JNU MA Economics entrance exam


(M.A Economics, Center for Economic Studies and Planning “CESP”)

The old pattern of entrance examination for M.A Economics from CESP had slight changes time by time. The paper was of 100 marks with no negative marking and consisted of, mostly, four to five parts with the following elaboration:

  1. 1.      30 multiple choice questions of one mark each.
  2. 2.      8 less explanatory questions with 5 marks each, and some proofs too, and out of which, 6 ought to be solved.
  3. 3.      3 Elaborative questions with 10 marks each, out of which, 2 was required to be solved.
  4. 4.      A 20 mark easy writing question, with a choice of 1 from 6 given topics.


In 2010, the pattern was changed by the center and the new pattern was introduced and it is applicable now. In this new pattern, there are 100 multiple choice questions with 5 choices and with the weightage of one (1) mark each. The negative marking of (-1/2) per each wrong answer is also part of the new pattern introduced.

Note: Before appearing for the examination, please look carefully the latest prospectus for any announcement reading the changes in the pattern of exam, decided by the university.

The entrance exam would majorly include questions from 4 main economics papers and general knowledge, which are briefly explained below:

1)         Statistics:

The average graduation level knowledge of this paper would suffice to solve its questions in the exam. The main focus should be on Probability, Averages and Dispersion.

The preferable books to be consulted for Statistics are:

  1. a.      Basic Statistics by: Nagar and Das.
  2. b.      Mathematical Statistics with Applications by: John E. Fraeund.
  3. c.       Schaum’s Outline of Statistics by: Murray R. Spiegel and Larry J. Stephens.


2)         Microeconomics:

The principle focus should be on utility maximization, special cases of perfect substitutes and compliments, different productions and cost functions with emphasis on their minimization exercise and profit maximization problems, different forms of competition encompassing perfect competition, monopoly, basic theory of general equilibrium, questions of allocation and Pareto optimality. Requirement is of the nature of an average graduation curriculum.

The reference that should be followed:

  1. Intermediate Microeconomics by: Hal. E. Varian
  2. Exercise book of intermediate Microeconomics by: Hal. E. Varian (Questions to be solved carefully).


3)         Macroeconomics:

Basic knowledge of average graduation level should be sufficient. Emphasis on growth models, e.g., Harrod-Domar, Solow-Swan model should be laid. Also, focus should be directed towards Keynsian macroeconomics pertaining to multipliers of closed and open economy, IS-LM etc.

The references that need to be consulted are as follows:

  1. a.      Macroeconomics by: M.C. Vaish (for growth models).
  2. b.      Macroeconomics by: Dornbush and Fischer.
  3. c.       Or any other standard Macroeconomics text book.
  4. d.      Development economics by: Debraj Ray (for growth models).


4)         Mathematical Economics:

Stressed should be laid on series, sequences, functions and relations, sets, basic calculus such as integration and differentiation. Incorporate notions of implications, quantifiers etc. in Logic.

The references are:

  1. a.      Mathematical Economics by: Sydsaeter and Hammond. Or
  2. b.      Mathematics for Economists: Simon and Blume.
  3. c.       Refer to the appendix of any standard book of mathematics for the Logic section.


5)         General Knowledge:

Preliminary knowledge of national and international economy and regular surfing of newspapers will be enough.


Any passage from famous economists’ work will be quoted as a comprehension question. Analytical understanding of basic economics should suffice the purpose.

Note: It has been observed that previous years’ questions are frequently repeated, therefore, suggestion is to solve previous years’ questions, available in JNU, at the time of application process. Questions should be solved preferably in a group as it helps built better understanding and to correct solutions of the questions.

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  1. Can anyone suggest if short questions of 5 marks are in the question pattern for 2011?? I am confused luking at the question set of previous yrs..If yes then help me with some short questions as per 2011 syllabus.. thanks for ur help!!

  2. hi ,my self Lisa mukherjee, i m a student of b.sc 3rd year (honours in economics) from kalyani university in west bengal.my subject combination is geography, history. i wants to do PG in economics from JNU.may i get admission in jnu?plzzz reply about it through e-mail, its urgent. my email address is lisa mukherjee63@gmail.com

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