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Top 10 AP Statistics Exam Tips

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

It's the end of the year and you are trying to get ready for the AP Statistics Exam. What are the most important tips and strategies for doing well on the Exam? After many years of experience teaching AP Statistics and grading AP Exams, we have curated this list down to the Top 10.

This video is part of the official Stats Medic AP Stats Exam Review Course. Download a printable version of this list here:

Stats Medic Top 10 AP Stats Exam Tips: DOCX / PDF

1: Clearly communicate your understanding

Your AP score is a combination of your understanding of statistical content, but also how well you can communicate your understanding of the content. Don't expect AP graders to know what you are thinking. Write it down!

2: Always include context in your answers

Every one of the free response questions will be framed with a different context. Be sure that AP Exam graders can identify the context of the problem just by reading your response. Examples: "The distribution of Robin's tips", "convincing evidence that there is an association between age-group and gender" and "the y-intercept tells us the predicted wait time when there are 0 customers in line."

3: Be precise in your language and vocabulary

A big part of clearly communicating your understanding is to use the correct vocabulary. You will be marked down for using the incorrect or inappropriate vocabulary terms. Don't say "stratified" when you mean "block design". If you are not exactly sure on the correct vocabulary term, simply describe the idea.

4: Use appropriate notation

Notation matters! Make sure you know the correct notation for each statistic and for each parameter. You will be marked down for using incorrect notation.

Statistics: p̂, x̄, s

Parameters: p, µ, σ

5: Do not rely on your calculator

On the free response, you are always better off to show a formula and your work. Try to use your calculator only to check your final answers. Here is a summary of the calculator functions you might use on the AP Exam.

6: Manage your time

You have 90 minutes for 40 multiple choice questions (easy) and 90 minutes for 6 free response questions (harder). For the free response questions, plan to spend an average of 13 minutes on each of questions #1 - 5 and then 25 minutes on question #6 - the Investigative Task. Click here for strategies to help you CRUSH the AP Statistics Free Response.

7: Do not leave anything blank

There is no penalty for guessing on the multiple choice, so you should NEVER leave any blank. If you are struggling on a free response question, write down anything that you know...even if it's just a formula. There is always a chance you could earn partial credit.

8: Know the formula sheet

You don't want to spend valuable exam time searching through the formula sheet looking for what you need. Check out this blog post to get a detailed description of the AP Statistics Exam Formula Sheet.

9: Know your inference

Inference makes up the biggest part of the AP Statistics Exam. Be sure you are familiar with all of the confidence intervals and significance tests. Click here for help with Naming That Significance Test or here for the Stats Medic Ultimate Inference Guide.

10: Be confident!

You have worked hard all year. You have spent time and energy reviewing for the exam. You now have the Stats Medic Top 10 AP Exam Tips. You are ready! Bring this confidence into the AP Exam with you in order to maximize your score. Good luck!!

Still looking for more help to get you prepared for the AP Exam? Consider using the Stats Medic Flash Cards or the Stats Medic Review Course for more review.

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