Help with R



I've been given a test to do for a job I'm hoping to get. It involves using R. Is there anyone out there familiar with the software that i could ask for help if i get stuck?

Thanks folks


If the test you've been given is to assess your ability with R then isn't it kind of unethical to be doing this? You are not going to have a personal R tutor when you are on the job, why would you have one when you are being assessed on it.

However, if the reason of the assessment is not to assess your ability to code in R, but say, rather on your statistical analysis or reasoning, then I may be able to help since syntax questions can be solved quicker this way (PM would be better).

Either way, I've found that this page has some good resources for R:


I have to learn the basics of the software, and the test isn't closed or anything like that. I can garner information from wherever I need to. I'm not asking someone to do it for me, I want to do it myself and learn as I go. But, I'm anticipating I might have some issues somewhere at which point I might ask for help.


R is not an easy program/language to learn in a hurry. What's your background - do you already use a stats package like SPSS, Stata or SAS?

I'm guessing that if the test specifies use of R, they will be assuming a certain level of existing competence.


My background is in SPSS. I have a very good knowledge of statistics, just never used R before. Totally unfamiliar with the interface and the way to use it.


Default interface is command line so not very user friendly (unless you already have an interest in programming). RStudio is definitely the nicest interface I've seen and is what I use by default.

I wouldn't call it a program but it is a fairly high-level (as in, you don't need to know yucky stuff like allocating memory or pre-defining variables) statistical programming language (it is definitely made for the statistically rather than programming-minded!). If you've done any sort of programming before then it'd be easy enough to pick up, otherwise there may be a bit of a learning curve.

That said, I personally think it's really well worth the effort. The trade-off between amount of time spent learning on it and how much time you'll save after if you want to do any regular statistical analyses and plotting graphs (they are super pretty) is well worth it.

For example, say you want to to generate 10 random numbers from a uniform distribution between 0 and 1 and you define that list of 10 numbers as x:
"x <- runif(10,0,1)" (runif being an abbreviation for Random UNIForm).
Then to calculate the mean, all you do is just type "mean(x)"
If you want to plot that as a histogram, it's just "hist(x)"

Plus it's open software - so it's free which is always a bonus :)


I'd second the suggestion of downloading a more user friendly front end like R Studio. You will still have to deal with the command line approach, but it will make it a little clearer for you.

It's worth appreciating the differences in R compared to other packages, in terms of how to think about what you're asking the package to do. This article is worth a read:


I've spent the last few evenings getting into R and I've come a long way. I've had a stab at all my questions and managed to figure them out through a mixture of youtube videos, forum posts and manuals.

However, I was wondering if an R expert on here could check one of my programs? I could PM them the command and the task that was set. I'm not 100% confident in what I've done, although I do think the majority of it is correct.