An experienced student is talking to a new student who is choosing courses.
The new student says she/he is weak at mathematics and statistics and is
considering choosing courses that do not contain them. This is the advice
that the experienced student offers. The advice has been prepared by
students taking a course that contains no mathematics.
Be positive
Books
Computer Help
Contributors
Do not panic
Face your fear
Good Study Guide
Graphs
Look longer
mean, median, mode and
range
Not what I do
Now I like it
Pythagoras
Speak up
SSC2001
Statistics for the Terrified
Statistical Package for the
Social Sciences (SPSS)
Student
Representatives
ABC Mathematics
ABC Statistics
I would not advise choosing modules simply because they do not require any
mathematical or statistical skills, because at some stage in your degree
you will have to face this fear and conquer it. So perhaps it is better to
get it over and done with, so that you no longer need to avoid it.
Before I started at Middlesex I completed an Access Course which included
compulsory mathematics. I found this very daunting because I tried to pass
GCSE maths three times and failed. The maths that was taught on the Access
Course started at a very basic level. It was surprising just how much I
remembered. It was compulsory to sit a maths exam and I failed this
miserably, but fortunately it was possible to resit and after proper
revision I got a very good mark. Therefore, I have learned that it is
possible to overcome your anxieties if you face them. It was also necessary
to quantify data for particular assignments, this included statistical
analysis. I found this very enjoyable and I think it will be to my
advantage for future studies during my degree course.
You should not worry about any maths or statistics in modules  in
sociology
there are not many, and most of it you will have done at school, and if you
have not then you should not worry because you usually get help from your
module lecturer, who may give out handbooks that have a glossary of terms,
for you to understand what is meant by a certain mathematical words.
I am still terrified of maths and so I am not one to give advice on the
subject. So far I have managed to avoid it as much as possible by asking
other people for help. However, I do intend to take up one of the maths
help courses either in summer or when I return to university. Perhaps it
helps to appreciate that this is like any other fear  gradual introduction
to the subject should help to develop confidence. Maths is every where, so
it's surprising what you know already.
Statistics is certainly not my strong point. I had real problems with
research methods, however, I am doing a Psychology degree and research
methods is vital. The only advice I can give is to persevere with it and
hopefully it will all come together, make the most of your tutors who are
there to help you and ask questions when you are not clear.
I used to be very bad at mathematics and statistics and always chose
subjects with the least amount of maths. To me maths was a bunch of numbers
with no task or meaning  which I could not understand. My view on maths
created a self fulfilling prophecy where the more I told myself I was bad
at maths, the more bad I became. So never think of maths as a bunch of
numbers, but see it as a problem which you need to solve. Unfortunately
there is a bit of maths in most, if not all, subjects. So try to understand
it NOW.
As I have not really come across this kind of problem it is quite hard to
answer it. If I did come across a problem I would most probably go to the
Learning Centre and ask for help there, or I may even ask a friend, or look
it up in a book
There is also computer help from packages like
Statistics for the Terrified,
SPSS,
and
ABC Mathematics.
I have not really used mathematics of statistics myself. however the
module SSC1001 involves a short introduction to statistics and I found that
a good, very basic introduction. I know I will be learning about them in
the next academic year.
I think that the Maths that we cover as
social science students is all related to facts and perhaps if viewed in
this way is easier to deal with. It is obviously essential to gain an
understanding of analysing mathematical figures but this can be done slowly
and built up over the semesters.
Some students thought success in statistics depends on collecting all
relevant data, studying hard and managing one's time.
Maths and statistics are one of the socalled hard subjects. I am lucky to
be one of those who enjoy maths. However, as a new student, make sure that
you do not take a negative attitude to these subjects and use the help that
is there for those who need it.
I find statistics and graphs hard to interpret, but I can give an advice to
any student facing the same problem. He or she should take an interest in
the subject, be positive, and always seek help from the tutors and those
students who are good at the subject.
This semester, I had to do statistics and I was really anxious. Now I
realise that statistics is not as difficult as I thought. I succeed by
telling my self that it can not be so difficult, and I have to try.
So that I did. I tried hard. I understood them  and now I have not got a
problem. In fact, I can also say that I like them. So, if you believe in
yourself and are patient, and you can succeed and improve in everything you
want or must do.
I have always had problems with basic mathematical skills and would
probably really benefit from having some help with it. Because I detest the
subject so much I probably will not even try. All aspects of mathematics
caused me major, unresolved, anxiety, so I have no advice. However, this is
not a positive attitude to put across to new students so I would suggest
that they seek help and support from the university for specific
mathematical problems.
Mathematics and statistics is also very worrying for me. In one of my
modules the lecturer introduced a book called the Good Study Guide
by Andrew Nortledge. There was a chapter on numeracy which included how to
read and interpret data. I found this book to be very useful and it enabled
be to understand statistics more.
The thought of statistics alone scares a lot of people. However, learning
about it as a module bears this in mind as it coaches you into it in a
gradual way. To deal with this, I would say that continual practice of
formulas, will help you to understand them and even remember them.
Within Social Science you will always come up against statistics in one
form or another so you just have to bite the bullet and find some way of
learning how to read and understand statistics. As Corporal Jones used to
say in Dad's Army "Don't Panic". Lecturers know that a
student may have problems with this and will advise you how to deal with
it. That is how I have managed so far. I have also used a book called
The Good Study Guide.
I chose this course because I am interested in the subject. I do not like
maths full stop. There are no particular points which have worried me, just
everything. I usually learn what I have to for exams and then forget
everything afterwards. I do not need to know Pythagoras' rule for everyday
life.
You could be right, but here is a counterargument
The theorem of Pythagoras proves the
3,4,5 rule
This rule was very useful in building pyramids,
but could also be used when
laying paving stones
(to check that the corners are square)
Knowing how it was proved from
axioms
helps us
understand theory and reason 
both of which are occasionally useful in
everyday life
Many of the statistical tasks are not as hard as you may first think, so
looking at them a bit longer may help. If not, there are always other
people around in the same boat as you. If you are having a problem, do not
keep quiet about it because, more often than not, the other 15 people in
your class are having the same problem.
On the subject of mathematics and the application of statistical
applications (for example spss), I would always suggest that the student
actively looks for help. Not only from other students who feel proficient
in statistical applications and mathematics, but from the various classes
that are available within the college. If you cannot find adequate support,
make your feelings known to your student representative. After all he or
she is there to communicate your needs to board meetings of the University.
Representatives are under used for the most part, so take advantage of
them. If you are have grievances with lectures, you can express them to the
lecturer and the student representative.
When some students see numbers they automatically panic. I am one of those.
Mathematics and statistics always cause me problems. However, I have only
come across one module that includes them. SSC2001 is a compulsory module
so there was no way of getting out of it. But, surprisingly, a lot of it is
done on the computers and the machine does all the hard bits for you. You
simply enter the data and it produces the statistics.
At moment I am doing SSC2001 and it mainly involves statistics work. To
tell the truth, I am absolutely confused. The main reason that it causes
confusion is that the application I am required to use for the assessment
is quite unfamiliar since I have never used it before. It takes a while to
adjust to the system. The only tip that actually works with statistics is
being able to interpret the graphs and understand the mathematics
itself. In reality, doing this tends to be rather long and boring. This
effort is needed with statistic, since it is like understanding a whole new
language.
Although, in these modules, mathematics and statistics do not apply, we
have to take SSC2001, which contains elements of both. I hated both
mathematics and statistics, and believed that once I passed maths at GCSE
level I would never have to face it again. I thought wrong.
On SSC2001 we are learning how to use
SPSS for windows
and
Statistics
for the terrified. These are a great help to anyone who
has a fear of figures. Since nearly completing the module, I have a clearer
understanding of statistics, and mathematical meanings such as
mean, median, mode and range.
I used Statistics for the Terrified last year and I thought it
provided a very comprehensible outline of all mathematical terms used
within statistics.
If anybody was struggling I would advise them to seek help. There are lots
of people who would help a struggling student with maths etc. Not many of
the modules I have taken have included a great deal of maths, but SPSS, the
computer programme for statistics is very helpful, as is Statistics for the
Terrified.
Statistics and mathematics to me mean boredom and frustration. I really
dislike them, and would prefer that any course containing either should not
be compulsory.
I do not have any major problems with mathematics or statistics, though I
am not particularly good at either of them. My main problem is when
something appears to me to be illogical, as I expect mathematics and
statistics to be very logical. I had great difficulties learning standard
deviation and bell curves. Eventually, with lots of practise, I began to
understand  But if I was asked to do it now, I would need some more
practise.
I have only had experience with statistical information, since I have been
at Middlesex. I found it very difficult to make sense of the information.
To help with this, I got a book out of the library on basic statistics.
This did help me to understand the terms that were being used. The book
also gave examples of statistical graphs and other relevant information. It
is also helpful when something is not clear to ask other students as they
may be able to help.
The fact that this semester was the first time I have been involved in
statistics caused my anxiety. I tried to resolve any problem that I was
facing by reading many books dealing with statistics and by systematic
practice. I think that
ABC Mathematics
will be very useful for the new students and for me as well.
ABC Mathematics
appears to provide all the information you will need on maths as a
sociologist. The only improvement I would suggest would be to put a more
extensive contents, eg have it as the first page with all the key words
listed alphabetically so that a student can simply click on the subject
they need help with.
Thank you for the suggestion
I have now put an alphabetical index in the right margin
Andrew
I think
ABC Mathematics
is very useful to give the student confidence in Maths as everything is
broken down and clearly explained.
I can see
ABC Mathematics being of use
to some students. I can also see some students being scared of this
webpage, instead of seeing it in the helpful way they should. It does look
a bit daunting, and I am someone who has no problems with maths at all.
There are a large number of terms, which would probably require reading up
on elseweher, but here the terms have definitions and examples. Sometimes
it suggests when or in what context they should be used. This is done with
averages, for example. I think it would be worth recomending a few books.
ABC Mathematics may be
helpful to new students who would like to study maths or statistics. Most
students are scared of figures. Fortunately, for me I had always good at
figures. I love mathematics and statistics. This page is more on basic
mathematics and statistics. I think it is good for any student who doesn't
even have no knowledge of mathematics. If this page is to be improved, it
will have to contain more advance maths which could scare students and
confuse them . So in my opinion there should be no more improvement on this
page.
Not needing any maths skills for a course is one of the pluses for taking
it: But the
ABC Mathematics is a great
way to help you.
I am glad there was no mathematics in this subject. I do not like maths.
ABC Mathematics
seems very interesting, especially if you want to learn certain aspects of
maths. Myself, I feel I only have to know the basics of maths.
I do not like maths or statistics myself, as I do not always understand it
straight away. I tried to look at the web page,
ABC Mathematics,
but it would not allow me.
ABC Mathematics, on Andrew Roberts's web
site, may come in useful as it contains some relevant aids. But some
students may not even know it is there as Andrew Roberts' Study Guide is
mainly used by students taking courses that are not mathematical. Also,
those students who take mathematical courses may find the advice is already
given. It may be given through its own module web pages found on the net
e.g. socnet. Or through information/ handouts which may specify an aided
workshop or programme.
I was interested in the
ABC Statistics as I am doing a lot of
statistical data at the moment, and sometimes find it difficult. This is
due to my fear of numbers, although I am getting better as I have had to
learn to read many tables and how to write explanations for graphs from the
Social Trends books. To improve the web page, some graphs could be added
with some easy to follow explanations on how to read them.
Thank you for the suggestion.
There is a page (very
undeveloped)
about the way we represent things in graphical form.
I will look for some graphs to include.
Andrew Roberts
Several students mentioned the importance
of learning to interpret graphs
I am unable to offer advice as I will not be doing mathematics and
statistics until next semester. However,
ABC Statistics has quelled some of the
fears I have to such an extent that I printed it off and will definitely be
using it for future reference.
It is worrying when you see maths are involved in your studies, but do not
worry. We use maths in every day life by just purchasing something at the
local shop to adding up our student loan. There is a lot of help within the
university to combat your fear. So do not panic. When a module requires
maths or statistics you will be guided through it. If you stick to the
study guidelines set out by the lecturers you will find it a lot easier.
During my time at Middlesex, I have rarely encountered mathematics or
statistics. What I have come across has been fairly simple, just GCSE
level. However, if you do experience any problems there is a computer
package available called SPSS which is of use, or ask your lecturer for
advice.
ABC Mathematics is very detailed and no
doubt beneficial when necessary.
The contributors to this page include:
Shama Abraham, Hibo Ahmed, Marcella AmadoTaylor, Scott Stephen Brown,
Samantha Chase, Vanessa
Christian,
Baliktsioglou Christos, Melissa Claydon, Tom Bayman, Joanna Davidson,
Camelia Ellis,
Rachel Evans, Redempta Friday,
Alexandra Glyde,
Deborah Goulden, Bahareh HaghighatKhah, Tariq Hameed, Georgina Haynes, Lee
Humphries, Michelle
Jones, Tim Knight, Danny Liecier, Lucy Martin, Suzanne MacDonald, Anna
McGilvray,
Allison McLaren,
Neil McGrath, Margaret Ndagire, Minatsi Paraskevi, Garreth Phelan,
Joelle Ripper, Charlotte Rose,
Leanora Smith, Juliet Swinerd, Maria Ward, Louise Warriar
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