Apex AP Statistics

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Higher Score Guaranteed!

AP Statistics comes complete with a targeted review of the material covered on the test, two full-length practice tests, plus Kaplan's exclusive test-taking strategies. This powerful combination makes AP Statistics a highly effective way for you to score higher on this intensive exam.

You'll increase your score with:

* 2 Full-length Practice Tests with complete explanations
* In-depth review of the material covered on the exam
* Intensive practice with hundreds of statistics questions with detailed explanations for all answers
* Powerful strategies to help you effectively manage your time and succeed on the exam

Apex Learning is a builder and operator of virtual schools. The company, started in 1997 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, provides accredited courses, online professional development, infrastructure and support services. Apex's interactive Internet curriculum helps states and districts give more students and teachers access to quality education -- no matter the size or location of their schools.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743201902
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Series: Apex Learning Series
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 8.35 (w) x 10.83 (h) x 1.49 (d)

First Chapter

Chapter 2

Strategies for Succeeding on the Exam

This chapter will help you tackle the Advanced Placement Statistics examination. A passing grade (3, 4, or 5) on the examination is accepted for advanced placement or credit equivalent to a semester course in statistics at many colleges and universities.

To be ready for AP Statistics, you should have a good grasp of algebra and elementary functions, including linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. The AP Statistics course itself concentrates on giving you a firm foundation in descriptive and inferential statistics.

How to Use This Book

Each chapter of this book first lays out the most important objectives of the AP Statistics course, with examples to illustrate, The second half of each chapter is devoted to Practice Questions -- extensive multiple-choice and free-response practice problems, all with answers immediately following them. Here's a suggestion for using the multiple-choice problems to maximum benefit: For each problem, use a sheet of paper to cover the solution following the problem. Write down your answer on this sheet and then slide it down to reveal the solution and discussion. This method can build your skill in answering these questions.

At the end of the book you'll find two complete Practice Tests with solutions. It is best to try these under conditions as close as possible to those you will face with the real examination. In other words, work through them as best you can under the time constraints and then check your answers at the end.

Estimating your Score

To estimate your score on either of the practice examinations, use the following guidelines.

Section I: Multiple-Choice Questions

Score = (number of correct multiple-choice questions) - 1/4 (number of incorrect multiple-choice questions).

Section II: Free-Response Questions

Questions 1-5 are graded on a four-point scale.

Question 6 (Investigative Task) is also graded on a four-point scale but is weighted twice a much as the other free response questions.

Determine your score on the free-response section as follows:
Score = # 1 + #2 + #3 + #4 + #5 + 2.(#6).

Overall Score: = (multiple-choice score. 7) + (free-response score. 10).

Guessing on Multiple-Choice Questions

In the multiple-choice part of the examination, you can benefit by using test-smart strategies and techniques. Remember that there is a penalty for incorrect answers versus simply leaving an item blank. You receive 1 point for a correct answer, 0 points for no answer, and -1/4 for an incorrect answer. In general, if you can eliminate one or two of the options on a multiple choice item, the odds shift in your favor to go ahead and guess. If you have absolutely no idea, then it may not be wise to guess.

Avoid Misgridding

A common mistake on multiple-choice questions is marking the right answer-in the wrong place! Be careful about gridding. Also, it's a good idea to grid five or so multiple choice answers at a time to save time and avoid misgridding.


Do not round numbers at intermediate steps in a calculation. Answers should be rounded only at the very end of a sequence of computations. For example, if you need to calculate a z-score, it should be rounded to two decimal places in order to use a table of z-scores, but if you round each step to two decimal places, your final z-score may not be accurate.

* It is a good idea to round your final answer to one more decimal place than is given in the data.

Hints and Tips for the Free-Response Portion

The free-response portion of the AP statistics exam consists of several short answer open-ended questions along with a more substantial investigative task. You should spend about an hour on the open-ended questions and about 30 minutes on the investigative task.

* Show your work. The exam grader won't assume you used proper set up and methods if you reach the correct answer. It's up to you to communicate the methods that you used. Answers alone, without appropriate justification, will receive no credit.
* Take your time reading the question. The examination is designed to assess how well you can apply your knowledge to new and somewhat unfamiliar situations. Take some time to think about each question. If you don't understand the question, you're unlikely to find the right answer. Read the entire question before beginning to answer.
* Most questions will be given in several parts. The answers from one section will often be used in subsequent sections. Missing points in an early section does not mean you'll lose points in subsequent sections. Again, read the entire question to see how the different sections connect to each other.
* The calculator. As in the AP Exam, these practice exams will test you on how well you know statistics, not on how well you can use your calculator. Be sure you understand the concepts behind the calculator operations. Don't use "calculator-speak" in your answer -- the grader doesn't want to read a set of steps for the TI-83! Use your calculator for doing the mechanics, but be sure to clearly communicate your process for solving the problem.
* Use units. If units are given in the problem, make sure that you give them in your answer.
* Answer the question. Finally, be very careful to answer the question asked. Before you move on, read over your answer to make sure you're providing exactly what the question asks for. Generally, an answer to a question you weren't asked will receive no credit.
* Define any symbols you use. When writing solutions to the free-response questions, be sure to fully explain your notation.

Learn the Directions

Why waste valuable time reading directions when you can have them down pat beforehand? You need every second during the test to answer questions and get points. Become familiar with the directions before test day.

Don't Get Discouraged

It's important to remember that many successful AP Statistics test takers miss a number of questions and still get a 5. The test is designed so that the mean will be near 50% in order to provide a full range to base the scores of 1-5 as accurately as possible. Knowing this will stop you from panicking when you hit an impossible question. Relax! You can skip many tough questions on the AP Statistics exam and still get a great score! Look at the suggestions in the next section to help you keep your cool.

Managing Stress

The countdown has begun. Your date with the test is looming on the horizon. Anxiety is on the rise. The butterflies in your stomach have gone ballistic and your thinking is getting cloudy. Maybe you think you won't be ready. Maybe you already know your stuff, but you're going into panic mode anyway. Don't freak! It's possible to tame that anxiety and stress before and during the test. Remember, Some stress is normal and good. Anxiety is a motivation to study. The adrenaline that gets pumped into your bloodstream when you're stressed helps you stay alert and think more clearly. But if you feel that the tension is so great that it's preventing you from using your study time effectively, here are some things you can do to get it under control.

Take Control

Lack of control is a prime cause of stress. Research shows that if you don't have a sense of control over what's happening in your life, you can easily end up feeling helpless and hopeless. Try to identify the sources of the stress you feel. Which ones of these can you do something about? Can you find ways to reduce the stress you're feeling about any of these sources?

Focus on Your Strengths

Make a list of areas of strength you have that will help you do well on the test. We all have strengths, and recognizing your own is like having reserves of solid gold at Fort Knox. You'll be able to draw on your reserves as you need them, helping you solve difficult questions, maintain confidence, and keep test stress and anxiety at a distance. And every time you recognize a new area of strength, solve a challenging problem, or score well on a practice test, you'll increase your reserves.

Imagine Yourself Succeeding

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a relaxing situation. Breathe easily and naturally. Now, think of a real-life situation in which you scored well on a test or did well on an assignment. Focus on this success. Now turn your thoughts to the AP exam and keep your thoughts and feelings in line with that successful experience. Don't make comparisons between them; just imagine yourself taking the upcoming test with the same feelings of confidence and relaxed control.

Set Realistic Goals

Facing your problem areas gives you some distinct advantages. What do you want to accomplish in the time remaining? Make a list of realistic goals. You can't help feeling more confident when you know you're actively improving your chances of earning a higher test score.

Exercise Your Frustrations Away

Whether it's jogging, biking, pushups, or a pickup basketball game, physical exercise will stimulate your mind and body, and improve your ability to think and concentrate. A surprising number of students fall out of the habit of regular exercise, ironically because they're spending so much time prepping for exams. A little physical exertion will help you to keep your mind and body in sync and sleep better at night.

Avoid Drugs

Using drugs (prescription or recreational) specifically to prepare for and take a big test is definitely self-defeating. (And if they're illegal drugs, you may end up with a bigger problem than AP Statistics on your hands.) Mild stimulants, such as coffee or cola can sometimes help as you study, since they keep you alert. On the down side, too much of these can also lead to agitation, restlessness, and insomnia. It all depends on your tolerance for caffeine.

Eat Well

Good nutrition will help you focus and think clearly. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein such as fish, skinless poultry, beans, and legumes, and whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and pastas. Don't eat a lot of sugar and high-fat snacks, or salty foods.

Quick Tips for the Day Just Before the Exam

Do Less

The best test takers do less and less as the test approaches. Taper off your study schedule and take it easy on yourself. You want to be relaxed and ready on the day of the test. Give yourself time off, especially the evening before the exam. By then, if you've studied well, everything you need to know is firmly stored in your memory banks.

Think Positively

Positive self-talk can be extremely liberating and invigorating, especially as the test looms closer. Tell yourself things such as, "I choose to take this test" rather than "I have to"; "I will do well" rather than "I hope things go welt"; "I can" rather than "I cannot." Be aware of negative, self-defeating thoughts and images and immediately counter any you become aware of. Replace them with affirming statements that encourage your self-esteem and confidence. Create and practice visualizations that build on your positive statements.

Be Prepared

Get your act together sooner rather than later. Have everything (including choice of clothing) laid out days in advance. Most important, know where the test will be held and the easiest, quickest way to get there. You will gain great peace of mind if you know that all the little details -- gas in the car, directions, etcetera -- are firmly in your control before the day of the test.

Visit the Test Site

Experience the test site a few days in advance. This is very helpful if you are especially anxious. If at all possible, find out what room your part of the alphabet is assigned to, and try to sit there (by yourself) for a while. Better yet, bring some practice material and do at least a section or two, if not an entire practice test, in that room. In this situation, familiarity doesn't breed contempt, it generates comfort and confidence.

Rest and Relax the Day Before the Test

Forego any practice on the day before the test. It's in your best interest to marshal your physical and psychological resources for 24 hours or so. Even race horses are kept in the paddock and treated like princes the day before a race. Keep the upcoming test out of your consciousness; go to a movie, take a pleasant hike, or just relax. Don't eat junk food or tons of sugar. And of course get plenty of rest the night before. Just don't go to bed too early. It's hard to fall asleep earlier than you're used to, and you don't want to lie there thinking about the test.

Handling Stress During the Test

The biggest stress monster will be the test itself. Fear not; there are methods of quelling your stress during the test.

Keep Moving

Keep moving forward instead of getting bogged down in a difficult question. You don't have to get everything right to achieve a fine score. The best test takers skip difficult material temporarily in search of the easier stuff. They mark the ones that require extra time and thought. This strategy buys time and builds confidence so you can handle the tough stuff later.

Work at Your Own Pace

Don't be thrown if other test takers seem to he working more furiously than you are. Continue to spend your time patiently thinking through your answers; it's going to lead to better results. Don't mistake the other people's sheer activity as signs of progress and higher scores.

Keep Breathing

Conscious attention to breathing is an excellent way to manage stress while you're taking the test. Most of the people who get into trouble during tests take shallow breaths: They breathe using only their upper chests and shoulder muscles, and may even hold their breath for long periods of time. Conversely, those test takers who breathe deeply in a slow, relaxed manner are likely to be in better control during the session.


If you find yourself getting spaced out or burned out as you're studying or taking the test, stop for a brief moment and stretch. Even though you'll be pausing for a moment, it's a moment well spent. Stretching will help to refresh you and refocus your thoughts.

With what you've just learned here, you're armed and ready to do battle with the test. This book and your studies will give you the information you'll need to answer the questions. It's all firmly planted in your mind. You also know how to deal with any excess tension that might come along, both when you're studying for and taking the exam. You've experienced everything you need to tame your test anxiety and stress. You're going to get a great score.

Good luck with your study of Advanced Placement Statistics!

Copyright © 2001 by Apex Learning Inc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2002

    Great Book!

    This book serves its purpose of being helpful! It outlines the equations that you need every end of the chapter, you need not search in your big fat statistics textbook from school! It is similar to the textbook that includes examples and comprehensiveness, but Apex goes right to the point with what you need. The book has many questions that mirrors the AP Exam questions. It organizes the chapters coherently that concludes with practice questions and detailed explanations. Book explains TI-83 calculator functions for statistics. Only drawback with this book is that it needs more practice tests; it only has two.

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