Statistics Tutor: The 4 Keys to Conquering Statistics

statistics & probability
This can be you!

Over my years as a statistics tutor in New York, I’ve heard countless clients across age ranges and genders say, “I’ve never been good at math” or “I just don’t get statistics” before we start working together. I’ve even had medical doctors complain of the same problems! This fear causes many people across ages and industries to struggle in class or simply give up; however, I believe these are underlying confidence issues, not a true indication of their abilities.

Of course, as any good statistician knows, individuals differ in cognitive skills and processing abilities. That’s why today, I want to offer four general methods that will make statistics classes easier regardless of your natural ability, and hopefully raise your confidence for exams!

Tips for Conquering Statistics

1)      Outline your book!

Outlining a statistics chapter can even put a statistician like me to sleep, but it’s critical for understanding the course. In most cases, the formulas and concepts are novel to students and outlining breeds familiarity. Because statistics builds on previous chapters, familiarity with formulas truly helps with later conceptual work. It also reduces fear of the unknown. I recommend reviewing the previous day’s notes beforehand and then outlining a little bit every night. Even writing one formula can go a long way.

2)      Study vocabulary

Like many subjects, statistics comes with its own vocabulary. Words like “discrete,” “normal,” “population” and “probability” have their uses in every day vernacular, but they take on new meaning in statistics. Treat these words like you would vocabulary in a language course--make index cards!

3)      Work backwards from examples

Most professors will use examples to illustrate and test a concept on an examination, but I’ve had many clients struggle with the connection between application and theory. Most people don’t know where to start! Here’s where knowing your vocabulary comes in handy! You can use the statistics vocabulary to translate the prompts.

I recommend reading through and looking for words that are synonyms to the statistics vocabulary. I would then underline these critical words and translate them. Once you have the pieces of the puzzle, you can put them together to figure out what to do! For example, if they say “separate group” you know you have two independent groups. If they say “more than,” or “less than,” it’s a one sided hypothesis test, and if they say “different than,” it’s a two sided test.

4)      Practice, practice, practice!

As in most subject matters, the old saying holds water, “practice makes perfect”. If you’re taking an introductory stats classes, chances are your test problems will be similar to your textbook or homework problems. There’s a reason for this! Experimental design and hypothesis testing require certain conditions to be met or values to be available. Statistics is a rule-based science. These conditions will stay the same whether you’re talking about measuring babies’ weight or measuring bean stalk growth. Do extra problems at the end of each chapter that have answers in the back, and always take the sample midterm or final provided by your professor. And if you’re still struggling, consider having a few sessions with a statistics tutor. Cambridge Coaching offers statistics tutoring with Harvard- and MIT-trained professionals in New York, Boston, and online. Give us a call today!

Sign up for a free Study Skills Consultation!



academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT expository writing English college admissions GRE MD/PhD admissions GMAT LSAT chemistry math strategy writing physics ACT biology language learning graduate admissions law school admissions test anxiety MBA admissions homework help creative writing AP exams MD interview prep summer activities history academic advice philosophy study schedules career advice premed personal statements secondary applications ESL PSAT economics grammar law organic chemistry statistics & probability admissions coaching computer science psychology SSAT covid-19 legal studies 1L CARS logic games USMLE calculus dental admissions parents reading comprehension Latin Spanish engineering research DAT excel political science verbal reasoning French Linguistics Tutoring Approaches chinese DO MBA coursework Social Advocacy academic integrity case coaching classics diversity statement genetics kinematics medical school skills ISEE MD/PhD programs algebra athletics business business skills careers geometry mental health social sciences trigonometry work and activities 2L 3L Anki EMT English literature FlexMed Fourier Series Greek IB exams Italian PhD admissions STEM Sentence Correction Zoom amino acids analysis essay architecture art history artificial intelligence astrophysics biochemistry capital markets cell biology central limit theorem chemical engineering chromatography climate change clinical experience constitutional law curriculum data science dental school distance learning enrichment european history finance first generation student fun facts functions gap year harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science information sessions institutional actions integrated reasoning intern international students investing investment banking mathematics mba meiosis mentorship mitosis music music theory neurology phrase structure rules plagiarism poetry presentations pseudocode quantitative reasoning school selection sociology software software engineering teaching tech industry transfer typology units virtual interviews writing circles