STATS 101 — Introduction to Statistics
Welcome to my first paper review for 2022! This is a super popular paper taken by many different faculties so let’s see this as a chance for Science, Health Science, Arts and Business students to unite!
STATS 101 (also known as STATS 108 or simply STATS 10X) is an introductory statistics paper in Stage I. Much of it is content covered in NCEA Level 3 Statistics, but if you haven’t taken statistics at all (or just hate maths), fear not! The first four or so chapters of the course guide go through most of what was covered in Year 13.
I took this paper during Summer School, and honestly I didn’t even find it that much work. I think it helped that I had basic statistics knowledge from Year 13 (and I actually found STATS 101 a lot easier that high school!), but I think it’s a pretty basic paper no matter how good you are at maths. Also, I really think that STATS 101 is a really great paper that should be required as it really helps you think about data and how to interpret it, which is super helpful for any career I think!*
*Remember that this is based on my own experience when I took the course in 2022. The course may have changed and you’re definitely not going to have the exact same experience as me!
- Content = 3/5 — Just your basic statistics course. Nothing really fancy
- Delivery of Lectures/Information = 3/5 — LOL highkey stopped going to lectures after the 2nd one because it was so boring. I think it is good however if you need someone to actually explain the concepts.
- Teaching Staff = 4/5 —Once again, I didn’t have much interaction with them (and whoever takes this course changes every semester), but Joss (who took the course during the first half of summer) was really nice and gave solid feedback on assignments.
- Course Organisation = 5/5 —I really think the STATS 101 Canvas page is the most organised out of all the courses I’ve taken so far. Super easy to find everything yay!
- Assessments = 4/5 — The multi-choice questions in the test definitely take a bit of wrapping your head around in a test scenario, but I think the assignments are really nice and easy to get full marks in because of how they mark it!
- Tutorials = 3/5—I never went to one LOL. People I talked to said it depended on who was the tutor so I think a score in the middle is representative of this
- Overall = 3.6/5(B) — I think rating this course objectively has led to a relatively low score, but don’t be disheartened! It’s a good course, just a lot of wiggle room for interpretation
Assessments and Weighting
- Assignments and Online Quizzes= 30%
- Mid-Semester Online Test= 20% (BUT 10% CAN BE REDISTRIBUTED TO FINAL EXAM THROUGH PLUSSAGE)
- Final Exam = 50% (BUT CAN BE WORTH 60% IF PLUSSAGE APPLIES)
Also, note that to pass the course, you need a score of at least 45% in the final exam.
The course is split up according to your course guide with 10 chapters. You definitely cover a lot of content with regular feedback through assignments and online quizzes, so try not to fall behind!
- Chapter 1: Exploring Data — This is your very first exposure to how statistics is taught in UoA, and honestly, I gave up going to in person lectures after the second one lol. I think it was mainly because the content covered was pretty much an easy breakdown of what you do in data analysis in Year 13. Here you will learn how to interpret different graphs such as dot plots, box and whisker graphs, bar charts and tables. There’s not too much calculations in this section, but you’ll do some simple proportion calculation (division)
- Chapter 2: Observational Studies and Experiments — This is a super short chapter on how to interpret studies and get information out of them. No maths required here!
- Chapter 3: Randomisation Tests With Experiments — With your assignments and in class demonstrations, you’ll learn how to interpret randomisation tests using VIT software. It’s a bit confusing to explain as I’m not the greatest statistics tutor, but you’ll interpret if results from experiments are from chance alone or if there are other factors to it.
- Chapter 4: Polls and Surveys — Another short and simple section about how to interpret polls and surveys, and discover the bias that they may have (POPLHLTH students come through ;))
- Chapter 5: Bootstrap Confidence Intervals — Once again the VIT software is your best friend and you’ll figure out how to interpret interval estimates to find out information about a population.
- Chapter 6: Confidence Intervals (Normality Based) — I think is where the overlap between Year 13 statistics and STATS 101 ends, as there is a little bit more of a maths focus from this section on. Here you’ll learn how to complete a confidence interval by calculation (not software) and how to appreciate them.
- Chapter 7: Hypothesis Testing — This section is all about comparing data between populations and performing a hypothesis test to show whether data is significant or not. This is probably one of the more maths heavy sections out of all of them.
- Chapter 8: Data on Numeric Variables — You will learn how to use software to perform t-tests and one-way ANOVA F tests and find links between variables based on data.
- Chapter 9: Data on Categorical Variables — Paired with Chapter 8, Chapter 9 is all about analysis of categorical variables through interpretation of graphs and analysis using tables and Chi-square procedures. This is probably the most maths heavy sections and the hardest to wrap your head around at first, but that’s what the teaching staff are for!
- Chapter 10: Relationships Between Numeric Variables: Regression and Correlation — The last chapter in STATS 101 is a little bit different in that you will be interpreting line graphs. You do a little bit of this in Year 13 statistics but this is really consolidating that knowledge and adding a bit on top.
These are 100% optional sessions that go through practice problems in the course workbook. Honestly, I never went to any of them because I wasn’t going to subject myself to more torture over summer. Nonetheless most of my friends who did go said that the helpfulness of these sessions entirely depended on the tutor, so take that as you will. Just remember that nothing is assessed in these so if you’re fine with the concepts, save yourself the time and don’t go to these :p
There are 6 quizzes overall that you do on Canvas for this course. Forgive me I don’t have access to the STATS 101 Canvas page anymore so I’ll try my best to cover what was in each quiz. Each quiz was usually worth 2%, with the introduction quizzes being 1% each to total 10% overall of your final grade.
- Introduction Quizzes — The introduction quizzes are super simple ones you do in your first week of class that are worth 1% each. The first one is a simple maths quiz testing your numerical skills. You don’t have to get full marks on it to get the 1%, it’s more for you to figure out where you are at with numeric reasoning. The second quiz is about navigating your way around the STATS 101 Canvas page, but you have to get them all right to get the full 1%. However you have unlimited attempts so you should be fine!
- iNZight Quiz — This quiz is about learning how to use the iNZight software which will be helpful in your first assignment. I suggest really taking your time on this quiz to make sure you get the full 2%!
- Chapter 7 Significance Quiz — This quiz is all about Chapter 7 and determining whether something is statistically and/or practically significant. I suggest you do the practice quiz first and go through the corresponding video as you only have 3 attempts on this quiz and it is significantly harder than the ones that come before it
- Chapter 9 Quiz — This was the first assessment I didn’t 100% in until the final exam :( Avoid making the same mistake as me and ensure you read each statement CAREFULLY. They switch the order around and because it is a drop-down menu of options, it can be difficult to trace where you’re at and you are at risk of clicking the wrong one like I did oops. Also make sure you do the practice quiz and go through the tutorial video because this quiz is also only 3 attempts.
- Chapter 10 Quiz — This is probably the hardest quiz of them all because it’s not really building on to what you’ve previously learnt as Chapter 10 is basically brand new content (if you didn’t do statistics in high school). Once again, do the practice quiz and watch the matching video so you’re fully prepared!
STATS 101 had three assignments worth 20% in total. The first two assignments were worth 5% each and the last was worth 10% due to it having more questions. I really liked the way that these were marked because instead of only having 5 or 10 questions and having them be worth 1% each, the assignments were made of multiple different sections, and so long as you got close to 100% you could get 5/5 or 10/10 very easily. The context of the assignments changes every semester, but the skills you are tested on stay relatively the same. Also, you get a PDF of previous assignments and the way they want you to answer questions, so definitely use this as a guide to writing your answere!
- Assignment 1 — This is your first assignment and is worth 5%. The skills you will be tested on involve interpreting dot plots, box and whisker graphs, using iNZight to come up with graphs, calculating proportions and interpreting studies.
- Assignment 2 — The second assignment is also worth 5% and tests skills such as intepreting randomisation, using VIT software, pointing out errors in data, using bootstrap confidence intervals and calculating confidence intervals by hand.
- Assignment 3 — The last assignment has more questions and is worth 10%, so I suggest starting this one as early as possible! Here you will use skills like finding the underlying means and proportions and comparing them, interpreting studies to use t-tests or one-way ANOVA f-tests, figuring out whether data should be used and can be inferred for the entire population, and figuring out what is the best graph to use. This assignment was definitely more challenging than the others so I suggest spending a good chunk of time on this and asking your friends, peers, lecturers and tutors for help!
Test and Final Exam
For all tests and final exams in 2022, they were online either using Canvas or Inspera. This means that all assessments were open book. For both the test and final exam for STATS 101, they were multi-choice which was super helpful since the course guide had a number of similar questions at the end of each chapter with answers online. This made preparation super easy to do for both the test and final exam.
- Mid-Semester Test —The mid-semester test was 20 questions long covering the first half of STATS 101 (Chapters 1 to 5). We had an hour to do it which honestly felt like so much time because many of the questions they used were repeats (or similar enough) of previous exams or questions in the course guide.
- Final Exam — The final exam was very similar to the mid-semester test in terms of structure. The first 20 questions were mainly from the first half and were worth 1 mark each. The last 30 were from the second half of the course and were worth 2 marks each. If you do lots of practice questions and consult Piazza or other study buddies while doing preparation, you should be sweet!
How I Studied (and How I Should’ve Studied)
I feel like it’s super difficult to give advice on maths-based subjects, as it’s one that you either have a niche for or you don’t. While I’m not the biggest fan of calculus, I really like interpreting data and doing algebra so statistics has always been a subject I’ve been good at. Therefore, when listening to how I studied (or how I didn’t really oop-) PLEASE TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT! I’ll try my best to talk about how I would study for statistics if I didn’t understand the concepts quickly, but I’m not guaranteeing these will work at all.
I’m going to start off by saying that after the first two lectures, I stopped going. This was simply because I had done most of this work before and I felt the class was going super slow. Remember, this isn’t bad for everyone! If you think you need more help in understanding the concepts or consolidating them at a more manageable pace, GO TO LECTURES. They honestly explain the content super well, I’m just not a ‘listening to lectures’ kind of gal if I can avoid it. That being said, if you’re like me, don’t go to lectures and instead, treat the course guide like a workbook and textbook wrapped into one. Make sure you read the concepts carefully and go through each example because it really does make all the difference. Also make sure that you do the practice questions at the end of each chapter so you’re constantly revising as you’re doing this course!
For the assignments, I made sure that whenever I was stuck, I would consult the PDF that was given as exemplars. This was like my holy grail, as they pretty much had all the same questions, just in different contexts, which provided a template as to how to answer them in my assignment. Afterwards, I would compare assignments with my friends and we would give each other feedback or go through concepts we were all stuck on. If you are really struggling with understanding anything however, GO TO THE TUTORS AND LECTURERS FIRST. They’re supposed to be there to help you — that’s their job!
In preparing for tests and exams, I had already done all the MCQs at the end of each chapter, so I would spend this time going through ones I got wrong or didn’t understand by myself or with my friends, then trying practice exams within the time limit that was given. This really got me into the exam headspace which proved effective in the finals.
Going Psycho(logy)’s POV
I honestly don’t even feel qualified to give a paper review on STATS 101, just because of how I didn’t go to lectures and how the course feels so different taking it in Summer School compared to during Semester 1 or 2. Nonetheless, I hope someone finds it helpful and enjoys the course as much as I did for being a brain break, or perhaps learning why it’s important to interpret data analytically.
As always, feel free to hmu if you have any questions, I’m always more than happy to help!
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay happy!
Going Psycho(logy) ^.^