I'm going to be honest, I have 2 full days to study for an Introductory Microeconomics exam final, and I am starting from scratch. The course was given online and the assignments were very easy to complete since we had 3 tries and the questions repeated.

I have no background in micro but my math is very good for this type of course (completed Calculus 3 and Combinatorics), and I am looking for a resource to learn the material quickly.

I have looked online and haven't really found one. The book we use in class is full babbling analysis of graphs that I already understand and random examples that don't cover the material efficiently. I am looking for a sort of summary that covers the essentials.

I know that I should have studied earlier, but I still want to try my best to have, at least, a passing grade.

Any recommendation will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ Here is the link I found that helps me a lot: dev.business.und.edu/Goenner/teaching/econ201/resources.html Also read what user "dammitcharlie" said, he covers pretty much all you need to know on the exam. I love this community! $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '14 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ Even though you guys will close this, and with reason, thank you to the microeconomics community for answering my question. $\endgroup$ Dec 13 '14 at 3:08

It would help a lot to know at what level this class is exactly. You mention calculus, however most classes titled like yours ("Introductory Microeconomics") tend to be very light on math. I'm going to assume that your class is of the learning-introductory-concepts variety and not of the taking-partial-derivatives-to-maximize-utility variety. If I'm wrong please correct me (or ignore this answer).

You have two options:

1) Obtain a virtual copy of an intro micro textbook (I can vouch for Mankiw's Principles of Microeconomics) and read it cover to cover.

2) Use a (probably) less-reliable resource such as this or the link you posted in your answer.

Of course, I choose these options with the assumption that your textbook is as bad as you say it is. I would still recommend you go over the course material to determine what your instructor considers important.

Important note: at this level of economics, knowing how to do things (calculate elasticity, do simple math in simple word problems about total cost and average cost, etc) is not nearly as important as understanding the concepts being taught. You say you've taken Calculus 3; expect basically the opposite of your Calc 3 final for this final. Of course, you should know the equation for, say, the elasticity of demand. However, the much more important thing is understanding what elasticity means and how to apply the concept to novel real-world problems.

Here is my off-the-top-of-my-head list of concepts you need to master.

  • Competition. How does profit get driven to 0 in a competitive market? What happens when demand increases in the short run? What then happens as time goes on?

  • Monopolies. Understand why it is in a monopolist's best interest to produce less than the efficient amount. Understand why a monopolist faces a downward sloping MR curve while a competitive firm faces a flat MR curve. Be able to show your understanding on a graph.

  • Understand the difference between an increase in demand (ie, an outward shift in the demand function) and an increase in quantity demanded. Same for supply. Be able to show it on a graph.

  • Understand what happens to quantity supplied and quantity demanded when a binding price floor is in place. Be able to show it on a graph.

  • Firm cost and revenue graphs. How are ATC, MC, MR, P, AVC, and AFC related? Does the answer to this depend on the structure of the market? Why are supply curves upward sloping while demand curves are downward sloping? What are sunk costs?

  • Opportunity cost. what is opportunity cost? If firms in a competitive market see 0 economic profit, how is it that real-world firms achieve positive accounting profit?

  • Specialization and comparative advantage.

  • Price discrimination.

  • Deadweight loss. What is it and why do taxes create it. Be able to show it on a graph.

  • Externalities, public goods, and Pigovian taxes.

  • Elasticity. Bonus points for understanding in terms of calculus. Understand perfect elasticity and perfect inelasticity. Show it on a graph.

  • $\begingroup$ WOW thank you very much for this reply. You are spot on on what I need to learn. I saw the finals and they ask very few questions on formulas. I will take your book into consideration and practice exactly what you wrote I need to master because most of the questions are specifically on that; again, thank you very much for your answer. $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '14 at 1:24

Just so that this list includes the absolute basics I include NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) textbooks (though there is a lot of indian focus in these books).


Starts with Micro-Economics

Not asked by OP but just in case if it helps anyone else http://www.ncert.nic.in/ncerts/textbook/textbook.htm?leec1=0-6 Introduces Macro-Economics

The class 9 book is full of stories, however this is far far below graduate level. http://www.ncert.nic.in/ncerts/textbook/textbook.htm?iess2=0-4

I learnt most of my fundamentals from NCERT so I can vouch for their content being useful

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your contribution. I am sure it will help other people who come and ask the same question as me. $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '14 at 3:01

I think I found a good resource...

Here is the link for anyone else in my position:



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