AP Statistics Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions about the course

AP Statistics introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. The four themes in the AP Statistics course are exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. For more details go to the two-page Course Overview (.pdf/1.14MB).

AP Statistics is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics.

Students must have taken second-year algebra before enrolling in AP Statistics.

Any motivated student should be given the chance to benefit from an AP course. If your school offers the PSAT/NMSQT®, you should use AP Potential. This free online tool allows you to identify students who are likely to succeed in AP based on their PSAT/NMSQT or SAT® scores. Such scores have been proven to be stronger predictors of AP success than have high school grades or GPA.

The AP Program does not recommend specific textbooks. However, a list of textbooks appropriate for the course appears on the AP Course Audit.

These resources will help:

Yes. The course can be effectively studied in a one-semester, two-trimester, or one-year course, and can be taught in a block schedule. If taught in the fall, students should have a review period in the spring to make sure that they are prepared for the exam.

The AP Statistics Teacher Community might be the best source for answers. You’ll also find articles, tools, and resources to help you teach every aspect of the course on the course home page.

Questions about the AP Course Audit

The AP Course Audit is an authorization process that provides teachers and administrators with guidelines and requirements for offering AP courses. It also ensures that AP courses across high schools meet the same college-level criteria.

Yes. Every school wishing to offer an AP course must participate in the AP Course Audit.

The AP Course Audit requires the online submission of two documents: the AP Course Audit form and the teacher’s syllabus. The AP teacher and the school principal (or designated administrator) submit the Course Audit form, acknowledging the curricular and resource requirements. The syllabus, detailing how the AP course requirements will be met, is submitted by the AP teacher for review by college faculty.

The AP Course Audit page for this course will give you the tools you’ll need to create and submit your syllabus for authorization, including information and guidelines, sample syllabi, and a tutorial.

Go to AP Course Audit for more FAQs, resources, and information about the whole course audit process.

Questions about the Exam

These resources will help:

  • A full practice exam is available by logging in to your AP Course Audit account.
  • Free-response questions (FRQs) with student samples and scoring guidelines can be accessed from the course’s exam information page.
  • Scroll down the “Scoring” column in the free-response questions table to find yearly Chief Reader Reports (former title: Student Performance Q&A) from the Chief Reader that describe how students performed on the FRQs, typical student errors, and specific concepts that challenged students the most that year.
  • Released exams are available for free download on the course home page; older versions can be purchased on the College Board store.

The exam is given each year in early May. Go to the Exam Calendar for the most current exam dates.

Students are allowed to use a graphing calculator with statistical capabilities on the entire exam. The use of a graphing calculator in AP Statistics is considered an integral part of the course. View our calculator policy for more information.

The College Board does not recommend brands, but we do maintain a list of approved graphing calculators—make sure you and your students know the calculator policy for the exam.

That depends on the college. Tell your students to use the AP Credit Policy Info tool to verify the credit/placement policies at the schools they are considering.

Go to the AP Statistics Exam Information page. You’ll find specifics about the exam format and more.