ISI conducts its entrance in April and has two papers:
- Paper 1: Focuses on Mathematics and Statistics
- Paper 2: Focuses on Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Paper 1: The first step in preparing for any entrance is to go through the past year papers (you can access it from http://www.isid.ac.in/~pu/academics.html). For this section of ISI entrance, you may realize that ISI focuses on 11th and 12th class mathematics. Therefore, the first step in going about this section is to brush up on your school level concepts. I would further recommend readers to take up some Engineering entrance preparation book and solve questions from there. Do not go to IIT level questions, just focus on AIEEE kind of questions. Students may also see the past years of BSc Math entrance conducted by ISI. An excellent reference book is “TEST OF MATHEMATICS AT THE 10+2 LEVEL” published by Affiliated East-West Press Pvt. Limited. It is a collection of past 20yrs B.Stat Entrance questions which are very similar to the ones asked in MSQE entrance.
The key to clearing this section is having the concepts clear and focusing on solving as many types of questions as possible.
For Statistics, I would recommend SC Gupta and V.K.Kapoor’s book on Mathematical Statistics. This book has many questions on Probability and they are of the level asked in ISI entrance.
Paper 2: Microeconomics shall be studied from Intermediate Economics by Hal Varian and some concepts from Pindyck and Rubenfield. After getting hold of the concepts, make sure that you do the relevant chapters from Workbook, Varian. The questions that are asked in ISI entrance again target on the basics. So keep your concepts clear and for that practice as many practical questions as you can. Do not waste time in mugging up some formula. ISI focuses on how well you understand concepts and not on how well you can mug up.
If you have completed the Workbook and pretty confident about it then I would suggest you to do questions from MIT open courseware.
Just look at different microeconomic courses and see which ones ask concepts that you have done from Varian and Pindyck & Rubenfield. You may go through the lecture notes as well, they are good. I would suggest you to focus on solved assignments than go through the unsolved ones. And to have a stronger grip on the concepts, do solve all the DSE past years question papers.
For Macroeconomics, again, concepts are very important. Go through Dornbusch and Fischer for the same. Mankiw Macroeconomics is good as well. Last year, ISI had asked a question on macroeconomic modeling. If you have time, you may go through ‘Macroeconomic Theory and Policy’ by William Branson for the same. It will help you in DSE preparation as well. Moreover, try the macroeconomics questions from DSE past years. The question that was asked in ISI last year was somewhat similar to the kind of macroeconomics questions asked in DSE. Another recommended, albeit a little elementary, is Schaum series Macroeconomics. I found the growth models done well in it. You may complement Growth models from Mankiw with Schaum series one. A question on growth model (essentially Solow) is quite likely.
Cut off: I believe the cut-off in maths n stats section could have been around 22-23/30. Actually, it depends on the difficulty level of the paper. If you see 2008 paper, this section was quite easy and hence the cut-off would have been higher. For Micro, Macro section, my suggestion would be to target to attempt 80% of the questions.
Note: For students who did their graduation from non-DU college shall take up DU syllabus of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics taught in 2nd year (can access at http://econdse.org/ba09.pdf)
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