Jeyla (20) is a Psychology student and teaches Statistics as a tutor for TentamenTrainingen.nl. ‘’Statistics is often perceived as a burden, but I show my students examples of how a certain concept would actually work in research. I notice this is working really well.” In this interview she tells more about coming to the Netherlands to study Psychology and she also provides us with good studytips.
What kind of student are you yourself?
In high school, I have always been doing just alright: above average in general, but not excellent. This was because there were certain subjects that I really liked, and some that I didn’t find interesting. But, we never got to choose subjects that we wanted to study further – everyone had to know everything, because of all the different subjects we had in high school. However, my approach drastically changed when I came to the Netherlands to study my most favorite subject: Psychology. Because I had chosen it myself and traveled all the way from Azerbaijan to study at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, I decided to dedicate most of my time to learning more about this exciting subject. Of course, grades are not the most important factor, but I have to say that they matter to me more now than before. So, from my first year of Bachelor on, I am striving for excellence.
As an international, what is it like to work for a Dutch company?
Working in a Dutch company is a great experience for me! I really enjoy how open and approachable the staff of TentamenTrainingen is, who are always ready to help me with anything or answer my questions at any time. I also cannot stress enough about how good and valuable the decision was to start offering English-taught trainings to international Psychology students, since they also might need help as much as the Dutch students do. I love that students in the Netherlands easily switch from Dutch to English and that for example a small Dutch company is offering courses for non-Dutch speakers as well.
Why do you think so many Psychology students struggle with Statistics?
I am a junior teacher for first-year Psychology students. So far, I have held lessons of Statistics courses to prepare many students for the exam. Statistics indeed is a struggle for a lot of Social Sciences students in general. It is often perceived as a burden, or a tough fight that has to be overcome. Well, it is true that this subject is more difficult and distinct than other ones in the program. To me personally, it took around twice as much time to do the homework for Statistics, since much time was spent on trying to understand what a topic is even about. What I can say is that the students might be missing simple explanations of complex topics in the textbooks. Unfortunately, it can be quite a challenge for textbook authors and lecturers to provide simpler and more realistic explanations of difficult topics in Statistics. As a result, students are left to study through these topics on their own. However, what I tried to do in my lessons is to bring the textbook topics into real world and give students many, many examples of how a certain concept would actually work in research.
What is your study tip for all students?
Here is my tip for all students: when reading another chapter, try to see how these things you are reading about would work in real life. You could perfectly recall the definition of a ‘sampling distribution’, but do you know how it would actually work if you do research? It can be tough, I know, especially if the textbooks are written with a lot of terminology. But, don’t limit yourself to one textbook! If the chapter is making it really tough for you, try searching videos online with teachers explaining this topic. Or ask your friend who seems to have understood it to explain it to you. I am sure that others would be willing to help you. Just remember why you started (there should be a reason why you chose to do this degree in particular) and believe that you are capable of doing it!
Written by: Desirée Korrel. Desirée is a communication employee at TentamenTrainingen.nl. Would you like to respond to this interview? Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
TentamenTrainingen.nl helps university students with the preparation of their exams. We organise trainings for students studying at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Tilburg University, University Leiden, University Utrecht, University of Amsterdam, University of Maastricht and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. You can have a look at the trainings we organise at TentamenTrainingen.nl.