The Economics Department will offer a junior tutorial this semester specifically designed to prepare students for the department's non-honors general examination.
Junior and senior Economics concentrators learned of the new tutorial, "Fundamental Problems in Economic Theory," in their registration packets.
The announcement described the course as being "specifically designed both to help those who might have trouble on that exam and to be a comprehensive review of the analytical tools of basic micro- and macroeconomics."
Kurt Brown, associate head tutor of Economics who will offer the course, said yesterday the decision to offer the tutorial came after seven of the 63 non-honors concentrators failed the exam when it was given in September.
The exam contains two one-hour questions on specific fields and two half-hour questions on micro- and macroeconomics. For the specific field questions, the student can choose two of 12 questions, which are distributed a week before the test.
The theory questions assume knowledge of micro- and macroeconomics at the introductory level.
The exam is offered semi-annually, at the end of November or early December, and in late April. Students can take the exam as often as they like, beginning in the second semester of their junior year.
The tutorial, which will count for credit in the concentration and will be graded, will stress preparation for the theory questions.
Brown said yesterday the exam is "not difficult to pass if you take a little time to prepare yourself."
Mark Bingham '80, who took the exam in December, said yesterday the test was "very, very easy."
Joseph Z. Cortes '81 said yesterday that it is "accepted that the general exam is a breeze."
Brown suggested that the reason students fail the exam is that Social Analysis 10, "Principles of Economics," which is required of all Economics concentrators, doesn't fail anyone, and that the non-honors requirements "aren't too stringent."