If you’re thinking of taking college elementary statistics next semester then you might be wondering how hard it will be.

This post will show you how hard college elementary statistics is and some things that you can do to make it a lot easier.

So, is college elementary statistics hard? Most students that take it without any prior knowledge of statistics find the class to be difficult.

There are actually a number of factors that will determine how hard elementary statistics is for you and there are a number of things that you can do to make it easier.

It depends on what you already know

How difficult elementary statistics is for you will depend largely on what you already know.

If you already know significant chunks of the material then you shouldn’t find the class to be too difficult. Whereas, if you have not studied much statistics then there will be a lot of new concepts for you to learn but it will still be achievable.

Most elementary statistics classes have college algebra as a prerequisite. This is another class that students tend to struggle with. However, most people find elementary statistics to be easier. If you did well in college algebra then you should also do well in elementary statistics if you put enough effort into it.

You will need to study

Regardless of whether or not you have a solid foundation in math and statistics it will still be necessary for you to study for the class. The reason that many students struggle with elementary statistics is that many of them do not study outside of class time which is not enough to do well in the class.

However, if you do study throughout the semester you will be much more likely to do well in the class. By studying throughout the semester it will be easier for you to understand what the professor is teaching, you won’t have to cram the night before the exams and you will retain the information more effectively (source.)

It will depend largely on the professor

How difficult college elementary statistics and most other college classes will be for you will depend largely on the professor that you take the class with.

The professor will usually dictate the pace of the class, the scope of the exams, some will tell you to know everything from the text and others will give you a study guide.

Before selecting the class it would be worthwhile to look at what other students have said about the professor on ratemyprofessors.com. Make sure to schedule your classes as soon as scheduling opens since the highest-rated professors have their classes fill up quickly.

Don’t take other difficult classes concurrently

If you want to get a good grade in the class then it would be worthwhile for you to try to avoid taking other classes that are difficult at the same time.

If you take other classes that are difficult, in the same semester, then it will mean that you will have to be putting a lot of effort into multiple classes at the same time. This could cause you to struggle to keep up with the work especially during finals week.

Plan the semester out as soon as you can

In order to ensure that you stay on top of all of the assignments and exams that the class will have it will be important to plan out all of the due dates of the class as soon as you get the syllabus. By doing so you will be able to avoid missing out on any due dates and you will be able to spot potentially demanding weeks in advance.

Make sure to do well on the homework

You will often find that the homework, in college elementary statistics, will have a reasonably high weighting. This means that it is important to do well on the homework. This is because by doing so you will be able to make up for any bad exams that you might have. You will also be able to learn the material more effectively as well.

You can ensure that you do well on the homework by reading the book before starting it, avoiding waiting until the day before it is due and using resources such as Google and Youtube to study parts that you get stuck on.

Read the textbook before jumping to the problems

Many students will jump straight to the homework problems before reading the relevant chapter from the textbook. This is a mistake since the questions will be based on what is in the chapter and the professor will likely have missed some sections from the textbook.

Instead of jumping straight to the homework problems it would be more effective for you to read the relevant chapter first and then to try to solve the questions from the book after.

Get assistance when you need it

It would be helpful to get help when you really get stuck. By doing so you will be able to show the professor that you are putting an effort into the class, avoid having gaps in your knowledge during the exam and you will be able to have a higher homework grade.

With that being said, it is also important to try to find the solution yourself beforehand. Otherwise, the professor will likely not be pleased and you will still struggle to understand what the professor is explaining to you.

Prioritize what the professor gives you

You will usually find that the material given to you by the professor is the most likely material to be on the exam. This means that you should prioritize studying any material that the professor gives you before other areas from the textbook.

In addition to this, some professors will also give you a study guide. If your professor does give you one then make sure to study it as soon as you get it and to understand how to solve it before the exam. If you can’t understand any aspects of it then make sure to get help before the exam since the exam is likely to be very similar.

Revise what you don’t know already

Before taking college elementary statistics it would help to brush up on any of the prerequisite material.

College algebra will normally be a prerequisite for the class. Before taking elementary statistics it would help to brush up on topics related to basic graphing.

Prepare for elementary statistics in advance

Another thing that you can do is to work through the material before taking the class. By doing so it will be much easier for you to understand what the professor is teaching and you will be much more likely to get a high grade in the class.

I would recommend that you watch the following playlist before taking the class. You can find it here.


I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.