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The AP Statistics Exam is a college-level exam administered every year in May upon the completion of an Advanced Placement Statistics course taken at your high school. If you score high enough, your AP Stats score could earn you college credit

Check out our AP Statistics Guide for the essential info you need about the exam:

What’s on the AP Stats exam?

The College Board is very detailed in what they require your AP teacher to cover in your AP Statistics course. They explain that you should be familiar with the following topics:

  • Exploring One-Variable Data
  • Exploring Two-Variable Data
  • Collecting Data
  • Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions
  • Sampling Distributions
  • Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions
  • Inference for Quantitative Data: Means
  • Inference for Categorical Data: Chi-Square
  • Inference for Quantitative Data: Slopes

For a comprehensive content review, check out our line of AP guides

AP Statistics Sections & Question Types

The AP Stats exam is three hours long and consists of two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section.

AP Statistics Section

Timing

Number of Questions

Multiple Choice

90 minutes

  • 40 single-select: discrete questions and questions in sets with one correct answer

Free Response

90 minutes

Part A: 5 Free-Response Questions
  • 1 multi-part question on Collecting Data, assessing Skill Category 1: Selecting Statistical Methods.
  • 1 multi-part question on Exploring Data, assessing Skill Category 2: Data Analysis. 
  • 1 multi-part question on Probability and Sampling Distributions, assessing Skill Category 3: Using Probability and Simulation.
  • 1 question on Inference, assessing the inference skills associated with Skill Categories 1, 3, and 4.
  • 1 question on two or more skill categories
Part B: 1 Free-Response Question
  • An investigative task that assesses multiple skill categories and content areas, focusing on the application of skills and content in new contexts or in non-routine ways.
TOTAL: 3 hours 46 questions

AP Statistics Multiple-Choice

Single-select questions are each followed by five possible responses, only one of which is correct. 

AP Statistics Free Response Questions

The free response section consists of six multi-part questions, which require you to write out your solutions, showing your work. Unlike the multiple-choice section, which is scored by a computer, the free-response section is graded by high school and college teachers. They have guidelines for awarding partial credit, so you may still receive partial points should you not correctly respond to every part of  the question.

Can you use a calculator on the AP Statistics exam?

You are allowed to use a calculator on the entire AP Stats Exam—including both the multiple-choice and free-response sections. Scientific or graphing calculators may be used, provided that they don’t have any unapproved features or capabilities (a list of approved graphing calculators is available on the College Board’s website).

What’s on the AP Statistics formula sheet?

A table of equations commonly used in stats will be provided to you at the exam site. Check out what the AP Statistics formula sheet looks like here.

How is AP Statistics scored?

AP scores are reported from 1 to 5. Colleges are generally looking for a 4 or 5 on the AP Stats exam, but some may grant credit for a 3. Here’s how students scored on the May 2020 test:

AP Statistics Score

Meaning

2020 Percentage of Test Takers

5

Extremely qualified

16.2%

4

Well qualified

20.7%

3

Qualified

23.1%

2

Possibly qualified

21.7%

1

No recommendation

18.3%

Source: College Board

Each test is curved so scores vary from year to year, but as we see above, in May 2020 around 40% of test takers earned scores of 1 or 2. You’ll want to study hard and prepare for this tough exam.

How can I prepare?

AP classes are great, but for many students they’re not enough! For a thorough review of AP Stats content and strategy, pick the AP prep option that works best for your goals and learning style. 

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