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Preparation for DSE – Sanchit Singhal

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Guest/Multiple authors

The blog post is either written by a guest author or multiple authors. You'll find the name(s) the author(s) at the bottom of the blog post.


Note: This post caters only to the preparation of DSE


A list of topics you must know is Permutation & Combinations, Conditional probability which includes the gambler ruin problem, first step analysis, and Monty hall. CDF & PDF Questions on a distribution like Bernoulli, binomial, geometric, negative binomial, hypergeometric distribution, normal, exponential, and questions on their mean & variance. Linearity of expectation, Conditional expectation, and variance. Covariance, Correlation, Joint distribution. Cauchy Schwartz, Jensen’s Inequality, Markov Inequality, Chebyshev inequality. This can be used for ISI preparation also. Book to be used for concepts (The reason for this book is it focuses on solving questions and is easy to understand): Mathematical Statistics with Applications – K.M.Ramachandran, Chris P.Tsokos
For practice, you can use the resources given below.
Statistics 110: Probability – YouTube
Blitzstein Hwang Probability.pdf

Question to be done (do examples)

  • Chapter-1 8,9,11,21,22,23,26,52,57
  • Chapter-2 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 25, 26, 35, 44, 48 ( Leave section 2.8)
  • Chapter-3 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 31, 35, 40, 42, 45
  • Chapter-4 3, 6, 7, 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 31, 33 (leave section 4.9)
  • Chapter-5 1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 38, 41
  • Chapter-7 1, 2, 40, 52
  • Chapter-8 1-9
  • Chapter-9 Examples only

Solutions to Introduction to Probability (9781466575578), Pg. 130
Notes – Probability.pdf
Don’t watch videos just jump to the book which is self-explanatory.

Statistical Inference

Topics to know are the central limit theorem, the law of large numbers, the method of moments, maximum likelihood, Mean squared error, confidence interval – cases like sigma is known and unknown, CI for proportion, the difference in means, hypothesis testing- How to check one sided and 2 sided hypothesis, calculating type 1 error and type 2 error or the ‘Power of test’. Just need to know the basics.
The book that can be used: Mathematical Statistics with Applications – K.M.Ramachandran, Chris P.Tsokos

Additional resources for stats

The Staff of REA-Statistics Problem Solver (It is a fully solved book with a lot of solved questions)
Probability and Mathematical Statistics – Prasanna Sahoo


Use Basic Econometrics by Damodar Gujarati. There are many books by Gujarati but follow the book title Basic econometrics. The reason for recommending this book is almost all questions asked in past years are from this book. Moreover, it is followed in DSE also. You will easily find this book along with solutions online. Solve up to specification error. ( I guess it is chapter 13)
Introductory Econometrics Jeffrey M. Wooldridge [2]
Some practice questions with solutions-Econometric Methods.pdf
Econometrics.pdf ( Leave questions 1 & 7 )


It can be divided into 3 sections:

Linear Algebra

Watch only the first 10 lectures. Follow the Book introduction to linear algebra by Gilbert Strang. Only do portions covered in the first 10 lectures. Just study from the book. Videos can be waste of time. So just study from the book

Real Analysis

Topics to know Logic, Set theory, Convergence, Divergence, Open sets, closed sets, Metric spaces- definition and properties, open neighborhoods, convex sets, concavity, convexity, quasi-convex and quasi concave
Notes- Sequences.pdf
See Amit Goyal’s videos on youtube. For others, since you need to know basic theorem and properties you will find material on youtube and Khan academy.


Functions- Domain & Range, functional equations, one-one & onto functions, inverse functions, limits, continuity, intermediate value theorem, Rolle’s Theorem, Maxima and minima in single & multivariable, constrained optimization. Pick some JEE Mains book (ignore trigonometry may be Arihant), Definiteness (Use Simon & Blume)

Introduction to Logic

You can do this course for fundamental understanding. It is somewhat required.
Introduction to Logic | Coursera
Some resources for Maths: Mathematical Methods for Economic Theory – Martin J. Osborne,
Mathematics I MTH 101AA – P. Shunmugaraj (IIT Kanpur)


It can be divided into 4 parts

Consumer Theory

  1. Given the utility function, solve for a different price level of good
  2. Calculation of substitution effect and income effect using Slutsky and Hicksian approach.
  3. Solve for Pareto efficiency and competitive equilibrium in case 2 consumers for a different set of the utility function (very important, at least 4 questions in DSE come from this topic)
  4. First and Second Welfare Theorem. Utility Possibility Frontier

Production Theory

  1. Given various production functions calculations of the cost function, supply function, and conditional demand function for inputs ( both in the short run and long run ).
  2. Calculation of cost function in case of some input being fixed, the concept of sunk cost, fixed cost.


Profit maximization in case of competitive markets, monopoly, calculation of price and qty in the short run and long-run equilibrium in both markets, price discrimination – 1 st degree, 2 nd degree, and 3 rd degree

Revealed Preference Theory

Chapter-1 Mas Collel Whinston & Green
Reference- Hal Varian Workbook. Some videos on youtube by Amit Goyal are good for general equilibrium
Eduspred. This contains the solved question of the problem set given in Micro Part-1 Of DSE. Solve problem set 1,2,3 & 4 ( last question ). You can also try solving in some mid-term and past years of DSE semester exams. It is quite useful for entrances.

Game Theory

Concept and application of strong, weak dominated strategy, Nash equilibrium, Nash equilibrium outcome, best response function, backward induction, subgame, subgame perfect equilibrium, Bertrand, Cournet, Stackelberg, Bayesian Games.
Reference: Introduction to Game Theory by Martin Osborne.
Steven Tadelis-Game Theory_ An Introduction-Princeton University Press (2013) (1).pdf


Solow growth model, Harrod Domar growth model, Mundell Fleming model which includes cases of the effect of monetary and fiscal policy in case of the flexible and fixed exchange rate in case of perfect, imperfect, and no capital mobility, covered and uncovered interest parity, IS-LM in case of a closed and open economy, wage setting and price setting relationship, AS-AD, Phillips curve, Okun’s law, Marshell-Lerner condition
Reference-Blanchard for knowing basics. The implicit function theorem is used a lot in solving a lot of numericals related to IS-LM. The reference is Simon & Blume. Charles Jones for Solow Model

International Economics

Ricardian Model & Heckscher–Ohlin model
Reference- Paul Krugman International Economics

Other resources you should follow:

  1. Amit Goyal. Link to Amit Goyal’s profile. It contains a lot of solved problems relevant to the entrance
  2. Basic Videos | ECOPOINT
    Basic Concept Videos These are a new set of basic videos. These are helpful for your Intermediate Microeconomic Theory Course. This course is taught at Delhi University in two semesters. In semester 3, Intermediate Microeconomics I, and in Semester 4, Intermediate Microeconomics II. We have also added a few videos on Introductory Econometrics, taught in semester 4 of Delhi University, Economics H. We will be adding more as we move on. If you read Varian, and Intermediate Microeconomics, alongside these videos, all your basics will be cleared. We have also mentioned Chapter numbers alongside, using them, read the text alongside. Similarly, for Econometrics Course, please read Gujarati side by side, along with these videos. We hope they will be helpful to you, whether you are preparing for Semester Exams, MA Economics Entrance, UGC NET Economics, or Indian Economic Services.
    Contains a lot of free videos for concepts

I have stated quite a lot of books. I recommend following only one book for each subject. Follow the book which you find better for problem-solving.

Some tips

  1. Pick a topic, understand its concept and try to solve as many questions as you can. Don’t divulge too deep into theory. DSE will ask you numericals.
  2. DSE exam duration is of 2 hours. You have limited time to solve 50 questions. First attempt questions that u know exactly. A lot of students waste time on questions they feel they can do ( using options but a lot of time gets wasted).
  3. Solve all 10-year questions. You do not need to know which is the correct option but also why others are wrong.
  4. Never ever try to predict DSE. DSE has surprises for you every time. For instance, in 2017 around 40 questions were from past years. Around 20 questions in 2018 from past years. But only 1 question from the past year in 2019. They will sometimes give you a lot of micro and stats. Sometimes a lot of macro and ecotrix.
  5. There are no “magical” books for micro and macro that contain DSE-like questions( as far as I know). I have tried to post a lot of questions with solutions. The trick is to make a continuous effort and think harder to solve 10 years using basics or solutions available to selected questions ( might seem silly solution but there is no other way ). Initially solving each question is going to consume a lot of time and be frustrating too ( because of the inability to solve many of them) but later you will find yourself able to solve questions. It does not matter how many questions you have solved what matters is how much you tried to solve yourself. Try to avoid seeing solutions.


Q.1 Which subject should I start preparation with?

Its answer is subjective. Personally, I would have started with Micro and Stats simultaneously. I would be replaced Micro with Macro and Stats with Ecotrix. Then I would have done Maths. The reason for such an approach is personally I find micro, stats, ecotrix, and macro scoring. Maths on other hand is quite vast and relatively difficult ( personally I find so ). In maths, I would have definitely tried to do Real analysis because of the very less syllabus and you just need to know the results, On another hand, calculus and linear algebra are quite vast. I would have focused on concepts of questions asked in 10 years

Q.2 Can I completely rely on the above topics and references for preparation?

As far as topics are concerned, I have listed all topics asked in past years along with some additional topics based on the BA economics Hons du syllabus. For references, I am quite confident about probability & ecotrix. Don’t know many references for micro and macro (maybe try MIT OpenCourseWare)

Q.3 How much time does it require to prepare for the same?

Depends upon how much u can think and understand the material. Ideally, I believe it will take around 7–8 months to cover all the topics stated above.

Q.4 What are the chances of clearing the entrance exam?

Personally, I believe if you are able to understand exactly the logic behind the answers to questions given in past years, that is you should know why other options are incorrect and the exact logic of why an answer is correct.

Q.5 Is it necessary to join coaching?

All I can say is I know most of the things required for clearing entrances from coaching centers, although there is good enough material on maths, stats, game theory & ecotrix. I didn’t find good material for micro and macro. So in my opinion, if you can manage micro and macro then it should not be a problem. You also have 10 years to test yourself. If you can solve them then you are all set to go

Q.6 Which is the best coaching to join for the preparation of entrances?

There are 2 most popular coaching for the preparation of entrances. One is Amit Goyal. I took offline classes here. Other is Ecopoint. I didn’t join here but through their online portal, I have seen all videos of Macro, Ecotrix, Maths, and Game theory. No idea about stats and micro. So my views will be based on that –

Coverage – Ecopoint wins hands down. They cover everything in requisite detail. They don’t leave a single topic. On other hand, Amit Goyal will teach you micro, stats, and Real analysis in maths. Others you have to cover on your own

Quality of teaching – Topics like Consumer Theory, Production Theory, Externalities & Public Good, Probability, Logic, Revealed Preference Theory, and Convex Sets are better taught at Amit Goyal( Didn’t see Ecopoint videos but Amit Goyal seems to be more than enough ) Topics like Game Theory, linear algebra, calculus, real analysis, Macro & Ecotrix are better taught at Ecopoint. No idea whose statistical inference is better ( Amit Goyal was not up to the mark and didn’t see videos of Ecopoint )

Teaching Methodology – Ecopoint is Methodological in its approach. They will expose a number of cases possible that are in a given topic. They will use results to solve questions. Some proofs will be done.

On other hand, Amit Goyal classes will teach you to think. A lot of proofs especially in maths and stats will be done. A lot of problem-solving in micro will be done but not many problems will be done in other subjects.

Coverage of 10 years – Both will solve a lot of previous years in class. But Ecopoint solves almost all questions catering not only to DSE & ISI but JNU as well. At Amit Goyal, during my time ( 2017–18 batch ) most difficult papers of DSE and ISI ( 2012–2016 ) were not solved. Although written solutions were available I feel they should have been solved in class.

Class Duration – Amit Goyal classes duration is 7–8 hours. Ecopoint duration is 4 hours. Also, recorded lectures are available in the case of Ecopoint. This is not the case with Amit Goyal classes .

Batch Size – Amit Goyal’s classes have a batch size of around 150 students in a class. Ecopoint has around 40–50 students in a single class ( as told by a friend)

Mock Test and Doubt Clearing – Amit Goyal does not have any mock test series. For doubt clearing, you have an excellent platform in form of Piazza. Although, there is no way you can clear your doubts with sir. You will get around 5–10 minutes during the lunch break and 10–20 minutes after class to resolve doubts.

At Ecopoint, they have a lot of mock tests. I did some of them for DSE, but I find them pretty average. I gave 5–6 mock tests, all of which had a lot of micro and maths but very few questions pertaining to other subjects. In some of them, a single type of question was repeated with different figures.

Since I watched videos through an online portal, I don’t have any idea how they cleared doubts. But my friend tells me that they are easily accessible you can easily clear your doubts

I personally regret taking coaching at Amit Goyal. He covers some syllabi of 1 st semester of DSE rather than focusing on entrances. Moreover, it is a half-baked course with a focus on selective topics which can be detrimental given the unpredictable nature of the exam.

In my limited experience with Ecopoint I found it far better than Amit Goyal for preparation for entrances. From a learning point of view, Amit Goyal’s classes might be a better choice in this respect. It is a mini masters course in economics

Other sources written by students and coaching centers for preparation for DSE

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