A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.


Haas waiver exam results are in...

Well, I’ve been notified that I’ve passed both the statistics and math waiver exams. I have no idea how I passed the stats exam, but I’m not going to complain. I’ve already started online courses that would have also qualified as prerequisites and passing these tests takes the pressure off of the final grade for those classes. But I think in light of my low confidence in my current math acumen, actually completely the classes will be very valuable.

In truth, this whole math testing process has been a real blow to my ego. One of my college majors was in math for crying out loud. But if you don’t use the math, you lose it. And that is what happened. I was surprised at how much of my professional identity was based on the fact that I had once tested in the 98th percentile for mathematics skills (high school standards tests), achieved perfect scores on my math Regents exams (NY state high school equivalency tests for a special Regents diploma), graduated with a double major (computer science and math), and thought differential equations was fun. I had assumed that writing software for over 18 years would keep my “math” mind sharp. Nope.

My day to day activities don’t require very much number crunching and even when I need to do that, I have software that does the calculations for me. My verbal test scores had never been high early in my career and I had so little confidence in my writing skills back then that I avoided writing as if it was the plague. Yet, somehow, 19 years after college I took the GMAT and scored in the 96% for verbal. Scary. I had to take my SATs twice so that I could qualify for a scholarship that I needed. The funny thing is I was actually drunk for my first test. Not very responsible I know, but I was 18 and one of my closest friends was going into the Marines and we had a going away party the night before. My verbal scores were pretty high for that test and my math low, when I retook the exam sober my verbal was low and my math was high. Go figure.

I’ve read articles that talked about how we don’t really know ourselves and that we are not usually good at the things we think we’re good at. My recent testing spree has indicated that to be the case for me. And I don’t like it one bit!


At April 09, 2007 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog on the Haas waiver exams. I am taking the statistics waiver exam and would like to know which book did you find most useful.


At May 04, 2007 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am about to take Haas stats waiver exam in a week. Can you please suggest a book you found useful for this test? Appreciate any tip you can give. My email is: sac.desi@yahoo.com

Tony Desiree

At May 04, 2007 10:15 PM, Blogger Kim Greenlee said...

Okay everyone. There were several critera that would get me past the stats and math requirements.

One was scoring high enough on the GMAT.

One was taking a class and getting a high enough grade.

And the last option was to pass the waiver exams.

So... I studied for the GMAT, unfortunately I focused on the verbal and didn't do well enough on the math. So I then signed up for the online Berkeley stats and calculus classes. The books I used to prepare for the waiver exams were the books for those classes.

"Statistics: A First Course" by Sanders & Smidt

"Calculus: Early Transcendentals" by James Stewart

Good luck everyone.

At May 02, 2008 11:41 AM, Blogger Transitional Analyst said...

Please tell me what you thought of the UC Berkeley Statistics course.

At March 25, 2009 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kim

I had a quick question: For the math exam, up to what chapter did you study? Were the problems word-problems or a mix of both?

Were they primarily calculus or algebra?


At March 25, 2009 10:49 AM, Blogger Kim Greenlee said...

Hi, I took the test awhile ago and I don't recall the nature of the math questions. However, I really don't think there were any calculus questions. Best of luck.

At April 10, 2009 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it's been a while, but I'd like to know how difficult the Stats waiver exam is. Would the coursework or the textbook you suggested generally suffice to pass the exam? Appreciate your input!

At April 10, 2009 11:53 AM, Blogger Kim Greenlee said...

If I remember correctly there was a study sheet provided by the school. Make sure that you know the stuff on that and you should be good to go. And I did find the class book very useful.

At January 07, 2010 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering if you could comment on if you have to memorize formulas for the statistics waiver exam (like standard deviation, confidence interval formulas, z-values, etc) for the test, or if they are provided. Thanks!


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