Economics

ECON 109 and Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics

Effective Fall 2020, ECON 109 - Basic Writing in Economics I will be a prerequisite for all ECON courses at the 300- and 400-level and ECON 225. ECON 109 will be waived as a prerequisite upon successful completion of the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics. ECON 109 will be waived as a prerequisite for all graduate students.

What does this mean?

If you will have 75 credits completed before Fall 2020, the ECON 109 requirement is automatically waived. All other students from any Faculty or Department taking ECON courses at the 300- or 400-level or ECON 225 in Fall 2020 or later will need to prepare to either:

  1. Take (and pass) the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics; or

    Note: Fall 2020 courses require successful completion of the Assessment by July 31. Winter 2021 courses require successful completion of the Assessment by September 25.

  2. Enroll in ECON 109

    Note: ECON 109 will be permitted as a co-requisite during the 2020-21 academic year.

About ECON 109

ECON 109 is a course in basic writing in Economics, with a focus on developing the ability to write clearly on economic concepts, and illustrate the results of data analysis. ECON 109 is not open to students who have successfully completed the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension and Writing in Economics. ECON 109 cannot be used to fulfill Junior English requirements from any Faculty.

Registration for ECON 109 in Fall 2020/Winter 2021 terms will open in April 2020.

About the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics

The Assessment will take place at the Learning Assessment Centre (LAC) and will take approximately one hour to complete. Students are responsible for booking a time to write during the scheduled exam windows. The Assessment will measure students’ ability to read, comprehend, and summarize a non-scholarly article on a broad economic topic. Exam results will be released on eClass within three weeks of writing. The Assessment will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis, there will be no exam review after the exam, and the grade cannot be appealed.

Students can attempt the Assessment at most twice. The first attempt will be paid for by the Department of Economics. Students who wish to attempt the Assessment a second time will be required to pay a fee of $30, payable in cash-only to the LAC at the time of the second exam.

Students who pass the Assessment will have ECON 109 waived as a prerequisite for all ECON courses at the 300- and 400-level. Students who fail the assessment twice will be required to take ECON 109. Students who fail the Assessment once can choose to enroll in ECON 109 rather than attempting the Assessment a second time.

Sample Assessment

Completing the Assessment

For further details regarding completion of the Assessment, including a link to the registration form, see:

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take ECON 109?
Only students who do not pass the Assessment are required to take ECON 109.

Am I required to take the Assessment?
No. You can skip the Assessment entirely, and enroll into ECON 109 directly if you prefer.

Can I waive ECON 109 without taking the Assessment?
Students who have completed *75 credits by Fall 2020 can waive ECON 109 without taking the Assessment. All other students must take (and pass) the Assessment in order to have ECON 109 waived as a prerequisite. 

I’m not an Economics major; does this change apply to me?
Yes, this change affects all students (except graduate students), regardless of major or program, who take courses in Economics at the 300- or 400-level or ECON 225.

Do I need to complete the Assessment each year or term I’m registered in 300/400 courses?
No. You only need to pass the Assessment once.

What do I do next?
If you:

  • will complete *75 credits before Fall 2020, this change does not impact you. You do not need to take ECON 109 or complete the Assessment.
  • will not have *75 credits completed by Fall 2020, you should register for the Assessment.
    • Fall 2020 courses require successful completion of the Assessment by July 31 in order for ECON 109 to be waived.
    • If you do not pass the Assessment after a maximum of two attempts, you must enroll in ECON 109.

ECON 109 Course Description

ECON 109 - Basic Writing in Economics I The course will introduce students to basic writing in the economics discipline. The focus is on developing the ability to write clearly on economic concepts, as well as illustrating results of data analysis. ECON 109 is a prerequisite for all ECON courses at the 300- and 400-level. ECON 109 will be waived as a prerequisite upon completion of the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics. Students who have successfully completed the Assessment of Reading, Comprehension, and Writing in Economics will not be permitted to enroll/receive credit in ECON 109. Students can contact the Department of Economics for more information about the Assessment. Prerequisite: ECON 101.