The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:
- Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
- Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
- Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
- Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses
Students who successfully complete the course and examination may receive credit and/or advanced placement for a one-semester introductory college statistics course. This does not necessarily imply that the high school course should be one semester long. Each high school will need to determine the length of time for its AP Statistics course to best serve the needs of its students. Statistics, like some other AP courses, could be effectively studied in a one-semester, a two-trimester, or a one-year course. Most schools, however, offer it as a two-semester course.
This course covers the following topics:
- Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns (20%–30%)
Exploratory analysis of data makes use of graphical and numerical techniques to study patterns and departures from patterns. Emphasis should be placed on interpreting information from graphical and numerical displays and summaries.
- Constructing and interpreting graphical displays of distributions of univariate data (dotplot, stemplot, histogram, cumulative frequency plot)
- Summarizing distributions of univariate data
- Comparing distributions of univariate data (dotplots, back-to-back stemplots, parallel boxplots)
- Exploring bivariate data
- Exploring categorical data
- Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study (10%–15%)
Data must be collected according to a well-developed plan if valid information on a conjecture is to be obtained. This plan includes clarifying the question and deciding upon a method of data collection and analysis.
- Overview of methods of data collection
- Planning and conducting surveys
- Planning and conducting experiments
- Generalizability of results and types of conclusions that can be drawn from observational studies, experiments, and surveys
- Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation (20%–30%)
Probability is the tool used for anticipating what the distribution of data should look like under a given model.
- Combining independent random variables
- The normal distribution
- Sampling distributions
- Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses (30%–40%)
Statistical inference guides the selection of appropriate models.
- Estimation (point estimators and confidence intervals)
For more detail on the course topics covered in AP Statistics, see the Course and Exam Description