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NUS Math Module Review: MA3269 Mathematical Finance I

Assessment Structure:

Weekly Lecture Quiz (1 question/week) and Tutorial Quiz (1 question/week from Week 3 onwards): 5%

Midterm Test (Chapter 1 and 2) : 30%

Quiz on Week 13 (Chapter 3 and 4): 15%

Final Exam (Chapter 3-6) : 50%

Module Content (will not elaborate much on this):

Chapter 1: Theory of Interest

Chapter 2: Bond and Term Structure

Chapter 3: Expected Utility Theory

Chapter 4: Mean Variance Analysis

Chapter 5: Porfolio Theory and CAPM

Chapter 6: Basic Option Theory

While I didn’t find the calculations in this module too difficult, I think

the biggest challenge that most people might face would be the numerous

financial jargon that will be introduced every week, so this is where

conceptual understanding is key. That being said, one thing I really

loved about MA3269 was how well prepared Dr Li Wei was in teaching the

module, from her clear and concise lecture notes to being so prompt in

email queries and even having ample practices for students to use in

preparation for the assessments (we had around 2 sample papers each for

the midterms, finals and quiz along with extra practice questions for

the final).

Class size was neither small nor big at around 130 students, with majority either Y2 QF and Y2/3 Applied Math students, with a small number of students from FoE. So I’d say one thing prospective students might want to watch out for would be the bellcurve which I think was rather steep – for our midterm test, 25th and 75th

percentile was 26/40 and 35/40 respectively, with the median at 31/40.

Midterm and week 13 quiz weren’t too difficult as many of the questions were

variations of the sample papers and tutorial discussion questions. However, time crunch was definitely a problem during the midterm which made it especially easy to commit careless mistakes.

Final consisted of 4 questions, totalling 100 marks. First 2 questions were pure computational questions while the 3rd question was a mixture of computation and proof questions. The last question (~19 marks) was pure proof (apart from one subpart which was computation). Personally I didn’t find the final too easy nor too difficult, but there were a few computational questions which I stumbled on before being able to do them so do spend some time thinking so far questions which you aren’t 100% confident in rather than jumping right into doing the computation (or

skip the question first then come back to it later!

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