Introduction to Probability and Statistics

  1. Hello all!

    I have a question about this prerequisite for a BSN program. What sort of specific skills or knowledge are required to complete the "Introduction to Probability and Statistics?"

    I've looked up some sites on google, but I found too many sites that are varied in content about this subject and they just further confused me. There was stuff that ranged from easy probability to things that looked like some crazy calculus. :uhoh21: Than I read somewhere here that this class is nothing like algebra. I have always been weak in Algebra since middle school, so I am worried about the higher level maths, especially since I haven't been going to school for about 2 years. Does anyone have a link that has some examples of what I would face in this class?

    And yes I'm a new member here, even though I've been lurking around for a year or two. I've always been interested in nursing, except two things kept putting me off from actually trying anything, which are the maths(because I'm very weak in this area) and the competition of getting into a nursing school. However, if I want something badly than I have a way of getting it(most of the time hehe), so right now I'm just trying to turn around and face my fear of math. :imbar

    Any help will be greatly appreciated, thank you very much!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    Like you there are many of us that have a math phobia, give it your best shot and get tutoring if available at your school.

    Good luck to you and welcome to the site.
  4. by   Daytonite
    The class I took in this some years ago was basic math. They taught us the common statistical methods that are used to develop statistics. I remember doing summations of numbers and figuring out ratios and percentages. They showed us all this in the class. I don't think algebra was even involved, but it's been awhile so I may not remember it well enough. I do remember thinking that the math part of it was pretty easy. What this class teaches is how to take the numerical data you obtain with some research you are doing and then tweak it in order to present your research statistically. What does the class description say about this course in your college catalog? What math pre-req is required to take it? If you have the necessary math pre-req you should be OK.

    Had to jump in to edit this. . .I was just thinking that a big part of this class was learning the various statistical methods used, not necessarily doing the actual math. You see, in research, you have to come up with some way to reduce your findings to a graph or a table, find the median or mean age of participants, using the bell curve--that kind of thing. I kind of recall learning about straightforward empirical evidence (like 20 people out of the total of 30 tested ended up dying) as compared to these surverys where you answer questions on a 1 to 5 scale. We were taught how to convert that numerical information into statistics. I remember thinking that there is really nothing else I took before to prepare you for this class. This course is it's own animal.
    Last edit by Daytonite on Dec 31, '05
  5. by   cad4296
    I just took statistics last semester for the BSN requirement. I ended up with a B in the class (which I was thankful for because I struggled!) I took calculus years ago and aced it so I took statistics online thinking it would be easy. I think it would have been better to actually take it in class because I ended up teaching myself and when I got lost there was no help. We started out really easy with basic probability. The first 5 chapters were easy with basic probability rules, learning about charts and graphs, hypothesis testings, lots of difinitions. The mid sections we actually had to do the math work and that's where it got difficult. We had to do normal distributions, confidence intervals, z test for mean, variance tests, chi square tests and correlation and regression. There really wasn't much algebra involved and if there was, our book gave a brief review. I'm not trying to discourage you at all. I think the class would have been a world easier if I had taken it on campus. And I must admit I never read my book, just basically skimmed over the rules and practice problems. I wouldn't go into it thinking it would be easy as I mistakenly did. I am very good at math (even though I don't like the subject) I think you will do fine! And if you start to struggle you can do tutoring. I started to get discouraged when I made a 30 and a 40 on quizes and then a 60 on a test, but I buckeled down and ended up making a 90 on final and B in the end. Good luck!
  6. by   maliat
    I think this really varies at each college, becuase some of the descriptions sound different from the class I just finished.

    I just finished Statistics and was lucky enough to get an A. The last math I took was College Algebra years ago. I still live in dread of that final. 25 multiple choice questions so there was no partial credit.
    We used a calculator, so there was not too much memorization of formulas. But there was one equation that was I cannot imagine memorizing all those equations. We started like the previous poster with probability, graphing and the basic mean / standard deviation and ended with all the different t/z tests and chi-test. And most questions of the questions were word problems, so you really had to think. Even probability, which is comparitily easy to the other things we learned, take some thought when it is a word problem.

    Two tips if your class is like mine. Do all the homework so it becomes natural to do the problems. With or without a calculator you really have to know exactly what steps to follow and which technique to use to answer a question. And my friends in class were always asking me how you tell what technique you use when answering questions on a test. The key thing is to pay attention to what information is given and what the question is asking. Hopefully your instructor will consitently word questions, so it's easier to tell.

    Malia
  7. by   Jerico
    Specific skills and knowledge?

    a) Skill: staying awake
    b) Knowledge: basic math
  8. by   lil.anya
    hi guys! thank you for giving me all those great tips, it helps a lot! :d

    the course description is as follows:

    prerequisite: math 120
    advisory: enrollment in math 875n is highly recommended.
    this course introduces the theory of probability and a study of
    descriptive statistics and statistical inference. included will be a
    general study of measures of central tendency and dispersion,
    probability models, random variables, probability distributions,
    and hypothesis testing. this is designed to serve as an
    introductory course in statistics for the student in business,
    psychology, life sciences and social sciences. not repeatable.

    so the prereq' is algebra and they recommend to take computer aided instruction with it.

    so i suppose that this won't be bad for me after all, just the last part i'll have to be careful on. i actually like working with data, so it shouldn't be bad. once again, thanks for all the info! ^__^

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  9. by   VeryPlainJane
    Quote from jerico
    specific skills and knowledge?

    a) skill: staying awake
    b) knowledge: basic math
    omg you are so right! lmaoooooo :roll
  10. by   Jerico
    Am seriously math/algebra challenged.

    Got an A in stats.

    You'll do fine. If I can do it anyone can.

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