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Questions to be sure to include

  • MC question that asks students to identify the dot plot, histogram, or stem plot that has the largest/smallest standard deviation.
  • MC question that asks students to find the median from a histogram.
  • FR question that asks students to “Describe the distribution” and/or “Compare two distributions”.
  • FR question that is on the edge or just past the content covered in class.  We want students to be able to apply their understanding in novel contexts.

Here are some tips to give your students

  • Close reading and careful writing are critical to your success this year.
  • Be sure to answer all parts of each question.
  • Sometimes it won’t be entirely clear how much you need to write from a free response question.  You have to know what is going to be required on the rubric in order to get full credit (for example SOCV + context when describing a distribution).  Trust that I will always reveal these details somewhere in my instruction (so pay attention!).

Reflections after giving test

This is the first major assessment and sets the tone for the remainder of the year.  While the content from Chapter 1 is some of the easier content covered in the course, it is important to put some challenging questions on this test in order to set high expectations.  Also, while you want your grading to be fair, you have permission to be strict in your grading.  Hold students to high standards for showing their work and clear communication of their understanding.

There are some important messages to send to students when you return these graded tests.  First, recognizing mistakes and doing test corrections is one of the best learning opportunities in this course.  Assessments allow students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to work to fill in learning gaps.  Second, remind students that their success on assessments in AP Statistics is not just about knowing the content, but also about clear communication of their understanding.   Even better than just “showing their work”, we want them to “show their thinking”.  This will often require students write a lot (I thought this was a math class!!).

Grading old AP Questions using AP Exam 4-point rubrics

There are two general philosophies on how to handle this:

(1) Do it.  But curve the final scores.  After all, a score of 70 on the AP Exam will generally always earn you the highest score of 5.

(2) Don’t do it.  Write your own “softer” rubrics.

We go for option 2.  It takes time to train and develop students to be able to write free response solutions that will earn the full credit on the AP rubrics.  By the end of the course, we will transition to using the actual AP Exam rubrics.  Important: when going over the graded tests, be sure to inform students how your rubric is “softer” than the AP rubric.  Let them know what would have been required for full credit according to the AP rubric (this is part of their training).


On to Chapter 2!