Statistics 235

Lab Exam Tips

  1. Stat 235 lab exams are closed book multiple-choice exams held in campus labs during regular lab sessions. One of the advantages of the multiple-choice format in questions with numerical answers is that you may redo your analysis or calculations if your answer does not match any of the five answers provided and you are confident that your approach is correct. After all, the right answer is right there.
  2. Carefully read each multiple-choice question to ensure a full understanding of the concepts. Many students are in such a hurry to start the test that they do not read the instructions and make careless errors as a result.
  3. When asked to choose one of several plots for the data provided, obtain the plot with Excel and compare it against each of the options provided in the answers.
  4. In all questions with numerical answers, make sure that you have used the correct Excel feature and entered the correct parameters into the appropriate dialog boxes.
  5. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If a question is too hard, or you just do not know the answer, circle the question and come back when you have completed all the questions you do know. Use whatever time is left over at the end of the test to tackle these very difficult questions.
  6. If the question asks you something you do not know, see if you can eliminate any of the wrong answers before you guess. By carefully eliminating answers you know must be wrong, you can increase your chances of guessing correctly.
  7. If none of the five answers provided seems close (any discrepancy can be due to rounding only), reread the question and try to determine what you missed.
  8. After you have finished the test, go back to those questions you circled as being too hard. See if you can answer them now. Take as much time as you have. Never turn in a test early, unless you are sure that you have answered all questions. If you still cannot answer the question, then guess. Never leave a blank on a multiple-choice test.
  9. Some questions, especially hypothesis testing questions in the lab exam may be related. The wrong choice of the test in the first question of the set may affect your answers in one or two subsequent questions. Therefore it is very important to carefully read the first question in the set to get it right.
Statistical Laboratories Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta