Have a weak math base? Look beyond honours courses in economics and commerce, say experts | india | Hindustan Times
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Have a weak math base? Look beyond honours courses in economics and commerce, say experts

india Updated: Jun 15, 2012 02:08 IST
Shaswati Das

The popularity of undergraduate honours courses in economics and commerce has prompted experts to advise aspirants who do not have a good grasp on math to stay away from the programmes.

“These subjects need the student to have a strong base in math. There are other options for aspirants, such as chemistry, which include papers in physics and economics,” Gulshan Sawhney, Delhi University’s deputy dean of student welfare, said.

Most DU colleges confirm that honours courses in economics, physics, commerce and math remain the most sought-after.

Every year, almost half of the applications received by the colleges are for either BCom (Hons) or BA (Hons) in economics. At the same time, students who apply for these courses also apply for various other courses. In 2010, close to 90,000 applications were received for both courses.

Officials suggested that students could settle for other courses such as BCom (Programme), which do not compulsorily require a strong grounding in math.

“The economics and physics courses have been completely revamped in the past couple of years. They are now completely analytical and rely heavily on math. So, students must think twice before opting for pure physics or economics, even if they were good at it in school. There is a vast difference between what is taught in school and what is taught in college,” Sawhney added.

Officials also added that DU results suffered each year because students floundered after choosing to graduate in these subjects.

“Around a third of the students fail their exams because they are not strong in math. So, if their grounding is not strong, it reflects in the university’s results too,” said another DU official.

Students, however, remain insistent on pursuing the courses for not just the brand value but also the lucrative prospects they offer.

“My interest lies primarily in economics, even though I had humanities in school. Several people have warned me that it requires a strong base in math and it will not be easy. But it is a risk I am willing to take because it will help me prepare better for an MBA. Also, studying economics from DU is a matter of great pride,” said Maitri Gupta, an aspirant.

Math Maze

Every year, almost half of all applications come in for BCom (Hons) and BA (Hons) in economics

Among the science honours courses, physics is the most popular

BA (Hons) in economics has been revamped over the last two years and is heavy on math now

Students with a weak base in math should look at options like BCom (Prog) and BSc (Hons) in chemistry

Officials said that around a third of undergraduate students fail their exams because of a weak base in math

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