Sanderson M. Smith
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Common Student Mistakes
2000 AP Statistics Exam
This summary was constructed by Diann C. Resnick of Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas. It is presented here in Herkimer's Hideaway with permission from Diann.
There were some common mistakes that students made during this exam that were not unique to one specific question or subsection.The students often:
o failed to read the question carefully and answer that was asked, not what they wanted to be asked.
o did not reread their answers for missing words or incomplete sentences.
o abbreviated so many words that the grader did not know what was being written.
o did not answer the questions in the context of the problem. This is always necessary for a complete answer.
o gave long philosophical answers to questions. Students seemed caught up in writing about things that had no bearing on the answer to the question and were not statistical in nature.
In general, whenever students conduct any test of inference there are specific steps to follow. This includes all four of the following:
1. State the hypotheses in the context of the problem.
2. Name the test used and why it was used. Check - not just name - the conditions or assumptions for the test used.
3. Carry out the mechanics of the test and give the test statistic, p value, and degrees of freedom, if applicable.
4. Write a conclusion. A student MUST link the test statistic to the conclusion. This can be similar to; since the p - value is so small (alpha<.05), I reject the null hypothesis and conclude that there is no difference in the mean mental skill score of babies who use walkers and in babies who do not use walkers.
The Free Response section does not mean that students have to write everything in paragraph form. Symbolic and algebraic work are permissible. All that is required is that the reader be able to follow the work and explanations.
Question 1
Many students:
Question 2
Many students:
Question 3
Many students:
Question 4
Many students in part (a):
Many students in part (b):
Question 5
Many students in part (a):
Many students in part (b):
double blind experiment
control/placebo treatment experiment
Many students in part (c):
Question 6
In part (a) of the problem many students:
Ninety-five percent of the time procedures conducted like this will have the "..." in the interval.
In part (b) of the problem many students:
In part (c) of the problem many students:
In part (d) of the problem many students:
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