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Which Statistics for Dummies book is best? 

Whether or not you are preparing for a course or need to use statistics for prospective employment, statistics is a valuable area of study that merges theoretical math with practical data analysis. Statistics is used in just about every professional field, but it is especially important for science, mathematics, management and business. 

There are ample options for self-studying statistics or brushing up for an upcoming course. The “for dummies” books have been around for decades and offer easy-to-understand yet comprehensive explanations and examples. The “Statistics for Dummies 2nd Edition” book is a great place to start since it explains the concepts found in a first-semester statistics course with step-by-step examples to ensure the information sinks in. 

What to know before you buy a Statistics for Dummies book

Who needs to study statistics and why? 

For non-math majors, statistics might feel less relevant. However, statistics is the science of collecting and interpreting data, and as the world becomes more data-driven, the value of statistical knowledge increases. It is now pertinent to just about every professional sector. 

Almost all science, business and math majors will have to study statistics. It is also a popular elective course since it is so practical — the knowledge gained is practical, and it can be used in daily life.  

What should you know before taking a statistics course? 

People looking to learn about statistics should be familiar with algebra. Many of the concepts and problem-solving techniques used in algebra are also used in statistics. It is also good to have a solid understanding of graphing calculators, computers and programs such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. These programs are often used to analyze and input sets of data. 

Finally, you need to have a solid grasp of grade school math such as basic operations, fractions, percentages, ratios and probability. 

The difference between the dummy books 

Dummy books have been written for just about every subject, but there are four types of books you should look at. 

  • Reference books: The standard for dummy books, which feature explanations and step-by-step examples that are easy to understand 
  • Workbooks + online practice: A companion to the reference book, but it’s full of sample problems and quizzes to give you hands-on experience 
  • Essentials: focuses on the most important concepts and real-world use of statistics 
  • 1,001 practice problems: Includes even more sample problems and quizzes to bolster your knowledge

What to look for in a quality Statistics for Dummies book

A book that matches your specific needs 

Think about where you are with statistics and why you want to buy a statistics for dummies book. If you need to learn everything from scratch, make sure you grab the original reference book that explains each concept thoroughly. Those who just want to get some hands-on practice and work through problems can try the workbook or the 1,001 practice problems book.  

If you are unsure of where to start, try to grab the reference book and workbook together or consider the essentials book. 

Newest edition 

Some of the for dummies books were written years, if not decades, ago. However, they do a really good job of updating the books to keep them relevant and interesting for modern learners. Try to avoid buying a book that was written more than 10 years ago. You can look at their website to see what the most recent edition of each book is. 

Separate or bundled 

Each book can be bought separately, but bundles are also sold online. Bundles will typically include both the reference and workbooks. Sometimes the 1,001 practice problems book will be included in the bundle as well. A bundle costs more, but it is great for people who want to learn statistics from the books rather than treating them as a supplemental source of information. 

How much can you expect to spend on a Statistics for Dummies book

“Statistics for Dummies” books typically cost $8-$25. 

Statistics for Dummies FAQ

Is there a book that correlates to the second semester of statistics? 

A. Yes, there is a book called “Statistics II For Dummies” that covers the more advanced statistical concepts found in the second semester or year. Be sure you understand everything covered in the first book before starting this one. 

What makes the for dummies books so popular? 

A. They are very readable, and almost everyone can understand the content. They are a great source of information, and you can use them to prepare for a class or self-study. In short, they are made for even the average Joe to learn from. 

What are the best Statistics for Dummies books to buy?

Top Statistics for Dummies book

Statistics For Dummies, Second Edition

“Statistics For Dummies, Second Edition”

What you need to know: The core reference book that contains detailed explanations of the concepts with easy-to-understand examples. 

What you’ll love: This book is comprehensive yet reader-friendly. There are tons of examples to learn from with good step-by-step instructions. 

What you should consider: You want to get the workbook with this if you want hands-on practice. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Statistics for Dummies  for the money

Statistics Essentials for Dummies, First Edition

“Statistics Essentials for Dummies, First Edition”

What you need to know: This book will focus on only the most important concepts with an emphasis on statistics used in practical situations. 

What you’ll love: This book is less than $10, and it’s packed with information. It’s great for those who want to expedite their learning and focus on only core statistics concepts. 

What you should consider: Those who need to take a course might want to go with the standard reference book. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Statistics: 1,001 Practice Problems for Dummies, First Edition

“Statistics: 1,001 Practice Problems for Dummies, First Edition”

What you need to know: This is a large book stuffed with more than 1,000 practice problems relating to statistics. 

What you’ll love: This makes a great companion piece to the reference book or something to work on after the workbook. There are more than 1,000 problems to work on that ensure you master statistics. 

What you should consider: It might be worth starting with the reference book/workbook if you are learning from scratch. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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