Welcome to the STAtistics Zone

(AP Statistics, Periods 3 and 4)
Note: Period 3 meets on days A, B, D, E, G, and X. Period 4 meets on days A, C, D, E, G, and X.

Are you nervous when you see NCWEE? concerned when you see CIRC? perturbed when you see PBC? Visit Mr. Hansen’s fabled abbreviations page to make sense of those cryptic markings you see on your papers.


Schedule at a Glance (see archives for older entries)
Written assignments should follow the HW guidelines.


T 4/21/15

HW due (both sections):

Beginning today, your notebook will be scanned periodically for clear, organized, written evidence of daily effort and progress in AP review. This applies to all students, even those who are not signed up to take the AP exam on May 13.

Requirements are as follows:

1. Divide your review time between multiple-choice and free-response problems, approximately 50% for each. If you wish, you can alternate them by day (multiple-choice on one day, free-response the next) or within the same day (a mixture of problems of each type).

2. Keep all work and evidence of daily effort together in one place. A 3-ring binder with removable pages is recommended, but if you prefer to use a spiral-bound notebook, that is also acceptable for AP review.

3. It is permitted to do your multiple-choice problems directly in the Barron’s review book, but if you do that, you still need to keep a summary in your AP review notebook. Here is an example of how to make a summary entry:

Apr. 21: MC #3-15 on pp. 718-722. 10 correct out of 13. 10:15-10:39 (24 minutes). Lesson: Michael, remember to consider “none of the above” as a valid choice, esp. if not enough info provided (e.g., no mention of “normal”).

Observe the features of this entry:
     - It includes the date on which you did the work.
     - It clearly indicates the location and the multiple-choice (MC) problem numbers you worked on.
     - It summarizes your progress (10/13 correct).
     - It includes a time log.
     - It includes a “lessons learned” statement phrased in a positive, nonjudgmental way.
     - In the “lessons learned” statement, you address yourself by name. You don’t have to do this every time if you think it’s stupid, but believe it or not, there is educational research that strongly suggests that addressing yourself by name, especially in a kind and nonjudgmental way, is a powerful learning tool. The reason seems to have something to do with taking the time to reflect in a personal way on the learning process. So, please address yourself by name in at least some of your “lessons learned” sentences.

4. For free-response problems, enter the date, problem source, time log, and the full, complete text of your written response in your AP review notebook, NOT in the pages of the Barron’s review book. Do not leave anything out. For example, if the problem asks for a statistical test or a confidence interval, be sure to write out the assumptions and the conclusion (in context), just as if you were taking the AP exam. The more you practice doing this, the better. You will naturally develop efficiencies and will find things that you can think about while you are writing (assuming, of course, that your writing skill is fluent enough that you can think and write at the same time).

5. For free-response problems, use the grading rubric provided either in the Barron’s book or in the AP scoring guidelines to correct your work, using a different color. (For example, if your original work is in pencil, as recommended, your corrections can be in blue or red ink.) Then, write a personal “lessons learned” statement for each problem.

6. Try to observe the AP timing rules: 13 minutes for a standard free-response problem, 25 minutes for a longer-style “#6” problem, and 2 minutes and 15 seconds for a multiple-choice problem.

7. There are scores of free-response problems with solutions available online. For example, use Google searches similar to these, all of which pull up what you want in the first 2 or 3 hits:

AP statistics 2008 free response
AP statistics 2008 free response scoring guidelines
AP statistics 2003 form b free response
AP statistics 2003 form b free response scoring guidelines

8. In a 25- or 30-minute study session, you may have only enough time to complete one free-response question and perform the scoring and “lessons learned” statement. That is OK.

9. Your minimum requirement is 25 minutes per night, every night. You may take one day off per week. That means a minimum of 150 minutes per week. Note: If you are one of those “Philadelphia lawyers” who says that Mr. Hansen is not permitted to assign homework on days that the class does not meet the next day (because of the new 7-day rotating schedule, Phi Beta Kappa day, college trips, or whatever), then you can group your study sessions, e.g., 3 blocks of 50 minutes each. That’s your choice. Be aware, however, that the best educational benefit occurs when you do the review problems every night.

10. More is better. Don’t overdo it, but a daily goal above the minimum requirement of 25 minutes is recommended. If you intend to do well on the AP exam, a daily goal of 35-45 minutes would be a good idea. The time you spend on AP review is like money in the bank. Every minute spent is useful.

11. Your review notebook will be checked frequently. Bring your notebook to class each day. Some rechecking may also occur, meaning that if you fall behind, you need to get caught up right away to avoid the risk of getting another 0 on a rescan.

12. The scan on Tuesday 4/21 will be for a minimum of 50 minutes (2 days’ worth). By the following Monday (4/27), you are required to have at least 175 minutes of review time logged: 50 minutes + 5 additional sessions. If you are unable to work every night, you may bunch up your time as described in rule #9 above, but be aware that daily effort is more beneficial. By the end of AP review season on Wednesday 5/13, you should have a total of at least 525 minutes logged.


W 4/22/15

HW due (both blocks): AP review as described in the 4/21 calendar entry. Minimum time: 25 minutes. More is better, if you can manage it.


Th 4/23/15

HW due (both blocks): AP review as described in the 4/21 calendar entry. Minimum time: 25 minutes. More is better, if you can manage it.


F 4/24/15

HW due (both blocks): AP review as described in the 4/21 calendar entry. Minimum time: 25 minutes. More is better, if you can manage it.


Wk of 4/27/15

HW due (both blocks): AP review as described in the 4/21 calendar entry. Minimum time: 25 minutes per day, 6 or more days per week. More is better, if you can manage it. Time must be worked prospectively, not in arrears.


M 5/4/15



T 5/5/15



W 5/6/15



Th 5/7/15



F 5/8/15



M 5/11/15



T 5/12/15



W 5/13/15

AP Exam, Trapier Theater. Arrive by 11:30 a.m., since the exam must start promptly for sports scheduling reasons.

Format of the exam will be as follows:
Part I, 40 multiple-choice questions in 90 minutes.
Part II, 6 free-response questions in 90 minutes.
Of these, questions 1 through 5 are “short” (suggested time of 13 minutes each), and question 6 is “long” (suggested time of 25 minutes). You may divide your time as you see fit. Question 6 is weighted more heavily and always includes some topic or trick that is not part of the AP curriculum. You have to know your subject thoroughly and then be willing to make a real-time stretch to your knowledge. The stretch is reasonable for students who are thoroughly familiar with the subject, but it is important to know that you are not expected to have seen a problem like #6 before. When you see it, your first reaction may be, “I don’t know how to do this! We never saw a problem like this before!” That is a completely believable reaction. You’ll have to use some common sense and maybe some “street smarts” to solve #6, but that’s just the way the exam is designed.

There will be a short bathroom break between the two parts. No discussion, texting, e-mailing, or phone use of any kind are permitted during the bathroom break. Violations of this rule are punishable by having your score canceled. If violations are widespread, or if the AP administrators have any reason to believe that anyone has had access to a cellphone for any purpose during the exam or during the break, then all the AP scores for STA and NCS, in all subjects, could be canceled for the year. Don’t be “that guy” that potentially ruins everything.

What to bring: Graphing calculator(s), spare batteries, and several sharpened pencils with erasers. Pen is permitted on free-response questions but is not recommended. Instead of erasing large blocks, you are encouraged to mark deletions with a single large “X” and continue. Anything marked with an “X” will be ignored during grading.

Leave in your locker or car: Cellphone, scratch paper, notes.

The most important thing to leave behind is your phone. Any phones brought into the exam room, or even into the area outside the exam room, are subject to confiscation. Maybe you didn’t hear me, so I’ll say it again: Any phones brought into the exam room, or even into the area outside the exam room, are subject to confiscation.

The AP people want to have high confidence that nobody is using a phone during the bathroom break to send information about the exam to someone in a different time zone. For this reason, the AP administrators reserve the right to cancel all scores (not just the computer science scores, but all STA and NCS AP scores for the entire year) if they believe that anyone has had access to a phone during the exam or during the bathroom break.



Th 5/14/15



F 5/15/15



M 5/18/15



T 5/19/15



W 5/20/15

Field Trip to NSA’s National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD. Bus will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the service road beside the Martin Gym. We will be back on campus by 1:15 p.m. People going on the field trip will be excused from Blocks 2, 3, 4, and 5, and we’ll be back in time for lunch and Block 6.

Normal school dress (jacket and tie) will be required. However, if the weather is warm, you may leave your jacket on the bus during the museum tour and lecture if you wish.


0800: Depart STA, service road behind Martin Gym
0900: Arrive at National Cryptologic Museum
0900-1015: STAtistics class takes tour of museum while CS class has cybersecurity lecture
1015-1030 (approx.): Break and time for shopping at the museum shop
1030-1145: CS class takes tour of museum while STAtistics class has cryptanalysis lecture
1145-1200: Break and preparation for boarding bus
1205: Board bus for STA
1300 (approx..): Arrive at STA


Th 5/21/15

Last day of STAtistics for 2014-15. Guest speaker will be Mr. Eric Newburger, Assistant to the Associate Director of Communications, U.S. Census Bureau.

Whatever you do, don’t take a cut today!


F 5/22/15




Essential Links:
STA School Handbook
-- College Board: AP Statistics Course Description
-- College Board: more than 100 AP free-response questions and scoring rubrics from previous years
-- Our old textbook’s site has online quizzes and some useful links
-- RVLS (Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics): One of the best sites anywhere for statistics! Here you’ll find a complete college statistics course (complete with clickable glossary and great case studies), simulations, and some excellent analysis tools.
-- Virtual Laboratories in Probability and Statistics (University of Alabama at Huntsville)
-- StatCrunch 3.0 (formerly WebStat): An on-line statistical computing package (requires Java)
-- How to study statistics (written by a professor at the University of Central Florida, but the ideas are valid for our class)
-- Eric Weisstein’s World of Mathematics: a monstrously huge hyperlinked reference
-- The Must-Pass Quiz for Statistics: doubles as a review for the AP exam

TI-83 Links:
CINT (converts confidence interval from interval notation to the more convenient “estimate ± m.o.e.” format)
-- INVT (inverse t) program written by Mr. Hansen and the Class of 1999
-- CHISQGOF (Chi-Square Goodness of Fit) program also written by Mr. Hansen and the Class of 1999
-- CSDELUXE (Chi-Square Deluxe): combines CHISQGOF and STAT TESTS C into one package; written by Mr. Hansen for the Class of 2003
-- Modifications to SCATRBOX program so that it returns the LSRL equation at the end (follow-on to a stat teacher workshop I attended on 12/5/2001)
-- David Pachner’s statistical test and confidence interval files for the TI-83 (added 4/16/2001; not reviewed by Mr. Hansen for accuracy)
-- TI-83 programs from Texas Instruments

Philosophical Links:
-- In praise of Bayes: a very readable overview of the tension between the standard (“frequentist”) approach to probability and the Bayesian view

Controversial Links:
-- Does an elite college really pay? Article addresses the issue of whether you would do better financially if you simply invested the difference in tuition price.
-- Does traditional hypothesis testing actually make sense? Article questions whether the entire second semester of our course is a waste of time . . .
-- Are law schools cooking their ranking statistics? Every high school statistics student should read this (and maybe a second time, four years later).

Fun Links:
-- Guessing correlation coefficients by eye
-- Another correlation game
-- Photos from our 5/20/99 field trip to the National Cryptologic Museum at the NSA
-- Huge Internet gallery of statistics jokes (warning: many are excellent, but some are dangerously lame)
-- Average age at death for rock stars is 36.9 (vs. 75.8 for the overall population). . . this site is religiously oriented (and apparently sincere), but the reasoning process is seriously flawed. Can you find the problem?
-- Chance Database Welcome Page (this is the link cited in the 4/4/99 Washington Post Unconventional Wiz column)
-- Accident statistics (the taxicab problem)
-- Psychological probability quiz
-- Marilyn is Wrong! (a truly great site, even though it doesn’t seem to include Dr. Morse’s response to Marilyn yet)
-- Male sweat may be good for women’s health (a scholarly article with p- and t-values from 2003, plus an abstract in 2007)
-- Lying with statistics
-- One of the biggest marketing blunders of all time: the New Coke fiasco
-- More fun links on Mr. Hansen’s home page

Serious Links (click here)

Extra Credit (please see me if interested):
-- American Statistical Association poster or project competition, deadline 5/23/2014 if you desire extra credit
-- Washington Statistical Society Curtis Jacobs Memorial Prize, deadline 5/10/2014
-- Other extra credit options are available under the Fun Links at modd.net (see Mathcross Puzzles)

Group Projects (1998 onward):
Exploratory Data Analysis
-- Assignment (2005-06)
-- Results (1998-99)
-- Results (1999-2000)
-- Results (2000-01)
-- Results (2005-06)
Opinion Survey
-- Assignment (2000-01)
-- Results (1999-2000)
-- Results (2000-01)
Experimental Design and Execution
-- Assignment (2000-01)
-- Results (1998-99)
-- Results (2000-01)
Pairs Project on How to Lie With Statistics and P-value Calculations
-- Assignment (2000-01)
-- List of Partners (2000-01)
Critique of a Scientific Article
-- Assignment
AP Review
-- D period (1998-99)
-- F period (1998-99)

Test #1 (Chapters 1-2 plus §3.1 of old textbook), Sept. 2000:
-- Test #1

Old Test #1 (Introduction through Section 2.2 of old old textbook):
Study guide
-- Test #1D--has a residual plot question not found in the F period version
-- Test #1F

Test #2, Oct. 1998:
-- Mr. Hansen’s study guide
-- Eric Love’s study guide (1/12/1999 revised version)
-- Test #2 (merged version, with comments)

Test #3 (Chapter 5) for 1999-2000
-- Answers to practice test (the practice test was handed out in hard copy form on 11/15/1999)
-- Take-home portion distributed 11/16/1999, due 11/17/1999

Old Test #3 (Chapter 4 of old old textbook):
-- Study guide
-- Test #3 (merged version)
-- Answer key

Test #4 (Sections 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 of old old textbook):
-- Study guide
-- Test #4D
-- Test #4F

Test #4 (Chapters 7 and 8 of old textbook: random variables, binomial & geometric distributions):
-- Actual test, 1/29/2004

Test #5 (Sections 6.2, 6.3, 7.1 of old old textbook):
-- Study guide
-- Practice test
-- Answer key for practice test (incl. correction to #18 suggested by C. Muller)
-- Test #5 (merged version)

Test #5 (Sections 7.2 through 9.1 of old textbook):
-- Actual test, 2/6/2002

Test #6 (Sections 7.1-7.3 of old old textbook):
-- Practice test
-- Answer key for practice test
-- Test #6D, with answer key

Test #6 (Chapters 9 and 10 of old textbook):
-- Actual test, 3/7/2002

Test #7 (Sections 8.1-8.3 of old old textbook, plus Chi-Square GOF):
-- Answer key for sample test problems
-- In-class portion
-- Take-home portion

Test #8 (Section 9.1 of old old textbook, plus Geometric Probability Distributions):
-- Take-home test due Wednesday 4/28/1999
-- Answer key (not yet released)

AP Exam Review
-- Real sample AP questions from the College Board
-- TI-83 Function Summary
-- TI-83/84 STAT TESTS Summary, including the assumptions you need to check
-- PHA(S)TPC procedures, a systematic way of performing statistical tests and calculating confidence intervals
-- LSRL Top Ten
-- Normal vs. Binomial: What are the hallmarks and differences? (Includes many example problems, with solutions.)
-- Formula sheet markup guide
-- Guide to standard error formulas (third page of the AP formula sheet)

Question of the day: 12/15/1998

Preview of quiz for Wednesday, 11/18/1998

Return to Mr. Hansen’s home page

Return to Mathematics Department home page

Return to St. Albans home page

Last updated: 19 May 2015