AP Statistics should be a year-long course


Natalie Larimer, Staff Writer

Last semester I took AP Stats. Not a bad idea, I actually sort of enjoyed the course. I elected to take the AP test so I could get the college credit. The problem was that the AP test is only offered at the end of the year, not the end of the semester. So I had to re-learn all my statistical knowledge (even though there wasn’t much to begin with) in order to take the test last Friday after a stats-free semester. I think it would be extremely beneficial to the students to have AP Stats changed to a year-long course so they have more time to learn it, and it’s fresh in their mind for the AP exam.

Sophomore Adam Dostalik planned on taking the AP test but ended up not going through with it. He was in my fall semester stats class. “I didn’t take the test because as I began reviewing, I realized that I had forgotten too much information to cram into the two weeks before the test,” Dostalik said. “Now I have missed out on some possible college credit, which means a loss of money in the future.” If Stats would have been year-long, he would have taken the test. “A semester long break before the AP test makes anyone forget the material learned in the class,” he said.

Junior Katie Cunningham was also in our fall semester stats class. “I would have done the AP test if it had been a year-long course,” she said. “We would have had more time with the material and to ask questions on things we don’t understand.”

I wound up taking the test even though I spent an entire semester away from the stats book (I nearly backed out but my mom made me take it). I spent the past two weeks cramming like I’ve never crammed before and I let other class’ grades slide so I could spend more time on stats. And I still didn’t learn it all. I honestly couldn’t tell you when to use a chi-squared test. I’m wondering how my score would be different if it was year-long instead of just a semester course (we don’t have our scores back yet so there is no possible way of comparing). On the final last semester I did surprisingly well because we spent time reviewing for it and I was in the stats mindset. We did have three review sessions for the AP test and I went to all three. They helped a lot but I don’t think they were enough for me to get a decent score on the AP test.

Junior Shuda Jarboe took AP Stats during the spring semester and then took the AP test after that. “It would be nice to have a year-long AP Stats course so it wasn’t so rushed,” Jarboe said. “We would be able to spend more time on each concept instead of having a test every week. I also think it would be nice to have more time to prepare for the AP exam.”

Since Stats is only taught by one teacher, then it shouldn’t be a big deal to change. “Preparing for the AP stats exam is more of a challenge if a student takes the course in the fall versus the spring,” stats teacher Adam Paulson said. If we switched it to be year-long, then there wouldn’t be that problem.

I would definitely have felt more confident in taking the AP Stats exam if I had studied it the whole year. More people would have taken it and gotten the college credit, saving them money on possible Stats classes in college. There are really no problems with changing it from block to year, so why don’t we?