Please notice this was first posted in the period 2012-2014 and can be outdated
It has been a while, but last week almost everybody of the Sasin MBA class of 2012 sat for exams again. It felt extra stressful this time; not because I had 3 exams to study for or because the courses in the second year are harder than in the first year, but mostly because the complete MBA class of 2013 spend almost every minute of their time at Sasin occupying all the study rooms and the library. So we had to group up also and share study rooms with classmates with all the inconveniences that brings.
One of the courses I did this quarter was Finance 2; a course that was rather popular looking at the total number of 40 students that signed up for it. Or maybe the course is not popular at all, but people just want to do a concentration in Finance and this is a required course for that concentration. Either way, it was busy in class.
The material covered in this course is still rather basic; we covered the WACC, unlevered equity betas, looked at dividend policies, and did more of that stuff. Some topics were already covered earlier during the course Investments with Pattarake Sarajoti but we cannot blame anybody for that since that was an optional course. At least the book used for this course was a decent one and by just reading the necessary chapters you should be able to score well in every part of the exam.
A large part of your final grade depends on how well you do during the 5 weeks this course runs. The final exam counts for only 40% meaning the rest has to come from group reports and the in-class quizzes. The quizzes were mostly there to force people to pay attention during the lectures since it covered material discussed in the past few lectures. Most people scored pretty well on these quizzes even though they would not be quickly nominated for the “Nobel Prize” in economics.
The group reports took a lot more effort though; very often the questions looked fairly simple but it was unclear which level of detail was needed. So after spending hours calculating some ratios to come up with the correct numbers you find out that you could just simply assume 5% and you would be done with it. Unfortunately not all new information was shared with the total group resulting in everybody walking by the professor every now and then, or checking with other groups to see what they found out. A simple solution to this would be to judge each question asked by a student on how valid that question is, and when it is valid sent an email to everybody with that information; this would at least create a level playing field.
The days leading to the final exam people were studying frantically since word was that the exam would be very difficult with scores of below 50% on average. In my view it was not that bad at all, also because it was an open-book exam meaning whoever prepared their material well should be able to answer every question. Or maybe the exam was really difficult and I just did not read the questions correctly meaning I answered everything wrong, but we will find that out in a couple of weeks when the grades come in.
For a couple of extra points we were also allowed to find a song related to finance and hand that in as a bonus assignment. At first it sounded like a rather stupid and childish assignment but I have to admit it was quite fun to pick out a song, translate the text into finance related concepts, and find out how to make a slideshow with music.