A Level StatisticsEdexcel (2 Years)
This Statistics course is designed primarily for candidates who wish to study the applications of statistical techniques to psychology, biology, business studies, economics, management and the humanities.
The emphasis in Statistics is on uses of mathematics, rather than the logic, style and rigour of Pure Mathematics. This course is not suitable for students who will be studying Mathematics or certain types of Engineering at university.
Statistics is the branch of Mathematics which is used in situations involving variability or uncertainty, such as weather forecasting, finance or assessing the effects of medicines. The course builds on descriptive statistics, such as averages, and leads on to testing whether an observed result is statistically different from what might be expected; for example, is the proportion of babies born with birth defects significantly higher in the neighbourhood of a nuclear power plant or not?
Methods of Teaching
Lessons will be varied, mixing investigations, class discussions, checking progress with mini-white boards and the practice that makes perfect. The graphical calculator offers tools for deepening our understanding, checking our working and saving us time. You will have opportunities to develop your calculator skills in lessons. Your teacher will show you how to make effective use of the department intranet. The subject content will be assessed regularly by means of tests and assignments.
There is a well-resourced workshop, available every lunchtime for students, to gain additional support. Teachers and upper sixth students will be present at each session to offer you help.
Methods & Patterns of Assessment
There will be three 2 hour external exams in May/June at the end of year two. There is no coursework.
Paper 1 Data and Probability, 2 hours long. Questions may be on
- Probability distributions
- Binomial, Normal, Poisson and Exponential Distributions
- Bayes Theorem
- Experimental Design.
Paper 2 is on Statistical Inference, 2 hours long. Questions may be on
- Correlation and linear regression,
- Hypotheses Testing
- Contingency Tables
- Paired Test
- Goodness of Fit
Paper 3 is on Statistics in Practice. Questions may be set on any of the topics within the specification, including the Statistical Enquiry Cycle (SEC)
You will need to purchase your own textbooks, stationery and a graphical calculator. The College sells the Casio fx9750 model for about £50. Where there is difficulty meeting these costs, the College has a Student Support Fund.
Where Could It Take Me?
Some students with A Level Statistics have gone on to train as accountants.
Many students have found A Level Statistics valuable when taking degrees in Psychology, Business Studies, Geography, Biology and Anthropology.
You develop the ability to follow complicated formulae and instructions accurately, and this is a very transferable skill in a wide range of mathematical and non-mathematical contexts.
Standard entry requirements plus a grade 6 or above in Mathematics. Sound algebraic skills are also essential.