VWL2 advice: for students by students

In preparation for the new semester, the department asked highly successful VWL2 (Macroeconomics) students for their advice for new VWL2 students. Here is what they said:

"The key to success in the macroeconomics class is to understand in depth the models discussed in class. Once understood with all their details, you will be able to apply them in almost any case – exactly what you need to do in the exam. Attendance in the lecture and exercise course will help a lot and the book is a good supplement."

"First of all, it is really helpful to join the exercise sessions in order to know how to apply theories, graphs and figures, which is the main task in the exam. It is useful to prepare yourself before the classes and deal with the topics on your own to get a full understanding of the subject and to be able to follow up during class. If you have trouble with scientific terms or the understanding in general, it helped me to look these things up (in my native language) in the book "Makroökonomie" from Blanchard and Illing.

Furthermore, you can find some learning groups to support each other and never hesitate to ask Alan Piper any question. It is not enough to just be present in class and learn everything by heart. For a good grade in the exam you should truly understand the mechanisms of macroeconomics and should be able to adopt the models.

I hope this might help you and have fun with macroeconomics! :)"

"My personal advice is to participate in class discussions. That way, you can make sure that you are really thinking about the concepts and understanding them, rather than just passively listening to what you are being taught. Another thing I found helpful was working on ‘exam-like’ questions on my own and later explaining my answers to friends."

And two students (who both achieved the best grade possible) collaborated in offering the following:

"To be successful in VWL II, it is rather important to always attend classes, especially the practical courses as you will practice the calculation of arithmetical problems, which will be important in the exam. Furthermore, it is essential to participate in the lectures as it helps you memorize the connection between certain events as well as the reasons for the shifts of certain graphs or curves.

Of course - in the end – it is much to learn by heart but without knowing the correlations between certain events – which you will learn about in class – it will most certainly not be possible to achieve a good grade in the exam. The best is to write down Alan Piper’s reasoning for certain shifts, practice different scenarios of when and why certain curves may shift and why others don’t, and to put special emphasis on the mathematical problems if you’re having trouble with that. Also, read the material and maybe study with a friend or in a group as repeated talking about certain events will help you memorize them."

The department particularly emphasises the need for attendance and pro-active studying outside of class. We thank the students who have offered their advice, and hope that new students will take it on board, and enjoy the course. Good luck!