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AP Statistics Free Response Help - FRQ

4 min readโ€ขnovember 10, 2020

Harrison Burnside

Harrison Burnside

AP Statisticsย ๐Ÿ“Š

265ย resources
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Welcome to the most awesome AP Class EVER (or as most people just call it, AP Statistics). Let's go on a deep dive into the AP Statistics exam and take a look at how the exam is formatted and scored ๐Ÿ’ฏ

โœ๏ธ Section 2: The Free Response Questions (FRQ)

The second and final section on the exam is the free-response questions. The Stats exam has two parts to the FRQ section. Courtesy of the College Board Website, the free-response question will include:
  1. Multipart question with a primary focus on collecting data ๐Ÿ”Ž
  2. Multipart question with a primary focus on exploring data โ˜๏ธ + โœŒ๏ธ
  3. Multipart question with a primary focus on probability ๐ŸŽฒ and sampling distributions ๐Ÿ“Š
  4. Question with a primary focus on inference โš–๏ธ
  5. Question that combines 2 or 3 skills from the first four questions โž•
The last section of your FRQ is called an investigative task ๐Ÿค” This question assesses 2 or 3 skills from the first four questions and asks you to apply your statistical skills to new contexts or in non-routine ways.
The sixth question, the investigative task, is a separate part of the FRQ and is worth 25% of this section's weight. Free-response questions, like the MCQs, are worth 50% of your total exam score, with the first five questions being worth 37.5% and the last investigative task being worth 12.5% overall!
Free-response questions, similar to the MCQ, also allow the use of a calculator, and the same rules apply as before regarding what types of calculators you will be allowed to use. Check out the MCQ Help for AP Stats Article to learn more <<TK>>.
For the Section Two, the FRQ portion of your exam, you will receive:
  • 90 Minutes โฒ๏ธ
  • Six FRQs:
    • Including, one special Investigative Task ๐Ÿค”
    • The AP Exam recommends spending 25 minutes on this one question ๐Ÿ™€

๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ AP Stats FRQ Unit Weighting

There are nine units in AP Statistics that the AP Exam tests ๐ŸŽ‰ You can reference this table to see which units you should study the most and least:

Skills in AP Statistics FRQs

  • Skill 1: Selecting Statistical Methods (15-23% of exam)
  • Skill 2: Data Analysis (15-23% of exam)
  • Skill 3: Using Probability and Simulation (30-40% of exam)
  • Skill 4: Statistical Argumentation (25-35% of exam)

Units in AP Statistics FRQs

Unit 1: Exploring One-Variable Data15-23%
Unit 2: Exploring Two-Variable Data5-7%
Unit 3: Collecting Data12-15%
Unit 4: Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions10-20%
Unit 5: Sampling Distributions7-12%
Unit 6: Inference for Categorical Data: Proportions12-15%
Unit 7: Inference for Quantitative Data: Means10-18%
Unit 8: Inference for Categorical Data: Chi-Square2-5%
Unit 9: Inference for Quantitative Data: Slopes2-5%

๐Ÿ“ˆ FRQ Rubric Scores

AP Statistics ๐Ÿ“Š is a bit of an interesting class because the FRQs follow a unique rubric that isn't anything like the rubrics of other AP exams. Make sure that you understand how points are earned and lost on the exam!

Image Courtesy of Question 1 of the 2018 AP Statistics Exam.

Just like as shown in the image above, each question part will be based on ratings: essentially correct, partially correct, and incorrect. Depending on your EPIs, each question will receive a score from one to four.


  • Essentially โœ… Correct: You have answered this part correctly showing all work. Remember that it can be "essentially" correctโ€”you can still have one minor mistake and still receive this score.
  • Partially ๐Ÿ Correct: You were able to show the correct skill/content that was asked for, but one or two parts of your process were incorrect. This is why it is very important to show your work because you can still end up getting partial credit if you show that you have a general idea of what you are supposed to do!
  • Incorrect โŽ: You did not show enough work or your answer did not align with the goal of the question.
After each part is rated, your overall score will be converted to the 1-4 scale. The cumulative score of all of the FRQs is your score for the section. For more information on the AP Stats FRQs โœ๏ธ, make sure to check out:

๐Ÿ’ก Final Tips

AP Statistics is a pretty hard class and if you are considering taking it or self-studying, make sure to check out the articles:
๐Ÿ“ Read: AP Stats - Is AP Stats Hard? Is AP Stats Worth It? (coming soon)
๐Ÿ“ Read: AP Stats - Self-Study and Homeschool
However, if you continue to study ๐Ÿ““ with Fiveable, you can make the AP Stats FRQ section completely Fiveable (see what we did there)! So, make sure to take a look at all of our AP Stats Resources at Fiveable to do amazing on your exam ๐ŸŽ‰
Browse Study Guides By Unit
๐Ÿ‘†Unit 1 โ€“ Exploring One-Variable Data
โœŒ๏ธUnit 2 โ€“ Exploring Two-Variable Data
๐Ÿ”ŽUnit 3 โ€“ Collecting Data
๐ŸŽฒUnit 4 โ€“ Probability, Random Variables, & Probability Distributions
๐Ÿ“ŠUnit 5 โ€“ Sampling Distributions
โš–๏ธUnit 6 โ€“ Proportions
๐Ÿ˜ผUnit 7 โ€“ Means
โœณ๏ธUnit 8 โ€“ Chi-Squares
๐Ÿ“ˆUnit 9 โ€“ Slopes
โœ๏ธFrequently Asked Questions
๐Ÿ“šStudy Tools
๐Ÿค”Exam Skills

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