Are you taking the AP Statistics exam soon and want to make sure you’re prepared? One of the best ways to measure your progress and figure out which areas you need to focus on is to take practice exams. There are a lot of AP Statistics practice exams available; however, some are higher-quality than others. Taking a poorly written practice exam can cause you to study the wrong things and give you an inaccurate picture of what the real AP exam will be like.
In this guide, I’ll go over every AP Statistics practice test available, explain if and how you should use each one, and end with a schedule you can follow to help you incorporate practice tests into your study plans.
Official AP Statistics Practice Exams
Official practice exams are those that have been created by the College Board (the organization that develops and administers all the actual AP exams). They are always the top resources to use because you can be sure that they accurately reflect the format and content of the real AP exam.
There are three types of official practice resources:
Complete Practice Tests
The College Board has released two complete exams which are linked below.
Both links include the complete exam, an answer key, and scoring information. Both of these are very useful study resources, even the 1997 exam since the AP Stats exam hasn't changed much since then.
This is the current exam is three hours long with two sections. Students can use a graphing calculator for the entire exam.
- 40 questions
- 90 minutes
- Worth 50% of total score
- 6 questions (5 free response and one investigative task)
- 90 minutes
- Worth 50% of total score
The only major difference between the current format and the format of the 1997 exam is that the 1997 exam had 35 multiple-choice questions instead of 40. The content the exam tests has remained consistent, so, despite its age, this test is still a great resource to use and will give you a good idea of what your AP exam will be like. The 2012 exam has the same format as the current exam.
The College Board often reuses multiple-choice questions, so there are not many released official multiple-choice questions available for AP Stats.
Besides the multiple-choice questions from the released exam, the only official multiple-choice questions you can use in your studying are in the AP Statistics Course Description. Beginning on page 19, there are 18 multiple-choice questions, along with an answer key.
Compared to multiple choice, there are many more official free-response questions you can use to study and, since they are recent, they’ll give you a very accurate idea of what to expect on the real exam.
The College Board has released free-response questions from 1998-2017 which means you have dozens of official free-response questions to use for your studying. All the free-response questions include answer keys and sample responses.
Unofficial AP Statistics Practice Tests and Quizzes
Even though they weren’t created by the College Board, many unofficial practice AP Statistics exams are still high-quality and can be a great study resource. For each resource listed below, I explain what it includes and how you should use it.
Barron’s has a free, high-quality, and complete practice exam that you can take either timed or untimed. Multiple-choice questions are automatically graded after you complete the exam, and there are guidelines for self-scoring your free-response sections. This practice test is similar to the real AP test in both content and format, so you should definitely use it as you study. The next section of this guide has guidelines on how to use this resource and others.
Shmoop is the only resource on this list that requires you to pay to access any of its resources. Paying its monthly fee of about $25 gets you access to a diagnostic exam, four full-length practice tests, and additional practice questions. With a paid subscription, you also get access to Shmoop’s resources for the SAT, ACT, and other AP exams.
This is a complete, 40-question, multiple-choice test. You can take the test timed or untimed, and you can choose to see the answer to each question immediately after you answer it or wait until the end of the exam to see what the correct answers were. Some of these questions are a bit easier than those found on the real AP exam, but this is still a solid resource.
McGraw-Hill has a 25-question multiple-choice quiz (although the questions are randomly selected from a larger pool, so if you take the quiz multiple times you may get more than 25 questions out of it). The quiz is automatically graded and has brief answer explanations. You can only take the quiz in untimed mode. This is one of the higher-quality short quizzes available with questions similar in content to those you’ll see on the real AP exam.
Albert.io organizes its practice questions into the four Big Ideas of AP Statistics, and the Big Ideas are further broken down into more specific topics, each with relevant short quizzes which can be useful if you’re studying and want to easily find questions on certain subjects. The questions are ranked as easy, moderate, or difficult, they aren’t timed, and you see the correct answer (plus a detailed explanation) after you answer each question.
You will have to sign up for a free account, which includes a limited number of credits you can use to answer questions. If you want to access more questions beyond your initial allotment, you'll have to buy credits or earn them by referring friends.
The Varsity Tutors resources include four diagnostic tests and 139 short practice quizzes, organized by topic. The four diagnostic tests each contain 40 multiple-choice questions and, like the Stat Trek test, they are similar to, but a bit easier than, the real AP exam. You’re timed while taking the exams and, as a bonus, after you complete the exam, the questions are organized into different categories so you can see which categories you did best in and which categories you should focus your studying on.
For this site, I’d recommend mostly using the diagnostic tests since most of the individual quizzes are so short (only 1-3 questions) that it can be frustrating to continually start and finish separate quizzes.
Free Test Online has a 32-question multiple-choice quiz. This is shorter than the multiple-choice section of the real AP exam, but this is a good resource to use if you want a shorter study session. The quiz is not timed and is automatically graded after you complete it.
Kansas State University Quiz and Answer Key
This is a 25-question multiple-choice quiz from Kansas State University’s Department of Mathematics. The questions are good quality, although you do have to grade the quiz yourself (the correct letter is in bold in the answer key). This another good option if you want a to answer some practice questions but don’t want to take a full exam.
This site has 24 quizzes (12 multiple choice and 12 free response). They were created by an AP Statistics teacher and follow his curriculum schedule. Each multiple-choice quiz has 10 questions, and short answer explanations are given after you complete each quiz. Each free-response quiz has three questions as well as answer explanations. The free-response questions especially are shorter and easier than you’ll find on the real AP exam, but you can still use this resource if you want to do some quick, targeted studying.
How to Use These AP Statistics Practice Tests
Knowing how to use each of these resources will make your studying more effective, as well as prepare you for what the real AP Statistics exam will be like. Read the guide below to learn how and when you should use these practice tests and quizzes.
Right now you’re still learning a lot of key information, so during your first semester of AP Stats you should focus on quizzes and free-response questions on topics you’ve already covered. Begin using these materials about halfway through the semester.
For multiple-choice practice, take unofficial quizzes that let you choose which subjects you want to be tested on. This lets you review content you’ve already learned and avoid questions on material you haven’t covered yet. The best resources for this are Albert.io, Varsity Tutors, and Dan Shuster because their quizzes are clearly organized by specific subject.
For free-response questions, use the official released free-response questions from the Official Practice Exams section. There are a lot of questions available, so look through them to find questions you can answer based on what you’ve already learned. It’s best if you answer a group of them (up to six) together at a time to get the most realistic preparation for the actual AP exam.
It also helps to time yourself when answering these questions, particularly as it gets later in the semester. Try to spend about 12 minutes each on the first five questions and 30 minutes on the investigative task (which will be the last question in the section).
Second semester is when you can begin taking complete practice exams and continue reviewing content you’ve already learned. Follow these five steps:
Step 1: Complete Your First Complete Practice Exam
About a month or two into this semester, after you’ve covered a majority of the content you need to know for the AP exam, take your first complete practice exam. For this first practice test, I recommend using the 1997 official practice exam. You should take this test timed and in one sitting, then correct it when you’re finished.
If you haven’t already, this is a good time to set a score goal for yourself. Aim for at least a 3 since this is the lowest passing score for the exam. However, if you scored a 3 or higher on this first practice exam, it’s a good idea to set your goal score even higher, to a 4 or 5. Getting a higher score on the AP Stats exam looks more impressive to colleges, and it can sometimes get you more college credit.
Step 2: Analyze Your Score Results
After you’ve figured out your score, look over each problem you answered incorrectly and try to figure out why you got the question wrong. As you’re doing this, look for patterns in your results. Are you finding that you got a lot of questions on experimental design wrong? Did you do well on multiple choice but struggled with free response?
Figuring out which problems you got wrong and why is the best way to stop repeating your mistakes and make improvements for future exams. Even if it seems tedious, don’t be tempted to skip this step!
Step 3: Focus on Your Weak Areas
By now, you should have a good idea of the areas or techniques you need to work on to raise your score. If there are specific content areas you need to work on, review them by going over your notes, reading a review book, and answering multiple-choice and free-response questions that focus specifically on those topics.
If you’re struggling with your test-taking techniques, for example, running out of time on the exam or misreading questions, the best way to combat these issues is to answer a lot of practice questions under realistic testing conditions.
Step 4: Take Another Practice Exam
After you’ve spent time improving your weak areas, it’s time to see the results of your hard work. Take and score another complete practice exam, timed and finished in one sitting. This is a good time to use the 2012 official released exam or the Barron's exam.
Step 5: Review Your Results to Determine Your Future Study Plan
Now you’re able to see how much you’ve improved, and in which areas, since you took your first complete practice exam. If you’ve made improvements and have reached or are close to your target score, you may only need to do some light studying from now until the AP exam.
However, if you haven’t improved a lot, or you’re still far from your score goal, you’ll need to analyze the way you’ve been reviewing and think of ways to improve. The most common reason for not improving is not actively studying, and only passively leafing through your notes or reviewing missed questions. Active studying takes longer and requires more effort, but it’s the best way to see significant improvements. As you’re studying, make sure you really understand exactly where you made a mistake for every practice question you answer incorrectly. Also, when you’re reviewing your notes, stop every few minutes and mentally go over what you just learned to make sure you’re retaining the information.
You can repeat these steps as many times as you need to in order to make improvements and reach your target score. If you need more complete practice tests, you can create your own by combining a set of official free-response questions with 40 unofficial multiple-choice questions. Stat Trek and Varsity Tutors are probably the best resources to use for the multiple-choice questions since each of their exams already have 40 questions combined for you.
Conclusion: Where to Find AP Statistics Practice Exams
If you want to score well on the AP Statistics exam, you’ll almost certainly need to take some practice tests. Official resources are the best to use, but there are also lots of high-quality unofficial quizzes and tests that you should be using.
During your first semester, focus on answering individual free-response and multiple-choice questions on topics you’ve already covered in class.
For your second semester, follow these steps:
- Take and score your first complete practice exam
- Analyze your score results
- Focus your studying on weak areas
- Take and score another complete practice exam
- Review your results to determine your future study plan
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.