Recently, one of my professors asked me this question; “regressions and multivariate analysis; why do you want to take my course or spend my lab time on this”? After thinking about this for a while, I realized that it was probably something that he had not even thought about. In his words, he wanted to help me better prepare for the regression and multivariate analysis topics that we would be covering in our upcoming statistical studies. Thus, I realized that it would probably make sense for him to have me do some regression and multivariate analysis before he would teach these classes.
This enabled us to have a much-needed discussion about the importance of learning the various models and regression techniques and how they can help us analyze our data sets. It also helped us to pinpoint some areas for improvement where we were weak and need to work on. What better way to improve than to have a student do a regression or multivariate analysis for you? The experience was very positive overall and I highly recommend it to any student who may be having difficulty with any part of the statistics curriculum. Of course, it is not required that students do each section, but it certainly made for a much more thorough and well-rounded study session.
After discussing the importance of regression and multivariate analysis in regards to taking the exam, I asked my student whether he wanted to discuss it at the final conference. He eagerly told me that he did want to discuss it there and then and asked if I would be okay with it. I asked him why and he explained that he really liked the idea of being able to go over his studies and have someone there just to help him brush up on any spots that he needed to clarify. He was truly excited!
When I got home from the conference, I immediately sat down and began to write out the questions and corresponding answers. This was a bit difficult since I knew that some of the questions would be the same or at least closely related to what had been discussed in the conference. However, I found that this was actually a very good way to review what had been discussed. Questions that seemed to crop up all throughout the lecture were a very good way for me to practice my regression skills and make sure that I understood them. Once I was satisfied that I understood the material, I began to do my own regression. Unfortunately, I failed.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson in how to properly conduct regression. While it is a simple concept to understand and predict the outcome of a variable based on the difference between its values at different points in time, performing the regression requires a lot more than my experience with regression. In fact, I was actually pretty surprised by the fact that a person with such little prior knowledge of the subject was able to perform his own regression. Not only was he able to correctly predict the outcome of the variable, but he was also able to see what factors were most important in terms of affecting the regression.
Since I was unsuccessful on the regression and multivariate analysis section of the exam, I knew that I was going to fail on the verbal section as well. The section requires the student to describe a model in as few words as possible, create a spreadsheet, interpret the results from that spreadsheet, analyze the data, and write a conclusion. I was sure that I was going to fail on this section, but I decided to try and learn something before my exam to see if I was rusty or not. The end result was that I was able to create a model in one sentence, create a spreadsheet in thirty seconds, and interpret the results in a short time.
If you are like me, you may feel the same way. Maybe you have studied hard and learned a lot of material on regression and other topics, but you still don’t think that you will be able to answer the exam. Trying to improve your grades is definitely worth taking a look at. Even if it isn’t a full-on regression course, it can make you feel better about your chances of passing. Who knows, maybe after your next exam you will feel like an ace student!