Page 1 of 1

Exams in place of course work

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:28 am
by StatGradHopeful
Hi all,

I am interested in pursuing a PhD in Statistics. Unfortunately, my undergraduate degree is Linguistics and I have few math credentials. I recently took (and aced) a real analysis course at a local university, but it was pricey, and I'm hoping there might be a less expensive way to certify my mathematical knowledge and abilities. In particular, I am wondering if there is any possibility of taking exams offered by some reputable society that cover material in undergraduate-level mathematics. Something sort of like AP exams, but for more advanced subjects.

I have a 740 on the subject test and intend to take it again (I am currently learning about abstract algebra and some of my other weak spots); however, a multiple-choice test has obvious limitations. I am not eligible to take the Putnam exam since I already graduated. Beyond those, I really can't find anything that might suit my purposes.

Can anyone think of any math exams that might be helpful? Thanks in advance!

Re: Exams in place of course work

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:24 am
by Mathwhiz25
I would just take courses in calculus 1, 2 and 3; linear algebra; and an introduction to mathematical statistics course at some university/college to upgrade myself. Most universities, if not every university, look at the courses you have taken when they evaluate you for admission recommendation. You don't really need abstract algebra to study statistics. It's good that you have taken a course in real analysis; I also recommend a course in numerical methods/analysis.

Re: Exams in place of course work

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:42 pm
by StatGradHopeful
Thanks for the input! I know abstract algebra isn't too relevant to statistics, but I want to get a good subject test score. Plus, so far I'm enjoying it--not a bad reason to learn about something, right? :-) I should also point out that I've taken several stats courses, including mathematical statistics and a master's-level probability course. So I think I'm okay on the statistics front. It's mainly math that I want to strengthen.

Multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and numerical analysis all sound like good ideas. What I'd really like to know is if there are any exams out there that I could use to certify my knowledge of those topics without having to pay for and take an entire course. Just to give an example of the sort of thing I'm getting at: The Royal Statistical Society sponsors a series of statistics exams, and passing all of them has some recognition in the UK as equivalent to a bachelor's degree in statistics. I'm hoping there might be something similar for math. I'm sure these hypothetical math exams wouldn't be as helpful to my resume as A's in actual courses, but they might be good enough for my purposes. I just want to save time and money if I can.

Re: Exams in place of course work

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:13 pm
by crow1664
Do not think there is actually some non-curricular certifications that could be of the same level as of an undergraduate degree in mathematics. But even for mathematics you can undertake postgraduate studies in mathematics/statistics simply to catch up the undergraduates at faster paces, so it becomes a pretty reasonable idea to get a master degree in statistics.