# AP Statistics (AP Stats) Score Calculator – 2024

January 4, 2024

If you’re wondering how you’ll do on the AP Stat exam, then look no further: our AP Stats score calculator is the perfect tool for figuring out ahead of time where you stand. But why use the AP Stats score calculator? First and foremost, it’s a great motivational tool. If your score isn’t where you’d like it to be, the AP Stats score calculator can give you that extra bit of feedback and incentive to keep on preparing. Plus, the AP Stats score calculator is a great way to zero in on specific areas of strength and weakness. If your multiple-choice score is looking great but your free response questions are a bit sub-par, you can allocate your study time accordingly.

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## What does the AP Statistics exam consist of?

The AP Stats score calculator will break down your score based on the test’s different sections. The AP Statistics exam consists of two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. The two sections are weighted equally, each of them accounting for 50% of a student’s overall score. Likewise, each section lasts the same amount of time. Students are given 90 minutes for each, bringing the total test time to 3 hours.

The multiple-choice section consists of 40 questions. The questions are either stand-alone or based on a shared prompt. This section focuses on content from all 9 areas of study covered in the AP Statistics course. It tests students’ ability to apply the 4 main skills learned over the duration of the course: (1), selecting methods for analyzing data, (2), describing patterns in data, (3), using probability to describe probability distributions and uncertainty in statistical interference, and (4), using statistical reasoning to draw conclusions. The course website is a great resource for a comprehensive list of the course’s units and skill areas.

## AP Stat FRQ (free-response questions)

In the free-response section of the exam, students respond to 6 questions with written answers. The free-response section is all about clarity of communication—explaining your conclusions using evidence from data, definitions, and statistical interference.

The free-response section is broken down into two parts. Part A contains 5 questions focusing on collecting data, exploring data, probability and sampling distributions, and interference, with one question combining 2 or more of the above skill categories. Part B is one investigative task covering multiple skill and content areas.

Here are some snippets of past AP Statistics free-response questions:

• A dermatologist will conduct an experiment to investigate the effectiveness of a new drug to treat acne. The dermatologist has recruited 36 pairs of identical twins. Each person in the experiment has acne and each person in the experiment will receive either the new drug or a placebo. After each person in the experiment uses either the new drug or the placebo for 2 weeks, the dermatologist will evaluate the improvement in acne severity for each person on a scale from 0 (no improvement) to 100 (complete cure). Identify the treatments, experimental units, and response variable of the experiment. (FRQ #2 from 2022’s exam).

### AP Stats Score Calculator (Continued)

• To increase morale among employees, a company began a program in which one employee is randomly selected each week to receive a gift card. Each of the company’s 200 employees is equally likely to be selected each week, and the same employee could be selected more than once. Each week’s selection is independent from every other week. Consider the probability that a particular employee receives at least one gift card in a 52-week year. Define the random variable of interest and state how the random variable is distributed. (FRQ #3 from 2021’s exam).
• Tumbleweed, commonly found in the western United States, is the dried structure of certain plants that are blown by the wind. Kochia, a type of plant that turns into tumbleweed at the end of the summer, is a problem for farmers because it takes nutrients away from soil that would otherwise go to more beneficial plants. Scientists are concerned that kochia plants are becoming resistant to the most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate. In 2014, 19.7 percent of 61 randomly selected kochia plants were resistant to glyphosate. In 2017, 38.5 percent of 52 randomly selected kochia plants were resistant to glyphosate. Do the data provide convincing statistical evidence, at the level of a = 0.05, that there has been an increase in the proportion of all kochia plants that are resistant to glyphosate? (FRQ #4 from 2019’s exam).

## AP Stats formula sheet

The AP Stats formula sheet is 2 pages of formulas that students are given on test day, and they’re presented at the beginning of both the multiple-choice and free-response sections. The formula sheet is made up of three sections: descriptive statistics, probability and distributions, and sampling distributions and inferential statistics. The full AP Statistics formula sheet is available as a part of the AP Statistics course and exam description, which came out in 2019 and is effective for all exams after 2020.

## What is the average AP Stat score?

Before we answer the question above, it’d probably be a good idea to establish what, exactly, counts as a good AP Stat score. The College Board considers scores of 3, 4, and 5 as passing scores. A 3, according to the College Board, is “qualified,” a 4 “well qualified,” and a 5 “extremely well qualified”.

Only 60% of students who take the AP Statistics exam score a 3 or above, which puts it just outside of the top 10 hardest AP classes (in terms of the numbers, Physics 1 is the most difficult AP class, with just 42% of students scoring a 3 or above on the exam. For a little perspective, Calculus BC qualified as one of the easiest AP classes.  A considerable 76% of students scored a 3 or better on the exam).

And while the average AP Stat exam score fluctuates from year to year, we can get a good sense of the predominant trend by looking at average scores from years past. In 2017, the average score was a 2.72. In 2018, it was a 2.88, in 2019, a 2.87. The average AP Stat score over the 7 years between 2014 and 2020 was a 2.85. In other words: the average AP Stat exam score, in recent years at least, is a non-passing grade.

## AP Stats score distribution

Let’s continue to examine the numbers. It’s a bitter truth that the average AP Stats score over the past few years has been below a 3. But that fact shouldn’t be discouraging. Well over half of students—60%—who take the AP Stats exam get a 3 or higher. In 2023, 15% of test takers received a 5, 22% received a 4, and 23% received a 3. Of those who didn’t achieve a 3 or higher, 16% got a 2, and 24% got a 1.

## How to get a 5 on AP Stat

Unfortunately, there is no one clear-cut way to get a 5 on the AP Statistics exam. The exam tests students’ knowledge of the course’s 9 units of study and their ability to apply all 4 skills learned throughout the course. So be sure to structure your study routine and habits around the components of the test. Our AP Stats score calculator is another tool to add to your study-repertoire: by determining your relative strengths and weaknesses, you can determine how best to allocate your study time and focus.

We can also gain some insight by doing a little bit of rudimentary statistical analysis ourselves. According to recent data, students scored significantly higher on the multiple-choice section than they did on the free-response section. Students fared best on questions based on Units 1, 2, and 3. A total of 18% of test takers got a perfect score on those questions. By contrast, questions dealing with material from Unit 4 (probability, random variables, and probability distributions) was the most difficult, with only 5% of students answering every question about this unit correctly, and 5% of students getting every question on this unit wrong.

In terms of skill category, students had the least difficulty with Skill Category 2—describing patterns, trends, associations, and relationships in data. The most challenging questions, on the other hand, required using Skill Category 3—using probability and simulation to describe probability distributions and define uncertainty in statistical interference.

### AP Stats Score Calculator (Continued)

So if the numbers are to be our guide here, it behooves AP Stat students to make sure they’re comfortable with those content and skill areas that have proved to be thorny for test takers of years past. In other words: look out for Unit 4 and Skill Category 3! Students should also make sure they’re dedicating an appropriate amount of time to prepare for the free-response questions. Remember, students typically struggle more with the free-response section than they do with the multiple-choice section (so use the AP Stats score calculator to see if this pattern applies to you, too!). That means that students should not only be comfortable using the skills they’ve learned in AP Stats; they should also be comfortable communicating their explanations, justifications, and conclusions.

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