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Statistics Made Easy: Six Easy Tips to Ace Your Class!

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statistics made easyIf you want to pass your stats class, these tips will ensure that you get through your class.

Statistics Made Easy Tip #1

Go to every class and do all the homework for the first month. Why the first month? About a quarter to half of all students drop out on the first month of a statistics class because they get behind. All of the basic principles are usually covered in the first month. If you miss a couple of classes, it’s going to have a snowball effect. After you’ve covered the basics, skipping a class here and there will have less of an effect.

Statistics Made Easy Tip #2

A shameless plug here: bookmark this site. See the Google custom search bar at the top of the page? Type in a topic (like “How to find the interquartile range“) and it will take you to one of several hundred easy how-to articles on just about every elementary stats topic you can think of. Leave a comment for when you get really stuck! You should also check out our Practically Cheating Statistics Handbook, which covers all of the basic topics you’ll need to pass your class (including a TI83/TI89 calculator how-to!).

Statistics Made Easy Tip #3

Use a TI-83 or a TI-89 calculator, starting at the beginning of your class. Your instructor might insist that you learn how to do things by hand for homework. But the most important part of the class is the test (especially true with AP Stats!) and a graphing calculator will be invaluable.

Statistics Made Easy Tip #4

Use Excel to make charts and graphs. Why? Some graphs (like the graphs produced by simple linear regression) can be tricky to wrap your head around. But the nice thing about Excel is that it’s dynamic. That means you can change your inputs after you’ve made your graph, allowing you to see how different factors (like changing bin size) affect your graphs.

Statistics Made Easy Tip #5

Don’t skip over a definition if you don’t understand it. Elementary statistics builds on information in the same way that a recipe does: if you don’t know what “crack an egg” means, then you won’t be able to fry it. One example is a P-Value. In order to find a P Value you need to run a hypothesis test to get a test statistic (like an F Statistic). In order to run a hypothesis test you need to know how to state the null hypothesis. See how that works?

Statistics Made Easy Tip #6

Don’t leave your homework until the night before. This probably should be tip #1. It sounds obvious, but when I was teaching stats, the students who got the lowest grades tended to be the ones who started the homework on Sunday night (the homework was due Monday). At first, the homework might seem easy (especially when dealing with means or bar graphs). But later segments of homework will have lengthy questions (like finding linear regression equations). Those could take you a half hour or more per question to answer. And when you get stuck? Good luck at finding someone on a Sunday night who can help you.

That’s all you need to know to pass your stats class!

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If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

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Statistics Made Easy: Six Easy Tips to Ace Your Class! was last modified: November 12th, 2017 by Stephanie Glen

4 thoughts on “Statistics Made Easy: Six Easy Tips to Ace Your Class!

  1. James Grycza

    Hi, I paid for and downloaded your statistics made easy materials and there seems to be some missing pages. Here are the missing pages: TI-83 guide pgs 1,6,7,16,17,23,27,29,32,33,36,37,39,42,43.
    The statistics made easy handbook missing pgs. 18,50,72,85,97,110,126,153,165,170..
    The excel program missing ecel 2013 pg,descriptive stats pg, charts and graphs pg, hypothesis testing pg, regression and correlation pg, advanced stats pg, Excel 2007/2010 pg, descriptive stats again, charts and graphs again, hypothesis testing again, regression again and misc pg all missing info.
    Can you please send me the missing pages for all the above missing information pages, and with appropriate links if needed.
    Thank you,
    Jim

  2. Andale Post author

    Hello, Jim,
    I am emailing you new copies of the books now. Some of the pages you listed (especially in the TI83 guide) are intentionally blank so that new chapters print on the right side of the page. Others have a single hyperlink (like “Probability”) as a chapter header. I hope that clears things up.
    Please let me know if you have any questions,
    Regards,
    Stephanie