Statistics Concept Inventory (SCI)


How to Participate

Workshop! May 10-12 in Washington, D.C.

Statistics Concept Inventory

The Statistics Concept Inventory (SCI) is a multiple choice assessment tool designed for introductory statistics courses.

The SCI is designed to be in similar format to the Force Concept Inventory, which has been successful in assessing student understanding of Newtonian Mechanics and transforming teaching to improve understanding. The scores and gains (from pre to post) are similar to those found on early testing of the FCI in classes which use the traditional lecture format.

The SCI is divided into the sub-tests Descriptive, Probability, Inferential, and Graphical based on the results of factor analysis. Each category has around 9 questions.

Using the SCI

Details at How to Participate page.


  • Breadth of statistics field.
  • Courses often taught in multiple departments.
Open Issues

  • Expand item pool and devise system for tailored instrument.
  • Assess higher-level statistics courses.
  • Continue validating content through faculty surveys.
  • Examine differences between student populations.

  • 2002: Pilot version written and administered during Fall semester.
  • 2003: Revision and expansion of item pool; continued student testing, including focus groups.
  • 2004: Ditto.
  • 2005: Test moves online.
  • 2006: Two Ph.D. dissertations successfully defended (Spring); SCI moves to Purdue (Fall).


The researchers wish to acknowledge the support provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, Assessment of Student Achievement program (DUE-0206977). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.