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How Does Dash Review for the AP Exam?

Dash Young-Saver is an AP Stats teacher in San Antonio and the founder of Skew The Script. He also writes occasional math lessons for the New York Times. Dash holds a BA and master's in Data Science from Harvard.

At about this time four years ago, our school let out for spring break. I wished students well and left to enjoy the week away from school. A few days later, an outbreak became a pandemic. Then, a week away from school became the remainder of the year.

Suddenly, we were scrambling. Our schools arranged for students to get chromebooks, as we prepped to move everything online. The College Board announced that AP Exams were still happening. I just remember thinking: “How are we going to do this?”

Then, a beacon of hope hit my inbox:

In a great gesture of generosity, Stats Medic made their AP Stats Exam Review Course free for schools impacted by the pandemic. I got my students signed up, and we were off to the races.

After about 5 minutes of exploring the review course, I realized that this was exactly what we needed to get students ready for the AP Exam. I also realized that it wasn’t just a 2020 stopgap. It was going to be a resource I’d use with students every year. 

Everything made so much sense. For example, the videos were compact, clear, precise, and covered the most essential topics for students to review.

The practice problems were similarly targeted, hitting the key concepts that students needed to internalize for the exam. Students appreciated how real AP Exam FRQs were incorporated into the course, giving them an authentic preparation experience. Plus, the ability to watch self-grading videos in student-friendly language allowed them to take ownership of learning the rubrics.

In my view, what makes the course really special is what’s NOT included in it: lengthy explanations, derivations, or practice on material that’s unlikely to show up on the exam. My student from last year, Rebecca Arredondo, agrees:

“The videos were so compressed - they only had the most essential knowledge. So, instead of having to go through a bajillion pages of a textbook, I had a stats expert telling me what I needed to know for the AP test. I was able to study in such a short time and retain the most important knowledge.”

The self-paced nature of the course makes it easy to incorporate in class. Give students the guided notes, set deadlines for checkpoints, and they’re rolling - reviewing and checking their understanding at their own pace. The platform also makes it pretty easy for teachers to monitor student progress.

As an educator, I also got a lot out of the course. In particular, the videos on exam strategies had some great nuggets of wisdom from Luke and Lindsey, including their recommended order for answering the FRQs and strategies for the investigative task. Knowledge like this from veteran teachers can be a gold mine for teachers and students alike.

“Tips on how to answer questions, how to get extra points, how to maximize points we were getting - all were very crucial. Even though I may not have known all the material exactly, it was helpful to learn how to get as many points as I could.” - Rebecca Arredondo

If you haven’t already, look into getting the Review Course this year and check out Stats Medic’s tips for securing funding. In their continued generosity, Stats Medic offers a scholarship for classrooms that serve a high proportion of low-income students. My class has qualified for the scholarship each year, and we’re incredibly grateful for Luke and Lindsey’s kindness in offering this support. It really does make a difference, as the course gives students the main resource they’ll need for exam day: confidence.

“The course was a big factor in me passing the AP Exam. I was able to take the knowledge I learned in class and the refresher course from Stats Medic to be more confident for the exam.” - Rebecca Arredondo

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