Madras School of Economics Admission Process – M.Sc. General Economics – Vivek Goel
Vivek Goel, M.Sc. General Economics, Madras School of Economics shares his experience in this brief interview
College: Motilal Nehru College
Please tell us about your selection procedure at Madras School of Economics (Exams you gave, Application forms, Short listing procedure, Interviews).
I am a 1st yr student at MSE Chennai pursuing post graduation in economics M.Sc. General Economics. The institute is in collaboration with Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Thiruvarur. Admission was based on Common Entrance Test (CUCET, 2015) at designated centers in India and counseling (with an additional admission test at MSE to test the subject knowledge of the candidate) at MSE. The application forms were out in April on CUTN site and the Common Entrance Test was in June which was entirely based on CAT pattern.
At the time of counseling the meritorious students selected based on their performances in the CUCET, 2015 were called for an additional test at MSE campus for final selection. 50% weightage each to the CUCET, 2015 common entrance test and additional selection test was given. This test was economics and maths based. So based on that rank list, the admissions were given. There were no personal interviews.
What helped you sail through the hurdles and crack one of the finest institutions?
I did my graduation in B.A. (HONS) Economics from Motilal Nehru College, DU in 2014. I did appear in number of entrances for MA in my last yr but didn’t get a call from any institute except MUMBAI UNIVERSITY. But I didn’t take admission there and decided to prepare for it in a better way to appear for the same next year 2015. It was a real tough decision to make but I knew that I have to do it to see myself in a better place.
I joined coaching classes of Dr. Vibhas Jha Sir (North Delhi Academy) in north campus. He helped me a lot in polishing my basics in MATHS, MICRO, and MACRO AND STATS and also taught me how to deal with tricky and difficult questions.
How did you prepare for the admission season? What advice would you give to your juniors regarding the admission season?
The first thing that I did was to brush up my basics in all the subjects. You know that what are the topics you are weak at and need to revise, or what are the important topics to redo from your undergraduate syllabus. More importantly try to study according to the patterns of the past year papers of different institutes. As the exams approached I did past year papers of all the institutes and almost all the MCQ questions of the past years irrespective of how old they were and whatever patterns the old papers had.
The key to learning at this point was to do the papers in a time frame of 3 hours, verify the answers and discuss the doubts with friends and teachers. A lot of you might find it exhaustive to do all the papers in a go, as even I did. But then some of my friend would call me with a doubt say in question 6, 10, 23 of some past year paper and I’ll think. Why not do the entire paper and discuss my doubts with them.
One important thing that one should understand is that you are not sitting in the exam to solve all the questions but to do as many questions that can bring you above or close to the cut off because it’s a competitive exam. While sitting in an exam so what if you can’t solve 5-6 questions in a line. Don’t panic… u have plenty of more questions coming ahead comparatively easy that you can easily manage. But in tension you end up spoiling those questions too that you know. Just move on calmly. This happens to everyone.
Even I got stuck on some series of questions in the exam. My strategy was to open some other page and do a fresh set of questions. Gradually I gained momentum and confidence, and BINGO! Even the questions I was stuck on seemed easy now. So it’s a test of how you stay calm when the clock is ticking and making you nervous. I always tried to tell myself that this is another practice test that I have to do well.
Another important tip is to keep marking the answers on the OMR sheet either after each question or after a set of 5-10 questions. This is one mistake I observed that many people did and lost marks later. They left the final marking for the end and then never got the time to mark all the answers even though they had attempted a lot of questions correctly.
Please be confident in whatever you mark and by the time you sit for the exam, you’ll have a fair idea of your own accuracy level. So attempt accordingly. Try multiple ways to answer the same question if possible, this will ensure that the answers are correct. What matters in the end is the number of CORRECTLY answered questions, not the number of attempted questions.
What’s the role of academics for pursuing higher education after college?
Yes ofcourse, academics are the main thing that develops your interest for a particular subject and moreover also tells you what all stuffs you don’t like to study. I had a keen interest in ECONOMICS from school days only that’s why I took economics honors.
But graduation was a whole new world of economics consisting different kinds of subjects like microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, public economics, international economics, economic history of India, money and financial economics. By then I came to know how vast it is. My love for economics helped me to pass my exams smoothly and also enhanced my eagerness to explore more about the same. So now doing masters in economics.
What and how many internships and projects you did at college? How did you get them?
Frankly speaking I was not much into internships and all. In fact I was more into enjoying my last year of college. I never used to get involved in projects or anything like that. But eventually I realized that internships and project are really important for your personal experience. You can get a nice exposure of how things are done and enhance your knowledge set. Plus it gives you an edge over others and makes your CV strong.
Would you like to give any general advice to your juniors?
Don’t lose hope. Be focused about what you want to do. Don’t forget to enjoy life because it’s not about taking stress but hard work and a lot of smart work. Don’t let your failures affect your goals because failures are the stepping stones for the future success.