Statistics Tutorial: Finding the Right Textbook to Help You Pass

I am currently working on my Masters degree in Mathematics and I have had two courses that have used the same text (almost never happens but a great way to save money on books). The book is The Practice of Statistics (Starnes, Yates, Moore) which is used in several graduate level courses around the country. Since I have now used it for a solid year, I figure I am fairly qualified to give my two cents on the overall value of this college textbook.

The text covers everything a Masters grad needs to know about the art of statistics, from mean, median and mode to sampling distributions. It also goes into great detail over topics such as linear regression and chi-square goodness-of-Fit tests. While much of this book I had previously learned, it served as an excellent resource as I tried to recall all the bits of information that were floating in my brain space, just not altogether in the same place. It also proved to be a valuable tool for me as I began teaching probability and statistics' courses at the high school level. Many of the examples they use are actual problems that exist rather than making up a bunch of generic problems that only exist in math textbooks.

Perhaps, the best part of this text t is that it has answers to all of the odd questions in the back of the book. While my professor only assigns the evens, providing some of the answers in the back is a great way for me to self-check as I go. Also, the problems embedded in the reading portion of the section do not go unanswered (as they do in many college math textbooks). Some of the answers are actually within the section, while others can also be found in the back pages after the index.

Overall, I thought the illustrations and quality of examples were amazing and made it easy for me to relearn topics that I had not looked at for over a decade. While the price for this book is high, I felt the overall value of the text was worth it (especially since I could use it for multiple courses).

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