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EXAM TECHNIQUE

The exam format is specified on the exam question paper. Any information you may be given about
the exam prior to taking it is a general guide only as to what to expect. But the format, how many
questions to answer from which section and so on is as specified on the exam paper. Hence you
must read the instructions closely.

Note too you do not all take the same exam and some do not answer short questions. Some do a combined
paper with micro. Check last year for the structure of your exam.

The following is to help you prepare for exams in general, not just macro and not just this year.

This relates to my part of the exam. Each lecturer has their own preferences.
Leave margins clear for the marker to put the marks clearly and hence make it easier to add the marks
up. DON’T WRITE IN THE MARGINS. Get hold of past exam papers AT THE BEGINNING OF
THE COURSE and this will help you prepare for the exam throughout the course.

http://www.bath.ac.uk/library/exampapers/exam1.php

Model answers to past papers are not given. The objective is to test how well you can deal with
questions from your own abilities, not how well can you remember model answers. Read the rubric
which tells you how many questions to answer from which sections. Allow adequate time to answer
all questions properly. It is much easier to get the first 25% of the marks for any question that the last
25%. Hence allocate your time in accordance with the proportion of marks for that particular question
or part of the question. Do not spend a page and a half on a question which accounts for 2.5% of the
total marks. Take sufficient pens and pencils in with you to last the exam without running out - that is
stupid. Make sure you know where you take the exam and beware often there are several different
venues for the same exam. Make sure you know where you are. Draw diagrams in sufficient size to be
seen and I would draw them well, but freehand, it is not an art contest (other examiners in other
courses may want diagrams drawn more accurately however). Write in sentences and paragraphs. For
essays, the opening paragraph should outline the question being answered and define any times. Each
paragraph should then deal with a specific topic or part of a topic and once dealt with don’t go back
until the conclusion. If you are asked to judge two approaches, specify each approach fairly and
objectively. The conclusion should do more than just summarise the essay it should give added bite.
Again, for example, if you have been asked to evaluate two different positions then do that, say which
you think has most credibility - although in economics its seldom a case of position X being right and
Y wrong, more both are a bit right and even then there is still room for some more explanation. The
critical question is which has greater credibility IN YOUR VIEW. In multiple part questions do not
leave any parts unanswered, GUESS if you have to [I don’t deduct marks for wrong answers]. I would
leave a couple of lines between answers. Then if you think of something later, you can add it there,
rather than writing this at the end of the paper detached from everything else. Just before an exam
most people stand outside the room nervously talking amongst themselves, wasting the most valuable
revision time of all. Then immediately after the exam they start looking up answers to questions they
have answered, in effect revising for the exam they have just taken rather than focusing on the next
one. Both a waste of time and frequently demoralising. In any case students are seldom good judges
of how well/badly they have done in an exam. After an exam, I would go straight to the Library and
immediately begin work on the next exam. Then after two hours of revision with my mind truly
focused on what is to come, I would allow myself some relaxation.

Beware topics may be covered in several lectures. Unemployment for example.

EXAM FORMAT
In general the longer questions on my part of the paper will be essay questions. Look at last year’s
exam paper for a guide as to what you may expect, but with the proviso given above repeated. It is a
guide alone, there may be differences. In a previous year two of the questions I asked were:

I have also previously had a question of the following format: “Answer any TWO of the following
four”, i.e. two mini essays from a choice of 4. I may or may not do that this year. In addition, I may
have more than one part to an essay question.

Note: Exam papers before three years ago followed a different structure.

KEYWORDS/CONCEPTS

These you should know, particularly those doing ES10002 as they form the basis for the short questions. This
does not mean that every short question will relate to something in this list. But it is a good starting point for
revision. Examples of short questions in a previous year (from my part of the course) were:

Practice writing 3 minute answers to these and others.

KEYWORDS
accelerator
adaptive expectations
aid volatility
average and marginal propensities to consume
AS/AD curves
BASEL III
bonds
Business cycle
capital output ratio
closed economy
Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code
Convergence in growth theory
Con/residual adjustment or add factors
creative destruction
Creative destruction
Credit default swaps (cds)
Derivatives
dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model (DSGE)
endogenous growth
error correction model (ECM)
expected inflation.
fiscal policy
fungibility with respect to development aid
GDP - real and nominal
Golden rule
hysteresis with respect to unemployment
Inflation
Kondratief cycle
Lucas critique
Macroprudential regulation
menu costs of inflation
M1, M3.
monetary policy
monetary policy committee
Multiplier accelerator model of the cycle
NAIRU
national income identity
natural rate of unemployment
nominal rate of interest
Phillips curve
price elasticities of import/export demand
price surprise function
Quantitative Easing
quantity theory of money
rational expectations
real business cycle models
real rate of interest
replacement ratio
securitization
shoe leather costs of inflation
structural, frictional, cyclical, seasonal unemployment
short run and the long run
steady state
sovereign debt
sticky wages
sub-prime market
systemic risk
The Taylor Rule
Tier 1 and 2 capital
Tobin tax
Total factor productivity (TFP); Solow Residual
Volker rule

In preparing for these you might collect all the lecture notes in one document and then you can do key word
searches in the document, to help you locate terms.

Going beyond the course:

HOW TO DO RESEARCH: 1 LITERATURE SEARCHES

In google type “google scholar” as a search. You should come up with this page:

http://scholar.google.co.uk/

In the search box type “credit crisis” [putting “ ” limits the results to this phrase rather than just these two words
perhaps not together

You find too much OK, “credit crisis” 2012

Alternatively try a person “Paul Krugman”

Many of the articles that come up you can access there and then. If not go to University home page; Click on
Library then in the space next to search type: economic journal [or the exact journal title]. Choose “journal of
economic perspectives” and follow instructions to access almost any journal paper in any journal.

FINALLY

Go to University home page; click on Library [top left], then economics, then web of science core collection.
You can search for a topic, or an author. One idea might be the two words: [inflation survey] Alternatively go to
citations [click basic search ‘arrow’ and then cited reference search. You can then track down who has cited
which author and what article. Remember not all journals are equal. If you click journal citation reports atop of
the page. Choose JCR social sciences, click [submit] economics, submit. Rank by impact factor.
A good place to look are three journals in particular: Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic
Perspectives and Journal of Economic Surveys. These contain articles of interest which survey the literature and
the first two are of very high quality.
Also REPEC for working papers: http://logec.repec.org/scripts/itemstat.pf?type=redif-paper;sortby=3d

Finally, go back to here go to University home page; click on Library [top left], then economics, then statistics
and data:
Later in your second and final years, you might need access to the data there and as I have been trying to
emphasise throughout this course, there is lots of other data such as Transparency International, IMF country
reports, SIPRI for data on peace and war:

http://www.sipri.org/databases