Final Exam – IMPORTANT – How to Prepare

By | April 25, 2015

The final exam is conducted online in the LCC D2L Learning Management System.  The final exam is worth 40 points. It will consist of two parts:  10 multiple choice questions which will be worth 1 point each, and 5 open ended questions that require a paragraph of so to answer.

The multiple choice questions will cover topics and issues already covered in previous quizzes.  I strongly suggest reviewing the earlier quizzes.  In particular, the Unit 2 quiz in D2L should be reviewed since it accounts for 6-7 of the 10 final exam questions.  Unit 3 quiz topics cover another 2-3 questions, and the Unit 4 quiz accounts for 1-2 questions of the final exam MC questions.

As for the open-ended questions, I am looking for answers that would probably be approximately a good paragraph or two in length.  I am not looking for long essay answers, but I am looking for something more than just a handful of words. I want well-thought out answers, not necessarily long answers. To help you prepare, I am providing the 5 open-ended questions here below in this post. I suggest that you consider your answers and write them in document or text-editor ahead of time before you open and take the test in D2L.  Then you can simply copy-and-paste your prepared answers into the D2L exam boxes.  It will be easier to write that way, it will take any time pressure off you, and it reduces the chances for computer glitches like D2L disconnecting while you are composing your answer.   There are no right-or-wrong answers to these questions. Each question is worth up to 6 points. These questions are not and cannot be auto-graded, so you will have to wait for me to grade them to see your total score.

I am looking for your thoughts. Please do not waste any time trying to figure out “what Jim is looking for”. For example, take the question you’ll see below here about GDP as a useful measure.  I don’t care if you say it is or it isn’t. That is not important. What is important is how or why you say it is important. We’ve certainly read and discussed ideas about both why GDP is useful as a measure and why it’s not. I’m interested what position you take and why you’re thinking that way.  A well considered answer will get the full 6 points.  However, suppose you just say something like “GDP isn’t very useful because it doesn’t tell how cute the puppies are in some country..”.  Well, that’s a pretty silly, unreasoned answer and it would get zero points.

For all of these questions, I want you to write as if you are answering a fellow student or a friend of yours who hasn’t taken the course. Don’t write as if you are answering me, the professor. Assume you’re having a discussion with this friend or other student and they’ve asked you this question, knowing that you have just taken this course. Use your own words to try to answer them.  Again, citations, quotes, etc are not really needed.

The questions are:

  1. Briefly describe in one paragraph in your own words (not citations needed), a key point you learned from reading the Maddison book.
  2. Pick an economic system and briefly describe what that economic system is about, how it works, how a person can identify it, and give an example if possible.  Write as if you are trying to define or explain that economic system to a friend or another student who hasn’t taken this class. You may choose any of the following capitalism, socialism, communism, corporatism, free market, traditional, social democratic, neoliberalism,or you may choose a label of a system not listed here.
  3. Choose one position:   either “GDP is a very good and useful measure of economic well-being and an economy” or “GDP is not a very good or useful measure of economic well-being and an economy”.  Describe why you think so.
  4. Suppose you have been told you will be traveling to some country you either have never heard of or truly don’t know much about it. You are curious about their economy, their economic system, and economic life in that country.  What would be the first 2-3 questions or data (measures) you would like to have answered as you begin to learn about this country and their economic system? Briefly describe why you would want to know that.
  5. Economic systems evolve over time.  For example, 60 years ago there was no universal government-funded health insurance for seniors (Medicare) in the US.  Suppose you encounter a time machine and you travel into your own future. Indeed, you are transported to a time in the future when you are in your senior years and you’ve retired or are at the normal retirement age. What do you expect would be the most significant way in which the US economic system will have changed between now and this future you are visiting?  (I realize that for some of you this may be 10-15 years into the future and for others it will be 50 years into the future – that’s OK.  I want you to imagine your senior future).

Finally, while the exam will be open until Sunday, May 10 at 12 NOON, it will be helpful to me if you can complete it sooner than that since it will help my grading time.

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