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How hard is ECON 3010 Micro and ECON 3130 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

Silverzc413Silverzc413 Registered User Posts: 460 Member
edited July 2009 in Cornell University
I'm an incoming info sci major in CALS and want to take some econ courses (3010 is one of the requirements for Info sci). I've taken AP micro in high school and got a 5 on the exam. However, do you guys think 3010 (microeconomics) or ECON 3130 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory is maybe too hard for a first year student? I don't want to screw up my GPA but at the same time I want to take courses that would interest me.
Post edited by Silverzc413 on

Replies to: How hard is ECON 3010 Micro and ECON 3130 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

  • Ray192Ray192 Registered User Posts: 2,019 Senior Member
    3130 is supposed to be hard, but I got something like 98 on the final with only a night's worth of studying, so who knows. If you're decent at math, it shouldn't be a huge problem.
  • clochecloche Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    i signed up for 3130 last year's fall semester, but dropped it.
    the professor is pretty hard, and i wasn't adequately prepared for the class. (you need multivariable calc)
  • Jocer333Jocer333 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    multivariable calc? Really? So if i'm placing out of calc with ap credits should i take Calc II before I take ECON 3130 then?
  • mikeyc765mikeyc765 Registered User Posts: 1,347 Senior Member
    You do NOT need multivariable calc to do 3130. Yes, there are partial derivatives, but the TA will teach you those in section. The partial derivatives and Lagrangian multipliers are not all that difficult to learn in just a few minutes (really just a slight variation on regular derivatives from calc I). That being said, 3130 is probably considered one of the harder econ courses. BTW, 3010 is supposedly harder since it's designed for engineers and is thus more math intensive. However, if you took AP Micro, you should have all the preparation you need to do well in the class.
  • Silverzc413Silverzc413 Registered User Posts: 460 Member
    thanks for the answers. I was also wondering about ECON 3190 Introductory to Statistics and Probability. How does this compare to AP stats in high school? I had a 5 on the stats test that places me out of AEM 2100, is 3190 harder since it's above 3000?
  • CornellStudent11CornellStudent11 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    For both Econ 3130 and Econ 3190, the difficulty of the course often depends on which professor you have. And even when taking these courses with the more popular professors, the means on prelims/finals can sometimes be rather low.

    Econ 3190 and 3200 are known as the hardest required classes in the Econ major, and if you already have several rigorous courses in your schedule, I wouldn't recommend taking 3190 freshman year. I didn't take AP Stats, but from what I could tell from other students' comments, Econ 3190 definitely goes far beyond the scope of that AP course.

    If you're looking for a more general statistics course, I'm not sure whether you'd want to take Econ 3190 at all. The course is really meant to be part of the two semester 3190-3200 sequence and therefore focuses a lot on preparation for econometrics (3200), at least in the 3190 section I took.
  • cornelleconcornellecon Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Confirming that you don't need multivariable calc for 313. It's an easy class if you're comfortable with derivatives. If you have those down cold (come on, they're derivatives) lagrangian and partials are easy, and that's usually as far as the class goes. 313 is straight optimization, basically. I got a A+ in the course, and I didn't do anything over and above the psets and reasonable studying, but it depends on the prof.

    319 is a harder course than 313, but i did well with no background of Prob/stats. It's not designed to blow you out of the water, but you need to put in the time.

    You should note that 319 leads to 320(econometrics), which most econ majors think is the hardest core class in the major. You can substitute 321 for 319/320, which is supposedly easier.

    If you're interested in prob/stats/metrics, there are elective courses that you can take after those, like time-series or other grad courses in metrics. That being said, you shouldn't take too much time off between the courses, which is going to get you into some pretty complicated material early on in college, when you should be living it up (in my opinion).
  • hoonosehoonose Registered User Posts: 637 Member
    I took 3020 last semester, which was the macroeconomics version of 3010. In my experience, it was very laid back. There were something like 4 homework assignments through the semester, which were very easy. In fact, the TA accidentally posted the answers on the website in the morning before we had to hand them in for two of them. There were two midterms and a final, all of which were fairly easy.

    The most important thing to do well in 3020 is have a good idea about the mathematics going on, in terms of rates of change (derivatives) and stuff. I still don't know anything about economics (except that it's not for me) and I ended up with a good grade in 3020 simply because I was pretty good with the math required.

    Not sure how much of this will translate to 3010, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • clochecloche Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    oops, i meant I signed up for 3010 last year, not 3130
  • StilesStiles Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I've taken both 3020 and 3010 and hoonose is right about 3020 being laid back with the current prof. 3010 is a bit more difficult with Ben Daniels, we had him for his first semester at Cornell and he started off pretty bad but quickly got alot better. He's a good guy and a pretty good teacher, if he's teaching it and you feel pretty comfortable with calculus (mainly the idea of optimization) take 3010 (which combines both intro and intermediate micro).

    3130 a friend of mine took when I took 3010, he had me explaining his homework constantly, he felt the teacher he had was pretty bad but I don't know how much he studied. I went into 3010 with no prior background in Econ, while it was a lot of work at times I think it was worth it.
  • zbn1012zbn1012 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    ouch.. i think i might make a mistake in my course selection. I am an incoming freshman, but I am taking both econ 3130 and econ 3190... I don't know how much workload I will get as a result... I have taken linear algebra, multivariable calc, ap stat in high school. Should I change my schedule or just stick with what I have?
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