This guide was originally created as a supplementary resource for graduate students taking introductory statistics or data analysis courses (e.g., PUBP 511, COMM 650, EDRS 810). It may be useful to others.
The sections of this guide are:
Get Motivated by watching The Joy of Stats (video by Hans Rosling)
If you made it through pre-algebra, you can pass a Statistics course. The math is not complex, and Statistics is much more than math. Leave yourself extra time to study, and make use of extra practice materials online. See Math Is Music; Statistics Is Literature (AMSTAT News).
Statistics will be more difficult, but you can still succeed. Talk to your instructor early to understand the assignments and work with a study group. Check out the glossaries in Reference.
If you have read the textbook 2 times and it still doesn’t make sense, try another source. Everybody thinks differently, so you will need to find material written by someone who thinks like you. It is also important to understand how everything fits together, such as The Big Picture of Statistics (Open Learning Textbook) or What Educated Citizens Should Know About Statistics and Probability (The American Statistician)
First, make sure you have done the readings before class as your instructor intended. Class is best for seeing how statistics is applied in your field and for learning how your instructor wants you to approach homework and exam problems. But also, ask questions! If you are still unclear, talk to the instructor after class to get additional clarification or suggested readings. Here are some great sources: Statistics Concepts.