Elementary Statistics is a common requirement for a variety of majors. This course teaches you about analyzing quantitative data, which is useful for research. However, for students who struggle with math it can be a challenging class. Fortunately, getting a good grade in statistics is possible for anyone with a little dedication to a few key strategies.
May colleges offer free peer tutoring services; if you decide you need a tutor, ask your professor if there are any free services available to you.
Attend the lectures. Lecture attendance is especially important in statistics, because the professor’s examples will probably be very similar to the questions on the exam. Statistics is essentially about understanding and applying formulas, so if you understand one problem you will be able to understand other problems of the same type. Watching your professor work through each type of question is by far the best way to learn the concepts.
Do the homework. Not only will spending time on your homework raise your grade for the assignment, but it will also drastically increase your test scores. By working through each type of problem on your own, you will see which formulas and concepts are difficult for you, and when your work is scored you will be able to check your progress. After working through problems in the homework, you will be able to recognize which formula should be used when it’s time for the test, saving you time and raising your grade.
Find a tutor or study group. Students who struggle with statistics often just need to look at the problem a different way, but if your class is large it can be hard to find individual attention from lecture alone. Looking to classmates or a tutor can help enormously if you feel you need explanation from another perspective.
Get every point you can. Statistics professors often require students to show their work when completing problems, which means you can easily lose points if your work is unclear, even if you have the right answer. Show every calculation you do, even if it seems obvious, because a few points here and there can really raise your final grade.
About the Author
After graduating college in December, 2008, Lorraine O'Neil began working full-time as a freelance writer. Since she has been working professionally, O'Neil's articles have been published on websites such as DIY Chatroom. O'Neil holds a Bachelor of Arts in legal studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.