Saturday, 14 June 2014

Stats + Econs Freshman Guide Part II

This is part II of the freshman guide. You may find Part I here

How to do well in the course?
This is probably a question that many will be wondering. To be honest, there is no secret to this question. Hard work is the key to success in this course.  Always clarify your doubts as soon as possible and do not let them accumulate. The study break before the exams is for you to recap the materials taught in the semester, and NOT for you to catch up on the syllabus. It is also important for you to at least attempt the tutorials before the lecturer release the answers even though they may not be graded. Understanding the solution is easy, the difficulty lies with coming up with the answer on your own, which is an essential skill in any exam.  

As a statistics student, there are a few math modules which are unavoidable. You need to recognize that mathematics in university is at a totally different level compared to JC math. Unless you have taken H3 math in JC or you are the type that have been wining math Olympiad since young, otherwise, the typical education route taken by most Singaporeans does not adequately prepares you for university math. It also does not help that, many foreigners are incredibly good in math, making the competition extremely steep.   

Past year papers are not always helpful. Shocking as this might sound to many who have been doing pyp religiously since PSLE, but based on my experience, pyp does not help most of the time, especially for higher level modules. The only exception is when the lecturer uploads the pyp himself and asks you to try it. This is because many modules are taught by different lecturers in different semester. While there are learning outcomes that the lecturers need to adhere to when planning the module syllabus, the focus of each lecturer can be very different. 

It is also important for you to set realistic expectation of your ability. It is not uncommon for freshmen who are young, energetic and full of dreams to come NUS hoping to achieve everything. Excellent grades, leadership position in CCA(s), and life of the party every weekend. However, the truth is, people who can do that are few and far between. For the majority of us who are not blessed with the ability to excel in everything, we have to decide which aspects of the NUS life we really want to pursue. Personally, I think that academic results weight quite heavily for statistics students. From the perspective of employers, he would probably want to hire a statistician who can provide the analysis he needs, and not someone who has excellent CCA achievement but do not know how to generate or interpret a regression model. This is especially so in the public sector as they do not hire any statisticians without a second upper at the very least. 

Lastly, tap on online resources for materials to prepare ahead for the semester. Before each semester, I always search online for materials of modules that I will be taking. For those who are new, you can start with to find out more about the module such as the recommended textbook, the lecturer or the syllabus of the module. After which, you may try to google for free E-books or through website such as It is also not difficult to find blogs of current students sharing module materials; in fact, this is one of those blogs. Do feel free to contact me for materials of the modules I have taken before. Other useful blogs includes: (Economics Major) (for Economics major), major), (Statistics major).  Alternatively, you may also go to the nus forum at and make friends with us (but please do not treat us as your helpdesk). I obtained most of my module materials and the latest feedback on the module content and lecturers from the forum. I hope you may find it as useful as I do. 

No comments :

Post a Comment