Haas School of Business Statistics Waiver Exam

I recently cleared Haas School of Business Statistics Waiver Exam. This exam is needed as pre-requisite for admission into full time MBA or EWMBA (Evening and Weekend MBA) program by Haas. There was very little information on haas site and internet about what to expect from this exam and how to approach this.

Here’s my take on the exam, various options and tips for it.

1) Yes, you have to show proficiency in statistics.

  • If you dont do that you will not get admitted. It did happen to one person who was rejected because he did not clear the statistics waiver exam and there were no other exams scheduled after that exam.

2) Options to show statistics proficiency

  • Take the stats waiver exam by Haas
    • Pros:
      • Offered every month: Starting from results for R1.
      • No cost
      • Not too hard if you prepare well.
        • Lot of people, including me cleared this after 1-2 weeks of rigorous preparation
      • Very well defined course: http://ewmba.haas.berkeley.edu/WaiverExams.pdf
    • Cons:
      • .The course material can be bit daunting especially if you do not have math background (but still it;s not that hard if you are willing to work for it. Everyone should go for it)
      • For R3/R4 candidates: you might only have 1 chance and 2 weeks to prepare for it after you know your admit decision.
    • Tips
      • Prepare only the topics mentioned at http://ewmba.haas.berkeley.edu/WaiverExams.pdf
      • Prepare from the 1st book mentioned at the link above: D. Anderson, D. Sweeney, T. Williams, Statistics for Business and Economics (South- Western Publishers)
        • You can get copy of this book online/craigslist if you search hard.
        • Chapters to prepare: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 14 & 15.
        • Basic mean, median mode, probability, combinations are ~50% of questions.
        • Have an eye on Skewness.
        • Learn to look up the tables (F, t and normal) – there will be simple questions from that.
        • Know your ANOVA Table for linear regression.
        • In the exam Haas does give you a calculator or pencils if you forget to bring yours.
    • Final verdict
      • Work hard and prepare for it and clear this.
  • Take “Data and Decision” workshop by Haas
    • Pros:
      • Good course which will build foundation for future.
      • Offered after results for final stats waiver exam are available.
    • Cons:
      • 6 weeks course
      • costs – 1000 USD
    • Final Verdict:
      • Take this as last recourse if you failed to clear stats waiver exam or could not enroll into other local college cheaper courses.
  • Take “Stats” courses by community colleges. Haas has a list of approved colleges
    • Pros:
      • 6 weeks course which you can take at your own pace.
      • Cheap – overall cost of ~200 USD
    • Cons:
      • Still expensive that free waiver exam.
      • Need to get transcripts from the college and submit it to Haas.
      • R3/R4 candidates may have to enroll before knowing results for final stats waiver exams, otherwise they may miss the enrollment dates.
    • Tips:
      • Though Haas says you must take this course for atleast 3 months. They are very flexible and will admit transcripts even if you powered through it in short time.
    • Final Verdict:
      • Take this if you cannot clear stats waiver exam and have time to enroll for this.


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