AP® Statistics Multiple-Choice Questions
The multiple-choice section of the AP® Statistics exam makes up 50% of the total exam weight. So, scoring well in this section can give you an edge over other students because you can earn solid points for choosing the correct answer.
However, acing the MCQ section of AP Stats can be a little tricky, and you will need a few strategies to score well. In this guide, we will discuss all those key strategies and tricks that will help you analyze the questions, and pick the correct answers faster. This will help you manage your time efficiently on the exam day, so that you can also have some buffer time to revise your answers at the end of Section I.
Format of AP Statistics MCQ section
As you may already know, the MCQ section represents 50% of the composite score on the AP Statistics exam. It also represents 50% of the total time spent on the exam. The MCQ section includes 40 questions, each with five possible options. The relative percentage of questions from each of the nine units of the course are listed below.
|Unit 1: Exploring One-Variable Data||15 - 23%|
|Unit 2: Exploring Two-Variable Data||5 - 7%|
|Unit 3: Collecting Data||12 - 15%|
|Unit 4: Probability, Random Variables & Probability Distributions||10 - 20%|
|Unit 5: Sampling Distributions||7 - 12%|
|Unit 6: Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions||12 - 15%|
|Unit 7: Inference for Quantitative Data: Means||10 - 18%|
|Unit 8: Inference for Categorical Data: Chi-Square||2 - 5%|
|Unit 9: Inference for Quantitative Data: Slopes||2 - 5%|
How to Approach AP Statistics Multiple-Choice Questions?
The best way to prepare for the MCQ section is to practice. Beyond learning the material through class or on your own, going through many practice questions will help prepare you for the pace of the exam as well as the types of questions that will show up on the exam. For this reason, the best types of practice questions are high-quality ones that are similar to the types of questions that you will encounter on the AP Statistics exam.
Here are some tips for approaching the individual questions on the MCQ section of the AP Statistics exam:
Read the question and answer choices thoroughly
The first thing you should do on any MCQ is carefully read the question. Then scan through the answer choices to see what form the answer will be in. For example, sometimes the question will include an integral and the answers will be numbers, requiring you to calculate the result of the integral. Other times, the answers will be in integral notation, so computing the integral will waste time.
Underline important information
When reading through the question stem, underline things like vocabulary, given values, function definitions, and the actual quantity the question is asking for. This will help you key in on the important aspects of the question. When you hit a vocabulary word, stop and analyze what that means. For example, if the question says “median,” take a moment to think about what that means in calculus, like “dividing place between halves of a dataset,” “center of the dataset,” and so on.
Eliminate answer choices
Sometimes you can immediately eliminate a choice because it does not fit in with what the question is asking. Cross out any such choices in your test booklet. For example, if the question asks you to interpret a p-value, you can eliminate choices that do not mention a null hypothesis.
If you do not immediately know how to solve a problem, it’s OK to skip it and come back later. The AP Statistics exam is a timed test. Therefore, it is crucial to not waste time on questions you do not know until you’ve made sure to answer the ones you do know. Fold the corner of the page in your question booklet to mark the pages you need to come back to. You can even mark the ones you answered but aren’t sure of by folding the corner of the page in your question booklet. Then, if there is time, at the end of the exam, revisit all of the pages you marked to either try to answer the question or double-check your answer, unfolding the page corners as you revisit them.
Read the question again
Sometimes, when you get into the thick of computing things, you tend to forget the gist of the question. Before answering, reread the question to find what you are supposed to calculate (if you underlined, it should be easy to find). Then compare it to help you ensure that you haven’t forgotten the final steps.
Check before you bubble
Every time you answer a question, compare your answer sheet to the test booklet to make sure you’re answering the right question. This is especially important if you skip a question that you don’t know how to answer, but it is good practice regardless. If your answer sheet gets misaligned with the test booklet, you may end up missing points that you otherwise would have gotten.
AP Statistics Multiple-Choice Examples
To give you a feel for the types of questions you will encounter on the AP Stats multiple-choice section, here are a few sample exam-like questions you’ll get to see:
A random sample of 200 video game players was selected, and the age of each player was determined. According to the boxplot below, what is the approximate interquartile range (IQR) of the ages?
This is an “interpret graphs” question from Unit 1. There are a couple of things to note in this one:
- AP Statistics questions almost always include a context, so you’ll need to carefully read the question and pick out key information. Some information is important, but other information can be irrelevant or misleading. Notice in this question that the sample size (374 United States pennies) is not relevant, and the question can be solved without that information.
- Interpretation of graphs is very important for statistics and is one of the key skills you will need to master to do well on the exam. You will definitely see a graph on the exam, so make sure you are familiar with each type of graph mentioned in the course.
- A box plot is a graph of a distribution of data based on a five-number summary: minimum, first quartile (Q1), median (2nd quartile), third quartile (Q3), and maximum.
- Quartiles divide a distribution into four quarters, each holding about 25% of the data. Consider that quartiles may include outliers (data values outside the whiskers of a boxplot) as part of the distribution.
The interquartile range (IQR) measures the range of the middle 50% of the data in a distribution and is equal to the difference between the 3rd quartile (Q3) and the 1st quartile (Q1).
IQR = Q3 – Q1
On a boxplot, these two values form the outside edges of the “box.” The edges of the given boxplot are approximately 45 (Q3) and 20 (Q1), so the IQR is 45 − 20 = 25.
The approximate IQR of the ages is 25. Therefore, the correct answer is (b) 25.
How can I practice AP Statistics multiple-choice questions?
Use a reliable MCQ question bank to take timed practice tests and hone your time-management and precision skills. You can choose from the College Board® 's database of past question papers, as well as UWorld’s AP Statistics Exam Prep for best practice problems and tests. You get a free trial for 7 days. Try it and feel the difference!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 40 MCQs on the AP Statistics exam.
The multiple-choice questions are scored by machines. Each question is scored based on whether the selected option is correct or not.
The time allotted for the multiple choice section of the AP Statistics exam is 1 hour 30 minutes (total ninety minutes).
The College Board releases past exam questions where you can download FRQs from.