UOL Students, your TIME is NOW!

Hi UOL peeps!

On behalf of Team Quickienomics, we hope that 2014 (and the year of the horse for our Chinese friends) has been a good year for you so far, especially the awesome times during the festive periods of Christmas and the New Year celebrations. As Quickienomics progresses with you later into the academic year, we believe that for every single UOL student, like yourself, – Your Time is Now!

The University of London International Programme EMFSS final exams are just around the corner, which, from the date of writing, the first paper is approximately 3 months away.

Here are some of the key dates for first-year UOL students:

  1. 2 May 2014 – Introduction to Economics
  2. 6 May 2014 – Principles of Accounting
  3. 9 May 2014 – Mathematics 1
  4. 14 May 2014 – Statistics 1
  5. 14 May 2014 – Principles of Sociology
  6. 16 May 2014 – Principles of Banking & Finance
  7. 19 May 2014 – Introduction to Business Management

While these dates may seem incredibly near and crunch time starts creeping in, we believe that this is the best time to begin your revision for the final exams because we are rejuvenated from the great festive break and new year resolutions have been set. This should be the point of time where our motivation level is the highest. If you have not been studying for the past 3 months, fret not. It is not too late to begin and the time to begin is now. 

Let’s consider some statistics for the past years’ performances from UOL students around the world, more specifically, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. We will be focusing on 3 key units: Introduction to Economics, Mathematics 1, and Statistics 1. These are the 3 units that almost all UOL students will have to take.



Passing Rate

Average Mark

People who sat for exam

Introduction to Economics









Mathematics 1









Statistics 1









Note: Year 2011-2012 was the year when UOL changed the passing mark from 34 to 40.

So, what do these statistics mean?

Let’s take a look at Introduction to Economics first. There has always been word going around that the failure rate for Intro to Econs is one of the highest in UOL history. Well, it’s pretty much true. Check out year 2010-2011, where the passing rate was at 57%. Students logged an average mark of 33.73, which means that if you got the average mark, you would have failed the exam by 0.27 marks. A pity! 43% of the candidates that failed probably got very low marks to bring the average down to such a level. Surveying some of the candidates that took the Intro to Econs exam that year,

  1. 78% said that the syllabus was too wide, hence there was just too much to study
  2. 82% said that they could not understand each topic well enough to overcome the ever-changing question style in exams
  3. A staggering 94% said that they wished they could have started studying much earlier

Moving on to year 2011-2012, this was the year where UOL increased the passing mark from 34 to 40. Despite this, the passing rate climbed to 62%. So, if you were in a group of 5 friends, 3 of you might make it. The average mark grew to 41.0, which means if you got the average mark, you would have passed the exam by just 1 point. A very, very small margin. Again, surveying the students that took the Intro to Econs exam that year produced very similar sentiments, as shown in the 3 points above.

While Mathematics 1 and Statistics 1 show reasonable passing rates for the 2 years, imagine the amount of time students could have used to push up their grades for these 2 units if they could afford it. The average marks of 52.1 (Math 1) and 47.7 (Stats 1) in year 2011-2012 are C and D grades respectively. 73% of UOL first-year students reported that Intro to Econs took up too much of their study time, leaving them with insufficient hours to work on the other units.

These statistics can be found on:

Here’s another set of interesting information you might want to look at. The chart below shows the different number of years students take to complete the UOL program:

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 5.38.00 pm

There is a significant number of students who take more than 3 years to complete their UOL program, which should take only 3 years if one is studying full-time. Let’s take a look at the costs, as of year 2014, for an undergraduate enrolling for a UOL program under the BSc Standard Entry route in a private institution that provides lectures and classes:

Estimated Overall Fees (Institution and UOL Fees)

Singapore Dollars

Year 1


Year 2


Year 3


Total for 3 years or 12 units


That gives us an average of $2,125 per unit. The cost of education is really high if you considered the following costs you incur on top of $25,500:

  • Textbooks and notes – Textbooks and notes would cost you at least $100 per unit
  • Opportunity costs – You could have found a job and made a salary or started a business venture, etc. Your opportunity costs would then be how much money you could have made in 3 years. This adds up to a lot of money

Let’s ignore travel and food expenses since they are sunk costs. You would have to travel and eat if you were to do something else instead of pursuing your studies.

So, here’s a simple message from the performance statistics and costs of pursuing a UOL degree:

To minimize the costs of your education, maximize your academic grades, and get a degree that gets you your dream job…

… You simply have to just start revising for your exams now.

And that is why, UOL students, your TIME is NOW! Remember the 94% of UOL students that said they wished they started studying earlier? Majority of them agreed that the best time to start ramping up their pace is in the beginning of February.


3 simple reasons:

  1. If you study under a UOL affiliate centre, the prelims are just around the corner. This is a great time for you to test what you know. You MUST sit for the prelims for this reason. Knowing what topics you are strong and weak in will help you greatly in allocating your efforts in an optimal way.
  2. There are at least 3 months more to the exams, which is about 12 weeks or 72 days (That’s if you studied for 6 days a week). Assuming you have 4 units, that means an average of 3 weeks or 18 days per unit, which is sufficient. You could work on one unit for 2 to 3 days before moving onto the next unit, so on and so forth.
  3. Your friends have probably started studying and revising for the prelims and finals. Studying in groups will greatly benefit everyone. Students that need help can seek their friends, and friends that teach or help will benefit from doing so. Teaching is one of the best ways to become great at what you do.

Before you rush to your books and start to hack away at notes to achieve your goals, I have one last tip!

For every concept you encounter, whether it’s a topic in Intro to Econs, Maths 1 or Stats 1, simply try asking “why” five times.

For example, my lecturer used to tell us that when government spending increased, the IS curve will shift right. I asked, “Why does the IS curve shift right?” She said that well that’s because an increase in government spending would result in higher GDP, hence an equilibrium in the ISLM should show a higher income. So, I asked, “Why does increasing government spending increase the GDP?” At this point, my lecturer introduced me the Keynesian Cross Diagram. I then asked, “Why is Aggregate Expenditure equal to Income?” “Why does the Aggregate Expenditure curve shift up when G increases?” “Why is there a 45 degree line in the Keynesian Cross diagram?”

I might have annoyed my lecturer to a little extent, but I got what I needed. I not only understood the concept very well, it help me remember what I learned!

“Why” is a very powerful question. Check out this video to learn about the power of “Why”.

So, UOL students, this is simple.

There is no better time for you to start your revision now. Go borrow or buy textbooks for your units and read the important parts. Think critically about your lecture notes and clarify all your doubts by asking “why”. Form study groups and motivate your friends to be there all the time. Start printing those past year exam papers and practice, practice, practice!

UOL students, Your TIME is NOW!

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Author: admin


  1. Claire says:

    Thank you so much :)!

  2. anna says:

    Hi there. Would like to know if you study notes that you wrote in your own words for exams or u study word for word material provided from school and lectures. Thanks.