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Exam preps: 10 online learning resources for commerce students

Steven Tannason

Wed Oct 05 2011


HELLO October, how time flies! Assignment due dates are hot on our heels and we’re little more than a month away from the dreaded exams.

To help keep things interesting, and to encourage you to get a head start on exam preps, we’ve compiled 10 online learning resources that commerce students can use.

1) Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an amazing resource for students and learners of any age anywhere.

Its comprehensive video library (more than 2400 and counting) and practice exercises make it a popular learning tool in schools. Its resources on finance subjects include ‘Banking and Money’, ‘Valuation and Investing’, ‘Venture Capital and Capital Markets’, ‘Current Economics’ and ‘Currency’.


In addition, students who are taking The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for MBA or other graduate courses, can practise GMAT Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving on Khan Academy.

Delivered on YouTube, you can make the most of your waiting or travelling time by plugging into these short video tutorials. Another upside – it’s a cooler look than having your nose buried in a textbook all the time.

2) MIT OpenCourseWare

Started in 2002, MIT OpenCourseWare is an initiative by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to tackle the problem of inadequate education for youth.

It publishes some of the university’s lectures, syllabuses, notes and assignments online. Having 2000 courses to date, its economic courses include ‘Principles of Microeconomics’, ‘Game Theory’, ‘Principle of Macroeconomics’, ‘Econometrics I’ and ‘Organisational Economics’.

MIT's OpenCourseWare provides the university's lectures, notes and exercises

MIT’s OpenCourseWare provides the university’s lectures, notes and assignments free online

Several assignments, however, are not accompanied by the solutions.

That said, MIT OpenCourseWare still remains a fantastic resource and is a great platform for students to gain knowledge from one of the world’s finest universities.

3) NYT The Learning Network

We all know The New York Times as one of the world’s premier newspapers. What you may not know about is their online portal The Learning Network: Teaching & Learning With The New York Times, which offers educational resources based on the articles and resources published in the paper.

And while The New York Times has a pay wall, where visitors can read up to 20 articles per month before being asked to subscribe, the resources on The Learning Network are all offered gratis. Recent examples include ‘Nowhere to Go but Up? Analysing Economic Measures in a Downturn’ and ‘No Taxation Without Calculation: Filling Out Tax Returns’.

NYT's The Learning Network provides learning resources based on the articles and resources published in the paper

NYT’s The Learning Network provides learning resources based on the articles and resources published in the paper

The Learning Network is a good platform for you to relate what you learn in classrooms to real-life applications.

4) AccountingCoach

AccountingCoach is a remarkable accounting resource for accounting students, explaining financial accounting (such as ’Balance Sheet’, ‘Bonds Payable’ and ‘Debits and Credits’), as well as managerial and cost accounting (such as ‘Activity Based Costing’ and ‘Evaluating Business Investments’). For every topic, there are explanations, quizzes, questions and answers as well as fun activities like crosswords. It also offers free and premium testing materials.

Robust yet user-friendly, we only wish there were similar sites for other subjects – consider HistoryCoach or PhysicsCoach or MechanicalEngineeringCoach.

5) Inc.

Inc. the publisher of Inc. Magazine, is a platform where entrepreneurs and business owners can get useful information and resources for running their businesses. But it also has useful information on finance, management and marketing. Examples are ‘Understanding Cash Flow’ and ‘How to Read a Balance Sheet’ under ‘Basic Accounting’.

Read up articles on start-up, how to run a business, finance, leadership and managing, sales and marketing, technology and innovation.

6) Academic Earth

Academic Earth, an aggregator Web site founded in 2009, compiles lectures on a variety of subjects. Lectures include a Yale ‘Game Theory’ lecture and a New York University ‘Valuation’ lecture.

It’s a great resource and provides learning materials from some of the finest American universities, and though there aren’t as many lectures available (yet), we expect the list will grow.

7) Alison

Alison is another resource offering free courses on a variety of subjects, including business and enterprise skills as well as financial and economic literacy. Some of its courses are ‘Fundamentals of Corporate Management’, ‘Fundamentals of Human Resources’, ‘Fundamentals of Operations Management’, ‘Fundamentals of Economics’ and ‘Fundamentals of Accounting’.

The courses comprise of lessons and assessments – but you do have to commit by signing up to begin the courses.

8) Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Harvard Business School needs no introduction, and its journal, the Harvard Business Review publishes arguably some of the best business articles in the world. They’ve now come up with HBS Working Knowledge, a forum focusing on innovation in business practice.  New articles written by the HBS faculty are published daily, covering finance, leadership and management, marketing, operations, organisations and strategy.

Okay, so this may not technically be “study material”, but it is a great avenue to keep up to speed with the newest ideas in the world of business and finance.

9) Investopedia

Investopedia’s original concept was based on building the most comprehensive financial dictionary online. Over time however, the focus of the site has expanded to provide educational content and tools for investors.

What we like most is the comprehensive list of definitions on commerce terms, articles on financial investing (such as ‘Financial Theory’ and ‘Fundamental Analysis’) and tutorials on financial investing (such as ‘Investing 101 for Beginner Investors’ and ‘Economic Indicators To Know’).

Budding Warren Buffets out there, be sure to bookmark this website.

10) EconPapers

EconPapers provides working papers, journal articles as well as books and chapters on economics. It may be a fairly simple website, but don’t judge a book by its cover – it’s a comprehensive resource for economics students.

EconPapers is home to a collection of working papers, journal articles as well as books and chapters on economics

EconPapers is home to a collection of working papers, journal articles as well as books and chapters on economics