I most probably won't pursue a career in chemistry, and am thinking of going into maths or finance, but I just want the highest ATAR possible for me. Also the syllabus for chemistry is changing as I've heard.
    Any advice?

    Plus I have loads of resources for chemistry as my sister also did chemistry for her HSC in 2013.

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Well, do you enjoy chemistry/science in general? Or do you reckon you'd be more interested in the business/commerce geared subjects? I did 3u maths and 3u English too at one point, and trust me, the workload is so much already that you cannot afford to carry the burden of having to perform well in a subject you despise. For me, while economics is extremely content heavy, I find it really enjoyable so it's not bad at all. I also chose biology, which I knew I'd hate, but somehow I convinced myself I would eventually like it during subject selections and I regret it SO much. I am an academically rigorous student in all other subjects (85+), but I literally got an overall mark of 30-40 in biology because I hate science, which leads to a lack of motivation to study. So, I hope that gives you an insight into the nature of your decisions, because if you don't make the right choice, you'll have to bear that weight for, what seems like, AGES. It doesn't matter if you have insurmountable resources or none at all, it ultimately just boils down to your own passions and whether you'd enjoy them. Good luck!


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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Hi!,

    I can totally relate. I do both chemistry and economics and I found them both enjoyable! Tbh, I prefer chemistry > economics only because it is a balance between theory and mathematical applications (mainly stoichiometry - which is ratios of reactants and products; and equations). From your perspective, if you are contemplating on a maths/ finance career, definitely choose economics because it not only helps with finance, the content in prelim is the foundation to HSC economics. HSC economics is when the practical application comes in - you will need to apply your knowledge in prelim to the Australian economy. In prelim eco, preparing notes for your yearlies can be very time-consuming and its hard work, but just as long as you write your notes along as you go in the course and implement effective study techniques, then I think you'll do fine. Although econ is content-heavy, there are also calculations as well (since you like maths, maybe economics is the right subject for you). Chemistry isn't difficult if you practice calculations and understand the theory very well. I enjoyed Chemistry because the topics are interesting.

    When it comes to choosing either chemistry and economics, choose the subject that you will enjoy and that will help you in your future career and don't choose a subject solely on many resources on the Internet. There are plenty of resources for economics on the internet as well! Its also best to make your own notes as you will retain information whilst writing/ typing it and you will understand your own notes better. Both Economics and Chemistry scale the same, but according to the A3 table from UAC (2015), economics scales slightly better than Chem if you do well. Both of these subjects aren't easy but if you are willing to put in the effort, then you will have a better outcome. One last tip - make sure you read the syllabus to see if you enjoy the topics learned across the 2 years.

    Hope this helps!
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    Junior Member Sp3ctre's Avatar
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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    If your strongest subject is maths, I would recommend going with chemistry since the new syllabus is going involve a lot more calculations, so being good at maths gives you a big advantage there. Physics and chemistry also complement each other quite well. Ultimately it's your decision, but imo chemistry would be a better combination with your other subjects
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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    I don't recommend picking chemistry based on the fact that the exams involve a few straightforward and slightly tedious additions and multiplications.

    I'm a maths-based person (did extension 2 during the HSC and currently studying B. Science (Advanced Maths)/B. Arts), and I personally found HSC economics far more enjoyable than HSC chemistry. You should pick chemistry if you are a science (not maths) based person. If you are considering finance at uni, then economics makes the most sense.

    Economics has quite a bit of content, but the content itself is (in my opinion) easier than chemistry. I personally did less work for HSC economics than HSC chemistry, and still did better in economics.

    If you're worried about your ATAR, economics scales pretty well (it did better for my ATAR than chemistry).

    I recommend trying at least trying economics out (if I remember correctly, you can still modify your subjects during the first few weeks of Year 11). Because you know what chemistry is going to be like, but you've never taken any kind of economics before.

    But in the end, it all depends on you.

    Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Bachelor of Arts II, USYD

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    This is exactly what's confusing. Half the people said chemistry, whereas the other half said economics. Why do the subjects have to be this neck and neck. I'm leaning more towards economics, but that means for the HSC I have to write four essays for legal, four essays for English and 2 essays for economics - 10 in total. Obviously this shouldn't let me down from choosing a subject. I just hope I can balance the workload and maintain a healthy physical and mental state.

    Thanks for all the replies guys! Each one significantly helps me in different ways.

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    Senior Member sida1049's Avatar
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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovecarrots View Post
    This is exactly what's confusing. Half the people said chemistry, whereas the other half said economics. Why do the subjects have to be this neck and neck. I'm leaning more towards economics, but that means for the HSC I have to write four essays for legal, four essays for English and 2 essays for economics - 10 in total. Obviously this shouldn't let me down from choosing a subject. I just hope I can balance the workload and maintain a healthy physical and mental state.

    Thanks for all the replies guys! Each one significantly helps me in different ways.
    Don't worry too much about the economics essays. For English and possibly Legal, memorisation is an important aspect to doing well in those essays, but not for HSC economics. When it comes to economics, it's all about understanding the content, and the logic behind economic theory. So even if during your HSC exam, you see an economics essay question you've never seen before (which is extremely rare, since they're almost always very broad), you can apply your economics thinking to write up a 35-minute essay and still do well. It's a really intuitive subject.

    Good luck!
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    Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Bachelor of Arts II, USYD

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    I do both Chemistry and Economics, at the end of the day I prefer Economics over chemistry just because I personally find the content more interesting. I don't know how different the new syllabuses are from the one we're currently doing, but I heard that it's a lot more calculations/maths based, back to basics sort of thing. What they mean by back to basics is essentially just cutting out some of the stuff I found to be somewhat redundant (history behind a theory, contributions by particular scientists to society, etc.) .

    There really isn't that much maths in economics, but quite a lot in chem. So if you really like calculations, maybe go with Chem. Otherwise, if you find economic theory interesting, go with economics. It's really up to personal interests/capabilities.
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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillininthefridge View Post
    I do both Chemistry and Economics, at the end of the day I prefer Economics over chemistry just because I personally find the content more interesting.
    Do you find economics to be more time consuming?
    Did you do any exams for economics and chemistry yet? What were the differences between the exams?

    Thanks a lot!

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovecarrots View Post
    Do you find economics to be more time consuming?
    Did you do any exams for economics and chemistry yet? What were the differences between the exams?

    Thanks a lot!
    Im going into yr 12 next term so i've completed all the prelim exams. To be honest, because i was a much bigger fan of eco than chem, i naturally just spent more time on the subject i liked best (economics).

    Objectively though, i would say in terms of effort and workload, chem requires more effort than economics. This is because for the chem exams, not only do you have to know the theory, you have to do calculations, memorise all your pracs (you don't get tild which one is examined).
    The practice calculations by themselves take up nearly as much time as learning all the content. Conversely, eco in prelim is pretty much just memorising content then applying that content to whatever scenario or question they give you.

    In eco examinations there are 1. Multiple Choice 2. Short Answer 3. Two Essays (at least for prelim)
    In chem exams there are 1. Multiple choice 2.Short answer (includes calculations, knowledge/theory based questions and 'societal/historical questions which are presumbly not going to be in your new syllabus) 3. scientific skills section: involves graphing, drawing scientific diagrams, asking you about pracs you've done in class or just random pracs; they ask for reliability, validity, accuracy, best method, etc.


    That being said i cant give u much more advice since im on the old syllabus. But ive heard that the new chem syllabus is much more like A level Chemistry (chemistry for kids in England) and Ap chem in america..


    It really depends on what you feel most confident in when it comes to which exam you will find easiest. Neither are 'easy' but if u are better at essay writing than calculations then u may find economics relatively easy.

    Sorry for this really long answer, but if you want more info. search on youtube: thatstudentlifeaustralia new syllabus.
    Last edited by chillininthefridge; 29 Sep 2017 at 12:09 AM.

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Thanks for your replies. I heard that you need chemistry for later physics. What sort of chemistry do you need?

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    I didn't take Eco but I did take Chemistry and I had a little peek at the new syllabus material from Matrix (lol)
    From what I saw, there are alot more calculations than long responses about the environment and whatnot
    Imo, I would take chem because I do know that Eco is heavy in content and mainly because 3u Eng is also timeconsuming in some ways.

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    I switched between the two about 7 times now. Argh my life. Anybody else think I should do chemistry over economics?

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    As a humanities person I recommend Economics. I didn't do Economics but I have covered an aspect of it (pretty much the economic cycle - I did cover economics in year 10 Commerce though) in Business Studies. I have done Chemistry and from my experience it wasn't too enjoyable. If anything by the end of the exam block I detested it with a passion I could write an essay about it for English. THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE THOUGH. Seriously, I'm a humanities person but for some crazy reason Mathematics got in the mix (undertaking Extension 2 Maths this year) - which I'm not complaining about as I enjoy Maths.

    The syllabus for Chemistry is changing with more calculations so it could be very advantageous for you as you are talented with Maths. However, like sida1049 stated if you're a science based person do give it a go because being a science based person is a bit different to being a Maths based person. You stated you don't want to persue a career with Chemistry when you are older so maybe select Economics instead. The good thing is that you have a few weeks to change out of your subjects, if you find you don't like Economics you can always change into Chemistry.

    MAJOR TIP: Ask the Chemistry teacher (if you know who it is otherwise ask the Science coordinator) and the Economics teacher (if you know who it is otherwise ask the HSIE coordinator) about the number of Band 6s achieved in each subject and about the workload/content involved with each subject to give you a mindset of what each course would be like.

    Good luck.

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    Re: Chemistry or Economics?

    Economic also scales better then Chemistry. However, you'd probably be better off considering how your school typically performs in the HSC exams for the respective subjects.
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