What is the AP Statistics exam?
AP Statistics, in addition to the AP Calculus exams, is one of 2 mathematically focused AP exams offered by the College Board. A 5 on this exam looks good if you’re hoping to study the hard sciences, math, computer science, or a social science. Similarly, if you want to become a data analyst, this subject is for you. A firm knowledge of statistics provides a solid groundwork for a career in finance, machine learning, or data science.
What topics does the AP Statistics exam cover?
The AP Statistics course provides a deep-dive into some concepts that you’re likely already familiar with. You’ve probably heard of mean, median, mode, range, and outliers. Perhaps you even know how to calculate the standard deviation of a data set. These familiar concepts compose about 30% of the exam. This AP exam contains both multiple choice and free response questions. You may use a graphing calculator.
But what about topics like a z-score? Quartiles? Least-squares regression? The majority of the AP Statistics material is composed of higher-level big data analysis. Students must understand distributions of univariate data (that is, data of one variable) and bivariate data (data of, you guessed it, two variables). Students also need to know how to explore bivariate data in ways that draw statistical inferences. You’ll want to be familiar with correlation, linearity, running regressions, and how to transform non-linear data so that it fits a linear shape.
Students also need to fully understand how data science teams gather data and what the best practices in surveying are. Population, sample size, randomization, treatment vs control groups, bias in data, and randomized block design can all show up on this exam.
Finally, students must also fully immerse themselves in the world of probability and how it relates to data science. Normal distribution, t-distribution, chi-square distribution, and many other topics all appear on this exam.
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