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The Ultimate AP Computer Science A Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ

by SAT GrandMaster on January 24, 2021

The Ultimate AP Computer Science A Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ

Content Difficulty

The five-point rate of Computer Science A is about 25%-27%, with an increasing trend in recent years. The content tested is relatively basic. Most of them are the introductory and basic knowledge of Java. You do no need any computer or programming foundation to study this subject. It mainly examines the logical thinking, the ability to solve problems and manipulate data. It requires a certain mathematical foundation.

 

Content Coverage

The language tested for AP Computer Science A is Java, a classic object-oriented programming language. Java mainly requires us to master two major blocks, one is how to use objective thinking to abstract problems, such as abstracting data into various variables and arrays; the other is how to use algorithms to abstract content. The syllabus includes Java language features, programming ideas, delivery return, array, sort and search, etc.

 

Should You Take AP Computer Science A?

It is more recommended for students taking mathematics, engineering, and technology to study AP Computer Science, as it is a must for these majors. Although mathematics and computer science are closely related, AP Computer Science A involves very basic and simple mathematical knowledge. Hence it is also suitable for students interested in computer but taking other majors. Can take it as learning a new skill.

 

Exam Format

Section 1: Multiple Choice
40 Questions I 1 Hour 30 Minutes I 50% of Exam Score
• The multiple-choice section includes mostly individual questions, with 1-2 sets of questions (typically 2-3 questions per set).
• Computational Thinking Practices 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all assessed in the multiple-choice section.


Section 2: Free Response
4 Questions I 1 Hour 30 Minutes I 50% of Exam Score
• All free-response questions assess Computational Thinking Practice 3: Code Implementation, with the following focuses:
-Question 1: Methods and Control Structures - Students will be asked to write program code to create objects of a class and call methods, and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
-Question 2: Classes - Students will be asked to write program code to define a new type by creating a class and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
-Question 3: Array/ArrayList - Students will be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 1D array or ArrayList objects.
-Question 4: 2D Array - Students will be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 2D array objects.

 

Score Distribution

 

Test Prep Strategy

The 5-point rate of AP Computer Science A is usually above 20%, which is quite high compared to other AP subjects. In order to get a high score in Computer Science A, there are two ways:

1. Systematic learning knowledge structure: CSA tests a lot on candidates’ overall understanding. Hence, it is important that candidates are familiar with all the knowledge in all chapters. If you encounter any problem during revision, seek for help immediately to prevent that problem becoming the obstacle for the chapter.

2.Practice more programming: As the questions tested will be based on the analysis of Java code. It is important to practise more to familiarise yourself with the language.

 

Recommended Study Guides

-Barron AP Computer Science A (EM)
-Introduction to JAVA Programming and Data Structures
-Absolute Java 5th Edition
-5 Steps to a 5 AP Computer Science A
-Cracking the AP Computer Science - Princeton Review

 

Collection of Official Papers with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

  1. AP Computer Science A 1999 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Question
  2. AP Computer Science A 2008 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  3. AP Computer Science A 2009 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  4. AP Computer Science A 2010 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  5. AP Computer Science A 2010 1 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  6. AP Computer Science A 2014 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  7. AP Computer Science A 2015 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions
  8. AP Computer Science A 2019 Full Exam Paper with Multiple-Choice Questions

 

Click here to obtain the latest AP Computer Science A Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ from ExclusiveSAT. 

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