Econometrics is the most difficult course for Economics majors. These tips should help you triumph over your Econometrics test. If you can ace Econometrics, you can pass any Economics course.
Time Required: As Little Time As Possible
- Find out the material covered on the test! Econometrics tests tend to be either mainly theory or mainly computational. Each one should be studied differently.
- Find out if you'll be allowed to have a formula sheet for the exam. Will one be provided for you, or will you be able to bring your own "cheat sheet" of econometric and statistical formulas?
- DO NOT wait until the night before to create an econometrics cheat sheet. Create it as you're studying, and use it when you're solving practice problems, so you'll be very familiar with your sheet.
- Have a legible and organized econometrics cheat sheet. On a stressful test you don't want to be searching for a term or trying to decipher writing. This is critical for tests with time limits.
- Make songs to help you remember definitions. It's silly, but it works! [sings] Correlation is covariance over the product of their deviations. I make little drum beats with my thumb (seriously).
- MOST IMPORTANT: If assigned practice problems, DO THEM! Most econometrics test questions are quite similar to suggested questions. Students score at least 20% better by doing them in my experience.
- Try to get old econometrics exams from exam banks, libraries, or former students. These are particularly useful if the same economics professor has taught the course for many years.
- Talk to former students of the course. They'll know the examination style of the professor, and may be able to provide useful tips. Find out if his tests are "from the book" or "from the lectures".
- Try to make your study environment as similar as possible to the econometrics test situation. If you drink coffee while studying see if you can have a coffee in the exam room or have some right before.
- If your test is in the morning, study in the morning if possible. Being comfortable with a situation will prevent you from panicking and forgetting what you've learned.
- Try to figure out what questions the professor could ask, then answer them. You'd be surprised how often your guesses are correct. There are only so many different econometrics questions.
- DO NOT pull an all nighter and cheat yourself out of sleep. The extra hours of sleep will help you more than a couple hours of cramming. You need all your strength to slay the econometrics demon!
- Don't study the hour before the test. It never works and it will just get you nervous. Do what you can to stay relaxed. I find playing a video game helps me, but find something that works for you.
- When you get the test, read all the questions first, and answer the one you think is easiest immediately. That will put you in a positive frame of mind for the other questions.
- Don't spend too much time on one question. Feel free to skip a part of a question and go on to something else. I've seen too many good students unnecessarily run out of time.
- Sometimes it will seem impossible to find a piece of information you need, but you can do it if you're a little creative. If you need to get the standard error, you can do it if you know the t-stat.
- Wear layered clothing because you never know how hot or cold the room will be. I usually wear a sweater with a t-shirt under it, so I can take the sweater off if the room is warm.
- Don't program formulas into your calculator if you're not allowed to. We often notice and it's not worth getting kicked out of school for. Cheat is common in econometrics, so profs watch for it.
- The time you spend on a question should be proportional to the percentage of marks it is worth. Don't spend a lot of time on small questions!
- Don't get too upset with yourself if you don't do well. Sometimes it just isn't your day. Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan lost 294 games, so don't worry if you "lose" a test on occasion.
What You Need
- calculator (if allowed)
- cheat sheet (if allowed)
- a confident attitude