To ensure that your results are valid, consider the following guidelines when you collect data, perform the analysis, and interpret your results.
Continuous data has an infinite number of values between any two values.
If your sample sizes are greater than 20 and the underlying distribution is unimodal and continuous, the hypothesis test performs appropriately even if data are mildly skewed. If your sample sizes are less than 20, you should graph the data to check for skewness and unusual observations. If the data is severely skewed or has many unusual observations, use caution when you interpret the results.
If you have two samples of independent observations, use 2-Sample t instead. For more information, go to How are dependent and independent samples different?.
In statistics, random samples are used to make generalizations, or inferences, about a population. If your data are not collected randomly, your results may not represent the population. For more information, go to Randomness in samples of data.