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Honors and AP Courses » AP Statistics

AP Statistics

An 11th or 12th grade Core Math Course: AP Statistics

Teacher Mr. Polston; E-mail- [email protected]

Teacher Recommendation:

  • Passing IM 3 with a B or higher, Honors IM 3 with a C or higher, Honors Pre-Calculus with a C or higher, Pre-Calculus with a B or higher, Honors Algebra 2 with a C or higher. If you take regular Algebra 2 I would not recommend taking AP Statistics. By passing these classes, it shows that you have the work ethic and intellectual ability to succeed in AP Statistics.
  • The students that have struggled are the ones with poor grades in previous math class.
  • If you are strong in math and plan on majoring in a math or science field in college then I recommend taking AP Statistics and AP Calculus or regular Calculus because you will need both.  

 What is it?

  • The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference.
  • Statistics is a math course but it is not your normal math class where you solve for x and you are done. In statistics you have to design experiments, collect the data, then calculate numerous statistics in which you have to describe what it means in the context of the situation.
  • Therefore, in statistics, you have to write about the data not just solve and be done with the problem.


70% Test: Test is similar to the AP exam in which half the test is multiple choice and short answer. Usually 10 M.C and 3 short answer questions that have multiple parts to them.

15% HW: Homework is assigned 2 to 3 times per week. Students who have been successful are the ones who ask questions and complete all their homework because homework questions are very similar to test questions.

15% Projects: There 4 projects assigned throughout the year, one per quarter. For the projects students are required to collect data by doing research, polling students or observing students. Then the have to do a write up about the data they collected and the statistics they calculated. They are to be typed and be able to make graphs on the computer.


Required Materials:

A Graphing Calculator is required in order to calculate and analyze data. Statistics uses advanced formulas that are too hard to compute by hand so students will need an Advanced Graphing Calculator to compute the data for them. They are allowed to borrow a calculator for class time but they are unable to take them home with them. For example TI-83+, TI-84+, or TI-89 are good calculators to own.


Sample Test Questions

Multiple Choice Sample

  1. Researchers have hypothesized that the excess calories should result in a difference in mean weight of 16 pounds or 7.27 kg. From the data, a 95% confidence interval for the mean weight gain was (3.80kg,5.66kg). The appropriate conclusion is that 
  1. the mean weight gain differs at level 0.05 from that hypothesized since 7.27 kg is outside the confidence interval.
  2. the mean weight gain differs at level 0.05 from that hypothesized since 7.27 kg is inside the confidence interval.          
  3. the mean weight gain does not differ at level 0.05 from that hypothesized since 7.27 kg is outside the confidence interval.   
  4. the mean weight gain does not differ at level 0.05 from that hypothesized since 7.27 kg is inside the confidence interval


FRQ Sample:

The 1990 census “long form” was sent to a random sample of 17% of the nation's households. One questions asked for the total household income. Suppose that the households that returned the long form are an SRS of the population of all households in each district. In Pleasant Valley, a city of nearly 50,000 people, 2261 reported their income. The mean income of these responses was $28,353 with a sample standard deviation of  $8271.

a) Give an approximate 95% confidence interval for the 1989 mean income of Pleasant Valley households

b) How large a sample of households would be needed to enable us to estimate the mean income of Pleasant Valley households to within a margin of $1000 with 95% confidence?

Biggest Challenges: To apply everything you learn, you have to build upon previous chapters. Statistics also requires that you understand what is going on. It’s hard to answer questions on homework or tests if you don’t understand the material. Every situation is different, so you have to apply your statistics to describe it.  

“You have to be involved in the class.”