Best AP Statistics Books – May 2020

Acing the AP Statistics exam is not easy.

The questions are challenging, and the statistical concepts are difficult to grasp. However, you can always hone your analytical thinking abilities by choosing the right content review guide. 

These guides discuss every major statistical concept and include the rationale and explanation behind each of these concepts.

Over the next few sections, we’ve listed some of the best AP statistics books. Additionally, we’ve also included details about the exam pattern and study guidelines. So, keep reading to find out more and prepare better for your upcoming AP statistics exam.

The Ultimate AP Statistics Prep List

Before we dive in, keep in mind that depending on the quality of your teacher, just one of the books below might not be enough.

We can't guarantee you'll get a 5 with any of the books below. We can only provide you the books that will increase your chances the most.

If you’re looking to grasp the challenging AP stats concepts, Barron’s AP Statistics should be your first choice. As with other prep and review books from Barron, this guide includes a set of questions that are more difficult than the actual AP statistics tests.

Unlike other AP statistics books, Barron’s AP statistics offers comprehensive coverage of the statistical concepts. This way, you thoroughly understand the topics with almost no room for doubt.

The book includes a 14-chapter subject review that covers every important test topic, a set of important questions, answers, and explanations, and five full-length practice tests. Other major highlights include a diagnostic test and several multiple-choice and free-response questions. While the diagnostic test helps assess your problem areas, the multiple-choice and free-response questions will help prepare for your AP exam better.

To make things easier for the students, the writers have included two additional chapters. The first one is a review chapter that highlights the major statistical insights and social issues, and the next one is a chapter dedicated to the Investigative Task that covers almost one-eighth of the exam. You will also find 25 useful hints and a detailed guide about using the TI, Casio, and other graphing calculators.

Special Bonus: If you buy the Barron's AP statistics book, you will enjoy free access to one full-length, digital AP statistics test. As with the text-book tests, the online test includes the questions, answers, and explanations.

Pros

  • It offers a comprehensive review of the 14 important chapters of AP statistics.
  • Includes a review chapter that highlights the major statistical insights.
  • It comes with a special chapter on the Investigative task.
  • Features diagnostic tests, five full-length tests, multiple-choice questions, free-response questions, and plenty of useful practice exams.
  • Offers 35 top hints for your AP statistics exams.
  • Lets you access a full-length online test with questions, answers, and explanations. 

Cons

  • The concepts might be difficult for people who are just getting started with AP statistics.

This AP Statistics Book comes with a simple and approachable study plan that helps you develop the required skills, expertise, and confidence for your upcoming AP Stats test. 

The topics are completely in line with the syllabus of AP statistics and the practice tests included in the book match the format of the latest exam. 

This book is available in a cross-platform format. That means, you aren't just restricted to the offline tests, but can also access three online practice tests. Note that both the online and offline tests are full-length (in accordance with the format of AP Statistics Exam). To make things easier for students, the writers have included answers, explanations, useful study tips, details about the scoring pattern of the exam, and more.

When you buy this book you also get free access to the interactive AP planner app. Thanks to this application, you can now manage your time amid the nerve-wracking exam schedule. Other features include study flashcards, engaging games, and a powerful analytics tool to boost your preparation.

This book has been highly recommended by students and teachers for its format and simplicity. Going by the rave reviews, it certainly seems like a worth purchase. 

Pros

  • Includes two offline and three online full-length practice tests.
  • Answers, explanations and study tips are included with the questions.
  • It comes with an excellent AP planner app that is tailored to help you manage your time.
  • The review materials are detailed and comprehensive.
  • The format and tone of this book are approachable and simple.

Cons

  • The book doesn’t cover all the important topics for your AP Statistics exam. You might need additional resources.

Barron’s AP Q&A Statistics is not a review material, but a question and answer guide. The book includes 600 questions and answers along with detailed explanations and arguments for every answer. 

This way, students won't just get to know the correct answers, but they will also grasp the accurate rationale behind the same. The book includes every type of AP Statistics question so that students can effectively apply the concepts they've learned in class. The answers and explanations further help them assess this content.

The practice questions and the explanations adhere to the curriculum of AP statistics. Some of the topics covered in the questions include exploratory analysis, the collection, and production of data, probability, inference from statistics and more.

The book is tailored to assist students in honing their critical thinking abilities and since the book covers multiple types of questions like MCQs, numeric responses, short responses, and free-responses, students get complete clarity regarding the way they should frame their answers. By the time students complete the 600 questions, they are fully prepared for their upcoming AP statistics exam. 

Both the questions and the practice set are highly realistic, and many students have lauded the writers for the complexity of the questions and the accurateness of the answers and explanations. 

Pros

  • Includes 600 questions covering every major concept of AP statistics.
  • Every question has a detailed answer and additional explanations.
  • The book explains the key rationale behind the answer.
  • Includes every type of AP statistics question including multiple-choice, free response, short response, and numeric response.
  • Since the questions are more challenging than the ones asked in the AP statistics exam, students get to better prepare for their tests.
  • The questions and the practice set are realistic and accurate. 

Cons

  • Since the questions are more complex than the actual questions of AP statistics, some students might find it difficult to grasp the content.

If you’re looking to ace your AP statistics exam with a full score, Cracking the AP Statistics Exam by Princeton Review is one of your top options. This comprehensive guide is ideal for anyone who has recently started familiarizing themselves with the AP statistics concepts. 

The content review covers every important concept and the two full-length practice tests further help with your preparation. Since the tests include answers and explanations, you get to completely understand why a certain answer is right or wrong. 

The underlining feature of this book is that it includes techniques that have been tried and tested by real students. The strategies help avoid confusion, the tips help you to pace yourself, and the additional tactics assist in honing your logical thinking abilities. As you start preparing with this book, you end up working smarter.

The content review of this book is fully aligned with the 2020 AP statistics course.

This way, you have full access to updated information. Additionally, you are also well-informed about the major course changes. The book includes a set of interactive abilities that help in critically assessing your progress.

What’s more, you also get free access to the online study plans, useful pre-college advice, a full list of important formulas, vital reference details and more.

In addition to the two full-length practice tests, the book also comes with practice drills at the concluding section of every content review chapter. The final and the biggest highlight is the detailed walkthroughs about setting up the box and dot plots and a set of other essential statistical graphs.

Pros

  • Offers a comprehensive content review of the required statistical concepts.
  • It doesn't include any extraneous detail that is not as important for your exam.
  • Includes two full-length practice tests with answers and explanations.
  • Features practice-drills at the end of every content review chapters.
  • Offers assistance about setting up statistical graphs.
  • Includes a set of useful techniques about preparing for the exam and answering the questions.
  • Informs you about the latest changes in the AP Statistics curriculum.
  • Guides you with study plans and pre-college advice. 

Cons

  • For some students, the content review lacks the needed depth.

REA’s Crash Course is an ideal study material for the last-minute student who’s in the middle of a time crunch. You can also use this guide if you’re looking for a quick refresher on the concepts of AP Statistics. 

Unlike other review guides, this book offers targeted and fully focused reviews. By skimming through the unnecessary concepts, this book only targets the areas that require your attention. The concepts are in sync with the description outline of your course and since it only includes the information that is required for your exam, you end up saving your valuable time. The format is approachable and straightforward, and the course explores relevant data, offers a study plan, anticipates the question patterns and helps you understand statistical inferences.

The book includes the right preparation strategies that help focus on important concepts even when you’re in a time crunch. To make things easier, the author also introduces you to the right format while answering the questions. The expert guidance will certainly help boost your AP test score.

Once you're done studying the Crash Course, you can check the online study center and give a mock AP Statistics Exam. This way you can evaluate how much and what you've exactly learned. The practice exam is not only time-tested, but it also includes detailed answers and explanations. The automatic scoring helps you track your progress better. Unlike other mock tests, the free AP statistics exam included in this book follows a balanced approach to covering every relevant topic.

So, whether you need some last-minute guidance or want an additional review- this guide will live up to your needs and help hone your statistical abilities better. Most students have been highly satisfied with the contents of this course.

Pros

  • Ideal for anyone who's looking for last-minute advice for their AP statistics exam.
  • The course materials are easy to approach.
  • Since it skips the unnecessary details, you only learn what you’ll need for the exam.
  • Helps hone your ability in making statistical inferences.
  • Includes a set of useful test-taking strategies.
  • It helps you create the right format while answering questions.
  • Includes an online practice test with answers and explanations.
  • The test scoring model is quick and automatic. 

Cons

  • Since the book is tailored to help students at the last minute, some of the concepts lack proper depth.

AP Stats Test Structure

The AP statistics exam includes two sections where each carries a 50% score. Let's take a closer look at the pattern.

Section 1

Type: Multiple choice

Time: 90 minutes

Score: 50%

Note that every correct answer will be awarded points. This section doesn’t involve negative marking for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.

Section 2

Type: Free Response

Time: 90 minutes

Score: 50%

The section includes five open-ended questions covering multiple themes. Each of these questions is designed to be completed in 12 minutes. After answering these five questions, students are required to perform an investigative task. This task should be answered within 30 minutes.

The free-response section is tailored to evaluate the communication skills of the students. It also assesses their knowledge of statistical techniques.

Course Themes

The following are the themes represented in your AP statistics exam.

Exploratory analysis: covers 20% to 30%

Planning and conducting statistical studies: cover 10% to 15%

Probability: covers 20% to 30%

Statistical Inference: Covers 30% to 40%

Additional Tips & Resources For Studying

The following are some important study tips for your upcoming AP statistics exam.

  • Create a study plan and stick to it every day.
  • Supplement your content review with practice tests.
  • Focus on your weak areas and take practice tests in those specific areas.
  • Avoid using the official 1997 AP practice tests as most of the content featured on the test is outdated.