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And the point of that was….?

Statistic Exam 2010.

Well this just made NO sense what-so-ever. Yes, okay I admit this post is going to be doused in a mire of bias and bitterness based on my performance in my stats exam today, but you know what? I don’t care, because at least writing it whilst still trapped behind the heavy fog of oh bollocks means this will at least be an accurate record of my feelings towards Stats on this particular day in my life.

I’m sure there have been (and will be) days when I’ve really enjoyed stats, and would have liked nothing more than to run an ANOVA, or a Multiple Regression to see if my hard work had been ‘statistically’ worth it, but today is NOT one of those days. It’s something satisfying to find nice P values on SPSS if you’ve done lots of work, not quite as satisfying as eating cake or anything crazy but a nice accomplished feeling.
When as a researcher would anyone ever find themselves at a computer unable to deduce what statistical test would be best to use and NOT be allowed to have access to any form of book/google to check their choice for analysis?

Well the answer is never, unless I dont know, you were collecting data on peoples reactions to tornados and as you go to analyse your data the same tornado you are studying rips through your study, swoops up your internet wireless hub and all your text book but kindly spares you, your desk, your laptop and electrical connection.. and you have only 2 hours to complete your work.. or else the tornado will kill again. This seems unlikely.

So why do we have these exams? Would it not be better to give us mini assignments throughout the year, to test our skills on SPSS? I know it’s good to know the background of analysis in order to be better able to make appropriate choices for running a particular test and when you have done so better understand what you can claim from results, but why give us what is at best a memory test to demonstrate an ‘understanding’?

We had two hours fifteen minutes to answer four questions with a range of 2 or 4 subquestions in each section. Not one of these had a percentage next to them either to indicate the worth of the question like our past paper/sample paper had. I had no idea how much to write for any question?!

I attempted all the questions, I definitely knew the answers to about 5 of them out of about 15, (the part a’s usually which I guess are only worth 5% each) and I definitely made up the answer to 3 of the questions (probably the 3 questions worth 20%!) But hey ho. I ended up leaving an hour and 15 minutes early… So I stayed for a whole hour.

1/4 of that hour was spent in the ‘reading time’ and I spent 2/4 of the hour writing, and 1/4 proof reading and drawing a butterfly..

Hope others have experienced a pointless feeling in an exam before. Whilst I know all of the evidence presented above suggests I’ve done badly in this paper, I also can not find it in me to feel disappointed about this. It could be the beta blockers I’m on preventing me from feeling ‘panic’ or it might just be my sense of perspective about this whole issue, statistics are not significant to me.


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