The second semester of AP Stats can be overwhelming for students. So many confidence intervals! So many significance tests! So many conditions and formulas! With so much information coming at them, it is easy for students to make mistakes when performing inference procedures, such as:
Choosing the wrong inference procedure
Using incorrect notation
Forgetting to check a condition for inference
Checking the wrong condition for a given inference procedure
Using the wrong formula
Using the wrong calculator command for a given inference procedure
We have found the best solution for many of these mistakes is for students to be organized. They need to create a mental flowchart for analyzing inference scenarios as well as a mental file storage system that allows accurate retrieval of relevant information. We have several strategies for helping them to create this mental landscape.
Choose the Correct Inference Procedure
When reading a question that requires an inference procedure, we suggest to students to use the following questions:
Is it one of the weird ones (linear regression or chi-square)?
Is the scenario about means or proportions?
One or two samples (groups)?
Confidence interval or significance test?
With the answers the these four questions, it is easy to choose the correct inference procedure (click here for a video explaining the flowchart)
Carry Out the Inference Procedure
Now that students have chosen the correct inference procedure, they need to be able to construct and interpret a confidence interval or perform a full significance test. This means they need to choose the correct notation, conditions, and formulas for that inference procedure. To help them keep all this information organized, we have created the Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide for AP Statistics.
DOWNLOAD: Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide
DOWNLOAD: Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide - BLANK
How to Use the Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide
Build it throughout the course. At the end of every unit, have students fill in the blanks for the inference procedures from that unit. By the end of the course, your Ultimate Inference Guide is complete.
Build it at the end of inference. Wait until the end of all the inference procedures and use the Ultimate Inference Guide as a way to summarize all the learning. This pairs nicely with the activity of having your students each write their own inference exam.
Use it for AP Exam Review. Inference questions can be as much as 40% of the points on the AP Exam. Having students fill out and study the Ultimate Inference Guide is a sure way to improve AP scores.
The Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide is one of the many resources available as part of the Stats Medic AP Stats Exam Review Course.
A huge thank you to Camille Pace from the College Board and the Stats Medic Teacher Community for help in revising and refining these documents.