Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Lots of Practice, Too Much Detail
on June 2, 2012
A review book does not supplant a textbook. This is the phrase all AP students have heard over and over again, yet Barron's AP Statistics review blunders past the "conceptual overview" and into a wannabe textbook. While I personally find it annoying when books try and fail to be funny, this book seems to be written in a deliberately scholarly tone. It comes across as unnecessarily pedantic, especially when the entire purpose (at least, what I use review books for) is to go over concepts which the student may fail to understand due to an overly detailed explanation in the textbook. Basically, there is a lot of detail, which will bog down a student trying to study the overall picture of things.
This review book still earns itself four stars because of the extensive practice questions and exams that it offers. I have widely heard that Barron's is harder than the actual AP test; my Stats teacher told me that the Barron's review guide has very comparable questions to the AP Test. I don't have my score yet (as I took the test a few weeks ago), but I can attest that the number of practice questions really helped me. At the end of each section (and there are plenty of sections!), there are quite a few multiple choice questions, ranging from about 9 to 34, and several free response questions. In addition, there is a diagnostic exam at the beginning, and 5 complete practice AP tests at the end. I was very impressed by the amount of practice; in my mind, this almost negates the needlessly bookish tone of the rest of the book.
In short, the bad: too wordy, too much information, not enough conceptual overview
The good: hundreds of practice problems and test questions that very closely mirror the difficulty of the actual test.
In my mind, the success of the book is in personal preference: those that improve with practice should buy this book. Those that just need a big-picture idea to tie up all the loose ends of knowledge may want to turn to a different guide (Princeton?).
I received a 4 on the AP Statistics exam. Which sort of goes with my review--it's good, but not the best.