Education Technology

You're Probably Right, It's Wrong

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students perform a simulation to guess answers on a test and determine the experimental probability of passing the test. They then compare it with the theoretical probability.

Before the Activity

  • Set up the calculator as explained in the attached PDF file
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 111 - 128 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:
    Part 1:

  • List the correct answer for each multiple choice question
  • Generate a list of random numbers between 1 and 4
  • Compare the two lists
  • Find the number of correct answers in the simulation
  • Use this data to plot a histogram, and find the mean, mode, and median for the number of correct answers
  • Compare the experimental and theoretical probabilities for the data


  • Part 2:
    Run a simulation to check to see if the calculator produces an answer distribution similar to that on the actual test:
  • Generate a list of random numbers between 1 and 4 to represent the answers to 20 questions on the test
  • Sort the list and count the frequency of each option
  • Repeat the steps for two more trials
  • Determine the number of times an answer-option occurs in each trial
  • Plot a pie chart for each of the trial-tests
  • Create a pictograph using the data from the three trials
  • Construct bar graphs and observe that this graph shows the results of all three tests
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Data Collection and Analysis page and answer questions.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary