Lesson 8.5 – Testing a Claim about a Mean

  • Check the Random and Normal/Large Sample conditions for performing a significance test about a population mean.
  • Calculate the standardized test statistic for a significance test about a population mean.
  • Find the P-value for a significance test about a population mean using Table B.


Activity: How many points will MSU score?

We’re switching gears now and moving on to significance tests for means.  We are teaching this lesson during March and we live in Michigan so college basketball is a pretty big deal.  Michigan State is in the NCAA March Madness tournament so we decided to look at the average MSU points scored.  In the 2016 season, the team scored an average of 80 points per game.  However, this includes many games where they played low ranking teams and scored much more than 80 points.  Since the teams they play in the March Madness tournament will be better teams, we wonder if they will still score 80 points per game on average.  To test this, we collected data from the regular season when MSU played against top 25 ranked teams.

Once you’ve set up the lesson, students can work through the activity until they need to find the P-value from the test statistic.  Make sure to point out to students that the test statistic is a t* and not a z*.  Then you will need to give students copies of table B and explain how to use the table.  In the margin of the activity add an explanation of degrees of freedom.  Students of course can use technology to calculate the P-value also if you prefer.


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