AP® Statistics FAQ: Everything You Need to Know for 2024 (2024)

Are you seeking answers to the most commonly asked questions about the 2024 AP® Statistics exam? You’re in the right place! Read below to find answers to all of these and more in this AP® Statistics FAQ.

What We Review

Is AP® Statistics Easy? What Can Make It Hard?

The AP® Statistics exam has a passing rate that is about average when compared with the passing rates of other AP® exams. This course is designed to teach concepts with the rigor and pace of college courses, so the difficulty level will depend on your ability to perform academically at a college level.

The 2023 passing rate for the AP® Statistics exam was 60%, with a mean score of 2.89. These numbers put AP® Statistics right in line with the average of all of the AP® courses.

AP® Statistics and AP® Calculus AB both have a higher number of test-takers than AP® Calculus BC, which may mean that some of the people who take these exams are not future math majors. This would result in lower overall scores than in those courses that tend to self-select only those who would be highly successful in the course (such as AP® Calculus BC).

The passing rate for the AP® Statistics exam over the past few years has held relatively steady.

In 2023, 242,929 students took the AP® Statistics exam. For comparison, this was less than the number of students who took the AP® Calculus AB exam, which had 273,987 test takers.

To maximize your study time and ensure you achieve the highest score possible on the AP® Statistics exam, you should know which course units will be weighted more heavily on the exam. This will allow you to spend more time studying these units than on those that are not weighted as heavily.

There are nine units in the AP® Statistics course. Unit 1: Exploring One-Variable Data accounts for 15-23% of the AP® Statistics exam. Unit 4: Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions account for 10-20% of the exam questions. Lastly, Unit 3: Collecting Data and Unit 6: Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions both account for 12-15% of the exam. These four units account for 49-73% of the total AP® Statistics exam.

While the AP® Statistics exam has an average passing rate, it might be helpful to simulate a passing grade before the exam.

The Albert AP® Statistics exam score calculator (previewed below) will tell you how many questions in each section you need to answer correctly in order to pass the exam with a score of 3 or higher. You can see a simulated breakdown of the scoring categories below.

AP® Statistics FAQ: Everything You Need to Know for 2024 (1)

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Is AP® Statistics Worth It?

Taking the AP® Statistics exam is definitely worth your time, effort, and energy. Taking this exam has a variety of benefits for you as a student. Academically, passing this exam proves that you are ready for college. It signals that you can handle college courses’ accelerated pace and increased rigor. This knowledge can give you the confidence to face the on-campus experience.

Passing the AP® Statistics exam can also help you gain admission to the college of your choice. Having AP® exams on your high school transcript can let admissions counselors know that you have taken your high school academics seriously and that you can cut it in college.

Perhaps the most important benefit of taking the AP® Statistics exam is the financial benefit. Since you get college credit for passing the AP® Statistics exam, this means you won’t have to pay for college credit hours to take the course. You can use your AP® credits to graduate early or explore a minor. The choice is yours!

Since each college awards credit for AP® classes differently, you will want to consult the colleges on your list to see if they accept the AP® Statistics exam for credit and how much credit you would receive for your score.

The chart below shows just a few of the more popular colleges and the potential savings that could come from using your AP® Statistics exam score for college credit.

SchoolMinimum Score RequiredNumber of CreditsEstimated Tuition Savings
Boston University44$6,600
Baylor University34$6,864
University of Houston34$1,268
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill33$3,810
University of Florida35$4,280
New York University44$5,804
University of San Francisco34$6,756
University of Maryland44$5,548

This information shows that taking the AP® Statistics exam is worth it.

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When is the 2024 AP® Statistics Exam?

The 2024 AP® Statistics exam will be given using paper-and-pencil tests. The 2024 AP® Statistics exam will take place on:

Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 12pm (noon) local time

Curious about when other AP® exams are happening in 2024? View or download the complete AP® exam schedule here.

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Start your AP® Statistics test prep here

When Do AP® Statistics Scores Typically Come Out?

According to the latest update from the College Board exam season timeline, students will receive their AP® scores in July 2024. Historically, the College Board typically releases AP® scores early in the month of July.

You’ll be able to access your AP® scores online with your College Board account username and password.

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How Is AP® Statistics Scored? What’s The Weighting Of Different Questions?

The College Board has released the following scoring breakdown for the AP® Statistics exam:

SectionQuestionsTime% of Exam Score
1: Multiple Choice40 questions1 hour and 30 minutes50%
2: Free Response6 questions1 hour and 30 minutes50%

The free-response portion of the AP® Statistics exam consists of two parts, A and B. Part A consists of 5 questions. Part B of the free-response portion consists of only one question. This question will be an investigative task that will assess the student’s ability in multiple skills and concept areas.

Pro tip: Make sure you closely read the free-response questions. Students in past years have lost valuable points because they misread the question.

Want to know how the course units will be reflected in the exam questions? The chart below will outline those weightings. You can also see how these weightings are reflected in an exam score by visiting Albert’s free AP® Statistics exam score calculator.

UnitsExam Weighting
Unit 1: Exploring One-Variable Data15-23%
Unit 2: Exploring Two-Variable Data5-7%
Unit 3: Collecting Data12-15%
Unit 4: Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions10-20%
Unit 5: Sampling Distributions7-12%
Unit 6: Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions12-15%
Unit 7: Inference for Quantitative Data: Means10-18%
Unit 8: Inference for Categorical Data: Chi-Square2-5%
Unit 9: Inference for Quantitative Data: Slopes2-5%

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What Happens If You Fail AP® Statistics?

AP® Statistics FAQ: Everything You Need to Know for 2024 (2)

If you fail the AP® Statistics exam, you have a variety of options available to you. Stay calm and know that this is not the end of the world!

First, you can always retake the exam. There are no penalties for retaking the exam as many times as you want. Students often retake AP® exams because they did not score a passing grade. Some students who did pass may also choose to retake the exam to see if they can score a higher grade on their second attempt.

Second, as the student, you control where your scores are sent. If you score lower than you wanted on any AP® exam, you can choose not to send that score to colleges. If you did send a low score and then score higher on the retake, most colleges will substitute your higher score and strike the lower one.

Failing the AP® Statistics exam won’t have any impact at all on your high school AP® Statistics course grade. That grade is based on your academic year coursework. Your AP® exam scores don’t come out until July, so your semester GPA will have already been recorded before you even know how you scored on the exam.

Of course, if you scored a 2 or lower and want to use the AP® Statistics exam for college credit, you will need to retake it. For most colleges, you must score a minimum of a 3 on the exam to count it for credit. Some colleges require a 4 or 5, so you will want to know what score your college requires before you decide if you should retake the exam.

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Start your AP® Statistics test prep here

When Do Students Typically Take AP® Statistics? When is best?

AP® Statistics is a course that can be taken by sophom*ores, juniors, and seniors. Typically, students do not take AP® Statistics in their first year in high school.

Our research has shown that many schools require completion of Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 prior to taking AP® Statistics, so those prerequisites might impact your timeline for taking AP® Statistics.

Waiting until later in high school to take AP® Statistics can be beneficial because waiting can prepare you better for this math-intensive course. Future social science majors can find AP® Statistics a beneficial course, but they may benefit from waiting until their junior or senior year to take it in order to get more math courses under their belt.

Conversely, those who plan to pursue math-based majors might benefit from taking AP® Statistics earlier to free up time later for the more difficult AP® math courses.

As long as you’ve met all of the prerequisites for your school, you are able to take AP® Statistics whenever it feels right for you. You should consider consulting with your teachers, your guidance counselor and your parents to get their advice on this decision.

Where Can I Find Previous AP® Statistics Exams?

You can find past AP® Statistics exam questions all the way back to 1998 on the College Board’s AP® Central website.

Part of your study strategy for the AP® Statistics exam should include reviewing the free-response questions from the last few exams. While the content will not be exactly the same, the concepts and applications will likely be similar. You can also view examples of high-scoring essay answers. This information before the exam will allow you to focus better for the rest of your study time.

The links below will take you to the free-response questions for AP® Statistics for previous years:

You should also take time to prepare for the multiple-choice portion of the AP® Statistics exam. This portion is more straightforward than the free-response portion but accounts for half of your exam score. You can find a few multiple-choice sample questions in the AP® Statistics Course and Exam Description. But this guide only includes 16 sample questions, so its coverage will be limited.

If you want more practice on the AP® Statistics multiple-choice portion, you can find hundreds of multiple-choice practice questions on Albert’s AP® Statistics page. These questions have been written to align with the learning objectives covered by the course.

The College Board has made various tools available to you for the AP® Statistics exam. In order to be completely prepared, you should incorporate all of the resources below into your study schedule. Doing so can boost your score and your confidence.

The first report on the list above is the Scoring Guidelines. This report will walk you through all of the free response questions from a previous AP® exam and break down the elements that need to be present in a full-credit answer. These elements will likely be required in the answers for this year’s exam as well, so it is important to be aware of them.

The Chief Reader report is a gold mine of useful information for students preparing for the AP® Statistics exam. The person who serves as the chief reader is typically a college professor and an expert in the field the AP® exam covers.

The Chief Reader provides another overview of each exam question and breaks down where students typically went wrong in answering each question. Knowing where other students have stumbled can help ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes when you take the exam.

For example, in the 2019 Chief Reader report for AP® Statistics, you will see that question #6 received the lowest mean points at 0.78 points out of a possible 4 points total. While various factors went into these low scores, the Chief Reader emphasizes several areas that were widely missed.

Students who successfully answered this question understood the concept of theoretical sampling and how to apply it, as well as how to compute a bootstrap distribution. In addition, students who received higher points on this question read the question carefully and avoided missing details that caused other students to lose points.

Once you’re well-versed in why students gained or lost points on each question, you should look over the sample responses for each question. There are sample responses for each question on the past exam.

For the 2019 exam, there are three sample responses for each free-response question, one that received the full 4 points, one that received 3 points, and one that only received 2 points. You can read each response and then read the scoring summary that explains why the response was scored the way it was scored.

The free-response portion of the exam is where most students spend the bulk of their study and preparation time. However, don’t forget that half of your exam grade will come from the multiple-choice questions. You should prepare for those questions by practicing with Albert’s AP® Statistics sample multiple-choice questions. This will ensure that you are well-prepared for all portions of the exam.

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Start your AP® Statistics test prep here

Who Should Take AP® Statistics? What Sort Of Students May Like It More Than Others?

AP® Statistics FAQ: Everything You Need to Know for 2024 (3)

AP® Statistics can be a highly useful course for many students with many academic goals. For STEM students, knowledge of statistics will likely be necessary for their future work. Business and Political Science majors will also benefit from understanding how statistics work.

Statistics can also be a good course for students who want an AP® math class but struggle with Calculus. Statistics is considered a math class but approaches math from a different perspective than Algebra or Calculus.

AP® Statistics will cover collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. If you want to know more about what numbers mean in the big picture, AP® Statistics could be a good choice for you. The course overview will provide you with more information about this course.

While you should not take a course simply for the grade you receive at the end, if your goal is to score a 4 or a 5 on your AP® exams, you will want to consider AP® Statistics.

No one else should be making final decisions on which AP® courses you take in high school. That decision should be up to you and based on your academic interests and strengths. Of course, you should consult with your parents, your teachers, and your guidance counselor. But in the end, the choice is yours.

How Do Students Typically Score On AP® Statistics? What’s The Score Distribution?

As with all exams, your score will depend heavily on the preparation and studying you put in before taking the exam. It will also depend on your level of aptitude for statistics and your attention to detail. You can get a general idea of the score breakdown for the last three years on the AP® Statistics exam using the chart below.

Year% of 5s% of 4s% of 3s% of 2s% of 1sPass Rate %
202315.1%22.2%22.7%16.2%23.8%60.0%
202214.8%22.2%23.4%16.5%23.1%60.5%
202116.2%19.9%21.8%17.2%24.9%57.9%
202016.2%20.7%23.1%21.7%18.3%60.0%
201914.7%18.4%26.6%19.3%21.0%59.7%
201814.6%21.2%24.9%15.9%23.4%60.7%
201713.6%15.9%24.8%20.2%25.5%54.3%

For the last few years, students who take the AP® Stats exam passed at an average rate of about 60%. This percentage is roughly the same as the overall passing rate for all of the AP® exams.

The 2023 mean score for the AP® Statistics exam was 2.89. The mean was derived from a total population of 242,929 students who sat for this exam.

Need Help Preparing For Your AP® Statistics Exam?

Albert has hundreds of AP® Statistics practice multiple-choice questions, free-response practice, and full-length practice tests to try out.

Start your AP® Statistics test prep here

AP® Statistics FAQ: Everything You Need to Know for 2024 (2024)

FAQs

How long is the AP Stats exam in 2024? ›

The AP Stats exam is three hours long and consists of two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section.

What are the essential questions for AP Statistics? ›

Essential Questions:

How do we analyze categorical data? How do we display quantitative data with graphs? How do we describe quantitative data with numbers?

What do I need to remember for AP Statistics exam? ›

Top 10 AP Statistics Exam Tips
  • 1: Clearly communicate your understanding.
  • 2: Always include context in your answers.
  • 3: Be precise in your language and vocabulary.
  • 4: Use appropriate notation.
  • 5: Do not rely on your calculator.
  • 6: Manage your time.
  • 7: Do not leave anything blank.
  • 8: Know the formula sheet.
Apr 22, 2023

Are all AP exams 3 hours and 15 minutes? ›

Each AP exam's length varies based on the subject, but you can expect them to fall within the 2-3 hour range. There's one break in the middle of the exam that splits the exam into two sections: multiple-choice & free-response.

What is the shortest AP exam? ›

The shortest AP exams are typically those without essays, and as of the last few years, the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam has been the briefest. It's only 90 minutes long, consisting of multiple-choice questions followed by free-response questions.

What are the 5 W's AP Stats? ›

Data can be described by the five W's. Who, what, where, when and why. Who created the data? Presumably, someone created the data for a reason.

Is AP Statistics very hard? ›

The content covered in AP Statistics is generally considered easier and more manageable than that of the two AP Calculus exams. Many students have learned some statistical concepts in previous math classes, and they often find the concepts easier to understand than other math subjects such as calculus or geometry.

Is AP Stats hard to get a 5? ›

Getting a 5 takes careful content knowledge, targeted practice and dedicated studying. Only around 14% earn the top score for the AP® Statistics exam. To get a 5, start studying ASAP® and focus on applying concepts to specific situations.

How to cram for AP Statistics? ›

At least 30 minutes a day is recommended. Plan your study hours with an efficient and structured schedule. Flashcards are an efficient tool to learn and memorize AP Statistics basic terms and concepts. Practicing multiple-choice questions is perhaps the most efficient way to study AP Statistics.

What are the hardest topics in AP Stats? ›

The complexity of statistical concepts and the level of math required can significantly impact the difficulty of AP Statistics. The course covers topics such as probability, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis, which can be challenging for some students.

Does AP Statistics look good for college? ›

Do colleges care about AP Statistics? Yes, colleges favor students who boast hard-won high test scores in difficult subjects like AP Statistics.

What is a 69 on an AP exam? ›

As a general guide, though, you can consider roughly more than 70% correct as being in the 5 range, 50-69% for a score of 4, 40-49% for a score of 3, 30-39% for a 2, and below 30% would likely be a 1. Again, these ranges are approximations and can vary by subject and by year.

Is 70 a 5 on the AP exam? ›

Usually, a 70 to 75 percent out of 100 translates to a 5. However, there are some exams that are exceptions to this rule of thumb. The AP Grades that are reported to students, high schools, colleges, and universities in July are on AP's five-point scale: 5: Extremely well qualified.

Are AP tests curved? ›

AP test scores are indeed "curved," but it's more accurate to call it a "scaling process." Instead of a traditional curve that compares your performance to other students' performance, the AP exam scaling process converts your raw score (the number of points you earned through multiple-choice questions and free- ...

What days are AP exams in 2024? ›

The 2024 AP Exams will be administered in schools over two weeks in May: May 6–10 and May 13–17. AP coordinators are responsible for notifying students when and where to report for the exams.

How long is the AP Stats exam with breaks? ›

The AP® Statistics exam is 3 hours long. Students will have 90 minutes to complete the multiple-choice section (40 questions) and 90 minutes to complete the free-response section (6 questions).

How long is the AP Environmental Science exam 2024? ›

The AP Environmental Science exam takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete and is composed of two sections: a multiple-choice and a free response section.

Is AP Statistics year long? ›

This offering is intended to imitate a one-semester, non-calculus based college statistics course, but high schools can decide to offer the course over one semester, two trimesters, or a full academic year.

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