AP Computer Science Courses
Advance placement Computer Science (AP CS) offers two AP exams for students interested in the computer science field. These courses are linked to some extent but have entirely different directions in the vast field of computer science following college or university level course work. The two AP computer science courses include;
- AP Computer Science Principles.
- AP Computer Science A.
The AP computer science principles is a non-specific programming language course and do not require any prior knowledge of the computer science field. Students who do not have any basic understanding of the general aspects of the computer science field mostly opt for the AP computer science principle course. While the AP computer science A course is a bit more advanced college-level introductory course and the best option for the students who love coding and programming. Every year thousands of high school students who want to achieve high placement in the computer science program of reputable colleges and universities worldwide take one of these exams to build extra credit. Needless to say, AP computer courses are an excellent choice for those students who are willing to take extra work to be academically prepared for the college level while being in high school.
What AP class should I take for Computer Science?
Primarily students get confused about the choosing process of their AP class, but it solely depends on your interest. The process is much simple. Just know your interest parameters in the field and go for the one. AP computer science principles are primarily for those students who do not know anything about coding or programming or any computational language. But if you are a gamer and have a keen interest in game development, then it means you are the right one to choose the AP Computer Science A course and lead your way from a gamer to a programmer. In this article, we have a prime focus on the AP Computer Science A course. So if you think this is the right course for you, dive deep to retrieve all the needed knowledge of the AP CS A course and get a high score in this exam.
What Consist of AP Computer Science A Course?
AP Computer Science A is a more advanced college-level introductory first-year computer science course. This course is ideal for students who have a keen desire to pursue their careers in software engineering, web development, and design. A vast range of reputable colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide offer acceptance based on AP computer science A course credit. This course holds tremendous excitement for the students who are already familiar with the basic approach of computer science. High school students need to have their linear algebra course before opting for the AP computer science A exam. One of the most important features of this course is the programming language which is Java. Students who opt for this course could enjoy the opportunity of the hands-on practice of this particular programming language while performing their task of developing some program.
Worth of Scoring Good in AP Computer Science A ?
Earning a college credit to get admission to your Dream-College or university might be a challenging task. But by choosing the AP Computer Science A course, you can quickly get an acceptance, but for that specific approach, you need to achieve big in the exam. The exam is not an easy obstacle to clear; due to high competency, you need to put extra attention and energy to outnumber others to attain your own position. In this article, we summarized all the topics and tactics you need to be prepared to get what you want.
AP Computer Science A Exam
AP Computer Science exam is not very easy, and you need to do more in the exam instead of just passing it. Every year thousands of students take the AP computer science A exam, but the average of the students who could get a college credit is meager. There are several facts involve in this low percentage. The important one is that most students did not prepare well before taking the exam. Sometimes students hardly know about all the exam topics and think they will somehow get the best out of it. But this is totally not the case. According to the published finding of the AP College Board, a deficient number of students could be able to score a 5 in the final exam assessment. AP computer science A course-end exam consists of two portions. And each part holds a 50% weightage in the final scoring calculation.
AP Computer Science A Exam Format
AP Computer Science A exam consists of two portions, but recently the AP College Board has made few updates in the exam format of AP CS A, and these changes were implemented in the 2020 exams. Although the exam still consists of two sections, the changes in attempting questions have been revised.
- Section I of AP Computer Science A Exam: Section I of the exams consist of multiple-choice questions that you are supposed to score by machine. Students have to fill the bubbles of the correct answer with a pencil on the mark sense sheet. Each question holds 1 point, so the correctly attempted question will add 1 point while the wrong or un-attempted answer will leave you with a zero. Section I comprised 50% of the final scoring weightage. You can explore more guidance regarding the MCQ attempt and scoring.
- Section II of AP Computer Science A Exam: Section II of the AP computer science A exam holds great importance. This section is supposed to be scored by AP human readers. This section is characterized by free-response questions, and students are required to write their answers in the provided booklet. The questions mainly involved different writing methods to solve the programming-based problems using Java language. The questions also are related to analyzing algorithms, designing and modifying the data structure and analysis. The extent of the response questions is different and mainly comprises the 10 basic units that we will further categorize in this article. Sometimes students may be asked to write or even design an entire class. But again, everything that is questioned in this section cover the course topic. Each of the questions is worth 9 points, so it is important to handle this portion with great observation. Overall this section comprised 50% of the final scoring in weightage. This portion consists of 4 questions, and each of your questions may be examined by more than one AP grader to ensure the authenticity and reliability of the AP Computer Science Exam. You can explore more about the format of the AP CS A exam.
Important Covered Concepts of AP Computer Science A Exam
To get a high score which is 5, in the AP computer science exam, you need to have proper knowledge and guidance of all the covered topics of this course. We bring you a complete course framework that can help you understand all the necessary information for your success in the exam. Following all the big ideas and core principles of the course concepts that we have summarized for you, you can quickly achieve your big target and get a high college credit score which will, in the end, help you to pursue your career in the vast field of computer science and technology. We suggest high school students who opt for the AP CS A exam get help from the advanced curricula for this course.
The AP Computer Science A covered concept design mainly comprises the 10 basic learning units for the exam. You can go through these units to arrange and organize topics according to your own flexibility or according to your AP computer science A tutor for reliability. Students can take help from different online available AP computer science A courses.
AP Computer Science A Exam Scoring
While we see the AP computer science exam as a brilliant opportunity to earn college credit for reputable colleges or universities, it is not easy to score high in the exam. The final scoring of the exam consists of 1-5. Needless to say, it represents the apparent impact. Students who could get a score of 3 are considered passing students, but this passing score does not guarantee acceptance in computer science primary degree. Due to a high competency, it is obvious, and we recommend you to practice and strive for a 5.
Score Distribution of 2019 Exam of AP Computer Science A
The figure above showed the score distribution of the AP computer science A exam conducted in 2019. The percentage shows that only 26% of students were able to score a 5. This more emphasized the complete preparation of the AP CS A exam before actually attempting it.
How to Score 5 in the AP Computer Science A Exam?
Now that we have analyzed the scoring outcomes of the AP Computer Science A exam, we can focus on achieving a 5 more clearly. A high score in the AP exam could cast an impressive effect on your university application and will be helpful during course placement. Sometimes even if college credit may not be granted in some universities, students can still skip lower-level classes because of their course work and high AP exam score. We categorized some of the best tactics for you to be prepared for the AP Computer Science exam and gain a good 5 score in it.
- Focus on the Practicing Multiple Choice questions: The multiple-choice section of the AP computer science A exam is significant and considered the more score gaining section as one worth 1 point. By covering all the topics keenly, try to do as much practice of solving these MCQs as you can. There are various AP CS A practice test classes available to help you identify your knowledge command. Evaluate each question before answering the right one, focus on the wrong one, and canceled them by narrowing your response. Gradually you will get to the right one. These tactics are the best scoring strategy in multiple-choice questions. Follow some reliable test preparation sites to get the best score.
- Practice AP Computer Science A Free-response Questions : Free-response questions could be attemptable solely based on your knowledge and learning. The best way to score good weightage in the response question is to identify the proper parameters to use when calling methods of classes you are provided with. Most of the time question itself gives a hint of which type of programing of JAVA language coding is required, so pay close attention while analyzing the question. We recommend you go to some reputable paid sites to prepare great instructors to boost your final score. You can also practice on some free available sites.
- CodeHS practice problems
- Smore’s list of APCS resources and practice tests
- AP College Board APCSA Past Exam Questions
- Digital Exam practice of sample papers and past papers: To get a good score, make sure you navigate and go through the available sample papers and past exams to get a proper understanding of how most AP examiners ask or design a question. Some reputable sites even offer last year's exam book, which is very helpful to have a better understanding and gaining a good score.
- Update your Study resources: To get a 5 score in your AP Computer Science A exam, it is essential to always get in touch with the new study resources and material. Try to make notes of every important topic and make sure to often make a match about what you learned by exploring other study materials. Practice answering the questions and in the case of attempting a wrong answer to the question, make sure to note down what skill you lack or weak in. it is essential because by doing so, you'll be able to get a hold of your weakness before the actual exam.
- Join Video Lectures and Live streams: The best and fastest way you can get some knowledge is by watching videos and joining informational live streams of experts and instructors. You can quickly get many valuable data on YouTube on different information AP CS dedicated channels. Try to make the best of it. You can also join daily live reviews mediated by experts from various paid preparation sites.
Free Practice Resources for AP Computer Science A Exam
We also bring you some very reliable and free practicing resources for gaining a better score in the AP computer science exam. By practicing the sample papers and different unit-wise concepts, we will get a high chance to score a 5 in the AP computer science A exam. Some of the highly reliable accessible sources are;
- Khan Academy
- AP College Board 2020 Sample Questions
- AP College Board AP Computer Science Principles Course and Exam Description (page 172)
Insider Tips of How to analyze exam before attempting
Solving the AP exam by a specific strategy will positively impact your mental piece and your exam's final scoring of your exam? It is essential to be calm and navigate the question paper thoroughly before going deep to solve it. By utilizing the experience of AP exam takers, we bring some efficient insider tips to solve your writing and get a good 5 score.
- Look for keywords- methods often hold certain clues to solve the problem.
- The conjunction of the problem- think about the possible ways that how one solution might solve another one.
- Java reference guide- practice using the Java reference guide to solve the problem quickly.
- Address every part of the question.
- Analyze the specifics and test cases to ensure understanding when calling a method.
AP Computer Science A course holds great importance for all the high school students who want to take significant computer science for their next academic journey. So it is important to gain a good score for getting high placement opportunities for your desired course. By taking all the tips and tactics we provide in this article, you can quickly achieve a 5 score in your AP Computer Science A exam.