Is Statistics Hard?
How hard is statistics?
I get that question a lot. Students wonder how hard statistics is, and my reflex is to say "Hey, it is just like any other Math 101 course". And people do not believe me, because when they take the class, they find is SUPER hard and they find they are super lost.
For the most part, I am technically correct when I say that Stats is not harder than any other Math 101 course, if not easier. Indeed, in order to pass Stats you will need to be able to APPLY certain tools with a certain level of proficiency, but you are not really required to UNDERSTAND them.

So my theory is this: Stats contains some underlying ideas that could be advanced. Many of its concepts, such as probability distribution, random sampling, and probability theory in general could be deep if you go try to deeply understand them. But my point is YOU DON'T need to understand them, it is enough to know how and when to use those tools.
Is Statistics Hard in High School?
Well, the answer is NO. In high school all you will do is to compute sample mean, standard deviation and percentiles. So basically, in high school you are only covering the most elementary part of statistics, which is descriptive statistics.
You will deal with all sort of recipes and calculation to get descriptive measures of center and dispersion, as well as graphs like histograms and boxplots.
And that is exactly why this kind of easy introduction to Stats in high school could be a bit misleading for students who think that their college stats course will be as much of a cakewalk as their high school stats class was. So they are caught unprepared, which sets the stage for stage fright.
"Huh, what, how come this college Stats is giving me troubles when I got an A in my high school Stats class". Yeah, I know, it sucks sometimes.
That happens to a certain degree to those who take precalculus in high school, with the difference is that precalculus in high school tend to be more similar to a Calc 101 course in college, so there is not so much of gap like it is case for Stats
Is statistics harder than math
Ok, I get this question a lot too, but let us get it out of the way. Statistics is math, so the question in itself does not make much sense. What people mean is whether or not Statistics is harder than other more traditional college math courses such as Calculus and Algebra, and the answer is no.
Indeed, the question should be divided in two parts. Is Statistics as a subject harder than calculus and Algebra. Well, Statistics uses elements of Calculus and Algebra to get to its core concepts, so perhaps one could say "Yes". But if the question is "Is Statistics harder to pass as a class than it is to pass Calculus and Algebra?" And the answer to that would be "No".
So then, Why Students Find Statistics Difficult?
I think that there is a psychological component. From my experience, I have seen many students leave Stats untouched until the very end. And it turns out that Stats becomes their "last math class", with all the connotations that will bring.
Students will come to this class with some fear, because it is the last math "hurdle" they need to overcome, and they can panic, as I have seen it. That could be one component that I have seen that could explain why students find Stats 101 hard.
Summary of main points
 Is Statistics hard? Not really, it is like any other math class, and like any other math class, will require some dedication and some specific strategies to be successful in Stats
 Is Statistics Harder than calculus? Not really. At the undergraduate level, Stats is fairly basic, and it is about learning how to apply a few key ideas. You need to efficiently APPLY ideas, but you don't have to necessarily UNDERSTAND too well what you are applying
 So why students find Stats hard? There are many potential reasons. My personal theory is that students tend to leave Stats for the end, and it tends to be the "last math course" for many, which loads with some kind of emotional charge that can make some students panic
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