IAQ: Am I actually expected to come to class?

ANS: Students are invited to attend class. They are, however, responsible for the material presented in class, some of which is neither in the textbook nor on the course website. If you plan not to come to class or if you think you are likely to fall into the habit of not coming to class, then this section of ECON 2030 is not for you. 

IAQ: Do I need to be good at math to do well in this class?

ANS: You need only be competent at high-school algebra to keep the math from being an obstacle to your doing well in the class.  You should be able to see the relationship between the graph of a straight line and the corresponding equation.  You should be able to evaluate an algebraic expression and solve a simple linear equation. To check your math skills, simply take this four-problem test.

IAQ: Can I use some textbook other than the one assigned for the course?

ANS: It is highly recommended that you use the ninth edition of Karl E. Case, Ray C. Fair, and Sharon M. Oster's Principles of Macroeconomics. Having to guess which chapters in some other textbook are relevant and having to deal with some other author's mode of presentation would be an unnecessary and easily avoidable disadvantage.

IAQ: Should I purchase notes from some commercial note-taking service?

ANS: Save your money. Many students have told me that they spent $12.00 for notes and that the notes didn't do them any good. The best notes are the ones that you take--because they remind you of what you saw and heard in class. 

FAQ: Should I dump the PowerPoint files to my printer?

ANS: No. The PowerPoint files are best used for review in the RUN SHOW mode. Much of the instruction comes in the dynamics built into the slides or in the transitions from one slide to the next. If you want a hard copy of some of the slides, print very selectively. Also, some students like to print three or six slides per page for taking notes in class.

FAQ: Are old exams available for study purposes?

ANS: Undoubtedly, students will find copies of old ECON 2030 exams. However, the organization of the course material and much of the substance of the course has changed with the adoption of a different textbook and in light of the recent turbulance in the macroeconomy. Hence, the old exams are not faithful reflections of the current course material.

FAQ: Are there any extra-credit assignments or special projects that will let me pull my grade above the next grade break?

ANS: No such opportunities can be offered to one student without their being offered to all. Further, deviating from the syllabus in matters of grade determination can be a basis for formal action against the professor  (typically by a student whose grade was almost-but-not-quite affected by the deviation). Although there is no extra credit available, there is extra weighting on the final exam. The opportunity to leverage your grade upward by performing well on the final is spelled out in the syllabus: If your final-exam score is higher than the average of  your scores for the two one-hour exams, it automatically counts for half of your course grade. 

FAQ: Is the final exam comprehensive? (This is the all-time MFAQ.)

ANS: Yes, the final exam covers all the material presented during the semester. The final exam is the same as the one-hour exams in terms of length and format: 33 multiple-choice questions. The questions covering the early parts of the semester will not be identical to those appearing on the one-hour exams. About a third of the final (10 or 12 questions) will pertain to the material covered after the second one-hour exam.