A Level Statistics
About this subject
A sports drink says on the label “This makes you run faster”.
In A Level statistics you would look for evidence to see whether this statement is true or not. You would collect data: athletes timed before and after the sports drink and then do a Hypothesis test to see whether this claim is true.
Using and understanding data is becoming increasingly important in many areas of study and employment. Understanding of statistics is a crucial skill, and this course aims to give students the tools needed to help them prepare for higher education and the workplace. It involves the collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation and presentation of data. It is the branch of Mathematics which is used in situations involving variability or uncertainty, such as weather forecasting, finance or assessing the effects of medicine.
A Level Statistics might appeal to a student seeking to pursue the study of a numerate post-16 subject but not wishing to study pure mathematics. It sits well with subjects such as A level Biology, Psychology, Geography, Geology, Sociology, Business Studies and Economics. The emphasis is on using and applying statistics; appropriate interpretation of contexts and the outcomes of statistical procedures will be required.
Our expectation is that many of the calculations will be performed using a calculator. There will be an emphasis on interpretation of the results, i. e. using the results you have found to find trends, make predictions and draw conclusions.
Students with an A Level in Statistics will find their skills to be valuable when taking degrees in Anthropology, Biology, Business Studies, Geography, Geology, Psychology, Sociology and other subjects. You may be surprised at just how many interesting jobs there are for statisticians, such as an Actuary, Accountant, Environmental Statistician, Government Statistician, Sports Statistician, Pharmaceutical Statistician, Biometrician, Forensic Statistician, Health Service Statistician, Medical Statistician, School Teacher and University Lecturer. Statistics is now used so widely that many employers would see a qualification in Statistics as a distinct advantage.
Topics you will cover
At first much of the work is learning the ‘tools of the trade’, but we soon start to apply them in analysing data and understanding what it is telling us. We will consider types of data and how to handle it, and move from the work covered in GCSE Maths to look at the patterns in Statistics and how these are used in the analysis of situations in order to make reasonable judgements.
Topics covered will include
- Numerical measures, graphs and diagrams
- Probability distributions (including Binomial, Normal, Exponential and Poisson)
- Correlation and regression
- Hypothesis testing
A minimum of grade 6 in GCSE Maths is required. Note that there is a significant emphasis on reading questions and interpreting solutions; good communication skills will be required.