Basic Skills Test

There are four basic skills that my undergraduate students in applied business statistics must complete in order to pass the class. They are also used in some other classes, including graduate, as required foundational skills. The word "skills" is used because this is more about the ability to mimic the steps than about understanding the concepts. Generally, all four skills will be tested on the same day so there is limited time. Therefore you should practice,practice, practice to make the steps automatic (again, that's why they're labelled "skills").

They will be graded pass/fail. You don't get credit for the skill unless you get all of it correct. The instructor will NOT provide any hints or instruction during the test. If you get any portion of a skill wrong, the instructor will go over your error(s) with you so that you know what to practice before your next attempt.

Basic Skill #1: Compute Basic Descriptive Statistics for Quantitative Data

You will be given a dataset with multiple variables. The data will be arranged in columns with the first row of each column containing the name of the variable. You will be required to compute all of the following statistics for one of the quantitative variables in dataset.

Here's a link to the instructional video and practice data for this skill. There's also a handout available using an older version of Excel and older version of the data.

Note: Unless stated otherwise, the instructional videos use Excel 2016 for Windows.

Basic Skill #2: Frequency Table and Bar Charts for Qualitative Data

You will be given a dataset with multiple variables. The data will be arranged in columns with the first row of each column containing the name of the variable. You will be required to do all of the following for a qualitative (i.e. categorical) variable:

Here are links to the instructional video. It uses the same practice data as Skill #1. (Here's a link to an older instructional video version and the older practice data.)

NOTE: The video uses Excel's Pivot Tables to create the frequency table. Since Pivot Table knowledge is important beyond statistics, I suggest that you learn it this way. However, a frequency table can also be created using Excel's COUNTIF function. On the test, you can use either method as long as you get the correct output.

Basic Skill #3: Frequency Table and Histogram for Quantitative Data

You will be given a dataset with multiple variables. The data will be arranged in columns with the first row of each column containing the name of the variable. You will be required to do all of the following for a quantitative (i.e. numeric) variable:

Note: The above items are covered in the Histograms Part 1 video. The next items are in the Histograms Part 2 video. The practice data is the same as for Skill #1 and Skill #2.
(Older version: Histograms Part 1 video, Histograms Part 2 video, and practice data.)

NOTE: The video uses Excel's Pivot Tables to create the frequency table. Since Pivot Table knowledge is important beyond statistics, I suggest that you learn it this way. However, a grouped frequency table can also be created using Excel's FREQUENCY function. On the test, you can use either method as long as you get the correct output. Also, Excel 2016 introduced a histogram tool in Charts. It works quite well with skewed data. However, it's not used in this Basic Skills series because it doesn't handle relative frequency very well.

Basic Skill #4: Basic Regression for Two Quantitative Variables

You will be given a dataset with multiple variables. The data will be arranged in columns with the first row of each column containing the name of the variable. You will be required to do all of the following for two quantitative (i.e. numeric) variables:

Here's the instructional video and practice data. (This time it's NOT the same data that's used for the other skills.)

(page updated 7/6/2018)