Hacks for the Toughest Econ Module: Econometrics (EC226) – OurWarwick

Hacks for the Toughest Econ Module: Econometrics (EC226)

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to hold the keys to a subject that takes at least a few years and hundreds upon hundreds of hours to master, but I will do my best to provide you with the most 80/20 leveraged advice ensuring you can achieve more success with less time in what I think is the toughest Economics module at Warwick.

Key takeaways from this post.

  • Make and keep refining crib sheets
  • Dominate past papers (and integrate them into your crib sheets)
  • Start early… very early.

This advice concerns the theory side of the course, as opposed to the STATA code & group project (which is big enough for another post and at most takes up 20% of the course weighting).

You may think that it’s a bit early to be giving an incoming 2nd-year student Econometrics advice but the advice I would have told my past self is freshest now, so hopefully, it will be more thorough. By the way, Econometrics took 40% of my total study time, despite only being 25% of my module allocation and I wish I had even more time so you can see how essential applying such hacks to this module is.

Without further ado, here is the advice I know would have saved me many hours of stress for one of the toughest Economics modules in the Warwick Economics department.

[1] Make crib sheets.

A crib sheet is a 1-page styled summary of a major topic condensing the most exam-oriented processes needed to help you succeed in the exam. I advise beginning the creation of these crib sheets as early as possible. Create your first round of crib sheets based on questions practice and then use the lecture notes to make your crib sheets even more robust.

The earlier you begin crib sheet creation, the quicker you can move around the feedback loop of seeing what works, what’s clear and what needs remaking. I guarantee that only about 20% of the crib sheet pages I made were useful and if I had more time, or started this process earlier, I could have taken those summary notes to the next level. Crib sheets are all about replacing the old to make things even more concise.

[2] Dominate past papers.

Year 2 Econometrics may be one of the toughest Economics modules out there, but it is equally one of the best when it comes to resources both in the number of past papers available and the solutions, plus forums available alongside those solutions. Also, if you post a question on the forum, be ready for an exceptionally fast reply from the Head of Economics who I bet has answered more forum questions on the EC226 page than any other university lecturer across the country.

I found most of my learning came from completing the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 paper; and you’ll even have the 2021 paper (warning: do not take the 2021 paper at an emotional low point). The issue is that you may be tempted to revise content, then do past papers a couple of weeks before the exam. Do not do this. Front-load your preparation with past papers first, then target reinforcing your understanding when needed, and after completing the papers.

[3] Start early.

Didn’t I mention start early above? I firmly believe it deserves emphasis. If I could go back in time, as soon as that February multiple choice test worth 15% was completed, I wish I had begun summer exam past papers. Then using the revision live lectures and past papers, I would have formed solution crib sheets that would have given me ample time to condense and reform ahead of Easter.

Do not worry about ‘running out of practice material’. In my opinion, learning the solutions for all the previous past papers off by heart would put you in a massively advantaged position compared to ‘testing what you already know’. Testing what you already know only to realise you haven’t prepared for the complexity of the summer exam is painful and should be avoided through early preparation.

Do the past papers and revision lecture questions at least twice and base your crib sheets on these solutions.

And remember that the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.

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