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Statistics A-Level

The Bedford Sixth Form Library

Qualification: AS/A-Level | Exam board: Edexcel

A-Level Statistics provides students with a wide range of techniques for understanding and analysing data, which are increasingly important skills in a world of constant change.

The emphasis of the qualification is on understanding the implications and limitations of the various techniques in the context of practical situations. The course provides useful support for a variety of other subjects, including many of the Social Sciences.

This course will cover a range of topics including:

  • probability
  • estimation
  • data handling
  • correlation and regression
  • sampling
  • probability distributions and approximations
  • hypothesis testing.
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Year one content

1 – Numerical measures, graphs and diagrams

Students will interpret statistical diagrams including bar charts, stem and leaf diagrams, box and whisker plots, cumulative frequency diagrams, histograms (with either equal or unequal class intervals), time series and scatter diagrams.

2 – Probability

Students will learn how to:

  • Know and use language and symbols associated with set theory in the context of probability.
  • Represent and interpret probabilities using tree diagrams, Venn diagrams and two-way tables.
  • Calculate and compare probabilities: single, independent, mutually exclusive and conditional probabilities.
  • Use and apply the laws of probability to include conditional probability.
  • Include addition and multiplication laws.
  • Determine if two events are statistically independent.

3 – Population and samples

Students will evaluate the practical application of random and non-random sampling techniques such as simple random, systematic, cluster, judgmental and snowball. You will also include the use of stratification (in proportional and disproportional ratios) prior to sampling taking place.

4 – Introduction to probability distributions

Students will learn how to:

  • Know and use terms such as: random, discrete, continuous, dependent, and independent for variability (with reference to random variables).
  • Calculate probabilities and determine expected values, variances and standard deviations for discrete distributions.
  • How to explain in words, such distributions given in a table or by definition of the discrete probability function.
  • Use discrete random variables to model real-world situations.
  • Know the properties of a continuous distribution.

5 – Binomial distribution

Students will:

  • Know when a binomial model is appropriate (in real world situations including modelling assumptions).
  • Know methods to evaluate or read probabilities using formula and tables.
  • Use calculator functions to obtain binomial probabilities and are advised to do so.
  • Calculate and interpret the mean and variance.

6 – Normal distribution

Understand the specific properties of the normal distribution, and that data from such an underlying population would approximate to having these properties, with different samples showing variation

7 – Correlation and linear regression

Calculate (only using appropriate technology ‒ calculator) and interpret association using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient or Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient.

8 – Introduction to hypothesis testing

Use and demonstrate understanding of the terms parameter, statistic, unbiased and standard error.

9 – Contingency tables

Construct contingency tables from real data, combining data where appropriate, and interpret results in context.

10 – One and two sample non-parametric tests

Use sign or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to investigate population median in single sample tests and also to investigate for differences using a paired model.

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Year two content

1- Bayes’ theorem

Calculate and use conditional probabilities to include Bayes’ theorem for up to three events, including the use of tree diagrams.

2- Probability distributions

Understand the use and validity of distributions which could be appropriate in a particular real world situations. This includes binomial, normal, Poisson and exponential distributions.

3- Experimental design

Understand Know and discuss issues involved in experimental design including experimental error, randomisation, replication, control and experimental groups, and blind and double blind trials.

4- Sampling, estimates and resampling

Use and demonstrate the understanding of terms such as parameter, statistic, unbiased and standard error.

5- Hypothesis testing, significance testing, confidence intervals and power

Use confidence intervals for the mean using z or t as appropriate and interpret results in practical contexts.

6- Paired tests

Use sign, Wilcoxon signed-rank or paired t-test, understanding appropriate test selection and interpreting the results in context.

7- Exponential and Poisson distributions

Learn how to determine when a Poisson model is appropriate (in real world situations including modelling assumptions).

8- Goodness of fit

Conduct a statistical goodness of fit test for binomial, Poisson, normal and exponential distributions or a specified discrete distribution.

9- Analysis of variance

Conduct one-way analysis of variance, using a completely randomised design with appreciation of the underlying model with additive effects and experimental errors .

10- Effect size

Know the notion of effect size as a complementary methodology to standard significance testing, and apply in authentic contexts.

Additional information

What does this subject prepare me for?

Studying a subject with real-world applications allows students to:

  • Understand the Statistics they see in the world around them and knowing where they are useful, and their limitations
  • Develop models, testing them and then refining and improving them
  • Be able to use their Statistics knowledge in other fields of study
  • Learn techniques that also apply to other subjects, at A-Level and beyond
  • Build practical and analytical skills that will help them in many different careers
  • Develop the fundamental statistical and lateral thinking skills that are invaluable across all kinds of disciplines and careers.

A-Level Statistics is a good choice for students considering Higher Education in any Science, Social Science or Maths-based course or Medicine, Law or Management. Career opportunities for students who study A-Level Statistics include: industry, management, healthcare, accountancy, finance, economics, insurance, medicine, law, social work, communications, veterinary science and engineering

Course support and enrichment

You will be taught in a small group and will be encouraged to meet at other times during the week in a study group to support each other. There are also times during the week when you can access staff for support where necessary.

Assessment

The A-Level assessment contain 3 written papers:

Paper One: Data & Probability

Paper Two: Statistical Inference

Paper Three: Statistic in Practice

The course encourage independent learning, time management, working in small groups providing support for each other and, of course, a deep love of the subject.

Entry requirements

Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:

Subject specific entry requirements

  • 6 in Maths

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)

AND

  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3

AND

  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)

AND

  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level

How to apply

Applications for the academic year 2022/23 are now open. 

If you need help you can call us on 01234 291291 or email us. You should also look at the financial support we offer.

Apply now