Below are lists of the most important math
proficiencies needed in Introductory Statistics...
General
Proficiencies
Postsecondary instructors insist that the general
proficiencies in the table below are extremely important for anyone wishing to
succeed in an Introductory Statistics course. In many ways they are
more valuable proficiencies for the student entering a postsecondary Intro Stats course
than are even a large number of individual, specific mathematics skills. Although
general proficiencies are difficult to measure, the effects of these qualities and
attitudes towards success in any Intro Stats course is difficult to overemphasise.
General
Proficiencies Essential For Introductory Statistics 
General
Proficiency 
Related Proficiencies 
Comments 
Thinking Skills 
Critical, Logical Thinking 
Orderly, analytical, inquiring thought processes. 
Solving Word Problems 

Experience and comfort in setting up, solving and writing up word
problems. 
Modelling 

Finding appropriate constructs or methods to solve a problem.
Example: writing a function that captures the components of a problem. 
Integration of Topics 
Combining concepts
Synthesising 
Using two or more concepts in combination. Example: the
concept of perpendicularity with the concept of the equations of such lines. 
Symbolism 
Symbol Manipulation 
Familiarity and comfort with mathematical symbols. 
Language Skills 
Reading, Writing 
Reading with comprehension and writing clearly. 
Positive Attitude towards Math 
Little or no Math Anxiety; Comfort with Numbers 
A willingness to try; a comfort with numbers and number operations.
Build on success and enjoyment. 
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Specific Proficiency Categories
The survey completed by college/university instructors listed broad
proficiency categories containing morespecific subproficiencies. These
main proficiency categories of specific mathematics topics that students typically
encounter in senior secondary courses are ranked in the table below. Each category
has also been given an importance rating of: Essential, Very
Important, Important, Nice to Know or
Not Important, in accordance with the survey results.
Code 
Mathematics Proficiency Categories Rated for INTRODUCTORY
STATISTICS 
M 
Understand and use Straight Line and Linear
Functions. 
Essential 
J 
Understand and use Data Analysis. 
Important 
E 
Solve Equations and Inequalities. 
Important 
A 
Understand and use Polynomial Expressions. 
Important 
D 
Understand and use Radical Expressions. 
Important 
C 
Understand and use Exponential Expressions. 
Important 
L 
Understand and use the Function Concept. 
Important 
K 
Understand and use Sequences and Series. 
Important 
N 
Understand and use the Quadratic Function. 
Important 
B 
Understand and use Rational Expressions. 
Nice to Know 
R 
Understand and use the Logarithmic Function. 
Nice to Know 
F 
Understand and use the Geometry of Lines and
Points. 
Nice to Know 
T 
Understand and use some Concepts of the
Calculus. 
Nice to Know 
Q 
Understand and use Polynomial Functions. 
Nice to Know 
P 
Understand and use Quadratic Relations. 
Nice to Know 
H 
Understand and use Triangle Trigonometry. 
Not Important 
G 
Understand and use the Geometry of Circles. 
Not Important 
S 
Understand and use Circular Trigonometric
Functions. 
Not Important 
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Specific SubProficiencies  THE TOP 20
Each Specific Proficiency Category contains several, individual
subproficiencies. The twenty individual proficiencies rated highest
for entry to university/college Introductory Statistics courses are given below:
THE
TOP 20 MATH PROFICIENCIES FOR INTRO STATS  IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE 
Code 
Mathematics Proficiency 
Rating 
M2 
Understand and use the slope of a line. 
Essential 
M1 
Graph and write the equations for linear
functions. 
Essential 
U1 
Find and write up solutions to word problems
connected to specific math/stats topics being studied. 
Very Important 
U5 
Use the set operations: union, intersection. 
Very Important 
U4 
Understand and apply the concept of set,
subset and complement of a set. 
Very Important 
U6 
Graph set interrelations using a Venn Diagram. 
Very Important 
U7 
Use a scientific calculator. 
Very Important 
E1 
Solve linear equations. 
Very Important 
J1 
Organise and graph data from an experiment. 
Important 
J2 
Obtain, organise and graph sample data. 
Important 
U2 
Engage in the completion of extended projects
involving multiple, varied areas of mathematics/statistics. 
Important 
J3 
Apply sample information to population
information. 
Important 
M3 
Write direct variations as equations. 
Important 
J5 
Select appropriate sampling methods. 
Important 
J4 
Determine 90% confidence intervals. 
Important 
A1 
Simplify polynomial expressions. 
Important 
E2 
Solve linear inequalities. 
Important 
K3 
Understand and use sigma notation. 
Important 
L1 
Understand and use function notation. 
Important 
A2 
Add and subtract polynomial expressions. 
Important 
Although the above specific proficiencies have been rated highly for success in an
Intro Stats course, there are others. For example, the 21st proficiency is "Use
a statistical software package like MiniTab or SPSS". To view the specific
ratings and the entire list of topics, including ones not specifically mentioned in the
survey, you may use a pdf reader to download the entire Mathematics Proficiencies
Report from HERE.
The Mathematics Proficiencies for PostSecondary Mathematics/Statistics Courses
Project Report may be freely quoted when the source is credited.
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