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Why do students experience difficulties in Business Statistics?

Updated on August 5, 2015

NOTE : This is a final output for our thesis in Business Statistics at Holy Angel University. Please do not copy. Only use it for reference. If you have questions, please feel free to write on the comments section of the bottom of this page and I would gladly be of help to you. Thank you.

The purpose of this article is to determine the factors that make Business Statistics difficult for the students taking up this subject. This matter is of great importance because the subject is essential for the students for future use. It is observed that more students fail in the subject than any of the other subjects they are simultaneously taking.

Because of this, students who would graduate from the Business courses might have a tendency to be less competent in the area since most of them resort to cheating because they find the subject difficult. By determining the factors on why the students find it difficult, instructors would know their approach in teaching the subject matter to their students. It might make learning easier for them and might eventually will not make Business Statistics difficult anymore. It might make the subject matter more understandable to the students.

Students who would graduate from the Business courses might have a tendency to be less competent in the area since most of them resort to cheating because they find the subject difficult
Students who would graduate from the Business courses might have a tendency to be less competent in the area since most of them resort to cheating because they find the subject difficult | Source

People use numbers every day to describe or analyze the world we live in. Statistics is the branch of mathematics that transforms numbers into useful information for decision makers. (Berenson, Levine & Krehbiel, 2009) In the business world, it is often used to summarize business data, to draw conclusions from the data, to make reliable forecasts about business activities, and to improve business processes. As students of Business courses, it is important to be knowledgeable in this subject matter.

As future businesspersons, it is inevitable to use statistics in their field of study. For example, a firm preparing to introduce a new product need to estimate the preferences of the consumers in the relevant market. It can often do this by conducting a marketing survey based on interviews with some randomly selected households. The result of the survey can then be used to estimate the preferences of the entire population. (Downing & Clark, 2010) By this example, it could be inferred that Business Statistics is truly essential for the students of Business.

If you're a business major in college, chances are you'll have to pass business statistics. As part of business statistics, you'll study probability and statistics as it relates to supply and demand, the stock market, GDP and other business-related items. If you don't pass business statistics the first time, you likely will have to take it again, so preparation is imperative to avoid repeating the class. (, 2104) Business Statistics is not an easy subject. It has to be prepared for. This might be one of the reasons why many students fail in the subject. They do not take time to prepare to fully learn the subject.

Statistics doesn’t make sense to students because it is taught out of context. Most people don’t really learn statistics until they start analyzing data in their own research. Yes, it makes those classes tough, because students need to acquire the knowledge before they truly understand it. The only way to learn how to analyze data is to analyze some. (, n.d.) To learn Business Statistics more effectively, analysis must be present because that is what the subject is all about. Without it, students would not fully acquire the knowledge. They should be able to grasp the idea of analysis first before learning the concepts of Business Statistics hence, they would have difficulty in dealing with it.

Math requires concentration, it requires mental 'heavy lifting'
Math requires concentration, it requires mental 'heavy lifting' | Source

Statistics is a branch of mathematics. According to (2013), math requires concentration, it requires mental 'heavy lifting'. A lot of people don't want to work that hard. Some of us have more aptitude for it than others, but for anyone, it is hard work, especially as you get into the higher forms of math. Statistics, as a higher form of mathematics, is difficult for most students. This might be one of the reasons why students find Business Statistics difficult. Simply because it is a branch of mathematics which most students hate. Their perception is that anything that involves mathematics is difficult. That is why before they even start learning the subject, they think that it is too difficult for them and tend to not do anything to improve on it. They lose motivation to work hard to understand it just because the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear math is that it is a difficult topic.

Data and results from a conducted survey

The researchers gathered data from a sample of one hundred (100) respondents who are taking up Business courses.

When asked if they experience difficulty in Business Statistics, 80 (80%) of them answered that they find the subject difficult while the remaining 20 (20%) respondents answered that they do not find it difficult.

As a follow-up question for those who answered “Yes” in the first question, they were asked to put a check mark on the reasons why they find it difficult. Their response was not limited to one reason. They were asked to choose one or more of the choices. Out of the 80 respondents who agreed that Business Statistics is difficult, 48 (60%) of them answered that the instructor does not explain the lesson well. Another answer that got the most number of response is that the lessons are complex and difficult to understand which was chosen by 47 (58.75%) respondents. The lessons make the students bored and they tend not to listen was chosen by 36 (45%) respondents. 32 (40%) of the respondents answered that the room is not inductive for learning and makes the students uncomfortable while 25 (31.25%) of them reasoned that the students do not find the lessons important.

The respondents were asked on how much time they save for studying each week. Most of them study for less than an hour a week which was answered by 35 (35%) respondents. 31 (31%) of them do not save time for studying their lessons. 15 (15%) of the respondents study for 1-2 hour per week. 13 (13%) of them study their lessons for 3-4 hours a week while the remaining 6 (6%) respondents study for more than 4 hours each week.

Another question the researchers asked is if the respondents take time to study their lessons in advance or review after the discussion. Their answers are almost even. 49 (49%) respondents answered “Yes” while 51 (51%) of them answered “No”.

Another follow-up question for the previous item is the respondents’ reason/s for not studying in advance or reviewing after discussions. They were allowed to choose more than one reason. Out of the 51 respondents who answered “No”, 19 (37.25%) of them reasoned that they lack time. 48 (94.12%) of the respondents answered that they are not interested while 8 (15.69%) of them said that they do not do it because they understand the lessons.

The respondents were asked of the hindrances that they experience to listen during discussions. They were allowed to choose more than one of the choices. 71 (71%) of them responded that their loss of interest with the subject hinders them from listening. 68 (68%) of the respondents admitted that the use of their gadgets distracts them. The noise from other students was also one of the choices which was chosen by 67 (67%) of the respondents. 50 (50%) of them blamed their distance from the board as a hindrance. 28 (28%) of the respondents are not satisfied with the environment in their classrooms while 18 (18%) of them pointed out that the voice of the instructor is too soft for them to hear.

The final question that was asked of the respondents was if they find Business Statistics interesting. 59 (59%) of the respondents find the subject interesting while the remaining 41 (41%) do not.

As a follow-up question for those who answered “No”, they were asked for the reason/s for their loss of interest for Business Statistics. They were allowed to choose more than one answer. 32 (78.05%) out of 41 respondents answered that the lessons are too complicated for them to have interest on the subject. 26 (63.41%) of them responded that math does not appeal to them, so does statistics. 12 (29.27%) of them said that the subject is not essential in their line of course.

Conclusions drawn from the survey

  • Majority (80%) of the students taking up Business courses find difficulty in Business Statistics.
  • Most of the students reason that the lessons are complex and difficult to understand (58.75%) and the instructor does not explain the lessons well (60%) for their difficulty in dealing with the subject.
  • Most of the students (69%) find time to study their lessons in Business Statistics each week while other students (31%) do not make the effort to do so.
  • Almost half of the students (49%) do advanced reading and review their lessons after discussions.
  • The remaining students (51%) do not do study in advance and review after discussions mostly because they do not take interest in doing so.
  • Students are usually hindered from listening due to their loss of interest with the subject (71%), due to the noise from other students (68%), and because of the use of their gadgets (67%).
  • More than half of the students (59%) find Business Statistics interesting.
  • The remaining students (41%) do not find Business Statistics interesting usually because the lessons are too complicated.

Based on the information gathered from the research, all that could be done is to focus and study well. There is no one that could help you but yourself.

To help you get better grades, here is a video that could give you tips.

The video not only applies to Business Statistics or other Math-related subjects, but also on other subjects. So enjoy, keep learning, and strive harder!

You are not alone.

Do you experience difficulties in Math-related subjects?

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      4 years ago

      As a home business oparetor I agree that productivity and communication is not an issue. I'm surprised at how many home business oparetors and teleworkers there are now, and that number will be rising rapidly. I attended a Chamber of Commerce committee meeting recently for the first time and was surprised to learn that a number of people attending worked from home. With computer hardware costs much lower than what they used to be, high-speed Internet access and cell phone service readily available, it's not expensive to get started.


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