8 Best Tips to Write a Successful Statistics Exam
Put these statistics exam-taking tips into practice today and notice an immediate boost in your grades. Several students have used them and reported tremendous success.
Prepare for the Exams Adequately
Making adequate preparations in good time is our first tip. Unfortunately, it's also the most overlooked among statistics students. But truth be told, there's usually little time for revision, especially at the end of teaching in a specific semester. That means you must consider revising as you attend classes.
To achieve this, you must organize your revision schedule and be highly disciplined. Give yourself enough time to study and ensure that your study space is organized and quiet. And while revising, consider taking regular short breaks to refresh your mind.
Revise Past Papers
Revising past papers prepares you to answer several types of questions that can appear in your exam. It also helps you estimate the time needed to answer specific questions. In most cases, your course literature will inform you about the expected format of your examinations (multiple-choice questions, essays, short questions, and so on). We advise that you consider revising past papers along the same line.
But if you don't have an idea, don't hesitate to revise any type of question relevant to the topic in question. While finding old papers, filter your search to be relevant to the topic you expect to be tested on. For example, if you were tackling hypothesis testing, ensure that you only find old questions related to it like:
- Confidence intervals
- P value
- One-sample tests
- Alpha and beta risks
- Residual analysis
Avoid Too Selective Revision
Please don't get this wrong, given that we've already discussed this in the part above. "Too selective revision" in this context means concentrating only on the chosen sub-topics and not reading broadly about the main topics. For example, if you expect exam questions about Markov chains, do not only limit your revision to Markov chains but also check other topics around stochastic processes like continuous-time Markov chains, Poisson processes, Martingales, and others.
This way, you'll be sure that you can tackle any questions around the broader topic. But if something doesn't click, ensure you ask for assistance understanding some of the concepts. You may also ask someone to take the test for you online if you can't spare enough time for revision, especially if you're a working student.
Organize Your Time Properly While Taking the Exams
Efficient time management during exams is the main challenge that statistics students have. Most of them find it extremely difficult to balance time and accuracy. The problem isn't usually limited time but time management. We recommend that students allocate time for each question, proofreading and reading each question.
For example, if your exam period is two hours, and you have 10 questions to answer, we recommend allocating approximately 8 minutes to each question. That will be a total of 80/120 minutes. Of the remaining 40 minutes, use 10 to read, understand, and "brain drain" (1 minute for each question). Use the raining 30 minutes to proofread the paper and make the necessary corrections. Using time this way helps you maximize your chances of success in each question and the exam as a whole.
Answer All Questions
One mistake you must avoid at all costs while taking your statistics exam is skipping any questions untouched. It's a...well... a foolish way of showing that you didn't understand or couldn't answer the question. Your lecturer will have the impression that you didn't take the time to revise. And in some types of exams, leaving a question blank could lead to losing (and not simply missing) marks.
The good news is that writing something relevant (even if it's not the exact answer) can earn you some marks in statistics. So, after allocating time for each question, ensure that you use the time to write something relevant about the topic. For example, you can write the steps involved in solving the underlying problem if you can't actually solve the problem.
Read Each Question Carefully, Taking Note of Keywords
Again, most students may think this is a piece of "normal" advice, but it entails more than how it reads. Consider understanding the question first before starting to develop the answer. Remember that the slightest mistake in statistics can always easily lead you to failure. To avoid this, take note of keywords like explain, find, show, et cetera.
For example, if the examiner asks you to explain a null hypothesis, you'll get no extra marks for explaining what an alternative hypothesis means. Therefore, simply stick to the plan, answering only what you're asked to do. Of course, this doesn't cancel the fact that you should write whatever you know about the topic if you can't answer the underlying question in the way it is needed.
Consider Asking Yourself What Will Impress the Examiner
Putting yourself in your examiner's shoes can help you stay relevant, earn more marks, and save time. Doing so entails imagining what the examiner goes through while marking your scripts. For example, they usually have to go through many scripts within a short period. This means they're highly unlikely to read each student's paper in its entirety.
They'll only be looking for key points and keywords. Such insight helps you know how to present your facts effectively. Consider writing the main point first before delving into the detail. For instance, start with the formula and then add the values before finally finding the solution. Also, never repeat points because you won't earn double marks in that case.
Stop Writing After A Few Minutes to Confirm Your Relevance
Relevance is one of the main factors of an excellent answer in any type of exam, and one way of ensuring that you don't drift to irrelevance is to stop, reread the question, and evaluate your answer. You can do this once or twice for any question, depending on its length.
But if you're always struggling with relevance, it's not too late to seek assistance with it from accomplished and successful statisticians like your lecturer. Alternatively, you can pay someone experienced to have the exam done for you excellently online as you work on your relevance.