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What is AP Computer Science?
AP Computer Science Course Description
AP Computer Science is designed to introduce high school students to the fundamental concepts of computer science and programming. There are two courses:
- AP Computer Science Principles: An introductory course that covers fundamental concepts and principles in computer science, independent of any particular programming language.
- AP Computer Science A: An advanced course that teaches students to use the Java programming language.
Both courses culminate in an exam that assesses students’ understanding of the material and their ability to write and analyze programs.
Why Take AP Computer Science?
AP Computer Science is a rigorous program that can provide students with a solid foundation in programming and computer science, which can be beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career in these fields. In today’s technology-driven world, having a background in computer science can be valuable in various professions, making AP Computer Science a practical choice for students interested in developing problem-solving skills applicable in diverse settings.
Demonstrating academic success and readiness through AP coursework and exam performance can also improve college admission prospects, and the exposure to a new subject can foster intellectual curiosity and growth.
AP Computer Science Curriculum
The AP Computer Science curriculum as a whole covers a wide range of computer science topics, such as object-oriented programming, problem-solving algorithms, web development, data analysis and visualization, software engineering principles, emerging technologies, trends, and computer ethics and social issues.
The curriculum strives to give students a solid foundation in computer science and computational thinking, preparing them for further study and careers in the field.
Is Computer Science Hard?
AP Computer Science A is generally regarded as a difficult course that takes considerable time and effort to succeed. Students need to be able to comprehend and apply programming ideas and techniques, produce clean code, and feel at ease debugging their own programs. On the other hand, AP CS Principles is intended to be a more introductory course and may be viewed as less difficult than AP CS A, but it still calls for a firm grasp of basic programming concepts and problem-solving abilities.
AP Computer Science A Vs Principles
AP Computer Science Principles
This course covers a wide range of computer science principles and:
- Emphasizes computational thinking and problem-solving instead of focusing on coding abilities
- Includes discussions of issues including data analysis, the internet, and the societal effects of computing.
- Focuses on teamwork and creativity and contains a sizable project-based component.
- Prepares students for a variety of careers that use computing and technology
AP Computer Science A
In this course, students learn to code with Java and learn specific coding concepts such as Boolean expressions, arrays, and recursion. The course:
- Focuses on core concepts and skills in programming
- Emphasizes algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented programming
- Includes extensive coding assignments
- Enables students to pursue further education or careers in computer science
AP Computer Science Exam
What is the AP Computer Science Exam?
The AP Computer Science exam is a comprehensive assessment of the concepts and skills taught in the course. Students can receive college credit for the course and/or the opportunity to take more advanced college courses. AP Computer Science is comparable to one semester of college computer science. It will provide your future college student with useful knowledge and a head start.
In order to receive college credits for this course, students are encouraged to earn a score of 3 or higher.
How is the AP Computer science test scored?
The multiple-choice section is scored by computers while the free response questions are scored by trained AP readers. They are all combined to create the composite score. Each student’s composite score is then converted into a 1-5 scoring system.
Students who get a score of 3, 4, or 5 will be able to submit their test results to prospective universities. This provides them with college computer science credit and/or advanced placement in future courses at those schools.
How long are the AP Computer science exams?
The duration of the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam is 3 hours. It is divided into two parts: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section.
The AP Computer Science Principles exam, on the other hand, consists of a 2 hour long multiple-choice section and an end-of-course assignment that will take at least 12 hours of in-class time to complete.
What is On the AP Computer science Exam?
The AP Computer Science exam assesses students’ understanding of fundamental computer science concepts and skills. Students will answer questions related to programming, data structures, algorithms, and computer systems, as well as write and debug programs, analyze algorithms, and explain programming concepts.
More details of each exam can be found below.
AP Computer Science Principles Exam Format
The College Board ensures the AP Computer Science Principles Exam has consistent question types, scoring guidelines, and weighting. This way you and your student know what to expect on the day of the exam.
Calculators are not needed on this exam.
Consists of a total of 70 multiple-choice questions. Students are given 2 Hours to complete the section. It is worth 70% of the total AP Exam Score and consists of:
- 57 single-select multiple-choice questions
- 5 single-select with reading passage about a computing innovation
- 8 multiple-select (selecting 2 answers)
Big Ideas Assessed In SECTION 1
- Creative Development
- Algorithms and Programming
- Computer Systems and Networks
- Impact of Computing
Consists of a “Create Performance Task” where students must develop a computer program of their choice. At least 12 Hours of in-class time are needed to complete the section. It is worth 30% of the total AP Exam Score.
Requirements of Section 2
Students must submit:
- A video of the program running
- Individual written responses about the program and development process
- Program code (any language)
To the AP Digital Portfolio application.
AP Computer Science A Exam Format
The College Board ensures the AP Computer Science A Exam has consistent question types, scoring guidelines, and weighting. This way you and your student know what to expect on the day of the exam.
Calculators are not needed on this exam.
Consists of a total of 40 multiple-choice questions. Students are given 1 Hour and 30 minutes to complete the section. It is worth 50% of the total AP Exam Score.
Computational Thinking Practices In SECTION 1
- Program design and algorithm development
- Code logic
- Code testing
Consists of a total of 4 free-response questions. Students are given 1 Hour and 30 minutes to complete the section. It is worth 50% of the total AP Exam Score.
Practices in Section 2
- Question 1: Methods and Control Structures
- Question 2: Classes
- Question 3: Array/ArrayList
- Question 4: 2D Array
Meet Your AP Computer Science Tutor
One on One Tutoring
One-on-one tutoring provides students with personalized attention and tailored instruction to meet their specific needs. With a tutor focused solely on their progress, students can work at their own pace and ask questions without feeling rushed or intimidated.
Personalized instruction also allows tutors to identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses and create a targeted plan for improvement. Students can receive immediate feedback on their work, and tutors can adjust their teaching approach to fit the student’s individual learning style.
Computer Science Help
Our AP Computer Science tutors offer individualized support to assist students in improving their comprehension of computer science concepts and their practical applications. They engage in one-on-one interactions with students, providing timely feedback on difficult computer science topics and answering any queries.
Our tutors also provide supplementary learning resources and exercises to strengthen understanding and enhance problem-solving abilities. By comprehensively reviewing the fundamentals, our tutors equip students with the necessary skills to succeed in both AP Computer Science courses and achieve high scores on the AP exam.
Computer Science Homework
Having an AP Computer Science tutor who can offer personalized assistance and homework help can be extremely beneficial if your child is struggling with their CS assignments. MathTowne’s tutors are well-equipped to provide the necessary support to students, helping them understand complex concepts and providing them with the tools required to succeed in their coursework. If your child is struggling with computer science topics such as algorithms or compiler errors, a skilled tutor can offer the guidance they need to excel in their studies.
AP Computer Science Exam Prep
Our AP Computer Science tutors assist students in preparing for school tests and the AP exam next year by conducting mock tests and exams to evaluate their understanding and address any gaps in learning. We provide comprehensive computer science review, ensuring a strong understanding and application of CS concepts necessary for success on the AP exam. With our guidance and support, students will be better equipped to tackle the challenges of the AP exam and achieve a high score.
How our AP Computer Science tutors create results
Study skills & test-taking Strategies
Our team is dedicated to providing the necessary support for students to succeed in their academic goals. Our highly qualified AP Computer Science tutors help students form productive habits.
These include time management, study skills, and test-taking strategies. These fundamental skills enable students to better overcome the challenges of achieving academic excellence.
in-home & online tutoring
MathTowne has online tutoring as well as in-home for whatever suits your needs. We guarantee our in-home tutors are professional, safe, and knowledgeable for your peace of mind.
If you choose to do remote lessons, we have some of the best online AP Computer Science tutors available. Our online tutors are highly experienced in conducting fun and effective lessons and utilize various technologies to ensure student engagement.
I need An AP Computer Science Tutor
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I went there for math, computer coding and science tutoring and it helped I got a good grade on my tests and understood the concept of what we were studying. The tutors were very kind and patient one of my favorite tutors was Anh. They had many resources we could work on, they provided iPads during the session to collaborate with the tutors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the prerequisites to taking either AP CS course?
For AP Computer Science Principles, students are recommended to have taken an algebra course.
For AP Computer Science A, students are recommended to have taken high school English and algebra, and to be familiar with functions and function notation.
How do I know if CS tutoring is right for me?
AP Computer Science tutoring may be right for you if you are struggling with the coursework, need additional support to prepare for the AP exam, or want to improve your programming skills. Talk to your teacher or guidance counselor to see if they think tutoring would be beneficial for you.
Can an AP CS tutor help me with other computer science courses?
Yes, many AP Computer Science tutors are also experienced in other computer science courses and can provide support for topics such as data structures, algorithms, and software development.
Do I need to have prior programming experience to work with an AP CS tutor?
No, prior programming experience is not necessary to work with an AP Computer Science tutor. A good tutor will start by assessing your current level of knowledge and work with you to build a strong foundation in computer science principles and programming.
How often should I meet with my AP CS tutor?
The frequency of tutoring sessions will depend on your individual needs and schedule. Some students may benefit from weekly sessions, while others may only need occasional check-ins. Work with your tutor to develop a schedule that works best for you.
How long does an AP CS tutoring session typically last?
The length of an AP Computer Science tutoring session can vary depending on the tutor and your needs. Sessions may last anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours.
What is the AP Computer Science Principles Performance Task?
The Create Performance Task requires students to design, develop, and document a computer program that solves a specific problem.
It assesses the students’ ability to use computational thinking to solve problems, write and modify computer code, and communicate their ideas effectively. The task is graded on a rubric that evaluates the quality of the solution, the effectiveness of the problem-solving approach, and the clarity of the documentation and communication.
This article gives more details on the specifics of this task.