The free response questions for the AP Statistics exam are sometimes hard to predict. What trends do exist?

Here is A graph relating AP Free response question Number vs. Chapter in the 5^{th} Edition of __The Practice of Statistics.__

1: Exploring Data (single variable, quantitative)

2: Modeling Distributions of Data (z-scores, percentiles, normal model)

3: Describing Relationships

4: Collecting Data

5: Probability, the basics

6: Random Variables, the binomial and geometric distribution.

7: Sampling Distributions

8: Inference: Confidence Intervals, 1 variable.

9: Significance Tests, 1 variable.

10: Inference for two groups

11: Inference for categorical data

12: Inference for regression

Here’s a graph of the relationship. Here are a few trends I observe:

- Question 1 tends to be exploratory data analysis OR an easier test about inference.
- Question 2 seems to feature probability OR sampling/ experimental design
- Question 3 seems to feature probability OR sampling/ experimental design
- Question 4 seems to feature an inference procedure often, but not always
- Question 5 seems to feature an inference procedure often, but not always.
- Question 6 always is a mixed bag, bot often involves some reasoning regarding inference.

Other observations:

**“Probability, served three ways:”** Probability questions are often, but not always, three-parters that take a single scenario and then “serve up” questions involving three different techniques in probability.
**Two sample t vs Matched Pairs t **questions are common.
**Inference for regression, **when addressed, is done pretty lightly, and often in question 6. There are often many other parts to question 6 that are not about inference for regression.

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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.

Now, if you can only figure out if there is a pattern to what type of inference there will be from year to year!