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Extent of calculator use on the AP Stats exam

NonexistentNonexistent Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
edited September 2010 in AP Tests Preparation
On the AP exam, are we allowed to just...say we plugged it into our calculator?
For example, when it says to find the proportion of values on a normal distribution that are between one z-score and another, you can just plug it into your calculator: normalcdf(z1, z2) OR normalcdf(value1, value2, mean, standardDeviation). Instead of wasting our times calculating z-scores or using that table to find proportions, can you just...say you did that?
Post edited by Nonexistent on

Replies to: Extent of calculator use on the AP Stats exam

  • mermaid123456mermaid123456 Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    From what I remember, you can definitely do that on multiple choice questions. For FRQ, you can still just plug it into your calculator, but you should still have some sort of equation or graph written out with your answer. So, you set up the formula, but you don't need to solve it with the formula, you solve it with the calculator...does that make sense?
  • noimaginationnoimagination Registered User Posts: 7,054 Senior Member
    You should show the appropriate formulas on the FRQs. If you have a panic attack and can't remember the formula, I suppose writing the calculator command and syntax would be better than nothing...
  • sd6sd6 Registered User Posts: 1,251 Senior Member
    Let me put it this way:

    My Stats teacher only taught us the calculator input method, but I took the time to learn the whole formula/z-score thing and was the only 5 in the class. There were no 4s. Just food for thought.
  • nineumnineum Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    As others have said, you can use your calculator for anything you want. Just make sure that you show formulas on the FRQs and how you plug stuff into those formulas, even if you use normalcdf to get your answer. DON'T just write down normalcdf(#,#) because that is NOT a formula and the scorers do not award any points for writing calculator commands.

    The formula packet/sheet (it's green I believe) that they allow to use on the exam has many formulas that you will need, but make sure you know which one is for which. If your stat teacher has some of these packets, ask to have one so you can get to used to what it looks like. There are some formulas that you may need that aren't on the packet, so make sure you memorize these and how to use them.
  • NavyBlueNinjaNavyBlueNinja Registered User Posts: 310 Junior Member
    You need to show your work for the FRQ's, but you don't actually have to write out your steps. You can just write that the standard deviation is 4 instead of calculating the standard deviation of 40 values.

    In the famous words of my AP Stat teacher, the exam is mostly plug-n-chug.
  • nineumnineum Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    I'm pretty sure you have to at least write the SD formula and possibly at least start it (and once it gets lengthy just add a "..."), but I may be wrong. I think CollegeBoard puts past FRQs and scoring guides online, so check those if you want to make sure.
  • airfreshenerairfreshener - Posts: 460 Member
    Don't worry about it. You'll get the 5
This discussion has been closed.