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Study Guide Kit

Study Guide Specifications

Type of
Cost of
DSST 3 hours $80

ECE exams are administered at colleges and universities

This study guide covers what is typically seen in a modern introductory statistics course of one semester. It should give you a good understanding of many types of basic statistical analyses that you will encounter. In addition, it should give you a firm basis on which to understand other, more advanced, statistical procedures.

Statistics is the art and science of making decisions in the face of uncertainty. We put a structure on the problem with the aid of probability theory. We collect information in the form of a sample. With these tools in hand, a decision is to be made. Classical statistics puts these decisions into two broad categories: estimation and hypothesis testing.

The estimation problem deals with estimating unknown quantities. A few examples of commonly estimated quantities include the unemployment rate, fuel consumption of an automobile line, and the proportion of a population favoring a particular candidate.

Hypothesis testing forms the basis of statistical proof. Two competing hypotheses are formed. The data from a sample is used to decide between the two alternatives. Such techniques have been used to prove the effectiveness of certain vaccines, for example. These techniques are also used by polling agencies in declaring the winner of an election before all of the ballots are counted.

The proper use of statistics depends on a good design, proper data collection, and thoughtful analysis. If any aspect of the process is compromised, improper conclusions may result.

This work is intended to be a study guide for the Excelsior College Statistics examination. The examination does not allow for the use of sophisticated calculators or statistical software. To this end, we have not included much computationally intensive material. The study guide is organized into eight units. Practice problems are at the end of each unit. In addition, a final, comprehensive multiple-choice practice exam appears at the end of the book. This practice examination is formatted like the actual test. Taking the practice exam will reinforce key concepts from the study guide, identify areas for further review, provide a gauge for managing testing time appropriately, and verify that the material has been mastered.

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