MHA students must meet the statistics competency requirement before they may enroll in MHA 601, Statistics for Health Professionals, a required course for this degree.

Statistics competency may be achieved in any one of the following ways:

  1. Successful completion (final grade of "C" or better) of CMU's STA 282QR or PSY 211 course.
  2. A transcript showing completion of an equivalent statistics course in the last five (5) years.
  3. Achieving 70% or higher on CMU's statistics readiness exam (only one attempt will be permitted).

This site provides information for Option 3, the Statistics Readiness (Competency) Exam, and access to the exam.

It is important that you review all Questions & Answers that follow before accessing the exam.

Questions & Answers

The MHA assessment is designed to help students decide if they should enroll in MHA 601 course right away or take time to refresh their knowledge of statistics by enrolling in an undergraduate Introduction to Statistics course, online or face-to-face. The assessment is short (15 questions answered over 30 min) and can it be taken twice.

The assessment is about four levels of measurement that can be used to describe data that managers use in health administration settings. The levels are nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. If you can differentiate among these levels of measurement, you’ll be well set to succeed in several MHA courses where students gain valuable, marketable skills of evidence-based managerial decision making.

​Use the assessment to check if you are ready for MHA 601 now or if you should first improve your chances of getting a passing grade in MHA 601. A self-study or taking an undergraduate Introduction to Statistics course can prepare you for MHA 601 and 604.

In the past, some students entered MHA 601 without sufficient knowledge of the most basic statistical concepts. Because the course is only 8 weeks long, it is hard, or even impossible, for students to complete MHA 601 requirements without at least some pre-existing knowledge of introductory statistics. MHA 604, a second course about making data-based decisions, builds upon MHA 601. A low passing grade in MHA 601 may mean a mighty struggle in MHA 604.

The faculty of CMU’s MHA program strongly believe that all students should enter the course prepared to learn. They also know that adult learners have different backgrounds and starting levels. This assessment will help you decide what’s right for you.

​This document offers multiple learning materials to refresh your knowledge of the concepts on which you will be tested. If you completed an undergraduate Introduction to Statistics course in the past, you are likely to remember these concepts. Nevertheless, skim the provided materials to refresh your knowledge. 

You will have two (2) attempts and your highest score will be displayed and recorded. If you earn 24 out of 30 points, you have demonstrated your preparedness to apply levels of measurement to a real-world dataset you will use in MHA 601. A dataset from CDC in Atlanta will be used as a case study for administrative decision-making.

If you find the assessment questions very hard on the first try, study the suggested materials very thoroughly before retaking the assessment for the second time. If you still earn less than 24 points on the second attempt, it is not a sign of your failure. Anyone can learn statistics. It’s useful to know that you need extra preparation before you enroll in MHA 601. The first test in MHA 601 is about levels of measurement. 

Here are some options for students who don’t pass the assessment on any one of the two attempts: 

● If you find numbers-based courses are hard for you, take a traditional face-to-face, semester-long undergraduate Introduction to Statistics course at a local college. Consider hiring a tutor if you benefit from extra face-to-face assistance outside of the classroom. A tutor can be, for example, a local graduate student who completed graduate level courses in statistics or a student majoring in Math.
● Other options for refreshing your knowledge of statistics include undergraduate Introduction to Statistics course taught online by CMU professors (STA 282QR or PSY 211, for example) or through other universities.
● Some self-paced statistics courses are available through Coursera but make sure they cover levels of measurement. Here is an example. The limitation of this approach is limited or no interaction with the course instructor.

Online reading materials: 

Nominal (categorical), ordinal and interval variables (University of California) 

Scales of variable measurement (Purdue University)

Pages 2-9 in Types of Variables and Parametric vs. Nonparametric Tests

Types of Data & Measurement Scales: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval and Ratio 

Trochim, W. (2017) Online textbook of research methods. Learn about levels of measurement

Introduction to measurement (Cornell University) 

Videos: 

Scales of Measurement

Scales of Measurement - Part Two

Levels of Measurement

A short online course for health professionals:

Biostatistics for the Clinician (University of Texas)

● The assessment asks you to specify level of measurement, for example, What is the level of measurement of age in years? Hint: memorizing variable names will not work. For example, age can be ratio, nominal or ordinal. Age in years is ratio. Age measured with check-boxes, such as 50-60 and 65 or older is ordinal. Old vs. young is nominal. You need to take time to understand the logic of each level of measurement and then apply it to each measure. You cannot find the correct answers by Googling them.
● The assessment has 15 questions, 2 points each, 30 points total.
● Passing score is 12/15 questions or 24 out of 30 points.
● The assessment can be completed over 5 minutes but you’ll have 30 minutes to submit your responses to 15 questions.
● You must rely on your own knowledge only, no outside help or materials are allowed.
● You will use a Respondus browser to take the test, which means you cannot use any outside help or any webpages or other materials on your own computer. Download the Respondus LockDown Browser.
● Respondus requires a video camera. You will do a room scan and show your photo ID, so please have it available.
● If you have technical problems, contact the Helpdesk at 989-774-3662.
● While taking the assessment, allow for 30 uninterrupted minutes. The assessment must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save the assessment and continue it at a later time. The assessment can be completed in one attempt but, of course, you still have two attempts if something does not work on the first attempt.
● There is no need to take the assessment for the second time if you achieved the passing score of 24 on the first attempt. If you do take it again and do worse than on the 1st attempt, no problem. Your best score of the two attempts will be recorded.

PDF version of the MHA Statistics Assessment Q & A.