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Ten Lessons Learned in 10+ Years as an AP Statistics Exam Reader

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### Ten Lessons Learned in 10+ Years as an AP Statistics Exam Reader

Daren Starnes

The Lawrenceville School

BFW Publishers

May 3, 2011

#10: Be a smart test taker!

- General
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat a healthy lunch
- Multiple choice section
- Answer all the questions (no guessing penalty)
- Cover up answers while reading the stem
- Free response section
- Don’t run out of time before Question 6!!
- Start with questions you feel confident about
- Use bullets and outlines rather than complete sentences whenever possible

#9: Use technology wisely

- Don’t type in data just because it’s there!
- On inference questions, use STAT TESTS, but…show formulas with values subbed in for partial credit
- Calculator speak = no full credit

(1) Binompdf(12,.2,3) = no full credit

Better: P(X = 3) = (12C3)(0.2)3(0.8)9

OK: binompdf with n = 12, p = .2, k = 3

(2) Normalcdf(90,105,100,5) = no full credit

Better: draw, label, shade Normal curve

OK: normalcdf with low bound = 90, high bound = 1-5, mean = 100, std. dev. = 5

#8: Follow the 4-step inference process

Starting in 2010, partial credit is available on 4-step rubrics.

#8: Follow the 4-step inference process

2010 Question #5: Fish tales

Remember: Don’t just start typing in the data unless you have a reason to do so!!

#8: Follow the 4-step inference process

2010 Question #5: Fish tales

#8: Follow the 4-step inference process

2010 Question #5: Fish tales

#7: Know your inference methods

A helpful resource

#6: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

- Misuse of term or notation mandatory deduction
- Putting statistics instead of parameters in hypotheses
- Saying there’s confounding when there isn’t
- Using experiment language in an observational study

Blocking vs. stratified sampling; experiment vs. survey

- Advice:
- Only use terms and symbols you know
- It’s better to explain in your own words than to use a term incorrectly
- If you’re unsure about notation, use words instead of symbols

#5: Naked answer = no credit

Directions: Show all your work. Indicate clearly the methods you use, because you will be graded on the correctness of your methods as well as on the accuracy and completeness of your results and explanations.

2009, Question #2

#5: Naked answer = no credit

2009, Question #2(a): 70th percentile of stopping distances

#5: Naked answer = no credit

2009, Question #2(b): P(at least 2 out of 5 stop)

#5: Naked answer = no credit

2009, Question #2(c): P(mean at least 130 feet)

#4: If you can’t answer part of a question, don’t assume you can’t answer other parts

2010 Question #4

If needed, make up a reasonable answer for the part you can’t answer…

#3: Know what distribution you’re talking about!

2010 Question #2

- Distribution of sample data (lengths of 40 songs)
- Population distribution (lengths of all rock-and-roll songs the station plays)
- Sampling distribution of statistic (e.g. sample mean song length)

#3: Know what distribution you’re talking about!

2010 Question #2

#2: Don’t write too much

- Answer the question, then shut up!
- Space provided is more than enough
- Remember the mandatory deduction rule

#1:RTQ & ATQ!!

2008 AP Exam, Free Response Question 1

To determine the amount of sugar in a typical serving of breakfast cereal, a student randomly selected 60 boxes of different types of cereal from the shelves of a large grocery store. The student noticed that the side panels of some of the cereal boxes showed sugar content based on one-cup servings, while others showed sugar content based on three-quarter-cup servings. Many of the cereal boxes with side panels that showed three-quarter-cup servings were ones that appealed to young children, and the student wondered whether there might be some difference in the sugar content of the cereals that showed different-size servings on their side panels.

#1:RTQ & ATQ!!

2008 AP Exam, Free Response Question 1

To investigate the question, the data were separated into two groups. One group consisted of 29 cereals that showed one-cup serving sizes; the other group consisted of 31 cereals that showed three-quarter-cup serving sizes.

The boxplots display sugar content (in grams) per serving of the cereals for each of the two serving sizes.

#1:RTQ & ATQ!!

2008 AP Exam, Free Response Question 1

(a) Write a few sentences to compare the distributions of sugar content per serving for the two serving sizes of cereals.

Ten Lessons Learned: Recap

#10: Be a smart test taker!

#9: Use technology wisely

#8: Follow the 4-step inference process

#7: Know your inference methods

#6: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

#5: Naked answer = no credit

#4: If you can’t answer part of a question, don’t assume you can’t answer other parts

#3: Know what distribution you’re talking about!

#2: Don’t write too much!

#1:RTQ & ATQ!!

Questions?

Email me: [email protected]

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