MSc Quantitative Economics entrance: Indian Statistical Institute

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 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.

For more information on ISI, see here. Details on eligibility criteria, syllabus etc. can be found here

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 atΒ

If anyone has any query about ISI MSQE entrance , you may leave a comment on this entry. For queries in other entrances (JNU,DSE), put your comments in the respective blog entry.Β Please note that the comments are approved before being posted on the website so please don’t post your comments multiple times. Questions that have been already answered in the blog or in the comments will not be approved.

259 thoughts on “MSc Quantitative Economics entrance: Indian Statistical Institute”

  1. Hey thanks for all the info…i wanna know if Hal Varian is not available would Modern Microeconomics by Koutsoyiannis be alright? I noticed that most of the topics from 2009 Micro syllabus of MSQE entrance is available in Koutsoyiannis.
    Also in the math section is trigonometry or trigonometric functions included? They have never been mentioned specifically in any of the past four years syllabus.
    Also the syllabus they provide with the hall ticket, should we take it as it is, will there be questions from outside the topics mentioned?

    1. I have not heard of Koutsoyiannis microeconomics. However, if you have comfortably been able to solve the Workbook by Varian, past years of ISI and DSE, thats good enough.
      You are not required to do trignometry in maths.
      It is suggested to just focus on the syllabus, it is quite exhaustive in itself.

      All the best..! πŸ™‚

  2. alrightÒ€¦so what would be the best way to get past DSE papers? oh and thanks…since I can’t put ‘thanks’ as a single comment πŸ™‚

  3. The information here is great. can u help me with come coaching classes as well. i m now put in Pune. I m an ISI aspirant. There is no help available here.

    1. Hi Surabhi. If you have gone through all the material suggested in this blog, I do not think you require any coaching. What exactly are you looking for in coaching? And in which year you would be giving ISI entrance?

  4. I s intermediate Microeconomics by Varian sufficient for ISI, DSE entrance exam preparation.

    Does the WorkBook by Varian contain microeconomics problems with solutions.Is this book readily available in all the metro cities across India.

    1. Intermediate Microeconomics by Varian is sufficient for clearing the concepts. For understanding market structure section, I found Pindyck and Rubenfield better. Note that for these entrances, having clear concepts is the first step. And often practicing questions of different types help you get hold of it. So solve as many questions as you can from the workbook (you should do it completely!), DSE and ISI past years.
      Workbook shall be available in all the metro cities. It is certainly available in Delhi.

  5. Riju, great work with the blog. Great info onboard with overall pleasant aesthetics. Much thanks!
    just wondering- Any word on IGIDR? How’s their MSc Econ program and some pointers towards their entrance exams?
    and if I may, can I connect to you through the mail?


    1. Hi Sutirtha! IGIDR is good. I think I will rank it 3rd or 4th. The USP of IGIDR is I guess its placements. As far as prep for IGIDR entrance is concerned, it is much like CAT, albeit easier I suppose! Apart from English, they ask questions on statistics and mathematics. I would suggest you to brush up 11th and 12th class Mathematics course for Mathematics section. For Statistics, Fundamentals of Statistics by SC Gupta would do.
      You can surely contact me on mail. I have sent you an email from my account. πŸ™‚
      All the best!

  6. Is the title of the Work book u r referring to : ” Workouts in Intermediate Microeconomics” authored by Hal R. Varian ? is 7th edition of the book is latest ?


    Aparajita Niyogi

    1. @Aparajita: Yes, thats the book.
      @Archit: 1. DSE 2. IGIDR 3. ISI/JNU
      @Khushboo: I am sorry, I have no clue about MSc Statistics. The blog entry is for MSc Quantitative Economics only..

  7. hi nice to see ur blog..
    if u could just mention all the colleges that offers MA with their respective ranks in terms of placements,,, i wud be really thankful…

  8. thankx for nice piece of information.

    i am pursuing my Bsc in statistics 1st year from Hindu College,Du.
    i put up in Delhi and there is no guide for me which may help me to get through the preparation of Msc stats from ISI. i m strong in statistics and z scoring very good marks..i have also knowledge of 2nd and 3rd year stats and prob as i read many a book in stats includin Sheldon Ross which i found very interesting. i dont read the Sc gupta book just to get my 1st year result but ihave done almost whole of this particular book . i am very passionate about stats but i m not getting what shud i read to get through Msc. i want to du stats till phd. i read every book available in my library regarding prob and stats too…

    anD really thanks alot for such a nice blog..

  9. Riju,

    Can u mention the level and extent of mathematics and statistics i need to practice for DSE,ISI, IGIDR and JNU entrance exam?

    How is the book on mathematics by A.C.Chiang for practising?

    1. @Aparajita: All the entrances have different level of Mathematics and Statistics. Read my blog entry on JNU and ISI to know the level of Maths and Statistics asked in these papers. IGIDR focuses on 11th and 12th Maths. As for DSE, i shall write an entry on DSE soon, so keep checking!

  10. Hi Riju. This is reply to your post on 26th march. I would be giving entrance next year i.e. May 2011. I m looking coaching for economics part, atleast for doubt clearances.

    1. @Surabhi: First you need to understand that for MA Economics entrance prep, the most important factor is self study+a good friend circle interested in preparing for the same. I would give 80% importance to it.
      I had attended some classes of “vibhas” for MA prep, he came out to be totally bogus. I had joined Eco point solely for DSE which was much better. But at ecopoint you may feel lost if you do not know the basics. You may decide to come to Delhi for coaching but your aim should be to form a good study circle at these institutes than learning from the teachers there. Self study is the key!!

  11. Hi Riju,

    First of all, congratulations for your wonderful blog. I must say its an informative one.
    Riju, could you please connect me on my mail as I need to ask a few queries.
    I would appreciate your help.

    1. @ Himanshu: If it is something general, I will appreciate if you put your queries here as it would benefit all the readers.
      @ Aparajita: It will take some time, got exams till 15th April πŸ™ Shall make it soon though!

  12. Riju,

    I am longing to see ur blog on DSE.

    When r u going to write it ?

    I am sure it will help me to a great extent.


    Aparajita Niyogi

  13. hi riju,

    i think you may be annoyed by this post. And, you are free to delete this. But, i’m just serving a primary function of spreading knowledge.
    I’ll be glad if you can share this below link in your blog-

    its really useful for the maths part.. You may go through it first.. You are not obliged to share’s your wish.. but it has helped many around the world… i’m not a seller but just somebody who likes to spread knowledge…

    Cheers !

  14. Hi Riju,

    I am into IT from last 3 yrs and now planning to do post graduation.
    So,my first query is, will it be possible for me to understand the concepts thoroughly as I am from completely different background and also how much time is sufficent for an individual like me to crack the exam. I am planning to write the exam next year and I know its better to start early, however, I just need to get an idea how much efforts do I need to put into πŸ™‚

    My second query is :What kind of job prospects are there after completing the Masters from ISI/DSE. and also what would be the career paths after graduating in economics or in quantitaive finance.
    Will the career paths be different in both the courses. Please suggest.


    1. Answering your second question first, ISI and DSE have different approach towards economics. If you are aiming for placements in banks (Citi, ICICI, Amex etc), I-bank like Nomura, then DSE should be THE choice. However, if you wish to pursue PhD in Economics, and you are sure about it, aim for ISI.

      It shall not be challenging for you to crack DSE entrance given that the number of seats is nearly 150 for all categories. The first step for you is to go through the syllabus of BA Economics of DU. I have given a link for the same in my blog. Start from Microeconomics and Macroeconomics course that one takes in second year. Just go step by step with the DU syllabus and you shall get a hang of what is actually economics. You may take atleast an year to prepare for the entrance given that you have not pursued anything in Economics uptil now.

      However, I will be glad to know if you could tell me why you are interested in Economics at first hand?

  15. Thanks Riju for answering my queries !

    Now coming back to your query, I would say there are couple of reasons to pursue Masters either in Economics or in quantitative finance.

    Last wednesday there was an article in leading newspaper that students from DSE(M.A) did their interns in Lok Sabha.I was so impressed by those students that they have done something at the National level and deep down I also has a desire to do the same.So,I am hoping that graduating from economics may give me a chance to serve my Nation. Who knows, I might get the opportunity to prepare policies or to do

    Second most important reason is that I want to come out of IT field.Being an IT engg,You always live in a pseudo world.Only your client, timelines, coding, defects becomes your life.You actually gets a big disconnect from the whole world, which I am hoping that economics will not provide me.
    Also, I thought of doing MBA(finance) from a reputed institute but hefty fees and huge competition made me defer my plans. If you look for ROI in economics, it would be a very high plus you’ll be having a sound learning curve which is actually missing in IT.

    I am also exploring other opportunities like Risk Management,Quantitative finance etc,something that’ll put me into niche business. I may sound confused but this is how I am right now. πŸ™‚
    Any suggestions, opinions, criticisms etc by you are most welcome.
    Thanks !

    1. I think I got a fair idea why you are looking for economics.
      I will suggest you to be a little more clear with whether you wish to pursue Finance or Economics.
      With Economics, you can surely pursue what you desire to and given your interest, I think DSE will go along better. As for internship in Lok Sabha, anyone can apply for it. It is a one year internship programme..
      I think you shall get on with Microeconomics and Macroeconomics from BA Economics, DU..see how you fit in with the subject. Getting a hang of the subject itself takes quite a time. As for career prospects, if you are looking into getting into policy arena, you can think of applying for Indian Economic Services or RBI. You may wish to go through DSE placement website: and see which companies come for placement and if their area suits your interest..

  16. Thanks for the suggestions. Appreciated your help !
    I am in contact with few of the intellectuals like you in order to know whats best for me. Its been a very confusing journey till now and hoping to take a decision soon.
    Riju,if you could send me a note or add me on gtalk that would be helpful. May be I would be able to catch hold of you sometime and will discuss the nitties gritties of the programme.
    Thanks !

  17. Hi RIju
    Can you please tell me which edition of Mankiw is better for reference for MSc QE..??
    I got hold of 4th and 6th edition and I couldn’t decide which one to refer.

    Can u please help me out?

    1. @Surabhi: Go for 6th edition
      @Aparajita: For functions, i think Chiang is good. Maths section in DSE entrance is sort of unpredictable. My plan was to focus on Micro, Macro and Stats and do Chiang and Sydsaeter and Hammond for Maths..
      @Deepak & Himanshu: πŸ™‚

  18. Hi Riju,

    I need yr help in finding an appropriate book from where I cd practice Functions and Set Theory problems for DSE entrance exam.



  19. Hi Riju,

    Congrats n thanks for keeping plethora of stuff on the page !

    Helps quite a few of nacents to this field to understand the things in and out !

    Deepak :: Himanshu’s Friend !

  20. hi riju. I have a science background, n wish to appear fr isi msqe this year. I i am getting confused as to how many chapters do i finish in varian. for example, i have partially read gould and lazear, koutsoyannis, lipsey, but i am getting confused in the chapters to cover in th demand theory from the book varian.
    Secondly, what opinion do u have abt studying from lipsey only. Micro as well as macro. N could u help me with the chapters in macroeconomics don n fisher. thanks.

    1. @Varun: I have not gone through other books but certainly lipsey is not sufficient. I will suggest you to go through Intermediate Microeconomics by Varian and the workbook. In my opinion, they are very good books and must to do for any MA Economics entrance. Except chapter 11, 13, 17 in Intermediate Microeconomics (7th edition), all other chapters are to be done. For Macroeconomics, follow what has been suggested in the blog. And for the exact chapters, go through the link provided on the blog of DU syllabus and see what all was in course in Macroeconomics 2nd year.

  21. Hi Riju,
    I went thro’ the DSE placement website and got a bird’s view of the placement.However, I am a bit skeptical about the packages offerred to the candidates. No such info has been provided over there.
    Do you have any info on the packages and roles offerred to the students. Also, any info on the percentage of the students finally placed in the last session at DSE.
    Riju, take these queries as the common queries of me n Deepak..also, I think you forgot to take an action on my earlier request. πŸ™‚
    @ Deepak – Finally, u made ya mind ..gud for u πŸ™‚


    1. @Himanshu: Average goes around 8-9l. Around 90-95% were placed this year. As for the job profile, it is usually analytics.
      @Aparajita: Very sorry for the delay, shall try to write on DSE today. Will incorporate your query in that.

  22. Hi Riju,

    Can u give me an idea as to how many questions one need to answer correctly to crack d DSE entrance exam. In 2008 there were total 60 questions in the exam.I hv not seen 2009 paper.

    Looking forward to ur blog on DSE.

  23. hi riju,
    i hold a Bcom degree from agra university.
    is it adviseable for me apply M A economics from DSE and as till yet i have not started preparing how much time it requires for preparation.

    1. @Sambhav: You may apply for it but it is quite tough for you to get through given you are from B.Com and DSE entrance is 2 months away. Get hold of the syllabus of Macro, Micro, Maths and Stats of DU BA Economics (link is provided in the blog) and see how you can cope up with it. I would suggest you to apply for it to just see how it goes and may be you can prepare well for the next year.

  24. Hi Riju… can I get an idea of Cutoff marks for ISI Delhi Quantitative Eco paper in genral 4 both papers???

    It will be very helpful if u give an idea for DSE too…

  25. hi riju,
    please tell me from where i can get the previous papers of DSE economics entrance.
    it will be very helpful …..

  26. hi…please help me in selecting the write book to crack the delhi and mumbai universities MA ECONOMICS PAPER.
    I have brushed up my 12 th from CB GUPTA and i am a B.CoM student …
    so for further level and for INDIAN and INTERNATIONAL economics..which book should refer and olso for STATISTICS.
    please guide me if there is one combined book which i can go through.
    is UGC level book good for studing.
    will be waiting for your reply

  27. helo riju,

    I am doing my BSc Economics, 3rd Year, Guwahati.I will be appearing for the entrance exams in 2011. I was thinking of taking up the online coaching classes offered by Ecopoint. Do you have any idea about this institute? Like will that help me??

  28. hi…im a 2nd year bcom student from mumbai. is it advisable for me to appear for the DSE MA ecoomics exam considering that i start preparing for it from now onwards only? n could you tell me if there are any good coaching institutes in mumbai for preapring for this exam?

    1. @Neets: I have no clue about your abilities and interest in Economics! Get hold of the sample papers and decide for yourself. I am not aware of any coaching institute in Mumbai.

  29. Hi Riju

    I worked in a market research and analytics company. Prior to that I did my B Tech from IIT Roorkee in mechanical.

    I cleared level 1 of CFA. And I want to pursue my career in finance ( to be precise in investment bank). During my masters I am planning to clear atleast one more level of CFA.

    Can you tell me whether it is good to do masters from ISI/ DSE. I know there is a difference in approach of course for the two institutes. But I want to know which is more aligned to my requirement.

    I will be very grateful if you can provide your contact number so that I ca talk to you.



    1. @Sandeep: I hope you understand the difference between finance and economics. If you are interested in I-banking, MBA is the course.

  30. Hi Riju,

    I hv cleared the ISI, MSQE and IGIDR, M.Sc Economics entrance exams.

    Please guide me in details on the interview at these institutes.



    1. @Aparajita: Congrats! Revise all that you studied for the entrance. Focus on ISI interview as it is relatively more intensive. ISI interview panel will test you on concepts and not expect you to really solve the questions. So get a strong grip over the concepts and solve as many questions as you can. I had applied to ISID and the faculty there was very helpful and they tend to guide you to solve the question than ‘grill’ you. The most important thing is to keep your mind calm while giving the interview..All the best!

  31. Dear Riju

    I am an engineering graduate . I have 2 years gap b/w class 12th and engg. Am I still eligible for the m.a. eco course at dse/jnu etc. is there any age limit.?

  32. Hi Riju,

    I belong to engineering background, doing my B.Tech in Aeronautical Engg…I am interested in joining MSQE from ISI after completing my grad. I am preparing for the entrance ….however, what kind of interview an engg student expect in ISI? Will there be maximum questions on engg?

    1. @Mandar: Depends on your interest. ISI has MSQE which focusses on Quant Economics and IGIDR has MSc Eco. If you are interested in PhD after PG, ISI is the place.

  33. Hi Riju,

    Can you pls advise which is a better course for career in financial services – MSc QE at ISI or MSC E at IGIDR. I am getting admission in both. I have done BA eco & Stats from Xavier’s Mumbai.

    regards, Ramesh

    1. @Ramesh: As far as I know, the interviews for both the institutes are yet to take place. I would suggest IGIDR. But course and institute wise, it is ISI. ISI has excellent faculty and very well designed course. And what I hear is that ISI D is better. I am not sure.

  34. Thnx Riju. ISI Cal results were out yesterday. IGIDR interview is on 29th.
    I was told IGIDR is good for PhD & ISI better for MSc…..

    1. @Aparajita: Great news. Congratulations and I hope DSE entrance went well for you. Or have you decided for ISI Cal already?

  35. Hi,
    im the student of B.A.(h) economics from srcc n Ive cleared the ms qe enterance at isi but ive no idea as to how to prepare for the interview. kindly help me out on this front.i’ll be greatly obliged.thanx.

  36. hi Riju,
    I am interested in applying for the entrance exams of ISI and IGIDR and was looking at how to prepare for both. In the economics section do they also ask current affairs related to economics like the RBI’s decision to bring about changes in CRR or SLR or is it purely theory. which are the good books for macro-economics. Is Schaums series for microeconomics and mathematical economics a useful book for preparation? Is Lipsey-Crystal a good book for reference and for the maths sections is it enough if I go through the maths of 11th and 12th?

  37. Hi Riju,


    Yes I hv decided for ISI cal MSQE.

    DSE entrance exam was a bit difficult this yr. The question trends hv changed.Anyway I am waiting for the results.

  38. Hi riju,
    Nice work on the blog.Please let me know about the syallbus for the entrance examination for quantitative economics conducted by indian statistical institute.Apart from brushing the 11th and 12th standard text books and bsc stats entrance exam what else I need to study.can u please help

    1. @Barath: Read the blog
      @Sumit: No book alone is sufficient. Start with Principles of Economics by Mankiw and then advance to Varian and other books recommended in the blog. Similarly you can start with Dornbusch and Fischer for Macro. Read the other comments, all your queries have been already addressed

  39. hello

    1. @Shubham: It wont affect your selection. Intermediate knowledge of economics wont suffice. Please refer to the blog for which books you can refer to.

  40. im an eco graduate2005-08 frm rajasthan with the aim of getting thrgh the DSE/ISI.
    being a non du, i want to get my basics strong.. i hope u can lead me to good coaching institute /professors’ in delhi who could help me bridge up the gap.
    any kind of information will be helpful .

  41. Hello Riju

    I am an software eng. since two yrs. but want to move to quant.(Finance).I have made a research on few courses but seems that they need high level mathematics to get into.Although i am always interested in mathematics but one option i figured was to do MS in quant(Eco) so that it can pave the way for may be a Phd later on from good Univ. in financial mathematics.Can u please enlighten me on the same and your advice too.


    1. @Nikhil: I am not aware of the course content of Financial Mathematics. A degree at ISI in Economics will certainly help you get a PhD from US in Economics/Quantitative Economics. I will suggest you to look at the course structure of MSQE and decide for yourself if it helps in your plans of getting a degree in Financial Mathematics. Please note that these two fields are very different.
      @Shivam: This blog is about courses in Economics. I have no clue about Mathematics at ISI.
      @Rohan: If you have not done maths at +2 level, it will be extremely difficult for you to even crack the entrance. Please look at ISI website to see if you are eligible

  42. hi riju

    I am doing my B.Tech from HBTI,Kanpur (final year)

    I want to do further studies and research in mathematics (thats due to my interest) from ISI Delhi

    Could you please give me any information on this, regarding prepration strategy, books, internet sites, blogs, etc. I’ll be very thankful to you
    Any kind of information will be helpful.

  43. Hello Riju,

    First upon congrates for blog……I want information abt IGIDR entrance, studying 11, 12th std maths, reasoning….is it sufficient bcoz I have done B.Com from Pune Univ. and pursuing MBA in Shipping & Llogistics, not aware abt economics in deep. kindly suggest me some books & ur advice as u hav already mentioned Prtogita Darpan for eco in ur blog.

    Thanksi in advance,

    Rgds/ Rushikesh

    1. @Rushikesh: IGIDR has questions similar to ones asked in CAT..See the sample paper for IGIDR on its website. There are no economics questions asked in IGIDR entrance.

  44. hey Riju : I am doing bachelors of commerce specializing in accounting/finance. i haven’t done math in my + 2.. will I still be eligible for the M.S.Q.E entrance exam ??

  45. hi riju
    ur blog is very gud.. i want to knw if for my maths part i have done sysaeter and hammond.. will it be fine? wat more u will suggest me?
    moreover i want to know if the sample papers given are the past papers itself?coz they appear to be a bit same!!

  46. hi Riju
    Have been reading your blogs and are informative but I would love to know Where can I get sample question papers for the DSE and JNU entrance exams. I have been working very hard afer reading your blogs and hope to get into DSE this year as I will be fininshing my Bsc(Hons) Economics in March and have sufficient amount of time for preparation for the other entrance exams . I would love to know whether it the coaching center ecopoint in Delhi is good for coaching on economics .

    thanks Riju for your blogs

    1. @Shiva: JNU provides its sample papers at the time of submitting the application form for the entrance. However, you must check on with your seniors who have already given the entrance. I am sure they would have been having all. You can get DSE sample papers are available at photocopy shop of DSE campus. I think somebody on net has also uploaded all of them. Just google and you will find the link.
      My suggestion is to go for self study/group study than go for a coaching institute.

  47. hi riju, firstly thanks for creating for such a wonderful blog. i am presently pursuing B.Sc economics honours 2nd yr. from calcutta. will solving past papers a graet help 4 m?? the problem is from where can i get d papers, i reside in kolkata. is my daily study of economics enough for d entrances.

  48. hi riju..
    can u tell me wat can be left in 12th class maths like integration topic or so..?
    And one more thing can you tell me whether collective score matters in written exam or separate section has specific weightage..?

    1. @Manmeet: Refer to Sydsaeter and Hammond. In DSE, I do not think that there is a seperate cut off for each section but I think it exists for ISI and IGIDR and may be JNU as well

  49. hello riju…
    i want some model papers or question answer form papers for ma economics entrance exam(dse, isi) preparation 2011.can u please tell me from where i get these kind of papers and of which writer…

  50. Helo Riju,
    Could u please comment on the importance of past acads in ISI final selection.
    My aggregate % is 63 % in engg.(kinda low and i had a backpaper in my final sem, due to which i lost 6 mnths extra )
    and do they ask grad based topics to engineers ??

  51. Hi Riju,

    You are running a wonderful blog site out here for Eco aspirants. Thanks a lot for that!. I have an electrical engineering bachelors from India and a masters from the US. I am currently working in boston and also taking evening classes in principles of economics at the Harvard University Extension School. I am planning to enroll for Microeconomics and Macroeconomics during the Summer and Fall terms. I wanted your guidance to decide if it will be good for me to apply for a masters degree in the US or prepare for DSE, ISI entrance and try to get in there. I am in a confused state πŸ™‚ since the very reason why I want to do economics is because I want to build a career in development economics, social policies and I feel that doing a master’s and a phd in India would make more sense since I would get a better perspective on India and its policies by listening to the professors there rather than doing the same in the US. Please do tell me if I am totally wrong!!

    I am looking for some guidance and opinions. Also If I decide to try for an Eco degree in India, which one would you suggest. Since I work in the US, coming twice to Delhi to write entrance exams will be difficult.

    Looking forward to your reply! Thanks a lot for running such a great blog!

    1. @Easwar: Thanks! My personal suggestion would be to do PhD from US only. If you are interested in Development Economics, you shall try to find which universities focus in that area and have a sound faculty in that field. I do not think you shall go for a second masters in Economics. A direct PhD course in US would be much more beneficial. All students who pursue PG in Economics in India aim to do PhD in US only.
      However, if you are still keen in pursuing Masters in Economics from India then you have to choose between DSE, ISI and JNU. All three offer very different courses. Probably JNU would suit your interests more as it has more of an applied bent. If you are interested in modelling part of development economics, I think ISI would be good.
      Again, my personal advice is to pursue directly a PhD in Economics from US.

      1. Hi Riju,

        Thanks a lot for helping me out in this. I want to clarify that I don’t have a degree in Economics. I have an electrical engineering bachelors and Masters. Thus, I am currently taking courses in economics to gain knowledge and equip myself better to apply here or write DSE/ISI/JNU entrance in India. If I go ahead and apply for a masters in the US, do you have any suggestions for some decently ranked (not very high…since i dont have an eco background) universities that I can apply to? especially the ones with applied research and interdisciplinary research in development economics/social policies ??

        Thanks Riju!

        1. @Easwar: I think it would be better for you to apply for a direct PhD in Economics in US. Since my knowledge is limited, I would suggest you to ask people pursuing Economics in US.

  52. Hello Riju
    I would like to know if derz a seperate cut off for students from non economics background for part – II (subjective eco) of the ISI paper.

    The Eco part seems too difficult for non eco students ,i dont think ppl get sufficent time to prepare for ISI type difficult economics questions along with engg. studies. , however i still find lotz of engineers in ISI MSQE ,

  53. Hi Riju,

    Your blog is very informative, thanks.

    I am an Electrical engineer from NIT Dgp and am currently preparing for the isi and dse exams..Could you please tell me whether the answers and/or solutions to the problems in the isi previous year papers,varian workbook, pindyck rubinfeld exercises and dornbusch fischer exercises are available….also, should i do the problems from the microeconomics book by satya ranjan chakravarty??

  54. hi can anyone suggest me any concise exercises for statistics syllabus for isi except probability? dont suggest sc gupta!!

  55. Hi riju..
    i am a second div. eco hons graduate kmc,2010 pass out.
    during college,was actve in class bt nt in exams.. i lykd eco bt nvr stdid it.
    nw hav dcided on masters as i wana do ias with eco.
    the problm is tht i am in a limbo.. neithr a novice at eco nor a pro. much of your advice is meant for either one..
    how shud sum1 lyk me prepare?
    im quite comfortable wid maths bt nt wid stats,m jst an acquaintance thr. did varian and did d workbuk,also hav kalyanjit ray choudhary for problems.
    bt facing problems wid past year question.
    do u hav any advice 4me? if yes,gr8.. if no,join the club..

    1. @Piyush: There is no cookbook for any type of person. All the things that have been written are required to be done. Be clear with UG course first and then move on to preparing for entrances.

  56. Hello Riju,
    You have mentioned that for the maths section in ISI to try and study a few engineering problems. will MHT-CET type of questions be helpfull?

  57. I would like to go for coaching for IGIDR, MSE, DSE, JNU, Gokhale. So pls help me which coaching class to enroll because the syllabus of the mentioned universities are different frm what we have in Orissa. Pls suggest

  58. Hello

    First of all thanks for all the info you have provided on your blog. Its really very helpful.

    I would like to know that the ISI syllabus for ME II vaguely states the topic “theory of Producer behavior”. Can you please tell what all topic come under it…I mean stuffs like profit maximization, cost minimization, cost curves or something more? Should I cover topics like externalities as well?


  59. hi riju….i wrote igidr msc eco this yr.
    i wished to know the avg placmnt packages offered to msc grads there.

    also plz help me telling the job profile such a graduate is offered.

  60. Hi Rjiu,

    Thanks for your website, it is very helpful. I need some information about the post graduate courses in economics in India.
    I have done B.Tech and currently working as a business analyst, i want to do ma in economics, could you please let me know what are the age limits for applicants for post graduate courses in economics in top colleges in India. ( I am currently 22 years old and would want to apply for postgraduate courses after 1 or 2 years) Please let me know the age restrictions at ISI, DSE, IGIDR, MSE, GIPE…

    1. You can visit various universities websites and check it on your own. You are just 22!! Why are you worrying so much about age restriction!!

  61. Hiiiiiiiii riju…

    hw one shud prepare for isi interview???
    i heard of macro eco session conducted by a panel durin isi interview.
    do u hv any idea abt dis..?


  62. Hiiii.. riju….
    hw one shud prepare for isi interview…??
    i heard of macro eco session conducted by isi interview panel during interview.. do u
    hv any idea of dis…???
    do help if u cn..


    1. If you have cleared ISI entrance, you don’t need to worry about the interview. All the questions are similar to that asked in ISI and DSE entrance paper.

  63. Hi,
    I am Ankit, have done MBA from Mumbai University into finance. I have done Bachelor of Mgmt. Studies from Mumbai University.
    I wish to do something into research part.

    I wish to pursue a degree mostly into Quantitative Finance or economics or altogether a different degree like Msc. Statistics.

    Currently I am working as Propreitory Trader into Commodities in a private firm in mumbai.
    the degree i want to pursue is different from my job profile so Workshops wouldnot help.

    I would want to learn advanced Statistics like GARCH model, Granger test, Cointegration, etc. that would help me to do some kind of research into Capital markets.

    So the basic crux of this message is I want an advise from you as of from where exactly shall I began my search for the same.

    I have enquired few institutes like-

    Indian Statistical Institute and IIT kanpur.

    They are offering MSc in Stats, but am afraid as they require a BSc degree for pursuing MSc in Stats which unfortunately I dont have.

    Shall I pursue Doctoral or Master’s degree and that to from where and in which field.

    Waiting for reply. Please help me out as i am totally confused..

  64. Hi Riju
    I have engineering background and want to apply for ISI MSQE program. On its website, ISI clearly states that engineers are also elgible to apply but says they need to have some knowledge of economics at BSc level. Does that mean taking formal courses in economics during undergraduate study. I dont have any formal background in economics, am i eligible to apply with out having done any formal coursework in economics

  65. hii
    the info was quite useful , so thnx πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    n could u suggest any other book for statistics ; other than ‘s.c.gupta, v.k. kapoor “…….. something dat xplains d concepts better ..

  66. Hi Riju,

    I am new to this blog. And I am keen to crack ISI’s MSQE. I did BBA Finance & at present working as a Financial Modeler.
    I have a small question, As I did BBA-Finance in my undergraduate, will I be eligible to apply for this MSQE program? (also could you tell my eligibility for DSE’s MA economics prog)


  67. Hi Riju,

    Am an engineer (Civil) currently working in the field of climate change advisory services for almost 5 years. Am extremely interested in learning about and subsequently working on development of Climate Change economics, and models thereof.
    Could you kindly let me know that
    (a) is the ISI (Cal) MSQE course apt for achieving the objective, and
    (b) if I begin preparing for the ISI (Cal) MSQE entrance from now, assuming that the exam is in May next year, and going by my office schedule of 10 am to 8 pm, would I have a fair chance of cracking it? This second question is significantly subjective in nature, but still I would request you to provide your opinion/ suggestion towards the same. πŸ™‚


  68. Hi Riju,

    I do not know if this is the right place to ask this but I had a doubt regarding study at ISI. I am currently a third year undergraduate at IIT Kgp. Though Economics is not my majors I want to pursue my masters in Quant. Economics. I wanted ask if there are any possibilities of studying there while working part-time because I do not want someone to support me financially. This is kind of a family thing. Hope you understand.

    1. At ISI, you don’t have to pay any fees, including hostel accommodation. In addition, you get some stipend as well per month.

  69. Hello,
    I am a student of engineering, and am planning to sit for the entrance for MSQE, ISI in 2012. Microecon shd not be a problem, but I have a query regarding Macro
    I have been working on Dornbusch and Fischer, and correlating with ISI’s syllabus chapter’s 1-8 (not sure abt 6) are definitely pertinent. But there is a topic, “Money Banking and inflation” in the entrance syllabus, that seems to relate to all of chapters 11-20.
    Shd we complete the whole of Dornbusch? Or are there specific chapters clearly out of the syllabus?
    Thanks for your time. And thanks for your blog. It has been extremely helpful!

  70. well first of all thanks for the information…i would ike to know more about igidr entrance examinations n preparation necessary for it..coz it doeasnt involve much of economics in its entrance exam…so plz tell me where should i concentrate especially in the maths section ..any books u would suggest for preparing for it …is it necessary to take an year of..and are there any coaching institutes which focuses on these type of entrances..

  71. Hi Riju,
    Thanks a lot for the info πŸ™‚
    I have a is it decided if a student will get admission at isi delhi or at isi kol?

  72. Hi Riju,
    I have done my graduation from Delhi University in Business Economics. I started out with the preparation for entrances in late December and still i dont have sufficient knowledge about the course and various universities that pursue it.I have started with mathematics from 11th and 12th NCERT books. Could you please suggest that am I also required to do all the chapters from RD sharma?

  73. Hi… I am appearing for DSE and ISI this time. I had Science in plus two and in fact joined NIT Nagpur after getting through AIEEE but later on gave it up.

    Now that I am pursuing B.A. Economics Honours with Statistics as a pass subject I have comfort level in Maths, in view of what you have stated in your blog.

    Regarding statistics, I am not 100percent comfortable.

    In regard to Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, my concepts are not very encouraging at this point of time. The ISI exam is scheduled to take place on May 13th and DSE exam is yet to be notified. Please specifically advise me as to how I should go about preparing… Thanks and Regards

    1. The blog already details out everything about preparation. What is your specific question? ISI entrance requires you to have good grasp of all the four subjects, as you can see from the past years.

  74. Hi,
    I would like to know how long one would require to finish the economics part of the syllabus with rigorous preparation. I do not have much knowledge in economics. Is it realistic to target for ISI this year?
    PS:I have gone through 1st 6 chapters of Hal Varian Microeco already.


    1. @Ashik Thats not a good idea..First think of DSE and other top institutes its worth even you waste a year and get into DSE but if you go to unnamed colleges you will lose many chances in your career…IMO

      1. Symbiosis School of Economics is a decent institute. It is just been opened last year, which is why its not popular. It’s B.Sc program which is 4-5 years old is very rigorous and successful. The first batch of
        M.Sc economics students will pass out in 2013. Placement wise, Symbi has always had an edge, because of the brand it has in MBA ans other courses. Its not a bad place to study in case you don’t get through any other top college.

        1. Agreed. But if you are looking for placements, I would rather suggest you to go for an MBA course at a decent institute than pursue Economics. See the faculty at Symbi, they don’t have a single professor who has studied at any top institute in India, leave apart a PhD degree from abroad. If you are keen to pursue Economics, it is better to drop an year and study hard to clear the entrance of top institutes.

  75. hi,
    I just got an offer letter from LSE for their MSc course in economics 1 year degree. I needed your advice on whether i should choose that over isi and dse? Please keep in mind that i need to go to LSE summer school as a precondition for the offer, which is scheduled at the same time as the isi-d interviews. what do you suggest i do? please keep in mind that my final aim is to do a phd course from the US, so which course would suit my career objectives, LSE or ISI? Also, which course is qualitatively better in your opinion, leaving aside the question of funds?

    Any advice would be appreciated… Thanks

    1. Well, I do not think I am well placed to compare the two programs – I am less aware of MSc Econ as LSE. But my personal view is that since you have a confirmed offer from LSE, it would be better to take that up as against risking yourself to get through DSE/ ISI.

  76. For mathematics, I am starting with Objective approach to mathematics by Arihant. Will that be enough? Can you suggest a good objective statistics book. Also, do we need to do mathematical economics, from say AC Chiang?

  77. Can you please tell me the pattern? Do we always get objective question in math section and subjective questions in economics section?

  78. I am a graduate from IIT Delhi.
    Can you please tell me how many general category seats are there in ISI. I cannot find this important information on the internet πŸ™


  79. Hey Riju,

    Thanks for helping all of us. I am a graduate from Mumbai Uni having studied Both Micro and Macro Economics as subjects during graduation but not in depth. I wanted to know if IGIDR is a good option as I am only looking to break into finance and placements. What profiles can I expect post M.A? Also I would be giving my CFA and FRM exams simultaneously. I am not keen on an MBA. Please suggest what you think is right.
    Thank you

  80. Hello riju…
    a very well written blog:-)
    i am studing from a non d.u. college.
    hence i referred to your link provided in the blog to get the syllabus of economics of d.u.!
    but unfortunately the link is not working…is there any other alternative?

    1. Everything that you studied for the written entrance + DSE entrance papers. They will give you two questions, most likely from micro and maths/stats. They check your concepts more than the answers.

  81. i have cleared the igidr exam in msc eco, can u tell me some information as follows
    1)how to prepare for interview in igidr?
    2)no of seats in igidr?
    3)is their any free food/meal facility for regular students or you have to make food daily by ourself

    please reply, i have only 1 week in hand

    1. 1. If you are preparing for DSE entrance, you don’t need to prepare any extra.
      2. Check the prospectus
      3. I think there is.

  82. Hi,

    i am interested in pursuing phd finance . a few professors told me that quantitative economics is inline with my interest. could anyone suggest if msqe program at isi is good enough for me. what about the reputation of isi , when it comes to phd admission. i have already secured admission with cmi– msc financial mathematics. which one should i pursue to help me towards my phd. my undergraduation is in engineering and employed in finance industry…….fyi. i am pretty new to all of this so pls help me out. thanks

    1. ISI is highly reputed for PhD in economics. However, I am not sure how well it is connected with PhD finance. You can write to the professors at ISI and ask. In my view CMI would be better.

  83. Dear Riju –

    I have cleared by ISI entrance, and now I am preparing for my interview. I have ttwo question –

    (i) could you please elaborate on the kind of questions tha are asked in the inteview. Some extra details on it and how I should prepare
    (ii) I could not clear my DSE entrance. Will it have any impact on my ISI interview? I have heard that the panel members usually ask about it.

    Would really appreciate your guidance on the same.


    1. I am sorry for late reply, a lot of it has been already discussed in comments. I hope you made it to ISI!

  84. hi riju,
    you’re doing an excellent job out here!
    What is the duration of isi msqe entrance exam for both the papers?Is time a major problem for the msqe exam?

    thanks in advance!

  85. Hi Riju,

    Do I have to clear both the paper(1:Mathematics and Statistics 2: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics)for MSc Quantitative Economics entrance Test?

    Please let me know.


  86. Hi Riju,

    Hope you are doing well!

    Thanks for your advice!

    I need more help from you. I did my graduation with Eco(Hons) and my Subject was Micro/Macro Economics and quantitaive techniques(Statistics)but here, in first paper Mathematics is also include.

    Do I need to take admission in any institute for preparing this paper.

    Please advice me.



  87. is the interview for both the centers or only for one?
    i went to delhi for my interview. will i be considered for admission in calcutta?

  88. Hi, i am a student of DU pursuing eco(hons) from SRCC in final year. My queries are as follows:

    1) Can i apply to ISI-Kolkata? I am orignally from Kolkata. Will this have a negative impact on the interview?

    2) In reference to your blog, you emphasized maths of 11 and 12 stating RD Sharma was not sufficient. What about these books?

    Ø Higher Algebra, By Hall & Knight
    Ø Problems in Calculus of One Variable, By I.A. Maron
    Ø Co-ordinate Geometry, By S. L. Loney
    Ø Plane Trigonometry Part I, By S. L. Loney
    Ø Vectors & 3-D Geometry, By Arihant Prakashan
    Ø Mathematics, By Tata Macgraw Hill (TMH)
    Ø Calculus, By J. Edward
    Ø Vector, By Shanti Narayan

    If these are not required, please suggest some authors. I was from commerce background in school. Therefore, we didnt practise engg books for maths and my knowledge about them is abysmal.

    3) I have practised Varian Workout for second year but i kept doing miserably in college anyway (well, most of the batch did except a few- the professor’s questions were kind of really hard). I am suspecting that perhaps my concepts were weak. Could u suggest alternate books to practise more problems from?

    4) If i start preparing from august itself, how should i aproach the entire thing, that is, the time weightage given to each section along with the order of preparation. Please note that i am mainly interested in ISI and DSE.

    5) I am thinking of taking coaching in ecopoint. How has your experience been over there?

    Please do reply soon…i am kind of lost really. Your blog has helped a lot! πŸ™‚

    With regards,

    1. 1. Sure you can
      2. I have listed the books I referred to, no idea about others
      3. I think you should strengthen your concepts from varian first.
      4. I started with micro, stats and maths and then proceeded to macro.
      5. I think ecopoint has evolved a lot since 2009, it is better to speak to someone who has taken coaching there in last 1-2 years. I joined the coaching for a month, post ISI, JNU and IGIDR exam. Reason I joined was I had nothing much to do over and above what I had prepared for ISI!

  89. Hi,
    I did my B.Tech. from IIT Kgp(2012 batch) and presently working in core industry, would it be a problem at any level of selection procedure(especially interview) as my job in not related to finance.

  90. Hey Riju

    It is great to see your blog . I am science student wanted to purse masters in economics but since i have no idea about economics your blog helped me about the book which should be referred but I am having problem since I don’t know which all topics need to be done . I even looked up the 2nd year syllabus of DU but I got more confused to see that much books referred there . I need your help if you could provide me with detailed syllabus(which all topics should I include ). Also provide me with the details which topic is best given in which book.


  91. Hi,
    Very informative post. However I would like to ask if you are a student of MSQE at ISI? I am a student of Electrical Engineering at IIT Delhi and want to pursue finance and found this course interesting. However I doubt if such courses taught in India are of good quality. I mean professors and books used should be of global standards. If you are a student or know anybody who is one, please provide some insider insights as to how good this MSQE is and what are future prospects of such a degree.


    1. The faculty at ISI is amazing and the quality of the course is also excellent..just browse through ISI Delhi website and you would know! I didn’t study there but I had cleared the entrance exam. Future prospects essentially involve pursuing PhD from US. Go for ISI if you are interested in acads.

  92. Hi again,

    What are the exact weights given to previous acad, Exam, interview? What kind of companies come for placements and I would be grateful if you could name a few along with their pay packages.

    Best Regards,

    1. It’s all have to clear the entrance and if they like you during the interview, you are through.
      As I have said elsewhere, don’t pursue Economics if you are solely interested in pay packages and this is more true for ISI where the focus is a lot on acads. I am not sure of placements at ISI, check their website for details

  93. Hi Riju,

    You have been doing wonderful work here guiding people. Appreciate it.
    I am from a B.Tech background (07-11) and have been working in my family business since. I wish to pursue a Masters in Economics from DSE, IGIDR or ISI.
    I’ve been reading the Economic Times for the last 5 years and thats how close I’ve come to Economics.
    I plan to give entrance exams in 2014 giving me roughly 15 months. I’ve just starting reading Principles of Microeconomics(6e) and Macroeconomics(6e) by Mankiw.
    Are these books ok to begin with?
    Is 15 months enough time for me to get ready for entrances of DSE and ISI?
    I can study for 3-4 hrs on weekdays and 10-12 hours on weekends. Is that enough?
    I have 58% in B.Tech? Will that play a deterrent during my admissions (If I clear)?
    If you could suggest any books to start preparing for the Math section, that’d be great. (Didn’t really study much during B.Tech)

    Apologies for the long post.

    1. I am in the same boat as you regarding engineering marks. I plays an important role during MBA admissions. But what about here?

  94. Thanks for the wonderful blog! I just need a little more help.. I want to know if there is any negative marking for maths and stats section in the ISI paper. And the cut-off you mentioned for the same is 22 right answers only or is that including mistakes?

    Thank you once again! πŸ™‚

  95. Hi Riju,

    Hope you are still checking your blog comments. I am interested in pursuing PhD in Mathematical Economics from abroad.

    However they require a course with economics concentration (my background is rather a typical btech+pgdm(fin)), which makes the MSQE in ISI(Cal/Del) appropriate for a masters. I have many queries about the course’s applicability.

    If you could share your email, I would be delighted to have my doubts cleared over mail.


  96. Hi

    I’ve managed to qualify for the MA programs at both ISI and DSE. I’ve gone through the subjects offered at both placed and I’ve realized that I’m only going to realize my interest as I study further, so I’m unable to pick a college based solely on that.

    I’m also not sure on whether I want to work after my MA or study further. I might like to work for any international development institution, or any good government/ semi-government position that’ll get me some experience with policy-making and analysis. I would like to pursue a PhD ultimately but I’m not sure I want to do that immediately after my post graduation.

    I’d really appreciate any input you have on the matter.

    1. ISI is definitely excellent if you want to secure a good place in US univ for PhD. However, I am not sure of their placements.

      DSE, on the other hand, gets you both. A lot depends on how well you are able to stand out amidst the crowd (over 150 students in first year! It gets to 10-50 students per class in 2nd year, depending on your optionals) to be recognised by the profs.

      If you ask me, I would suggest you to go for Phd directly after MA. Work experience in policy field doesn’t really count since at the entry level you would be involved in not-so-relevant work. A better option is RAship under some professor which can help you in recommendation letters as well.

      I think you should be guided by the course content of the two institutes than anything else. ISI is maths oriented while DSE has a much more wider canvas. You would hardly get any ‘policy’ related stuff at ISI but at DSE you would have papers on Indian economy, health and education..see the course content of the two institutes and base your judgement on that.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you so very much. I was slightly keen on DSE because of the wider array of courses. Your input really helps me a lot, especially in terms of assessing a PhD directly after MA. I’ll have to start thinking out something concrete for my future.

        Once again, many many thanks. And you have a great blog, the sections on MA courses really helped me when I started off in building perspective.

  97. Hi,
    I am pursuing B tech final year mechanical at NITK surathkal and also I am into Institute of Actuaries of India(IAI) I have cleared CT1(Financial Mathematics) and CT3(probability and Mathematical Statistics.I want to do masters in economics,which is better for me either ISI(MSQE) or DSE(MA ECONOMICS)as I want quantative approach towards economics for Actuaries

  98. Hi Riju,

    I have been working in IT for the past 7 years and sincerely looking for a change in career path. I am an electrical engineering graduate from a reputed govt institute and have been working in IT since graduation.

    I am specifically interested in this MSQE program of. It is that branch of science which used to be my favorite since class 11 and this program rightly reminds me of those.

    Now some hard question. Is it right for me to choose this path i.e. MSQE at this stage because of my age? What is the prospect of PHD and/or job placements?

    Awaiting eagerly for your response.

  99. Hi Riju

    I completed PGDM from IIM calcutta in 2011. Since then I am working as a Business Analyst in an MNC. Since my MBA I was inclined towards Eco instead I had to work to pay off my loan. Now that I am done with that, I would like to continue my learning in economics. My aim is to pursue a career in academics. After doing a bit of research I am down to following options:
    1. Apply for phd in US in top uni (but without economics background I am really not so sure about its success)
    2. Do MA from ISI and then apply for phd
    3. Apply for phd to ISI/DSE ? (how difficult is that without strong eco backgrnd?)
    4. Try for Msc abroad and then apply for phd

    I am really confused. It would be really great if you can shed some light on the above ?


    1. Getting into ISI/ DSE for Masters shouldn’t be difficult with your background and interest area. I would suggest you to look up univ in USA..see the profile of students and check if all have Econ background. I think you should be able to apply for PhD directly (I don’t have much information here, this just seems logical). Email students/ profs of these univ..that should help. If all this doesn’t add up, go for Masters at ISI/ DSE and then PhD in US.

      PhD from ISI would still make sense but definitely not DSE. However, PhD at ISI would be good but not great. You can look up their website, they are quite prompt on email.

      Another suggestion would be to get RAship with some Econ prof at IIM Calcutta, ensure good LoR from him/ her and pursue PhD abroad (if that works out).

      MSc abroad doesn’t make sense if you don’t have any scholarship and that is difficult to secure.

  100. Hi Riju,

    I will finish BSc (Maths) from Mumbai university in 2014 and want to immediately enroll for Masters In Economics.I have following questions –

    1. Between JNU, DSE, Gokhale & IGIDR which is better from campus placements or jobs in blue chip companies like Mckinsey, Banks etc.. ?

    2. Which one offers hostel facility or monthly stipend ?
    ( this is for my economic reasons..)

    3. In economics I am interested in monetary policy, interest rates etc.., so which institute is best ?

    4. I am not applying for ISI as I’ve heard that it’s good from Phd prospective & it has more Quant focus, correct me if I am wrong..?

    5. I will be 20 in June 2014, so if young age could be a problem ?

    I really like economics as a subject, but due to family reasons salary is equally important to me after MA/MSc.

    Your blog is very helpful madam πŸ™‚

    1. 1. DSE, IGIDR and Gokhale. Not JNU
      2. All offer hostel facilities. I don’t think any offers stipend. Definitely not DSE. Please check respective websites.
      3. All are well placed wrt your interests
      4. Correct
      5. Check respective websites.

  101. Hi Riju

    I have done my graduation in bachelor of business studies from University of Delhi and i am pursuing Actuarial Science. Since there is not much of job opportunities in this field, I want to do some pg. I found ISI quite interesting and I wish to appear for may, 2014 entrance exam. With a graduation degree in BBS, am I eligible for ISI as they ask maths or stats or physics hns students. And if i start to prepare now will I be able to cover the syllabus?

    1. I am not sure about eligibility, please check it yourself. Giving an attempt this year looks doubtful with no preparation until now.

  102. I have a decent background in Maths and Economics as I have done Eco Hons. at graduate level. I have a drop which gives me precisely all day to study. If I start now, will it be possible for me to crack ISI? I am half-way through Snyder and Branson. But I haven’t started Maths yet.

  103. Thanks Riju!

    This sort of gives me hope. πŸ™‚
    Just one last thing, I have been out of touch with trigonometry as it wasn’t taught so much or applied in my undergrad course-work. Even personally, I haven’t been a fan of that topic. Is it a topic which needs a good coverage, as it is asked extensively in engg. entrances?

    Also, which AIEEE type book did you refer to while preparing?

  104. Mam… I appreciate the effort you have putting for the past three to four years in helping out people like me… A big thanks for that…. Coming to the point, I am preparing for the ISI- Kolkata exam and would like to know about the paper structure of ISI… i.e., how many questions will be given and how many questions are we supposed to answer in Part two… i.e, microeconomics and macroeconomics part…

  105. Hey Riju!

    I have read this at many places that unlike DSE, ISI exam is more targeted on basics. Meaning, it has very straight forward questions. I have gone through all the sample papers, but since I am not yet done with the entire syllabus, I am not able to judge properly.
    Do you feel the same way? If you were to rate the difficulty level, which one would you consider more difficult solely in terms of level of questions in economics. Maths isn’t so much of a concern as I am an IIT student.

  106. Hey Riju!
    Thanks for this. I am in IIT-Delhi student. I am somehow unable to find VK Kapoor and SC gupta anywhere online. Could you name some books markets in delhi where you think it might be available? Would mean a lot. Thanks.

  107. does ISI Delhi require letters of recommendation and statement of purpose? I went to ISI to attend a seminar, I must say, they have created a fabulous academic environment.
    What did you study there?

  108. I completed my B. Tech from IIT-Kanpur last year. I am appearing for ISI MSQE entrace exam this year. I have completed first 9 chapters from Intermediate microeconomics and that’s it. Please guide me on what should I do next. Please give me a step by step information like which chapters to be read from which book, etc. I know time is very less but still any help will be useful. I have mentioned my email id along with this mail. I will be really grateful to you. Thanks!

  109. Hi Riju,

    Can you give an estimate of right answers needed in section 2 to get through in ISI . i have gone through each and every post but could not find any information related. As the exam is approaching it would clear a bit air knowing it.


  110. Thanks for this favour….my query is that for preparing Mathematics well in this context …is the Arihant series of Maths like Hall and Knight, Maron’s Calculus, Loney’s Geometry and finally TMH IIJEE MATH book sufficient enough strategically?

  111. hi… i just got an interview call from ISI Delhi… plz give me some tips on how to prepare for the interview

  112. Hey , is aieee or iit level plus 2 mathematics important for entrances? Do questions come from Bsc pass level mathematics or only higher levels of plus two topics?
    Your answer will be of great help.

  113. hi.mai english me kamjor hubut english smjh skta hu .mai 2014me graduton pura kiya ecomics se .in hindi mideom se .mai isi ka paper dekha math portion is easy but economics portion is tough. pls suggest best coachins for entrance exam for isi and suggest best book for economics

    1. All these entrance exams are conducted in English only. You can speak to some of the coaching centres (already discussed in the blog) directly about your needs and see if they can help.

  114. Hi, its really well written. But I have one question for you. I am B.Tech pass out from NIT Kurukshetra. I am thinking to go for MS QE from ISI. Can you please tell me how to start preparing for it considering i am neither from stat nor eco background?

  115. After completing my B.E. I gave entrances of both ISI and DSE, but failed to qualify as a result of incomplete preparation. I am hellbent on making economics as my future and will definitely try next year but I am a little bit confused between Indian Economics Services and Ph.D.
    1) What kind of work people in I.Eco.S. are involved in and isn’t it better to go for research after some practical knowledge and then coming back again and improve the policy environment of India?
    2) For I.Eco.S. which is better-ISI or DSE?
    3) Can preparation for the same can be done during my P.G. years and if yes, then how?
    Your suggestion and advice would be very helpful, please give the answers in detail as I am living in a remote town and utterly disconnected from persons who are in any way close to what I want to do.

    1. If you want to be part of academics/ research, ISI is a better choice. In my view, PhD from a good US university is better than IES but that’s purely subjective. You can search on internet about IES and see the work profile. DSE, in comparison to ISI, has greater focus on Indian Economy so if you are aiming for IES, DSE might be a better choice. ISI won’t give you time for IES prep and DSE will leave you time constrained as well.

      1. Thanks. Also, please tell, a Macro book other than Dornbusch and Fischer, that will be enough for the preparation.

  116. Can you please tell me the name of the book written By Nicholson and Snyder? Is it FUNDAMENTAL OF MICROECONOMICS OR MICROECONOMIC THEORY? In Du syllabus the former is given. But I am really unsure.Do help.

  117. Hi Riju! Can you tell the min % required in Academics and Graduation for admission in ISI, DSE and JNU each ??

  118. Hello, Right now I’m persuing BA in economics honors but not able to secure high grades for last two semesters.. So basically I’m going to end up having 7-8 CGPA. Will that be an obstacle for getting selected to ISI-D? But given my preparation I’m pretty sure I’ll crack the entrance exam. Expecting your help…

  119. I am pursuing B.A.(Prog) in Maths,Statistics and Economics from Allahabad University, am I eligible for MSQE? if yes,then from what year should I begin my preparations?
    PS I am in First Year currently.

  120. Hi, thanks for your information. I am targeting ISI delhi for Msc. in quant eco. Can you please suggest me , from where can i get Varian workbook?
    Can i please get in touch with you through email please?

  121. hi
    i had completed b com graduation ( having statistics and economics as subjects )
    so can i eligible to apply ms qe programme from isi and m stat

  122. i am a student i didnt have maths for 11th and 12th…does that mean i cant apply for this course? what is the eligibility criteria?

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