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Our Favorite AP Exam FRQs ❤️

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Recently we made a few big updates to the Stats Medic FRQ page that has links to every AP Statistics Exam Free Response Question since the beginning of time. Now each link takes you directly to the pdf page that contains that question. There is also a new "Search" feature which will allow you to find all the questions with "boxplots" or that one question on "Choco-zuties".

We use this list every time we are writing a new test for AP Stats. We think it's really important for students to see real-deal AP Exam questions all throughout the school year.

As we were updating this list, we started to identify some of the old AP questions that have been our least favorite (tiger shrimp) and our most favorite (stealing soda).

We decided to pick our favorite question from each of the CED units.

Unit 1: Exploring One-Variable Data

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2015 #1 (Salary comparison at two corporations)

Why we love it: Almost every AP Stats exam has a "describe the distribution" or a "compare the distributions" question and we want students to know that they need to include shape, outliers, center, and variability (+context). This question is a classic example of this type of question, and it has an interesting context.

Unit 2: Exploring Two-Variable Data

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2005 #3 (Railroad fuel consumption)

Why we love it: This question covers so many important Unit 2 concepts all in one context: deciding if a linear model is appropriate, understanding slope, interpreting r², and extrapolation. When we give this one on a test, we also add a part for students to interpret the slope.

Unit 3: Collecting Data

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2016 #3 (Smoking and Alzheimer's)

Why we love it: We think one of the most important takeaways for students who take AP Stats is that correlation does not equal causation. This question helps students understand the limitations of observational studies by introducing a possible confounding variable (exercise status).

Unit 4: Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions

Why we love it: First, we love this question because it allows our students to utilize one of our favorite probability strategies: the tree diagram. The tree diagram even makes the conditional probability question an easy one. Part (c) requires a binomial calculation and allows us a good opportunity to make sure students are labeling their parameters if they are using the binomialcdf calculator command.

Unit 5: Sampling Distributions

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2010 #2 (Rock and roll songs)

Why we love it: We like the throwback here to "describe a distribution" and also that students get some practice with a normal distribution calculation, all while having to know their stuff about the sampling distribution of a sample mean.

Unit 6: Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2017 #2 (Stealing soda)

Why we love it: Ordering a water cup at a fast-food restaurant and then filling it with soda? So relevant for students! We love this question mostly because it allows us to show this video of AP Stats all-star leaders. Oh yeah, this question also asks students to construct and interpret a confidence interval for a proportion, but then takes it one step further and has them use the interval to estimate the cost to the restaurant.

Unit 7: Inference for Quantitative Data: Means

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2014 #5 (Gender and car prices)

Why we love it: We like how this question presents the summary statistics for each of two groups, as well as the differences. This forces students to have to decide between a two-sample t-test for the difference of means or a paired t-test for a mean difference. They are then expected have to carry out the full significance test, complete with conditions and a full conclusion (including an interpretation of the P-value).

Unit 8: Inference for Categorical Data: Chi-Square

Our favorite AP Exam FRQ: 2016 #2 (Choco-Zuties)

Why we love it: Mostly we just love the name of the snacks: Choco-Zuties and Apple-Zuties (we prefer Choco-Zuties). We also love that not only are students asked to do a full chi-square test, but there is also a follow-up question getting them to think more about why the results are statistically significant.

Unit 9: Inference for Quantitative Data: Slopes

Why we love it: Well, we don't have a whole lot of questions to choose from here, but we went with one from a Form B. We like this question because it requires students to recall some stuff from Unit 2 (read computer output, interpret slope) and also think about inference for slope.

We hope you have enjoyed our list of favorites! Check out the complete list of all questions to find your own favorites!

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