My Possible Solutions: 2016 AP Statistics Free Response Questions

Possible responses to the 2016 AP Statistics Free Resposne questions, draft #1.

You can access the questions here.

Note: I construct these as a service for both students and teachers to start discussions. There is nothing “official” about these solutions. I certainly can’t even guarantee that they are correct. They probably have typos and errors. If you catch some, let me know! But if they generate discussion and help others, then I’ve succeeded.

My first draft: possible solutions, APStatistics FR 2016

Please read, critique, and suggest fixes!


I think that these very accessible questions are attempting to give students a chance to explain their reasoning and thinking with appropriate specificity.  I suspect that students can easily falter in the following ways:

#1:  I wonder if we’ll see students failing to be appropriately specific in using measures of center/ spread. I can see kids giving incorrect values for IQR, and not using range as something much more accessible. I can also see the rubric penalize for not quantifying the amount of increase of the mean.  It possible, so students should probably quantify the increase.

#2.  I wonder if we’ll see students not being appropriately nuanced in explaining the effect of the ads on preference.

#3.   I wonder if we’ll see students not identifying the variables correctly – they will probably identify summary statistics instead.

#4. I wonder if we’ll see students not showing mathematical pathways, and giving a surface-level explanation of part c)

#5. I wonder if we’ll see students not explaining thoroughly enough WHY np and n(1-p) must be greater than 10.

#6. I wonder if we’ll see students not being focused enough in answering the specific question posed in each part.


About roughlynormal

I have been a math/statistics teacher for 25 years. I currently teach at an independent school in southern California. I also coach teaching fellows for Math for America - Los Angeles chapter. I love my career, my colleagues, and my friends & family.
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4 Responses to My Possible Solutions: 2016 AP Statistics Free Response Questions

  1. Worth Swearingen says:

    There’s a typo in question 4b. 0.15 + (0.85)(0.15) instead of (0.85)(0.15)+(0.85)(0.15). You have the same answer I do so I’m pretty sure yours is a typo.

  2. Say What says:

    in 4b you desire a failure in the 31st or 32nd launch. Another way to think of this is you don’t want two successful launches. Thus 1 – .85^2 = 0.2775. You have ignored the case of two failures which would still satisfy the requirement of first failure on 31st or 32nd launch.

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