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Feb 17

Review of Hinders "5 steps"




Review of Hinders "5 steps, 2010-2011 Edition"

This is a review of "5 Steps to a 5 AP Statistics, 2010-2011 Edition" by Duane Hinders. The latest edition is "5 Steps to a 5 AP Statistics, 2017 Edition" by C. Andreasen, D. Hinders, and D. McDonald, which I, unfortunately, don't have.

The main part of the book has 14 chapters. These chapters plus the preface, introduction, practice exams, appendices etc. are organized in 5 units, that's why the "5 steps" in the name of the book. The book is concise and explanations are as clear as they can be without derivations. See for yourself: of the 14 chapters, the first four contain mainly methodological recommendations and the real study starts from Chapter 5. There are just 385 pages and the latest edition is about the same size.

When one skips the theory and uses book formulas blindly, there is no guarantee that the result will be correct, because the book may contain errors and typos. Hinders does not avoid a common misconception about confidence intervals, but I hope that's the only lapse.

Figure 1. Cognitive ability

Unlike other books I reviewed before (Agresti and FranklinAlbert and RossmanNewbold, Carlson and Thorne, and Bock, Velleman, De Veaux), this one has real exam questions and better uses the reader's time. If I wanted to pass the AP exam, without spending too much time on preparation, I would read the "5 steps".

Perhaps, the exposition wouldn't look so clear to me if I didn't have prior knowledge of Statistics but younger readers may have the advantage I don't: a better memory. I try to illustrate this in Figure 1. I have stronger analytical skills than most 20-year olds but their memory is better. Because of the age trade-off, overall my cognitive abilities are about the same as those of young people. Read and think about every word, and you may succeed.

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