1st Year Economics - A Survival Guide

October 9, 2018

Hi all,


My name is Yassmin Ghotb and I am one of the Directors of Events for the 2018-19 year. I’m currently completing my third year of the Management Economics and Finance program. Entering into university, I found that my previous studying and note taking routine needed some tweaking.


Here’s some tips & tricks that helped me survive and thrive in first year economics classes:


Attendance is key to success. Often, concepts that will be covered in your exams will be highlighted by the Professor, being there will allow you to decipher what concepts should definitely be reviewed when studying.


Specific to introductory economics courses, graphs are everything. They’re pertinent to understanding how supply and demand work. So make it easier on yourself, bring coloured pens. Yes, it’s university but they make everything legible and reviewing a breeze!


Stray away from test banks. While they can deliver the answers you need the evening before a due date, quiz questions are often incredibly similar to what you receive on the midterm and exam, and completing the questions can be great preparation!


Create a schedule for required readings. Since you’ll be writing a paper specific to an assigned book, give yourself enough time to get through it, and sticky note important concepts along the way  — it will help when choosing a topic later on. 


SLG sessions. If you have a question, going to work through it with an upper year student that has already seen the problem can stop you from stumbling the next time. They’re constantly available, and can fit in with your schedule!


Alongside that, attend midterm and exam review sessions. There was a time I took them for granted, but often the TA’s will prepare practice tests that mirror the problems you will see on the real thing. 


The material covered in Introductory Micro and Macroeconomics is integrated into many other courses throughout your degree. Try to keep organized notes, and ahold of past tests, as it can be incredibly helpful to review. My notes in these courses have assisted me in many classes since then and I’m thankful I took this approach. 


Succeeding in even the most daunting courses is incredibly attainable. I found that engagement in class, utilizing all resources, and maintaining organization made it possible. 


Yassmin Ghotb

Director of Events, DECA U Guelph 2018-19

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