If there was a competition for the least-loved part of the Sociology Specification it’s a fair bet that sampling would be somewhere off in the far distance, casually looking over its shoulder and taunting its competitors as it limped home in first place.

Loathe it or loathe it, however, you just can’t ignore sampling when it comes to revision – although, of course, that’s not quite true (quick translation: false). You can quite happily, if a little wantonly, ignore it in the probably-misplaced belief that the examiner doesn’t despise you enough to include a question on sampling in the exam. For what it’s worth*, it’s a distinct possibility they do, but don’t be upset by this. It’s nothing personal. Just part of the job description I think. 

So, on the off-chance this little preamble has convinced you it might be a Good Idea to give sampling at least a quick glance, I’ve hand-crafted three NotAFactsheets that are guaranteed to have you singing into the exam**: 

M14. Sampling Terms: a few basic introductory terms (representativeness, generalisability…)

M15. Representative Sampling: the Usual Suspects (simple random, systematic, stratified random and stratified quota), their advantages and disadvantages.

M16. Non-Representative Sampling: one familiar one (Opportunity Samples) and one esoteric one (Cluster Sampling – for those who really like to punish themselves). Again, includes some basic advantages and disadvantages.

* Not very much, as it happens.

** In the interests of clarity, this statement is NotATruth. Using these resources probably won’t make you sing your way into the exam room. You might be a bit better prepared once you get there, though.


Share your thoughts on this post: