Author: Sara Da, Director of Commerce Mentorship Program; BCom 2017 – Finance & Accounting Co-op
Year course was taken: 2014 W
Final Grade: A+
Introduction to Finance is perhaps the first real exposure you have in finance. It may seem like a lot of number crunching and math, but if you understand it, it should make intuitive sense.
1. Understand don’t memorize
Don’t try to memorize the steps in doing a type of question. There are too many different variations of the questions that they can give. Instead, try to understand when you use a certain formula. Look at the question and see what elements matches the elements in the formula. Ask yourself if it makes sense to apply it here. Then start punching things into your calculator.
2. Don’t fall behind
This course builds heavily on the materials you previously learned. Make sure you stay on track and review any materials that you are not sure about. If you get lost in one lecture, it is very hard to understand the next.
3. Practice makes Perfect
Make sure you do most if not all the practice problems. They are a great way for you to understand the concepts and apply what you have learned. Many questions on the exam may be similar to what you have done in class or practice problem sets.
4. Rounding Matters
To avoid the hassle of going back after exams to discuss with your prof about rounding issues, clarify it with the prof before going into the exam. Ask how many decimals to keep during calculations and final answers. In finance, a single decimal can make a huge difference in the final answer after compounding multiple periods.
5. Draw Timelines
The trickiest thing in finance is counting the number of periods and how to discount or compound according to what is required in the question. Having a visual will always help you locate exactly where the amounts on the questions are placed and when in the past or future your solution should be at. Invest in those few seconds to draw a quick timeline and you will achieve high returns for your GPA.