It came and went – time seemed to slow down in the first few weeks of my stay at INTAN Bukit Kiara, then speeded up dramatically towards the end of April.
The exams went well – especially the first (stats) and last (research methods). I thought I didn’t do the second (SPSS) too well, even though I expected it to be easy. Lesson learnt: be overconfident at your peril!
And now, at the time of writing, it’s been 10 days since I came back on the 12th May.
Regarding the statistics exam – was held 16th April. We had to do 5 questions out of 8 in 3 hours. I ended up doing 7, because (i) I finished 5 questions with 45 minutes to spare; (ii) the last 2 questions was much easier than the first 5, and (iii) the examiners would select the best 5 anyway.
The 2-week crash course in statistics has certainly been eye-opening and quite stressful. It has not been unusual for me to review the day’s lecture till late at night. Everything was done at full speed ahead. For example, the ANOVA (>=3 mean test) part usually takes one whole semester, but in this course it was covered in a day. Every day is a different topic – you had to make sure you fully understood the day’s topic, for tomorrow is a different topic altogether.
The biggest problem is deciding which hypothesis testing approach to use in what situation. Even though the exam is open book, it definitely won’t be easy.
Another is that it’s quite easy to get lost in the long formulas. One wrong step, and you get the whole question wrong.
For example, the formula to work out the t value in hypothesis testing using regression looks like this:
One mistake on the scientific calculator or even Excel on the laptop, and you’ve had it.
One could use SPSS, but there’s no time to get well-versed enough with it. Plus, I think it’s good to know the fundamentals too, rather than simply keying the data.
Adding to the stress is that the statistics module contributes the most i.e. 45% to the whole course.
If we don’t pass the course, automatically the scholarship offer will be withdrawn. Of course, judging from past history, most people would pass, but nobody want to be added to the statistic of people who’ve failed.