See if there is one thing that I cannot stand, is seeing a student rush into a Stats class and stating that this class is remarkably easy because my friend said so. Too many times has a student come up to me and asked is statistics easy, and I reply "it most certainly is... for myself, because I studied my content for two years before retaking the course.". If you know that you are going to start a statistics class anywhere at any time your going to need the following items.
1. TI-83 or 84 preferably
Now why one of these calculators? Students, if you are going to take a stats class be aware that there is a lot of data or numerical values that can be used to find the measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion.
These calculators excel for data entry and double checking your answers on the very first test.
*If your teacher says you cannot use this calculator, then get its cheaper cousin.
Hint there usually blue and do not get the TI-30X. The reason being is that this calculator can perform the proper functions to also obtain answers that guarantee accuracy, its just a clunkier interface.
2. Study your vocabulary ahead of time
Every stats book for intro stats has been the same for years, the first chapter usually contains a lot of vocabulary. The math is easy when we get to formatting answers. This vocabulary though will define how easy your class gets down the road.
3. Get some playing cards, a cheap deck of 52 cards will do.
Study what a deck of cards is by playing poker, or black jack, something, because halfway through the semester you will thank me.
4. GET THE TEXTBOOK AHEAD OF TIME
The biggest kick in the pants for a stats student is when they say, "oh, I cannot complete the homework yet". Instructors do not care if you do not have your book because it is your responsibility. If the book store screwed up that is another story but it is on you. If you cannot afford it then copy from a friend. Still cannot because you have no friends; then go to your schools library they always have a copy for temporary loan out.
5. Finally, get to know your schools statistics tutor ahead of time.
There is not one statistics student who I know, who has not had issues with the class because of wording. This class is more English then it is Math.
Here are some basic questions to determine if your tutor knows his stuff
A. Describe a weighted mean in regards to ones GPA
B. How many equations do I need to memorize for the first test (if they say more then 6 make them explain why)
C. What is the difference between a Z score and a T score
D. What are determining factors between a 2 sample independent T test and a 2 sample dependent T test
Sound complicated? Each of these items regards multiple areas for your semester in statistics, and it is essential that you know your tutor knows his stuff. So this is step one to a Statistics class. Be warned if your taking a calculus based statistics this does not apply to you. All other's, stay tuned.