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AP Statistics

Review: Inference for Proportions

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Key Terms and Concepts


Before taking the Quiz, you need to be able to explain the meanings (and recognize symbols
in cases where there is an associated symbol) of each of these terms or concepts. You
should also know when and how to use them in statistics problems.
These terms and concepts are defined in Key Terms.
confidence interval for a single proportion
confidence interval for two proportions
margin of error for a single proportion
pooled population proportions
pooled standard error of the difference between two population proportions
sample size for a given margin of error
significance tests for a single proportion
significance tests for single population proportions vs. confidence intervals for single
population proportions
standard error of the difference between two population proportions
z-intervals for a single proportion

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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Objectives, Example Problems, and Study Tips


Confidence Intervals and Hypothesis Tests for a Single Population
Proportion
Objective 1
Identify why and when it's proper to use z-procedures when dealing with proportions.
Examples
1. Why are z-procedures used instead of t procedures for doing inference for proportions?
2. What assumptions are necessary to use z-procedures when doing inference for
proportions?
Tip
The answer has something to do with the binomial distribution, and the normal
approximation to the binomial distribution.
Answers
1. The count of successes, X, in a sample drawn from a much larger population follows
approximately a binomial distribution with mean np and standard deviation

np(1 p) .

X
has an approximately
n
p(1 p)
normal distribution with mean p = p and standard deviation p =
. You can
n
use the normal distribution (and z-procedures) when doing inference for proportions if
the necessary assumptions are met (see #2 below). (In a more advanced statistics
course, you may learn to do these problems by doing exact binomial calculations.)
=
This means the distribution of the sample proportion p

2. Here are the assumptions necessary to use z-procedures when doing inference for
proportion:
The sample data are a simple random sample from the population of interest.
For the sampling distribution to be considered a binomial distribution, the population
must be at least 10 times the size of the sample. (Some textbooks say 20 times, but
for this review we'll use 10.) Just be sure you checkyou'll get credit as long as you
cite one of these commonly used rules.
, n(1 p
) must both be at least 10, and if you have a hypothesized
The quantities np

value of P ( p0 ), np0 , n(1 p0 ) must both be at least 10. (Some textbooks say "at
least 5" or "greater than 5," but for this review we'll use "at least 10.") Just be sure
you checkyou'll get credit as long as you cite one of these commonly used rules.
Objective 2
Construct a confidence interval for a single population proportion using the point estimate,
the standard error, and the critical z-value.
Examples
1. What's the standard error of a sample proportion when you're constructing a confidence
interval for a single population proportion?
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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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2. Construct a 99% confidence interval for the percentage of Americans planning to vote
for Senator Porkbarrel if a sample of size 1,500 from this senator's district (voting
population 500,000) identifies 650 who say they plan to vote for that candidate.
Tips
The formula for a confidence interval for a single population proportion is

z*
p

(1 p
)
p
, and the
, where the point estimate is the sample proportion p
n

(1 p
)
p
.
n
Remember these criteria:
The sample data are a simple random sample from the population of interest.
For the sampling distribution to be considered a binomial distribution, the population
is at least 10 times the size of the sample. (Some textbooks say 20 times, but for
this review we'll use 10.) Just be sure you checkyou'll get credit as long as you cite
one of these commonly used rules.
, n(1 p
) must both be at least 10, and if you have a hypothesized
The quantities np
value of P ( p0 ), then np0 and n(1 p0 ) must both be at least 10. (Some textbooks
standard error is

say "at least 5" or "greater than 5," but for this review we'll use "at least 10.") Just
be sure you checkyou'll get credit as long as you cite one of these commonly used
rules.
Answers
1. The standard error for a confidence interval for a single population proportion is

s p =

(1 p
)
p
.
n

and n(1 p
) are both greater than
2. We can use a z-procedure because N > 10n, and np
10.
z*
Use p

(1 p
)
p
.
n

For a 99% confidence interval for a population proportion, z* = 2.58, and


.43(1 .43)
650
= .43 2.58(.013) <.40, .46>.
=
p
= .43. This gives us .43 2.58

1500
1500

Remember that on a quiz you should show the details as we've done heredon't just
report the answer you got from your calculator.
Objective 3
Determine the sample size needed for a given margin of error when constructing a
confidence interval for a population proportion.
Examples
1. You want to estimate the percentage of voters who'll vote for Sen. Porkbarrel in the next
election to within 2% with 95% confidence. What's the minimum value of n needed to
do this?
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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

2. Suppose we're pretty sure that Sen. Porkbarrel will receive very close to 60% of the
vote. What's the minimum sample size needed to be within 2% at the 95% level of
confidence? At the 99% level?
Tips
2

z *
The formula for the minimum sample size is n =
P*(1 P*), where P* is your
m
guess for the population proportion P.
If you don't have a good reason to predict a value of P, use P = .5, or use the formula
2

z *
n=
.
2m
Answers
2

1.96
z *
= 2,401.
1. Assuming P = .5, n =
=
2
m

2(.02)
2

1.96
z *
2. Assuming P = .6, n =
(.6)(.4) = 2,304.96. So 2,305
p*(1 p*) =
.02
m
subjects will be needed for this test. Note that we need fewer subjects than when we
assumed that P = .5. In general, P = .5 will give the greatest sample size (and thus the
2

z *
safest estimate) for the expression n =
p*(1 p*). For a 99% confidence
m
2

2.58
z *
interval, n =
(.6)(.4) = 3,993.84, so we'd need 3,994
p*(1 p*) =
.02
m
subjects. You can see that it might be expensive to move from 95% confidence to 99%
confidence!
Objective 4
Explain the difference between the standard error of a sample proportion for a confidence
interval, and the standard deviation of a sample proportion for a significance test.
Example
Explain the difference between the standard error of a sample proportion for a confidence
interval and the standard deviation of a sample proportion for a significance test.
Answer
For a significance test, you're assuming that you know the population proportion (the
1 p

p
in the formula
hypothesized value, p0), and so you use p0 instead of p
,
n

p0 (1 p0 )
, you now have a
. Since you're using p0 instead of p
n
standard deviation. To summarize:

and it becomes

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

is
For confidence intervals, the standard error of p

1 p

p
is the sample
, where p
n

proportion, and n is the sample size.

is
For hypothesis tests, the standard deviation of p

p0 (1 p0 )
, where p0 is the
n

hypothesized value of P, and n is the sample size.


Objective 5
Conduct a significance test about a single population proportion.
Example
Sen. Porkbarrel's official pollster predicts that he'll receive 50.1% of the vote. A simple
random sample of 1,500 voters (voting population 500,000) identifies 700 who say they
plan to vote for Sen. Porkbarrel. Conduct a test of the hypothesis that the population
proportion who will vote for Sen. Porkbarrel is .501. Assume the alternative is that the
pollster is wrong.
Tips

1 p

p0 (1 p0 )
p
for a significance test.
instead of
n
n
The formula for a test statistic for a single population proportion is
p0
p0
p
p
.
=
z =
p
p0 (1 p0 )
n
Remember that when doing a significance test, the null hypothesis states that
H 0 : p = p0.
Remember to use

Answer
H0 : p = .501 (50.1% of the voters will vote for Sen. Porkbarrel), and H a : p .501 (the
percentage of voters voting for Sen. Porkbarrel will be different from .501).

Assuming that the 1,500 is an SRS from all eligible voters, the population from which the
sample is drawn is more than 10 times greater than the sample size. In addition,
(1,500)(.501) and (1,500)(.499) are both greater than 10. Thus we're justified in using zprocedures for this proportion problem.

=
Thus we have p

700
= .467, p =
1,500

(.501)(.499)
= .013 (remember in a significance
1,500

), and z = .467 .501 = 2.62 P


test you use the hypothesized value of P, not p
.013

= 2(.004) = .008.
This P-value is quite low, which leads us to reject our null hypothesis and conclude that the
pollster was probably wrong in his belief that Sen. Porkbarrel would receive 50.1% of the
vote.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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The Difference Between Two Proportions


Objective 1
State the main criterion necessary to use two-sample procedures to compare two
population proportions.
Example
State the main criterion necessary to use two-sample procedures to compare two population
proportions.
Answer
The proportions must be for the same variable, but from two separate populations. The two
populations can be two separate groups (proportion of Republicans in California compared
to the proportion in Washington), or they may be the same group measured at different
times (proportion of Californians in 1998 who are Republicans compared to the proportion of
Californians in 2,000 who are Republicans).
Objective 2
Construct confidence intervals for the difference between two population proportions.
Examples
1. Three weeks before the election, a poll of 1,500 voters (voting population 500,000)
found that 700 planned to vote for Sen. Porkbarrel. One week before the election, a new
sample of 1,200 voters found that 500 people planned to vote for Sen. Porkbarrel.
Construct a 99% confidence interval for the difference between the population
proportions.
2. Does the confidence interval you constructed in example 1 give evidence that support is
declining for Sen. Porkbarrel?
Tip
The formula for a confidence interval for the difference between two population proportions

1 p
2 ) z*
is ( p

1 (1 p
1 ) p
(1 p
2 )
p
+ 2
.
n1
n2

Answers

1 p
2 ) z*
1. Use ( p
1 =
p

1 (1 p
1 ) p
(1 p
2 )
p
+ 2
. In this example,
n1
n2

700
500
2 =
= .467, p
= .417 . Thus we have
1,500
1,200

(.467 .417) (2.58)

.467(.533) .417(.583)
+
= .05 2.58(.019) = <0+, .099>. (The
1,500
1,200

0+ indicates that the value is minutely greater than 0). Note that the expression for the
1 and p
2 .
standard error of the estimate uses the values of p

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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2. Zero is on the verge of being in the interval, so technically we can't conclude that this
difference is unlikely if the proportions were the same in the population. However, since
0 is so close to being in the interval, we should be able to argue that there's evidence
(how strong is debatable) that the support for Sen. Porkbarrel seems to have declined
between the two pollings.
Objective 3
State the justification criteria for pooling variances to estimate the standard error of
the difference between two population proportions when doing a significance test.
Example
For means, it isn't a good idea, generally, to pool variances when calculating the standard
error for the difference between two population means. Why is it okayeven
requiredwhen doing a significance test for proportions?
Tip
Remember that when doing a significance test for the difference between two population
proportions, the null assumes that the two proportions are equal.
Answer
When testing for a difference between two population means, we assume that the
population means are equal, but we can't assume that the population standard deviations
are equal without some further analysis. When testing for a difference between two
proportions, the standard error is defined in terms of proportions, and the null hypothesis
assumes that the proportions are equal.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions
To summarize it mathematically:

s p p =
1 2

s p p =
1 2

1 (1 p
1 ) p
(1 p
2 )
p
+ 2
, but H0 : p1 = p2 . Thus
n1
n2
(1 p
)
p
n1

(1 p
)
p
n2

1
1
(1 p
)
p
+
n2
n1

:
This expression uses the pooled value of p
X1 + X 2
.
n1 + n2

=
p

Objective 4
Conduct a significance test for the difference between two population proportions.
Examples
1. Three weeks before the election, a poll of 1,500 voters (voting population 500,000)
found that 700 planned to vote for Sen. Porkbarrel. One week before the election, a new
sample of 1,200 voters found that 500 people planned to vote for Sen. Porkbarrel.
Conduct a test of the hypothesis that support for Sen. Porkbarrel has declined.
2. The test described in example 1 is one-sided since we're testing for a decline only.
Suppose we were only interested in whether the support level had changed. Use your
answer from example 1 to state the probability that the difference between the two
sample proportions was due to chance if, in fact, the population proportions were the
same.
Tips

There are four steps to every significance-test problem:


1. State the hypotheses in the context of the problem.
2. State the test you plan to use and justify the assumptions needed to use it.
3. Calculate a test statistic and P-value.
4. State a conclusion.
, remember to use the pooled value
In your calculations for the standard error of p
X + X2
= 1
for the sample proportion: p
.
n1 + n2
The test statistic for the difference between two population proportions is
z =

1 p
2
1
X + X2
p
1
= 1
, and p
(1 p
)
.
+
, where s p = p
n1 + n2
s p
n
n
2
1

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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Answers
1. Step 1:
H0 : p1 = p2 (The proportion of the population that will vote for Sen. Porkbarrel hasn't

changed.)
H a : p1 > p2 (The proportion of the population that will vote for Sen. Porkbarrel has
declined.)
1 =
p

700
500
700 + 500
2 =
=
= .467, p
= .417, p
= .444
1,500
1,200
1,200 + 1,500

Step 2:
The population of people eligible to vote is much larger than the samples; also
(.444)(2,700) and (.556)(2,700) are both greater than 10. We're justified in using a ztest for this two-proportion problem.
Step 3:

z =

.467 .417
1
1
(.444)(.556)

+
1
,
500
1
,
200

.05
= 2.63 P-value = .004
.019

=
: p
Note that the standard error of the estimate uses the pooled value of p

X1 + X 2
.
n1 + n2

Step 4:
This P-value is quite low and provides strong evidence in support of rejecting the null
hypothesis. We can conclude that support for Sen. Porkbarrel has declined significantly.

(Note: If a significance level isn't stated beforehand, usually P .05 is evidence for
rejecting the null.)
2. To go from a P-value for a one-sided alternative hypothesis to a P-value for a two-sided
alternative hypothesis, multiply the one-sided P-value by two. Thus you'd get
2(.004) = .008.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions
Summary of Formulas

Although you'll be provided with a formula sheet containing the elements of the
formulas in this Review to use on the unit quiz, it's very important that you
understand what these formulas mean and how they're used.
Some of the formulas here are listed with extra notes as to how they're used, what
the different symbols mean, or how to calculate degrees of freedom. You won't be
given this information on the unit quiz.
In some cases the formula sheet may not give you the exact formula you see here,
so you'll need to understand the formulas well enough to be able to adapt them. For
on the formula sheet, you
example, if you need to look up the standard error of p
may only find the formula for the standard deviation of a population proportion:
p(1 p)
. You'd need to know that you have to modify this formula slightly to get
n
:
the standard error of p

(1 p
)
p
.
n

If you use these formulas a lot as you study and you understand what they mean
and where they come from, you should have no trouble using them on a quiz or
exam. (By the time you've used the formulas enough and understand them well,
you'll probably find that you've memorized most of them anyway.)
Confidence interval for a single population proportion:

z*( s p ), where s p = standard error of p


=
p

(1 p
)
p
n

Putting this all together, you get:


z*
p

(1 p
)
p
n

Note: You'll need to know that the general form for a confidence interval is
(estimate) (critical value)(standard error or standard deviation), and you'll also need to
know which estimate or formula to plug in for each element.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions
Minimum sample size for a given margin of error and confidence level:

z *
n=
P*(1 P*), where P* is your guess for the population proportion P.
m

If you don't have a good reason to predict a value of P, use P = .5, or use the formula
2

z *
n=
.
2m
Note: You'll either need to memorize these formulas, or know how to derive them from the
formula for a confidence interval.

Test statistic for a hypothesis test on a single population proportion:

z =

p0
p
=
p

p0
p

p0 (1 p0 )
n

, where

p0 (1 p0 )
.
is the standard deviation of p
n

Note: You'll need to know that a test statistic is usually constructed as:

difference between two values


.
standard deviation or standard error of the statistic
You'll also need to know what to plug in for the numerator and denominator. The elements
will be given to you on the formula sheet, but you'll have to know how they fit together.

Confidence interval for the difference between two population proportions:

1 p
2 ) z*( s p p ), where s p p =
(p
1 2
1 2

1 (1 p
1 ) p
(1 p
2 )
p
+ 2
n1
n2

1 p
2 ) z*
Putting this together, you get: ( p

1 (1 p
1 ) p
(1 p
2 )
p
+ 2
.
n1
n2

Note: You'll need to know that the general form for a confidence interval is
(estimate) (critical value)(standard error or standard deviation), and you'll also need to
know which estimate or formula to plug in for each element.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

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Test statistic for a hypothesis test for the difference between two population
proportions:

z =

1 p
2
1
p
X + X2
1
(1 p
)
= 1
, and p
+
, where s p = p
.
n1 + n2
n
n
s p
2
1

Note: You'll need to know that a test statistic is usually constructed as:

difference between two values


.
standard deviation or standard error of the statistic
You'll also need to know what to plug in for the numerator and denominator. The elements
will be given to you on the formula sheet, but you'll have to know how they fit together.

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AP Statistics
Review: Inference for Proportions

Page 13 of 13

About the Unit Quiz


What to Bring

Scratch paper
Calculator
Approved formula sheet
Approved tables

You can't have any reference materials other than those specifically mentioned above. You
won't be able to ask for help during the quiz.
Hints and Tips for the Free-Response Portion

Show your work. The test corrector won't assume you used proper set up and
methods if you reach the correct answer. It's up to you to communicate the methods
that you used. Answers alone, without appropriate justification, will receive no credit.

Take your time reading the question. Since we want to see how well you can apply
your knowledge to new and somewhat unfamiliar situations, take some time to think
about the question. If you don't understand the question, you're unlikely to find the right
answer. Read the entire question before beginning to answer.

Most questions will be given in several parts. The answers from one section will
often be used in subsequent sections. Missing points in an early section does not mean
you'll lose points in subsequent sections. Again, read the entire question to see how the
different sections connect to each other.

The calculator. As in the AP Exam, this quiz will test you on how well you know
statistics, not on how well you can use your calculator. Be sure you understand the
concepts behind the calculator operations. Don't use "calculator-speak" in your answer
the instructor doesn't want to read a set of steps for the calculator! Use your calculator for
doing the mechanics, but be sure to clearly communicate your process for solving the
problem.

Use Units. If units are given in the problem, make sure that you give them in your
answer.

Answer the Question. Finally, be very careful to answer the question asked. Before
you move on, read over your answer to make sure you're providing exactly what the
question asks for. Generally, an answer to a question you weren't asked will receive no
credit.

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