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Looking Back:  Improving Study Skills in Statistics

Looking Back: Improving Study Skills in Statistics

Author: UKy UndergraduateEd

You will identify keys to good note-taking, practice taking notes and share your style with others to refine your ability to  review, retain and better understand  classroom  notes.

The goal of this is to introduce you to note taking skills and multiple types of note and content review to improve retention and understanding of information and ultimately facilitate your continued success in college. Practice activities are designed for early in the semester so that you can begin to utilize these methods in studying for the first exam.

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Dr. Melissa Pittard, University of KentuckyThis exercise was  developed by Dr. Melissa Q. Pittard, a lecturer in the Statistics Department, University of Kentucky. A similar activity has been used in STA210: Introduction to Statistical Reasoning which is a component of the University's general education program, UK Core (see more at Successful students who complete this course at UK should be able to articulate how statistical science can be used to address uncertainty in many of our everyday decisions and decide whether a statistical argument (that is used, for example, in the mainstream media) is valid.

(1) Introduction

A few weeks into the semester at college, you should go back and review some of the concepts presented in the course syllabus about the purpose and overall goals of the course. There are many different types of review that will help improve your understanding of the information and to help you be successful, especially in a statistics course.

(2) Knowledge: Tips on Notetaking and Study Skills

Please follow these links to note-taking and study tips. Complete  the activities described at the  following sites. Discuss what you've learned with a fellow student.

(a)   Go to Scroll down the page to select the Video on listening skills (8.24 mins)

(b)  Read the  PDF for  expertise advise on note taking skills:


(3) Activity: Practice what you've Learned

Visit this website ( to learn how to take good class notes.  Specifically; follow the links to complete one topic from each of the four sections.  Using what you have learned by taking  notes.

(1) What do I prepare for class?  (suggest: Keys to lecture notes)

(2) How do I take notes in class?

(3) Note taking strategies

(4) What do I do with my notes after class?

(4) Self-Assessment Take the test to see what you've learned

Follow this link to  practice  what you have learned and take the practice  Statistics quiz.

Go to   Search for "Sta  210 set 1 to  practice various ways of studying for review.

(5) Alternate Activity: Small group participation

In a small group setting a week after completing the quizlet on statistics see what you retained.  Answer the following questions among you. Reflect on which note-taking tips or study skills helped you the most. Se if others have tips or techniques that you could benefit from.

  1. Describe the placebo effect in your own words and give an example (you can use one from class if you prefer).
  2. What is meant by a lurking variable?
  3. Approximately how many American’s die each year?
  4. If two variables are correlated, e.g. shoe size and height, does that mean that the increase in one variable causes a change in the other? Use the above example to illustrate your point.
  5. Approximately what percentage of people classify themselves as Latino?

(6) Additional Resources

Cutchins, C. "How to Study Statistics."

"Exam time: tips for effective studying." Fact sheet,

Hutchinson, P. "How to Study Statistics."

Scott, E. "Studying for Finals and Midterms - Stress Traps to Avoid."

"Study Skills." Academic Success, Penn State.