PL2132 (Sem 1, AY2014/15)

By: Anonymous
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2014/15
Research and Statistical Methods II

Professor: Mike Cheung

Professor Review: I took this under Mike Cheung… he seems pretty knowledgable and gives good practical advice about conducting research at times, but I’m not smart enough to keep up with him and most of the time I’m just lost during lectures lolol.

Module Review: Tutorials were spent going through SPSS and R, followed by revising the concepts gone through during lectures. i like my tutor Ranjith (who was also my tutor for PL2131 last sem) as he tries to explain concepts with diagrams and simplifies it, though sometimes it ends up sounding more complicated than it actually is (lol). he’s pretty funny as well which makes class a little bit more entertaining.
Mid terms were mcq (which really helped, i think…) and tested more on understanding than anything else. it was hard for me because i barely understood much until i was about 3/4 into the sem! /slow
There’s also a group project which took the most time out of everything else in this module, but thank god for some really amazing group members! it consisted of a proposal, data collection, final report and presentation. it all sounded pretty daunting at the start but being in a good group really helps (well, of course *coughs*).
Finals were okay (besides the fact that i couldn’t calculate some stuff…) and were open-book. i suggest you make a template for the different anova tables or at least mark the pages of the book with those tables.

 

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 4/5
Workload: 4/5
Self-study time: 3/5

Grade: A-

 

PL2131 (Sem 2, AY2013/14)

By: Anonymous
Module taken in Sem 2 AY2013/14
Research and Statistical Methods I

Professor: Stephen Lim

Professor Review: Stephen lim’s a really engaging lecturer, and he can be very thorough at parts that he knows most students are confused about. but there are also some parts he briefly touches on (and for that you’ve to read the textbook).
He constantly stresses that the textbook is just a supplemental material and that only his lecture materials are examinable, which makes the module very relaxing.

Module Review: It took a bit of time for me to grasp the concepts, we couldn’t really just memorize the info. and i thought i screwed up my finals (ok i guess i did kind of) because i spent too much time in the first section (theory part) and should have moved on to the calculating section when it was time to. ;_ ;
In the end i couldn’t finish the paper (probably a lot of others couldn’t as well).
But i’m really glad i took this module under him! he made it easier to understand and as relaxing as it possibly could have been.
I hate how the past year papers don’t have answers though 😥

 

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 3/5
Workload: 2/5
Self-study time: 4/5

Grade: B+

 

PL2131 (Sem 1, AY2010/11)

By: Alan
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2010/11
Research and Statistical Methods I

*It is important to note that I heard this module varies GREATLY for Sem1 and Sem2 due to different lectureres. So, take these comments with a pinch of salt.*

What is it about?: Hypothesis testing, z tests, t tests, chisquare tests, correlation, regression, effect size, power.
I think I have just summed up all you need to study for your exams.
This module is an introduction to several tests used in psychology and how to obtain your results.

How’s the workload?: Two textbooks, though you won’t cover every chapter. Readings aren’t very long, and are filled with examples to help you understand the concepts.
2 assignments (1 week deadline to complete for each), 1 closed book mid term mcq test, 1 open book finals (short answer questions)
one 2h lecture weekly, one 2hr tutorial fortnightly

How difficult is it?: This module is very concepts-based. Memorization is NOT the focus for this module – it is much more important to understand the concepts and when to use which formula.
Mid terms may require a little memory since it is closed book, but it’s not very content heavy, just several key concepts which once you understand they won’t be difficult to remember.
Finals are open book so it’s all about knowing your content well and applying your concepts well.
Contrary to popular belief, good mathematics knowledge is NOT required. As long as you know how to multiply, add, subtract and square root (and square) on a calculator, you will be fine. It’s also important to be able to recognize which formula to use for which situations.
Assignments are generally ok, though one of them may require an external program so will be a small hassle to download it and run it.
The most difficult thing of this module may be understanding the HK lecturer’s accent HAHA. 😦

Miscellaneous Tips: I will repeat this – understanding the concepts are very very important! It’s not about memorizing, but about applying the appropriate formula to the question. You should make a summary formula sheet for your finals for easy reference.

Should you take it?: Yes, if it’s Prof Mike teaching it. He sets really easy papers apparently (for my sem, the finals paper was almost identical to the paper 2 years ago -_- )
Not difficult at all, though the competition may be high as it has limited slots and it’s a prerequisite for psych majors.

Retrieved from Alan’s blog

 

PL2132 (Sem 2, AY2010/11)

By: Alan
Module taken in Sem 2 AY2010/11
Research and Statistical Methods II

Lecturer(/s): Sim Teck Ngee

What is it about?: A continuation from PL2131, this teaches you that everything you have learn in PL2131 is useless and you should use what you learn in PL2132.
Ok fine, it teaches you more advanced statistical techniques besides the t-tests that you’ve been learning in PL2131.

How’s the workload?: There is a whopping THREE textbooks for this module – however, I daresay you can clear this module without even touching any of them, IF you are taking it under Prof Sim.
In fact, this module was probably the one with one of the lowest workloads this semester, apart from PH2110. Read the next section for an elaboration.
There is one mid term exam (short answer), 2 small quizzes (MCQ), 1 final exam, and 1 experimental study (plan and design a simple experiment as a group, carry it out, and write an individual report).
It’s not as much as it sounds, because the mid terms and finals are both open book, and the quizzes are short.
One 2h lecture per week and one 2h lab every week

How difficult is it?: After scaring you with the fact that there are 3 textbooks, I have to clarify something.
Firstly, one of the textbooks is written in a very readable, casual, humorous way (but is also the thickest) (andy fields), one of them has information that you should already know from PL2131 (black book), and the last one is probably the most important and small one, but also the most complicated one. (ANOVA)
Textbooks aside, the way Prof Sim conducts this module is that he focuses on UNDERSTANDING why we you are doing what you’re doing, rather than becoming proficient at using all the complicated formula in ANOVA (there are alot which he didn’t even touch).
Also, for him, the textbooks are supplementary, meaning he just tests whatever he teaches during lectures (and is in the lecture notes). Thus lectures are VERY important.
It also helps that he is a VERY good lecturer, in that he is very clear and deliberate in his explanations. If you can’t understand when he lectures, you won’t understand when anyone else does.
He also seems to pick out only what he deems important from the textbook and teaches them, so you don’t have to read the entire textbook(s). When I compare with other years’ exam papers, his are definitely the easiest ones. (which may or may not be a good thing)
As for the experiment, it’s just designing a simple experiment that you will carry out on your own as a group. Of course, your design needs to be free of confounds, etc. The report is an individual assignment though – and I suggest you work on it properly.

Miscellaneous Tips: Study the lecture notes. Go for lectures. Study the lecture notes again. He only tests from his notes! (you need to understand the concepts well to answer the questions, so PERHAPS reading the textbook MAY help. -shrugs-.)

Should you take it?: If you have taken PL2131, I suppose you will have to do this module too. If you haven’t, you can’t do this module. So … it’s either you end up taking or you don’t. It’s not a choice. Haha. But yea it’s pretty easy overall, assuming you’re under Prof Sim. I don’t know about other lecturers.

How did I do for it?: I screwed up the report for the experiment, probably because I didn’t invest as much time in it as I should. I started on it early and ended early and never made continual improvements. Only got a C+ for it which was devastating, given my performance in the other areas have been stellar – I’m pretty sure I got A/A+ level marks for my quizzes + mid terms. (way above median score)
Finals was relatively easy.

Predicted grade: B+

Actual grade: A- !??
Wow. Mathematically speaking, this grade is outright IMPOSSIBLE.
I got a C+ for my lab report, a huge disappointment, and worth a big 25% of my overall grade.

Retrieved from Alan’s blog

PL2132 (Sem 2, AY2013/14)

By: Julene Ong
Module taken in Sem 2 AY2013/14
Research and Statistical Methods II

A compulsory module for psych majors.
After getting B- in stats in sem 1, I was just quite sian of stats. Because I barely scraped through PL2131, I felt like I would really be the most cui in PL2132 since all the other people in 2132 would have gotten B- and better for 2131.

Assessment Format:
Midterm Exam (35%)
Empirical Project (25%)
Final Exam (40%)

The lecturer, Dr Winston Goh, is quite good. He is quite straightforward in his teaching and believes that students only need to know the essentials and not all the rubbish that sounds cool but we’ll never ever need to use.
There were three textbooks that we were supposed to refer to but I think can survive without those books one luh.
But being a kiasu person, i bought the books so that I can bring into the open book exam for a piece of mind.
Both exams were open book which made the bellcurve kinda steep.
Especially since the midterm exam was like majority mcqs and the answers are quite straightforward and can be found directly from the lecture notes.
This resulted in most people scoring almost full marks for the mcq =/
My tutor, Miss Sarah Wong, is the best tutor everrrrrrr.
Really dont think I can meet a better tutor than her.
She is really dedicated in her teaching and genuinely wants all her students to be able to take away something from tutorials.
She also has interesting slides and activities that make tutorials less sian haha.

The project was surprisingly enjoyable to do as well, probably because of the fact that I have awesome groupmates who know what they are doing when I don’t.
We had to come up with an experiment to carry out on the other 2132 students, intepret the results and write a research report on it.
My senior’s report was an individual one and I’m super thankful that ours was a group one instead otherwise I would have died a horrible death with red marks all over my report.
Doing fellow students’ experiments were quite interesting as well, there were some that we had to listen to music and remember stuff but the most fun one was anagrams yayyyy.
Solving anagrams is fun.
But the project took way too much time for 25% of the grade because the project itself has several components: Project proposal (10%), group presentation (15%), project report (55%), evaluation of group members (20%)
So the group presentation calculated out to be worth 3% of the whole grade so we were just like meh, had to do a whole powerpoint presentation just for that 3%..
Our group got A for our project report, credits go to the two awesome girls in my group who are super meticulous and zai and also xy for helping me through everything because half the time I really don’t know what’s going on.
The group evaluation feels like some psychological game because you’ll never know what your group members will give you and you might feel tempted not to give your group members full marks even if they contributed a lot because of the stupid bellcurve.
But being the nice person I am, I gave everyone full marks because they do indeed deserve it.

I kinda smoked through the final exam because I was too busy chionging bio psych.
But the final exam was quite similar to the previous paper that the lecturer set i think (didnt really look closely at the previous year papers =/)

Predicted grade: B
Actual grade: B+
I think the project was really really my life saviour.

Retrieved from Julene’s blog

PL2131 (Sem 1, AY2013/14)

By: Julene Ong
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2013/14
Research and Statistical Methods I

Another required module to major in Psych.

Assessment format:
2 assignments (20%)
Midterm test (30%)
Final exam (50%)
12 RP points to be completed

There were two textbooks for the module but we didn’t have to read the whole thing, just the chapters mentioned.
The things learnt are quite simple, just like A Level Maths.
Final exam is open book so there was more math calculations and applications rather than copying definitions.
You can check out this senior’s blog for a more comprehensive review because I hate maths so I don’t really feel like talking about it hahaha

Predicted grade: B

Actual grade:  B- (just managed to scrape through!! phewwww)
Retrieved from Julene’s blog

PL2131 (Sem 1, AY2014/15)

By: Lee Jia Ying Trena
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2014/15

What it is about: The other necessary Psychology mod for Psych majors (need at least a B-!). It’s basically the basics of statistics needed for Psychology experiments. You learn about the factors you need to consider when planning an experiment, how to analyse the data, and use programs such as SPSS.

Lecturer(/s): Dr. Lim Wee Hun Stephen!
He’s an incredibly good lecturer. From his lectures, you can tell that he really puts a lot of passion and heart into his teaching. His lectures are also funny and entertaining, and he tries his best to make sure that students understand the topics he’s teaching.

Tutorials: There’s not much to prepare for tutorials, but make sure you listen carefully and clarify if you don’t understand anything! The tutorials are used to teach us how to use SPSS, so do keep whatever materials they give you as well, because it’ll be important for the assignment. Otherwise, you’ll be scratching your head trying to remember what the steps are to do the assignment and how to use SPSS for it.

Workload/Examinations: This module was more of an understanding-kind of module. The content is relatively a lot lighter than PL1101E.
Mid-terms were MCQs, and Dr Lim let us bring a one-page cheat-sheet into the examination. This means the bell-curve gets even steeper. The finals were something similar to problem sums, where you’re given scenarios and then you have to apply your PL2131 knowledge to it. The finals were quite bad for me, since I didn’t put in enough effort in understanding the content. 😡

Other comments: Dr Lim’s a really good lecturer for this module, so try to take it under him. The bell-curve for this module is steep though, and from what I’ve seen from me and my friends, stats is either something you like, or that you dread but have to take because it’s an essential module for Psych majors.

My grade: B-