Merlin is an Excel add-in developed to enable students to draw statistical diagrams and to perform a number of statistical tests. The add-in was written to support the statistical elements of the biology advanced level curriculum but will also have applications in mathematics and other subjects where statistics are represented, analysed and interpreted.

Merlin read me: instruction on installing and running the Merlin add-in

Merlin: the add-in

Statistics for AS Biology: explains how descriptive statistics are used to summarise data and describes non-normal data. There follows examples of how Merlin can be used to produce bar charts, scatter graphs and box plots. These examples are repeated in the Merlin Examples file. The final page consists of five questions for practice of the techniques explained in the resource.

Statistics for A2 Biology: explains what kinds of statistics tests there are, what kinds of data there are and the six steps in a statistics-based investigation. The tests explained are unpaired t-Tests, paired t-Tests, analysis of variance, Mann-Whitney U-Test, Wilcoxon matched-pairs test, Kruskall-Wallace test, Friedman test, Chisquared test, G-test, Pearson linear correlation, Spearman rank correlation, Chisquared test of association and linear regression. There follows some Excel tips and an exercise entitled “Name That Test!”

Merlin Examples: Excel examples of all the tests described in Statistics for AS Biology and Statistics for A2 Biology.

Statistics Problems: Eleven problems in which students are required to: (a) Choose an appropriate statistical test, giving reasons for their choice (b) State the null hypothesis (c) Carry out the test in Merlin (plotting a chart if appropriate) (d) State clearly the conclusion to the problem

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