# intro to stats

#### jesse14

##### Senior Member
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I asked this question some time ago and i recieved a lot of flack for it.
BUT....... I am taking a stats course now and i am finding to be the hardest thing i've done in my 3 years in university. I've done 3 physiology courses, 2 advanced anatomy courses, chemistry, biology etc and yet this damn "bird course" as people refer to it, has has the potential to be my first failing courses in the history of my education!

If others have taken a stats course please let me know what you did to do well!

#### medicine_man

##### Member
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I am taking it right now... have an A so far.

What are you guys going over right now?

#### yatzek

##### Member
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find an easier professor, take it online or somewhere else and trasnsfer credits, find past exams etc.. there is a lot you can do!

#### tinkerbelle

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Do tons of practice problems... it's the best way to learn math. If you have trouble with these problems, go and ask your TA for help or go to the Math Help Room. If your book is too complicated for you to understand, buy a simpler one.

Good luck

#### Kazema

##### In a kingdom by the sea
15+ Year Member
Stats isn't that difficult once you learn the outline of how to do each type of problem. Your prof should have broken the situations down into like "qualitative variable vs qualitative variable", or "quantitative vs quantitative" or whatever. Just memorize what method you have to use for each situation and then plug in the numbers. Once you do enough practice problems it should become pretty automatic.

#### eulogia228

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Just like Kazema said above, statistics is really mechanical (especially at the introductory level). There are pretty straight forward algorithms to solving problems and all you have to do is just memorize the algorithms and the different problem types you'll encounter. If it's intro stat, I'm guessing you guys are going over z-tests, 2 sample z-tests, t-tests, chi squared tests, etc. These are pretty mechanical problems so I think you should be ok if you just do rote problems. I took Intro Stat last year and got an A- and I found it much easier than physics, o-chem, etc.

OP

#### jesse14

##### Senior Member
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right now we're on probablity (conditional probability, dependent, independent events, compound events, binomial probability etc) We also just started Hypothesis testing eg testing the null and alternative hypothesis.

WE dont have TA's or extra help sessions. we do have this website that lets us do some practice questions. But my profs exams are tricky and he makes you really appky your knowledge so it's not just simple "plug in the numbers". I duuno, maybe i'm just not smart with this stuff

#### Kazema

##### In a kingdom by the sea
15+ Year Member
Well even in application problems it's still plugging in numbers into your basic outline. There's really only one way to perform a z-test or a t-test or a whatever-test - you'll get numbers from a mock experiment or study or whatever and you plug those numbers into your basic skeleton - then you go through the test and you get your answer.

But I guess you haven't actually gotten to those things if you're just now starting to learn null and alternative hypotheses. What are you having problems with?

#### ellia08

##### Medicine + Math = Awesome
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jesse14 said:
right now we're on probablity (conditional probability, dependent, independent events, compound events, binomial probability etc) We also just started Hypothesis testing eg testing the null and alternative hypothesis.

WE dont have TA's or extra help sessions. we do have this website that lets us do some practice questions. But my profs exams are tricky and he makes you really appky your knowledge so it's not just simple "plug in the numbers". I duuno, maybe i'm just not smart with this stuff
Does the book present it in (1)a completely applied way or (2)in a theorem followed by examples kind of way?

If (1) then try to find the common thread between examples. cluster them together by the method used to solve.

If (2) then first outline and understand the theorems. Then run over each example to find how it is applied.

After that, do about eleventy-billion problems and you'll be set. (Dont be afraid to ask your prof for clairification on any practice problems you might have,... they might sometimes make you feel like crap but they do note who is interested.)

Good luck!!!

#### fantasty

10+ Year Member
Are you able to follow the prof in class and just have problems with the questions? Or, does the entire concept fall flat for you?

I tutor biostats, but can't make it to Toronto for review sessions

What book are you using?

#### chloejane

##### Member
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Hey all-
I'm drifting in from the pharmacy forum...
anyway, I found stats to be one (if not the most) challenging classes that I had as an undergrad. The people that suggest finding a good and/or easy prof. are probably on the right track. My first class I withdrew from because my teacher could hardly communicate in English- it was population statistics and he was unfamiliar with the word "census". The second one I got an A in, with a lot of help from other students, but again this teacher left a lot to be desired! He spent at least ten minutes of each lecture telling us how "american food was at the root of his heart condition and if it weren't for us, he wouldn't eat bigmacs".... huh??? (and the relationship to stats is???)
I guess what I'm saying is that I think learning stats and doing well in it has a lot to do with your teacher.... so, don't feel too discouraged! many of us have been in the same boat!

#### CarleneM

##### patent pending
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yeah I actually dropped a biostats course (dropped before it would appear on my transcript as a withdrawal, but still) because the professor was so dull and hard to follow that I didn't want any part of it. however, i then took normal stats and found it to be much better- the prof was much clearer and entertaining. maybe you just aren't clicking with your prof's style. if you can't drop it and take it a different semester with a different prof, maybe you could look at other study guides or text books to help you.

OP

#### jesse14

##### Senior Member
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thank's for the nice reply's...........much better than the last time i posted here .

We actually already did z-scores, t-tests, standard devitaion etc. I found the SD stuff easy, but we have a new prof who is very nice but he know's his
sh!t very well and expects us to know a lot as well.

We use Hovarth's intro to statistical methods text book which is ok i guess (lots of reading). It does provide a lot of practice problems, but they are kind of useless when you read the problem and you have No idea on how to go about answering the question I've never had any trouble like this before in university and it's scaring me a bit lol

As for the stats TA........ca'mon! Toronto's a great city and the weather isn't SO bad

bye for now

#### PineappleGirl

##### Sweet and Juicy!
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Hey jesse14,

Your post's making me a little uneasy because I am considering taking intro stats this summer. Everyone always says stats is easy and most people I know manage to pull of As or Bs. I'm worried though because I am really "not a math person". I got a D in Intro Calc and just barely managed a C+ in an easy intro class called Algebra and Trig. I took a psych course in which the prof did a good introduction to stats and I didn't have a hard time following it, but your post is making me reconsider enrolling in this stats course this summer. Would you say you're like me and just not a "math person" or is your problem with the course more based on a bad prof, textbook, like you alluded to in your last post?

I don't want to waste my time and sanity taking stats if it's just gonna hit me with another C or D.

OP

#### jesse14

##### Senior Member
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7+ Year Member
PineappleGirl said:
Hey jesse14,

Your post's making me a little uneasy because I am considering taking intro stats this summer. Everyone always says stats is easy and most people I know manage to pull of As or Bs. I'm worried though because I am really "not a math person". I got a D in Intro Calc and just barely managed a C+ in an easy intro class called Algebra and Trig. I took a psych course in which the prof did a good introduction to stats and I didn't have a hard time following it, but your post is making me reconsider enrolling in this stats course this summer. Would you say you're like me and just not a "math person" or is your problem with the course more based on a bad prof, textbook, like you alluded to in your last post?

I don't want to waste my time and sanity taking stats if it's just gonna hit me with another C or D.
If its not a pre-req than dont take it!! I think that would make your life a lot easier! I have to take it b/c it's a degree requirement. Umm i'm NOT a math person either and when the prof says to you (which they all do) that "stats is not a math course" you can all them a liar b/c it is. I believe you hav eto be math oriented in order to understand the concepts and what the numbers you're getting mean. As for the guy who said that all you have to do is "plug in numbers", he is mistaken becaus e alot of the questions that are asked want to know what those numbers mean to many different situations.
I know some who are doing well and i know those who are lost by it.
I DRED going to stats twice a week but that's just me.

goodluck