There is one question that I am expected to answer every time I meet any new prospective student aspiring for MA in economics. *‘I am weak in maths, how do I get better’*, so what do you expect me to answer in this situation. Imagine two situations:

- Imagine a situation, your younger sibling asking you how to prepare for her boards exams as she thinks she is really weak in maths. You would perhaps ask her to practice, practice and do more practice. And yes that’s the solution to your problem of being under confident in Mathematics
- Now imagine a grossly overweight person, asking you how to loose weight? What will be your response?
*Eat less and exercise more*. Simple. The problem is, we human beings have a tendency to make easy things difficult. We want some complex solutions to easy problems. Why? Because that satisfies our ego.

**What to practice?**

MA economics Entrance preparation requires a good knack of maths and in order to develop that you are required to practice. Start practicing questions, spanning from differential calculus to advance calculus and algebra. Practice the following topics for sure

- Differential calculus
- Integral Calculus
- Real analysis
- Linear Algebra
- Optimization

**How much to practice?**

There is no benchmark. You are practicing to gain two things 1) knowledge and 2) confidence.

You can achieve these two things simply by consistently driving yourself to practice 5 questions a day. Sounds easy, but works out to be really hard, and that is because consistency in anything is one of the most difficult things to be achieved, specific to anything in life.

Ask yourself, you might realize consistency is the only little thing that differentiates a hardworking student and an easy going student, apart from their marks of course.

**The questions I practice, will they appear in an exam?**

Absolutely not and do not even expect that.You will surely get a new question in the exam. What you would gain by practice is the will, knowledge, and ability to solve any new question thrown at you on the D-day. This should be the motive of your practice. If you wish to see a ditto question as in the book, there is a serious lack in your motive.

Prepare yourself not to see the same question, but you can expect, may be a similar question or even a new one. Prepare yourself not to be perturbed by seeing a new question but to be able to solve it. Note that questions might be different or slightly twisted but concepts are always same.

My advice to all of you is do not just sit thinking about your weakness, do something about it. If you are weak in maths, start practicing and you will soon find yourself confident in your weak area.

**From where should I start practice? **

**Differential calculus **

- [0] Start solving chapters on differentiation and application of derivatives from Class XII book, RD Sharma
- [0] You can also look at free videos for differential calculus at www.ecopoint.in and differential calculus videos at www.khanacademy.org
- [1] Chapters on single and multiple variable calculus from Hammond

**Integral Calculus**

- [0] Start solving chapters on Integration (Indefinite and definite Integral) and Area of curves from Class XII book, RD Sharma
- [0] You can also look at free videos for integral calculus at www.ecopoint.in and integral calculus videos at www.khanacademy.org
- [1] Chapters on integration from Hammond

**Optimization**

- [0] Your first level basics, in optimization, would have been completed, if you have done the chapters on maxima & minima and increasing/decreasing functions from RD Sharma
- [0] You can also look at free videos for integral calculus at www.ecopoint.in and integral calculus videos at www.khanacademy.org
- [1] Chapters on optimization from Hammond

**Linear Algebra**

- [0] This is generally not done class XII level, but for an introduction sake, please look at the chapters from matrices and determinants from RD Sharma
- [1] Khan Academy have put in excellent set of videos of linear algebra. Please have a look at them at www.khanacademy.org
- [1] Chapters on Linear Algebra from Hammond

**Real Analysis**

- [1] Chapters on Real analysis from Hammond
- [2] Initial two chapters of Bartle and Sherbert

**Are the above enough?**

There is no definite answer to this question. I will answer it in yes and no, both. *Yes*, if you think that you don’t require advanced practice and you can tackle any question on the final day, then this is sufficient. *No,* if you think this paper has gone little beyond basics and you require extra help, then dig deeper into library and find some more advanced level books, which might be helpful to you.

I hope this is helpful to you. Wishing all of you success.

Thanks

Vidhi

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