Statistics Curriculum

Probability and Statistics vs. AP Statistics

Overview

Both courses…

  • Are full-year math electives
  • Are often, but not always, taken during a student's senior year
  • Provide an excellent introduction to the language and principles of statistics
  • Help students to analyze data and think critically when reading articles and studies where statistics are used (and misused):
    • Political or public opinion polls
    • Scientific studies (e.g., Does texting while driving cause accidents?)
    • Financial analysis (e.g., Should I diversify my stock portfolio?)
  • Show mathematics applied across numerous fields:
    • Medicine (testing effectiveness/risks of new medicine or medical procedure)
    • Law (determining whether there is evidence of age discrimination)
    • Sports (do statistics justify a higher salary, or a trade)
    • Politics, Psychology, Agriculture, Science, Business, Gaming, Journalism, Genetics,
  • Prepare students for statistics classes in college (most college majors have some requirement for statistics, often specialized to the specific major)

Characteristics of a student well-suited for Statistics…

Probability and Statistics

  • Enjoys activity-based learning
  • Seeks less-demanding workload
  • Committed to keep up with the work throughout the year
  • An inquisitive, curious spirit
  • Genuine interest in exploring & investigating statistical concepts in real-life scenarios
  • Good attendance & willing to participate in class discussions & activities
  • Proactive, and seeks help when needed Ability to make connections & analyze data
  • Can handle the cumulative demands of a math course

AP Statistics

  • Enjoys difficult & challenging math problems
  • Extremely disciplined work habits
  • Strong Algebra skills (B+ or better in Alg II)
  • Accustomed to rapid pace of instruction
  • Enthusiastic reader who enjoys performing critical analysis
  • Skilled writer, capable of expressing thoughts clearly and concisely
  • Willing to dedicate 1+ hours of study per night
  • Appreciates & embraces scientific method
  • Prepared for long, time-constrained tests
  • An inquisitive, curious spirit
  • Genuine interest in exploring & investigating statistical concepts in real-life scenarios
  • Good attendance & willing to participate in class discussions & activities
  • Proactive, and seeks help when needed Ability to make connections & analyze data
  • Can handle the cumulative demands of a math course

Class Expectations & Procedures

Probability and Statistics

Homework:

Assigned daily; In-class time given to complete; expected time to complete 20-30 minutes.

Reading Assignments:

No assigned reading. Students are encouraged to read text on their own for additional examples.

Textbook:

College-level textbook. Reading can be difficult.

Writing:

Students are expected to write a minimum amount, as required by the teacher's discretion.

Class Structure:

Warm-up homework questions, lecture/notes. Activities-based.

Formula Memorization:

Formula sheet provided.

Projects/Activities:

Medium size projects or activities throughout the course, with time in class to complete.stics

End of Course Assessment(s):

Cumulative final exam

AP Statistics

Homework:

Assigned daily; No in-class time given to complete; expected time to complete 1-2 hours.

Reading Assignments:

Assigned reading each class. Occasional "reading quizzes". Student will read about 800 pages of textbook by April.

Textbook:

College-level textbook. Reading can be difficult

Writing:

Students are expected to write complete, concise answers to homework & test problems. Following a rigorous scientific process, making insightful conclusions are more important than calculations. Write in paragraphs, in context.

Class Structure:

Warm-up homework questions, lecture/notes, in-class practice problems.

Formula Memorization:

AP Formula sheet provided; some formulas must be memorized. Precise vocabulary critical.

Projects/Activities:

Complex, detailed 4Q project covering multiple dimensions of content and requiring critical thinking on subject-matter and strict adherence to scientific method. Most work outside of class.

End of Course Assessment(s):

AP Exam early May (college credit for '4' or '5'). 4Q project (post-AP Exam). Cumulative Final Exam.

Comparison of Curriculum Topics

Probability and Statistics

  • Descriptive Statistics - Mean, Median, Standard Deviation, Displays of Data
  • Experimental Design - Sampling, Surveys and Bias
  • General Probability
  • Special Probability Distributions - Binomial, Geometric, Poisson
  • Normal Distribution
  • Sampling Distributions
  • Confidence Intervals, Margin of Error, Central Limit Theorem
  • Bivariate Data - Correlation, Scatterplots, Regression Line
  • Regression Analysis

AP Statistics

  • Descriptive Statistics - Mean, Median, Standard Deviation, Displays of Data
  • Experimental Design - Sampling, Surveys and Bias
  • General Probability
  • Special Probability Distributions - Binomial, Geometric, Poisson
  • Normal Distribution
  • Sampling Distributions
  • Confidence Intervals, Margin of Error, Central Limit Theorem
  • Inference Testing for Means and Proportions
  • Chi-Squared Testing
  • Bivariate Data - Correlation, Scatterplots, Regression Line
  • Regression Analysis

AP Statistics covers the above topics with greater rigor & depth. Upon completion of the course:

Prob/Stats students should have a good appreciation for statistical principles & concepts, and recognize how they are applied in real-world applications (such as political polls, games, or business situations).

AP Statistics students should be prepared to follow detailed scientific methods to solve real- world problems and draw well- formed and persuasive conclusions. Students should be capable of understanding, explaining, and making critical assessments of published scientific papers.

What Students Taking the Course Say about Probability and Statistics

I took Prob/Stat because I knew math was not my best subject. This class is an understandable version of math and it has a lot of fun activities.

I took Prob/Stat to have an extra math credit for my advanced diploma. It's not a joke class, be prepared to learn.

Prob/Stat is fun and easy to understand. To future students – make sure to do your homework.

I took Prob/Stat to balance out my schedule with my other AP classes. The material is fun to learn since it relates to real life!

I took Prob/Stat because I wanted a more real-life type of math. Advice - make sure to do your homework, apply yourself, and you'll be fine in the class.

What Students Taking the Course Say about AP Statistics

I took AP Stat because I wanted an additional AP course to challenge myself. The course requires constant and diligent studying, but is very fun and also relevant to many real-life situations, unlike other math courses.

I took AP Stat for college credit. It is not the easiest class, but if you do the reading and focus in class, you can get a 'B'. Don't expect an easy 'A'.

This course is not anything like Algebra 2. Very concept and writing focused, as opposed to simple use of formulas. Don't fall behind.

I took AP Stat because it seems very far-reaching in its applicability later in life. It feels more like a logic class rather than a math class.

I have never had to think so much in class, and when taking a test.

I took AP Stat because I heard that the things you learn are interesting and useful in life, unlike many other upper level math courses. It's not an easy class, but if you work hard and read you will be fine. Take it because it's interesting, not because you want an easy grade.

I took AP Stat because it coincides with other interests such as psychology, medicine, and engineering. Knowing statistics is like having a super power – you can do things that other people can't do.