11/12/2008

Review for As Unit F581 Revison book

First of all I want to say that in my opinion book completely does not fit in its purpose. However, I can't deny that there are some advantages.

The structure of the book is a very important thing. When you learn something, you should do it step-by-step, going from the key points into the details. In this book many topics are split in small pieces which are situated in diffetent parts of the book. A good example of this is how the authors introduce the demand curve, the supply curve and the price equillibrium topics. When the main topic is demand, the consumer surplus is also explained. Yes, we can't deny that they are close connected to one another, but still - demand is basics, the consumer surplus is not. I think that basics (e.g. demand, supply and opportunity cost) should be explained first. Other things like surpluses should have their own topic which will be hepful in understanding the AS. Elasticty, one of the most important topics in this Unit, is also misstructured.
Some of the definitons are given not from economic studies point of view, they are just explained clearly so noneconomists can understand what it is about. Still, when you are taking an exam you are required to define terms using economic terminology.
Another disadvantage of the book is the number of excersizes. We can take the production possibility curve topic as an example. They ask to draw the PPC for 5 times! As a student, I really think that this is wasting of my time, because the opportunity cost is not so difficult topic, which needs so much practise. Also I can say that the authors ask to write too many definitions which takes your time when it's easier just to read it and remember it.
Sometimes the extra data is given, but you don't need to remember it. They intoduce demand as a function of price, prices of other goods, incomes, tastes and fashion, the level structure of the population, advertising and expectations of consumers. Seriously, do students need all these things to understand what the demand curve is?

Now I'm going to talk about the advantages of the book.
One of them, surprisingly, is extra data like the types of scarsity ot types of industries. These things will be helpful if are considered at exams and they also give you a wide view on economics.
Another thing is past papers which show a student what will he need to know.
Some of the topics are presented really well with not so many helpful excersizes, which is good for revising. I really like how the market failure topic is presented, though there are things that I would change.

So, it is obvious that the book has more disadvantages than advantages. Actually, I would call this book "AS Unit F581 for Dummies", but not a revision book. Definately.

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