AP Statistics


AP Statistics Course Syllabus

Chris Thiel, OFMCap, MDiv, MS
cthiel@sfhs.net - (818) 790-0325 x1211
Assignments and Test Dates: hw.mathorama.com
website: www.mathorama.com/stat
google classroom: xju7de6
myAp.collegeBoard.com class code: JJR94Z
textbook: Launchpad Login
publisher website or search for a book
Q&A: piazza.com

The Pandemic

Our health is so important, and we will need to be flexible to take measures to protect it. School closure and/or total remote learning is a possibility throughout the year based on the reality this crisis. We may reopen with half of the class alternating in person and half at home during the same block (Brown and Gold model). It will take some flexibility as the kinds of assignments and assessments are adapted to suit the reality of our situation. It will take a commitment to patience, fortitude, and hope on all of our parts to assure our success.

Acceptance is the Franciscan virtue we celebrate our first quarter back, and I hope we can together practice it with a kindness and a sense of humor. I find it is easier for me when I trust God to do for me what I cannot do alone.

Distance Learning

I will be using Zoom and Socrative.com for class Check-In Attendance and Prayer. There will be a lesson, demonstation, video, or activity on the day's topic.

You can see the class topic, classwork, and homework assignments for the year at hw.mathorama.com. PlusPortals has a link, but you don't need to login if you go directly to hw.mathorama.com. When we are not working all together, you will be working in a small group (Zoom calls these break-out rooms). During collaboration, you may need to hold your work to the camera, or use screen sharing in Zoom.

Your job is to learn, and I expect to see you dressed in a professional way in a location that will promote your learning (i.e. cameras on, ideally in a space different from where you recreate). Actual and Virtual backgrounds must be appropriate and conform to school policy.

When it comes to assessments, the job of a test proctor is to testify on your behalf that no one assisted you. In the old days, folks taking a course by correspondence would go to the local library and librarians would watch you take your test so they can sign a paper saying that it was your work. These days, proctors do this remotely by seeing and listening you work on camera. For that reason, you will not score any points on any assessment if you are not visible on camera or if your microphone is muted.


Scores are weighted according to their category:
NON-TESTING 20% (Department requires 15-20%)
Classroom Work 5% Based upon the completion of worksheets, and other classroom activities. You must bring a textbook, iPad, calculator, paper and pencil to each class.
Homework 5% Grading is based upon doing assignments according to the description above.
Homework Quizzes 10% short quizzes on homework assignments, as well as webwork assignments.
TESTING 60% (Department Requires 60-70%)
Quizzes 15% longer quizzes, based on combining ideas from the homework, usually done on weeks without a test.
Tests 45% Hour long tests that integrate chapter topics into your problem solving skills.
EXAM 20% (Department requires 15-20%)
Qtr Exams 20% 90 minutes, comprehensive, usually with a section using the calculator, and another section that prohibits the use of a calculator.

To conform with math department policy, each assessment category is "weighted" (rather than using raw points). This means that to dramatically improve an overall grade, a student must dramatically improve the average grade in one or more of these categories.

It reminds me of how the Presidential election works, using the electoral college instead of popular vote. If all the candidate's supporters are in the same state, it isn't as effective as having supporters in different states, since to with the election, you have to win over a lot of big states. Similarly, it would be best for a student to do well in as many categories as possible, especially the categories that are worth more.

The gradebook automatically does the following calculation:

.05*(average classroom work) + .05*(avg homework) + .10*(avg hw quiz) + .15*(avg quiz) + .45*(average test) + .20*(avg exam) = overall percentage
Category Average Weight Points
Classroom × (0.05) =
Homework × (0.05) =
HW Quizzes × (0.10) =
Quizzes × (0.15) =
Tests × (0.45) =
Qtr Exams × (0.20) =


  • Exploring data
  • Sampling and Experimental Design
  • Probability, Stochastic Processes and Simulation
  • Estimating Population Parameters and Hypothesis Testing (Statistical Inference)
  • Computer Based Lessons
  • Practice AP Examinations The three-hour AP Statistics Exam covers a one-semester introductory college course. The exam contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of multiple-choice questions and 1 hour and 30 minutes of free-response questions. The free-response section requires students to answer five open-ended questions and complete an investigative task involving more extended reasoning. Students are expected to bring a graphing calculator with statistical capabilities to the exam, and to be familiar with its use. Graphing calculators may be used for both sections of the exam. Here is a link to the current list of AP-approved graphing calculators on collegeboard.com. Permitted calculators are the same as for the AP Calculus Exam. This college level introductory course in Statistics is designed to prepare you for the AP Statistics Exam. Some activities are designed for developing concepts and understanding, while others focus on improving the way in which you communicate your statistical knowledge. I have chapter study guides that include the important terms (and where to find them in the book) as well as the homework assignment for the chapter. They are all available at the web site if you wish to work ahead.

    Usually at the conclusion of a chapter, I will grade homework from that chapter as you take the chapter exam. Every week that does not have a chapter test has a quiz. You are expected to prepare for these examinations by taking the online quizzes and making sure you understand the assigned exercises. Online quizzes are from the textbook company and occasionally have "bogus" questions that have no answer or multiple answer. You may therefore submit the quiz 3 times, and you will get the highest of the three scores.

  • The textbook (The Practice of Statistics for AP by Starnes, Yates and Moore) has a web site at https://bcs.whfreeman.com/tps4e/ When you take a chapter quiz online, you must specify an "instructor's email address" twice which is cthiel@sfhs.net. To receive credit, you must type this correctly.

    Online Quizzes may be open book, open notes, but must be taken individually by the student. If someone is suspected of taking an online quiz on behalf of another student, oral quizzes will take the place of online quizzes.

  • The TI-84, TI-84 Plus, TI-84 Plus Silver Edition are ideal for use on the AP Statistics Exam (and is the reason that one of them is required for the course). The TI-83 series is also well suited for this exam, but slower. The text also provides you with TI-89 tips. The TI-89 is very very cumbersome for use with Statistics. It is able (by downloading certain "APPS") to do all the data analysis as the 83 or 84, but usually you need to type twice as many keys. Top scores have been achieved by students who wrote their own programs on TI-86's and even HP-48's, but I would only recommend this for those who enjoy programming. Precious time is wasted if you don't know how to use your tools, so decide early which calculator you will use during the AP exam, and use it throughout the year. The instructor will only demonstrate TI-84 Plus (SE) techniques in class, so if you hate reading calculator manuals, I recommend getting a TI-84 series calculator so you can simply mimic the techniques demonstrated in class. If you are desperate to use software, the text likes MiniTAB, but I prefer Fathom. Many free software solutions are available as well, including LibreOffice or StatCrunch.com

    All must take the AP examination on Friday, May 13, 2021 at 12 noon.

    Extra Credit

    The grade for this AP course is based upon mastery of the curriculum, so there are no extra credit assignments.