CSUN/COBAE
Lower Division Core
BUS 302L Statistics Exam Review

Wayne Smith   [ wayne.smith@csun.edu ]

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The text on this web page is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

[updated: Monday, July 21, 2014]


"Leaders are their own best teachers. They accept responsibility and gain from their own experience and that of others."
-Warren Bennis (1925-)

Preface

This purpose of this web site is twofold. The first is to provide the schedule for the face-to-face "classroom style" review sessions for the LDC Statistics Exam during the regular semester. The second is to provide links to the text, audio/video and audio-only files that complement existing review materials for the LDC Statistics Exam. The audio, in particular, is suitable for listening on your computer or your favorite portable audio device (e.g., Podcasting). While iPod's are mostly known for playing music, iPod's can play spoken audio, including course content, just as easily.

Each student knows which learning methodology is best for her or him. Many students may wish to study entirely on their own. Some students may wish to form study groups. Other students may wish the review the text materials linked below. Still other students can benefit from simply listening to an audio version of the presentation. Other students may benefit from an face-to-face review session, similar to a traditional classroom. Finally, a few students may utilize more than one of these methods to help identify possible knowledge gaps and and formulate a study plan to fill in those gaps. In all cases, students should use the following materials to augment the existing text materials on the BUS 302L web page, and even then only as a starting point to help recall key topics and to provide pointers for further individual study.

Review Sessions

The following review sessions are intended for students who tend to learn best from face-to-face review workshops. For Spring, 2007, the times are shown below. To RSVP for a particular review session, please click on the appropriate email link below or send an email message to "wayne.smith@csun.edu" with the date/time information in the Subject Line. The most recent, one-page flyer ( .pdf | .odg ) is available as well.

Before the review workshop, please review the additional materials below. On the day of the workshop, please bring any questions you have. Also, please bring a simple calculator with a square root key (the calculators available at the "99 ¢ only" store work splendidly in this regard).

What is not Covered on the Exam

Recall that this exam, as with the other LDC exams, is designed to cover conceptual understanding and the application of appropriate statistical reasoning to common business problems. As to mathematics, this exam is not primarily a test of arithmetic, geometry, or algebra. Only rudimentary college-level mathematics skills are needed. The Statistics exam does not cover all of the topics that are often covered in a first course on business statistics. Specifically, the Statistics exam does not cover Permutations and Combinations, major topics in Probability (such as the "Addition Rule" and Simple Events/Sample Spaces), Hypothesis Tests for more than one population, Analysis of Variance, Chi-square Tests, Multiple Regression, Time Series Analysis, Statistical Process Control, or Non-Parametric Analysis.

Text Materials

In addition to the existing text materials on the BUS 302L web page, the following web page(s) may be useful for students reviewing for the Statistics LDC Exam.

The Statistical Symbols helps with remembering the "language of statistics".

The Review Presentation above is the same content as the original Statistics Presentation on the main BUS 302L web page, however, I simply rearranged the order of the presentation of the topics to align somewhat more closely with a typical class syllabus/outline.

The Online-based, Textbook-quality Review Sources is a reference guide to statistics resources that may be useful when the student's textbook is not readily available. These online resources are free and of high quality.

The Print-based, non-Textbook Review Sources is a reference guide to statistics resources that may be useful when the student's textbook is not readily available. These offline resources are free and of moderate quality.

The Concept Tree outlines, in a general way, how each of the Top Ten Concepts are related to each other.

The Common Errors document highlights some frequently made errors made by students on statistics exams.

The Glossary contains the same words, but I rearranged the Glossary to place each term with the "Top Ten" concept that term is most closely identified with and to identify the general idea within the topic for each set of related terms.

The Sample Exam is the same sample exam that is posted on the BUS 302 web page, but includes more detailed answers (for both the correct response and the other incorrect responses.

As for the sample exam, I recommend timing yourself. On the real exam, you'll have 35 minutes to answer 16 questions. I recommend you practice by spending no more than two minutes on each question. And practice one question at a time. I recommend that you simply have a friend or classmate time you. If you finish a question in less than 2 minutes, do not go to the next question. I recommend waiting until the full 2 minutes have elapsed before you go to the next question. If you are getting close to 2 minutes, practice trying to eliminate one or two of the responses and take your best "guess". "Guessing" is certainly not the best strategy for success, but it is better than not answering the question at all.

Audio/Video Materials

If you would like a very brief introduction to why the "Top Ten" topics on the LDC Statistics Exam are important, take a look at the first five minutes of the following video (recorded in March, 2006 at a conference in Monterey, CA). The video is by Professor Hans Rosling on the subject of how the key characteristics of world health have changed over the past forty years.

If you listen carefully, you will hear each of the LDC Statistics "Top Ten Topics used in just under five minutes. Professor Rosling gives a "pre-test" (Hypothesis Testing) to "his students" (Populations and Samples). He computes a "mean" (Descriptive Statistics) and a "confidence interval" (Confidence Intervals). But the results from the "chimpanzees" (Expected Value) is greater than the results from both his students and an "informal poll of the professors". Professor Rosling wonders aloud about the source of this difference (Variation and Uncertainty). Specially, what kind of model (Probability Distribution) best represents the students' perceptions, and further, how much confidence can he have in the results (P-values). The students' pre-conceived notions of the world center on the relationship between two measurements (Qualitative and Quantitative Variables)--the number of children per woman and life expectency (Linear Regression).

Flash and Audio-only Materials

The following materials are available in Flash and audio-only form. The Flash (.swf) materials are useful for students desiring to review the "Top Ten" concepts in an audio-led format in conjunction with watching the Review Presentation simultaneously on the computer. The audio-only (.mp3) materials are useful for students desiring to review the "Top Ten" concepts in an audio-only format, especially via iPod's and similar portable audio devices. The following are the individual files (.swf=audio/video, .mp3=audio-only) for each of the "Top Ten" concepts on the exam. The presentation order of the "Top Ten" concepts below is related, broadly speaking, to manner in which each of topics build upon each other.

Many individuals use iPod's to listen to such content while mobile, so the term "podcasting" has creeped into the linguistic vernacular. One advantange of "podcasting" is that it only takes a single file (below) to download all of the individual audio files (above). However, while the use of Apple technology is useful and pervasive, no Apple-specific technology is required to benefit from these materials.

Another method of acquiring the technical material via an iPod or similar device is to simply use non-CSUN resources that are closely aligned with the desired learning outcomes of each LDC exam. For the Statistics exam, one source of review material is the Fall, 2006 "Introduction to Statistics" course taught at UC Berkeley. The audio and video is online at Stat 2: Audio/Video.

Acknowledgments

Part of the inspiration for this page was derived from the pioneering work of CSUN Professor Emeritus David Cary. Professor Cary was posting audio versions of his lectures in Financial Management on the web as early as 1996.




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