An Ultimate AP® Statistics Scoring Guide and Score Calculator (2024)

Are you taking the AP® Statistics exam and are wondering how it is scored? Well, we’ve got your back! In this article, we are going to discuss the AP Statistics exam scores and crunch some numbers to learn about the AP Statistics score distributions. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of whether AP Stats could be the right choice for you. Keep reading!

How Does Scoring Work on the AP Statistics Test?

The AP Statistics Exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with each score corresponding to a particular level of achievement. The scoring process for the AP Statistics exam involves a combination of multiple-choice questions and free-response questions.

There are 40 MCQs in Section I and six FRQs in Section II. Each section carries 50% of the total composite score, making the overall composite score of 100. Let us look at the following table to learn how the composite score of 100 is distributed across the two sections:

Section I: 40 Multiple-choice Questions50 points
Section II: 6 Free-Response Questions50 points
Subtotal 100 points

As you can see from the table above, the 50 points in the MCQ section are distributed across 40 questions. Roughly, each correct answer carries 1 point. Now, are you penalized for guessing on the AP Statistics exam? NO! The exam does not penalize you for wrong answers, so never leave a question blank, even if you are unsure of the correct answer.

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In Section II, each question carries roughly 4 points, totaling 50 points for six questions. These questions are graded holistically. This means your grade is awarded based on the overall quality of your answer and not on the small bits of correct information or formulas you present on the answer sheet. The College Board® has developed the following grading rubric for each free-response question:

  • 4: Complete Response: Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the statistical components of the problem.
  • 3: Substantial Response: Although there may be arithmetic errors, the answers are still reasonable and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the problem's statistical components.
  • 2: Developing Response: This may contain errors that result in some illogical answers, but it demonstrates some understanding of the problem's statistical components.
  • 1: Minimal Response: Misapplies or fails to apply appropriate statistical techniques and demonstrates a limited understanding of statistical components by failing to identify important components
  • 0: No Response: This demonstrates a lack of understanding of statistical components and also applies if the question is not attempted at all.

This grading rubric implies that if you only include a few correct equations or arithmetic answers, you won't earn many points. To get a good score on these questions, you must demonstrate that you understand how to use statistics.

AP Statistics raw score conversion

Once your total points from each section are calculated, they are added to present your final composite score which is then converted into the AP scaled score, ranging from 1 to 5. The raw score conversion process is kept confidential by the College Board Your composite score on the AP Exam is never presented publicly. You only get the AP Exam grade (1-5) which is calculated after processing your composite raw score on your AP mark sheet.

If you are curious to estimate your composite score for the AP Statistics exam, here is a table explaining the possible raw score conversion setup:

SectionQuestionsMaximum Points Per QuestionRaw Score Multiplier
MCQ401*1.250
FRQ (questions 1-5)54*1.875
FRQ (Investigative Task)14*3.125

Let’s follow this table to understand how to derive your raw score:

  1. For the MCQ section, multiply each answer you got right with 1.25. For instance, if you got 20 answers correctly, your composite score for Section I should be 20*1.25 = 25.
  2. For the free-response questions numbered 1 through 5, add the total number of points you scored and multiply that by 1.875. For eg., if your total number of points in the five FRQs comes up to 16, then your composite score for these five questions would be 16*1.875 = 30.
  3. For FRQ no. 6, which is the investigative task, multiply your points by 3.125. Let us say you scored 4 points on this question, then your composite score would be 4*3.125 = 12.5.
  4. Your next step is to add up the composite scores for all the sections to get your final composite score. In the examples we considered above, your final composite score would be 25+30+12.5 = 67.5.

This composite score is then converted into the AP scaled score by the College Board to give you your final AP score. The composite score needed to attain a 5 on the AP Statistics exam fluctuates annually. For students aiming to secure a 5 on the AP Statistics exam, an estimated objective is to obtain between 75% and 80% of the maximum possible points on the test.

Keeping these AP Statistics scoring guidelines in mind, we are now ready to look at how your AP scores reflect on your college applications. Let us find out which AP scores can get you a recommendation, a placement, and college credits.

AP Statistics Scoring Table

After your statistics exam scores are recorded on the AP grading scale, they are sent to the respective colleges that you’ve selected for admission. If you want to learn how to have the College Board send your AP scores to your college, check out our page on AP Exam Scores.

Although each college has its own criteria for granting credit and/or placement based on AP scores, most colleges follow a standard formula when converting your AP Stats score to the equivalent college grade. Following is the AP score table showing the conversion of AP scores into equivalent college grades for the Stats exam:

AP ScoreCollege Grade EquivalentQualification
5A+ or AExtremely well qualified
4A-, B+, or BVery well qualified
3B-, C+, or CQualified
2Possibly Qualified
1No recommendation

As you can see from the table, colleges do not consider scores below 3 during admissions. Therefore, the rule of thumb would be to achieve a score of 3 or higher if you are considering getting college credits and Advanced Placement® for your AP Stats exam score. However, always remember to check with the colleges you intend to apply to on their minimum requirements.

" A recent study on students who achieve a score of 2 in AP Stats found that they earn significantly higher grades when taking the course in college than students with the same high school GPA! "

AP Statistics Score Distributions

AP Stats is one of the most popular AP exams taken by students every year. This is because Stats is one of the most versatile AP courses that can earn you Advanced Placement and/or course credit as you enter college, even if you have not finalized your college major. There are numerous other benefits of taking your AP exam for Statistics. Check out our AP Statistics Exam Guide to discover why taking the Stats exam is beneficial for your career.

In 2023, a total of 242,929 students took the AP Stats exam, with 60% of test-takers scoring 3, 4, and 5. That’s a fairly average success rate considering the common myth about AP Stats being one of the easiest exams to crack!

For 2023, let us crunch some numbers below to get an idea about the AP Statistics score distributions:

AP Score% of Students 2023
515.1%
422.2%
322.7%
216.2%
123.8%

Contrary to popular myth, the AP Stats exam is a challenging subject, but you can be a 5 pointer with the right study tools, course instruction, and dedication.

UWorld’s online AP Statistics practice questions will help you get there. Taking practice tests will help you track your progress and clear out doubts to help you form a solid foundation of core statistics concepts. You can also make quick notes and use our flashcards to revise concepts and theorems in a jiffy when reviewing for the exam.

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Scoring pattern for the 2023, 2022 and 2021 AP Statistics exams

To secure a good score on AP Stats, it is important to understand the scoring pattern for the exam. This willhelp you gauge whether a section might be a high scorer for you and which section you need to put more effortinto.

  1. Let us look at the 2023 AP Statistics scoring pattern and learn how scores weredistributed across the multiple-choice and free-response sections:

    For the multiple-choice section:

    • Students performed better on questions from Units 1 - 3, andalmost 37,000 students earned perfect scores on MCQs from Unit 3.
    • MCQs on probability and simulation were the most challenging, but the performancewas better than 2022, with 47 % students answering them correctly.

    For the free-response questions:

    • Students scored best on Question 3 focusing on probability distribution, withalmost 27,000 students earning all 4 points for it.
  2. 2022 exam scores show the following pattern for the MCQs:

    • Units 1-3 were high scorers, with almost 20% of students earning perfect scoresacross all MCQs on these three units.

    For the free-response section:

    • Students struggled with Skill Category 3: Probability andSimulation, averaging 38% correct on probability and simulation questions, far lower than for skills1, 2, and 4.
    • Students performed well on FRQ no. 4, and almost 30% earnedperfect scores on this question.
  3. And lastly, for the 2021 pen-and-paper exam:

    Students scored significantly higher on the multiple-choice section than on the free-response questions.

    For the multiple-choice section:

    • Units 1, 2, and 3 were high scorers, with ~18% of studentsanswering all such questions correctly.
    • Units 4 (Probability, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions) and 5(Sampling Distributions) were the most challenging ones, with 5% of studentsanswering every question about these units correctly and 5% of students answering no questions aboutthese units correctly.

    For the free-response section:

    • Students performed well on Question 4 and Question 6. Especially for theInvestigative task (question 6), students found the starting point to be the easiest of all theFRQs.
    • 10% of the test-takers earned all 4 points on Question 4 than on any of the other free-responsequestions.
    • By far the most challenging questions on the 2021 AP Stats exam wereQuestions 2 and 3. Nearly only 1% of students earned all 4 points on thesequestions.

    Course Skills:

    • The most challenging questions for students required Skill Category 3, using Probability andSimulation. While prepping for your Stats exam, keep in mind to pay attention to this skill categoryin particular.
    • On the bright side, students performed well on problems that required usingSkill Category 2. 18% of students answered every question that required this skillcorrectly.

AP Statistics Minimum Score Requirement for College Credits

As we mentioned earlier, most colleges across the US recognize AP exam scores to grant credit or advanced placement to their students. Having an AP statistics score of 3 or higher can earn you college credits, which will help you graduate from college early because of the credits you have already earned in high school through AP. While in other colleges, a score of 3 or higher can give you a chance to skip the core statistics course in the first semester and still get a grade for it, which gets labeled as ‘advanced placement’. Some colleges offer both advanced placement and credit, which means you will earn the credits and also be able to skip the course.

Each institution has its own criteria for acknowledging AP Statistics scores. Some colleges accept an AP score of 3, while some demand a 5. Some colleges do not offer you any credit but grant you a placement for your AP score. So, while you are preparing for your AP Statistics exam, it is essential to know your college entrance requirements for this course.

We have compiled a list of colleges around the country and the AP scores they accept for admission to help you narrow your search. Let us have a look:

Georgia Tech

N/A

Not Awarded

N/A

Grinnell College

4

Credit

4 as MAT/SST-115

For major credit for departments that require MAT/SST-115 except for Political Science.

Harvard University

5

Credit

4

Applicable upon activation of “Advanced standing”

Louisiana State University

4

Credit+Placement

ISDS 2000

3 credit hrs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

N/A

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

Mississippi State University

3

Credit

ST 2113

3 credit hrs

Notre Dame

4

Credit

MA 221

3 credit hrs

Reed College

N/A

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

Stanford University

N/A

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

Truman State University

3

Credit

STAT 190Basic Statistics

3

University of California at Los Angeles

3/4/5

Credit

Unassigned

4

Yale University

N/A

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

InstitutionAP Score AP RecognitionCredit/Placement
type
Notes
Georgia TechN/ANot AwardedN/A0
Grinnell College4Credit4 as MAT/SST-115For major credit for departments that require MAT/SST-115 except for Political Science.
Harvard University5Credit4Applicable upon activation of “Advanced standing”
Louisiana State University4Credit
+
Placement
ISDS 20003 credit hrs
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyN/ANot AwardedN/AN/A
Mississippi State University3CreditST 21133 credit hrs
Notre Dame4CreditMA 2213 credit hrs
Reed CollegeN/ANot AwardedN/AN/A
Stanford UniversityN/ANot AwardedN/AN/A
Truman State University3CreditSTAT 190
Basic Statistics
3
University of California at Los Angeles3/4/5CreditUnassigned4
Yale UniversityN/ANot AwardedN/AN/A

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AP Statistics Score Frequently Asked Questions

AP Statistics scores are scheduled to be released in July every year for the exams administered during May.

Scoring a 5 on your AP Stats exam is absolutely the best score. However, scoring between 3 and 5 may also qualify you for placement and free credits in college.

A few tips to increase your chances of scoring high in AP Stats are to plan a thorough study schedule, focus on key concepts and theorems, and take an ample number of practice tests to sharpen your course skills and concepts. Our AP Stats study guide is here to help you plan and prep for your AP Stats exam. Do check it out for exceptional review tips and tricks.

While the College Board does not disclose the score conversion for composite score to AP score, it is recommended that students consistently score 50% or higher on the practice exams to get a passing score on the AP Statistics exam.

Of course! Scoring a 4 is good on AP Stats.

The score required to earn a 5 on the AP Statistics exam can vary from year to year and is determined by the College Board, which administers the Advanced Placement (AP) program. Students aspiring to achieve a 5 on the AP Statistics exam should target obtaining approximately 75-80% of the total available points on the test.

The highest scaled score for the AP Statistics exam is a 5. The highest composite score you can earn is 100, which equates to a perfect 5 on the AP scale.

References

  1. Packer. (2022, June 28). The 2022 AP Statistics scores. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://twitter.com/AP_Trevor/status/1541791049017954306?lang=en
  2. AP Statistics Exam: 2021 Results – All Access | College Board. (n.d.).
    https://allaccess.collegeboard.org/ap-statistics-exam-2021-results
  3. AP statistics-2007-released-exam-scoring-worksheet. (n.d.). collegeboard.org. Retrieved March 10,2022, from https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/statistics-2007-released-exam-scoring-worksheet.pdf
  4. AP® Statistics Student Score Distributions – Global AP Exams – May 2022. (2022).collegeboard.org. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap22-statistics-score-distributions.pdf
  5. STUDENT SCORE DISTRIBUTIONS AP Exams - May 2021. (n.d.). collegeboard.org. Retrieved October 2022,from https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2021/2021-ap-student-score-distributions.pdf
  6. AP® Statistics COURSE AND EXAM DESCRIPTION. (n.d.). collegeboard.org.Retrieved October 2022, from https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/media/pdf/ap-statistics-course-and-exam-description.pdf?course=ap-statistics
  7. Packer. (2023, June 28). The 2023 AP Statistics scores. twitter.com. Retrieved November 10, 2023, fromhttps://twitter.com/AP_Trevor/status/1673775612987691010?lang=en
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