Honors Statistics Syllabus

Course Syllabus & Guidelines for Honors Statistics – Mr. Beretsky – Room B- 30

Course Description

Honors Statistics is a course for upper classmen who are serious about continuing mathematics and are looking for a subject that is useful for many other college majors.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the meaning, use and importance of good statistics. During the second semester it is assumed that the student will prepare AP Statistics exam on their own.  The use of the graphic calculator and computer will be encouraged and necessary.  Algebra II is a pre-requisite. The Statistics course reflects the belief that theBelchertownHigh School educational community fosters academic excellence and responsible citizenship in a positive, safe and respectful environment in order to develop productive contributors to society.

Statistics students are expected to:

  • Read mathematical problems actively and critically.
  • Write effective solutions to problems and projects
  • Present solutions to problems effectively
  • Use a variety of appropriate resources including the computer and calculator to solve mathematical problems
  • Employ multiple critical and creative thinking strategies in reasoning and problem solving
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of how mathematics can be used outside the mathematics classroom
  • And meet all of the course objectives listed below

Topics Include:

  • Basic Nature of Statistics and Data
  • Describing Data
  • Exploring and Comparing Data
  • Basic Fundamentals of Probability
  • Random Variables and Probability Distributions
  • The Binomial and Discrete Probability Distributions
  • Standard and Nonstandard Normal Distributions
  • The Central Limit Theorem
  • Confidence Interval for a Mean
  • Confidence Interval for a Population Proportion
  • Confidence Interval for  a Population Variance (optional)
  • Fundamentals of Hypothesis Testing
  • Hypothesis Testing for Means
  • Hypothesis for Testing Proportions
  • Hypothesis for Testing Standard Deviations and Variances (optional)
  • Hypothesis Testing with Two Samples
  • Regression and Correlation
  • Goodness of Fit andIndependence

It is a half year course (2 ½ graduation credits) – The student will receive an additional 2 ½ credits for AP Statistics Exam preparation as independent study in the Spring Term.


Course Objectives


The Student will be able to:

  • Identify different types of data
  • Distinguish between a population and a sample, parameter and a statistic
  • Use critical thinking in analyzing and evaluating statistical results
  • Recognize important elements in the design of experiments
  • Summarize data by constructing a frequency distribution or relative frequency distribution
  • Determine the difference between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics
  • Calculate and explore measures of center of data
  • Calculate and explore the distribution and position of data
  • Explore and compare the nature of two data sets
  • List the basic definitions and notations of probability
  • Recognize and calculate probability for dependent and independent events
  • Recognize and calculate probability for mutually exclusive and inclusive events
  • Set up calculator simulations of probability
  • State different counting techniques
  • Define a random variable and explain its relation to a probability distribution
  • Construct a probability histogram and table and calculate the mean and standard deviation for a probability distribution
  • Define a binomial experiment and calculate probability of a binomial probability distribution
  • Calculate the mean and standard deviation for a binomial distribution
  • Calculate the probability of a Geometric probability distribution
  • Calculate the probability of a Poisson probability distribution
  • Recognize and use a continuous probability distribution to calculate probability
  • Use a standard normal probability distribution to calculate probability and z-scores
  • Use a non-standard normal probability distribution to calculate probability and values
  • List, understand and use the properties of the Central Limit theorem to solve statistics problems
  • Approximate a binomial probability distribution by using a normal distribution
  • Interpret whether a set of distributed data is normal
  • Determine the sample size necessary to estimate a population mean
  • Determine the sample size necessary to estimate a population proportion
  • Estimate a population variance by looking at sample statistics student
  • State the procedure for performing a Hypothesis Test
  • Perform a hypothesis test for a population mean by the p-value or the confidence interval method
  • Student perform a hypothesis test for a population proportion by the p-value or the confidence interval method
  • Perform a hypothesis test for population standard deviation (or variance).a by the p-value or the confidence interval method
  • Perform a test for the difference between two sample population mean
  • Perform a test for the difference between two sample population proportions
  • Describe the relationship between two variables with an equation that can be used for predictions
  • Interpret the three types of variation about a regression line
  • Use a frequency table and chi-square distribution to determine whether two variables are independent
  • Make estimates about the mean of population by looking at sample statistics
  • Estimate a population proportion by looking at sample statistics
  • Determine the correct distribution to be used for a hypothesis test of a mean
  • Determine whether there is a relationship between two variables
  • Use a chi-square distribution to determine whether a frequency distribution fits a claimed distribution


Current Textbook:– Pearson Prentice Hall – Elementary Staistics – Picturing the World 4th Ed  – 2009-– Ron Larson and Betsy Farber


Internet Access

I have a homepage on the Internet. https://beretsky.wordpress.com

This page will contain a course specific section on which I hope to put all homework assignments, projects, a copy of the course syllabus and links that will be helpful and interesting to you.  Be sure to visit this page regularly.  Email can be sent to me at sberetsky@belchertown.org




You are expected to bring the following materials to class every day:

Notebook (discussed in detail below)

A binder with sections is recommended

– Lined paper

– Graph paper

Ruler – scaled in centimeters

Pencils and erasers

Textbook – covered at all times

A Graphing Calculator such as the TI-83+ or TI-84+ is strongly recommended.   A Computer using EXCEL may also be used for homework.

General Classroom Behavior

  • You are expected to respect and value yourself, your school environment and the diversity of the BHS community. 
  • You are expected to contribute to classes and work cooperatively whenever the situation requires. 
  • You are expected to come to class prepared and you are responsible for all missing work
  • Bullying of any kind is not permitted in this classroom
  • You are expected to use pencil and show work for all mathematics on homework, class work, projects, tests and quizzes
  • You are to be in your assigned seat when the bell rings.  Otherwise you are late which may result in a detention.
  • You are expected not to talk while I am speaking or interrupt while other people are speaking.
  • There will be no getting out of your seat or speaking without permission.  If you want to speak or get of your seat during class, raise your hand and wait to be recognized.
  • There will be no leaving the room except for emergencies, which should not occur often.
  • If you need to leave the room, just take the pass and leave as quietly as possible.
  • Books should be covered at all times.  If you lose your book, report it to me immediately.
  • The bell does not dismiss the class.
  • No eating or drinking in the classroom.
  • The Pass is to be used only in an emergency


Quarter Grading Policy

Your grade comes from point values assigned to tests, homework, cooperative group activities and Internet projects.  Quarter grades will be calculated by dividing the total number of points that you have earned by the maximum number of points that you could have earned and calculating a percent.  For example if you earned 600 points out of a possible 800 points, then you get 600/800  = 75%.


Tests will account for about 80% of your grade, Homework for about 10%, project portfolio (case studies, real statistics and uses and abuses, papers) about 10%


Semester Grading Policy

Quarter 1 – 40%                                                          A  90 -100

Quarter 2 – 40%                                                          B  80-89

Final Exam – 20%                                                       C  70-79

D  65-69

F   0-64


You are advised to keep a well-organized notebook with three sections:

Section 1 – Class Notes

Notes are also available from the Statistics Links Page and from me

Section 2 – Homework

Section 3 – Project Portfolio

All materials should be neat and dated and each section of your notebook should be in chronological order.



Textbook Website


The Textbook web site, which can be accessed from the Statistics area of my homepage, contains a wealth of resources available to you.  Among these are:

A student success area, video clips, tutorials, internet projects, practice quizzes, data sets to download, a chat room to discuss statistics with other students and a glossary.  You are urged to become familiar with this material and you will be directed to this area during the semester.   Power point slides can be used as a basis for notes when you have missed classes.



Tests – Full Period – 4 or 5 per quarter / Covers 1 chapter. (100 points). – There will be no need to memorize formulas used for statistics calculations.  You will be using the formula card that is given to you as part of the AP Statistics Exam – You are encouraged to become familiar with this card.  You must use pencil to get full credit.  Intermediate work, if needed, must always be shown to get full credit, even if you use a calculatorI generally give partial credit on tests and quizzes for correct work even if the final answer is incorrect.


Homework is very important in any mathematics course.   Reading is an extremely important component of this course and will help you to learn the basic material you need to have a useful understanding of statisticsThere will often be reading assignments for homework, which you are required to complete.  Homework assignments (posted on my homepage) will be given daily and will often be graded. Grades will range from 5 to 0.  A 5 indicates that you attempted all problems (work shown) and got most of them correct. 0 indicates you did not do your assignment, missed an assignment and did make it up, or made very little attempt.  You must use pencil to get full credit.  Repeated failure to complete homework on time may result in a detention.

Project Portfolio

About once every seven days you will be given a small project to do.  These projects will probably be rated on a scale of 0 -10.  These projects may come from the textbook and appear as Case studies, Uses and Abuses, Activities, Real Statistics, Technology or small papers which involve research using the internet.  You will be given class time for some of these projects and for others you will be required to work at home.   Projects will generally require a write-up and may require mathematics.  To receive full credit, the write-ups must be typewritten and all mathematics must be done with a pencil.  You are required to keep all your projects in a portfolio which I will look at a few times each semester.

Final Exam

There is a final exam for this course.  It will be given during the midyear period and it accounts for 20% of your final grade.  The exam will contain all the chapters and sections that have been taught to you.  There will be a 2 day in class review on the days prior to the final exam.

Make-up Work

If you miss a test, a project, a group activity or a homework assignment (posted on my homepage) for any reason, you are expected to make it up. Generally, you will be given up to one week from the day you return to make up that assignment.  For example, if you are out of school on Monday and return on Tuesday, you have until the following Tuesday to make up your work.  Incomplete work, for any reason, will count as a 0.   Tests may be made up, before school, after school or during my study periods.


Extra Help

If you are having trouble with any material, you are expected to seek extra help from me.  I will be available after school in room B-230 from Monday to Thursday and before school by appointment on any school day.