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