Author: Philip Ji, BCom 2017 – Accounting

Year course was taken: 2014W

Final letter grade obtained in course: A (I’m not as crazy as the other execs ;P)

About me: I’m not all that interesting, aside from the fact that I’m on the JDC West Development team, VP Academic for CMP, and was recently hired to be an Excel lab TA for Comm 290.


Quantitative Decision Making is a very interesting course, as it combines both computer and paper-based learning. Being honest,  a lot of students in first and second year struggled with Comm 290 in my year (myself included), which is why I wanted to share my secrets to staying afloat.


1. Stay up to date

Comm 290 ramps up quite quickly in comparison to other first year Sauder courses. At first, the course appears to be quite simple, but when you begin adding more variables and constraints to the problems, while simultaneously switching from paper and pen to Excel documents, it can become quite confusing. My advice on combating this is to try and attend every class. As 290 is pretty similar to Mathematics, skipping is definitely not recommended, as you can easily get lost and confused as you cover a lot of material. Be sure to review your notes frequently, and try your hardest to complete the homework before consulting with friends. Additionally, Brian’s office hours are absolutely amazing, as he can clear up any confusion in a matter of minutes – or you can always visit me during my office hours! 😉


2. Practice, practice, practice

Yeah I get it, it seems kind of redundant to mention this, but practicing the problems will allow you to see points in which you need more clarity. Although our first midterm seemed extremely straight forward, there were a lot of little details that students missed. If possible, try to get as much midterm / exam practice as you can, I know CMP creates amazing booklets for both exams, and it really helped me when I was taking the course.


3. Attend the Excel labs

First of all, Excel labs provide extremely easy marks just for attendance. On top of that, Excel labs allow you to go through what was taught that week, and it really helps solidify your understanding of the content. Make sure you are actively trying to understand the concepts taught in the Excel labs, as you will gain almost nothing when you just copy the TA. Finally, be sure to ask a lot of questions if you need clarification or get stuck at any point.


4. PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions)

Definitely attend PASS if you’re struggling with any concepts – or even if you aren’t struggling, it’s a fantastic way to stay up to date! I definitely wish these weekly help sessions were available last year, as the concepts in Comm 290 get really tricky. To sign up for a PASS session, RSVP on COOL! For more information:

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