AP Computer Science Principles

COMPuter Science Honors 3-4

Two Semester Course

Prerequisite: Computer Science Honors 1-2 or teacher approval.

Level: Intermediate

This course is appropriate for anyone on the coding track career. Also for any junior or senior who is interested in taking an AP computer course, even without prior programming experience.

This course can be taken for AP credit or for honors credit. The same curriculum is taught for both courses.

Students in this course continue developing structured programming and problem solving skills. The AP curriculum is followed, which includes the study of computer science topics as well as programming. Students study the Internet, digital information, big data and cybersecurity. Students also learn to create interactive programs using the Python programming language. Students will prepare for and take the AP exam and submit two performance tasks.

Students will benefit from taking this course by furthering their technology and computing skills. They will be prepared to use these skills in the workplace. They also benefit by preparing for and taking the AP exam. Research shows that students who take an AP course are better prepared for continuing their education after high school.

Link to AP CSP Course Details

Link to AP Computer Science Website

AP CSP Big Ideas

Big Idea 1: Creativity

Computing is a creative activity. In this course, you will use the tools and techniques of computer science to create interesting and relevant digital artifacts (e.g., a video, animation, infographic, audio recording or program) with characteristics that are enhanced by computation.

Big Idea 2: Abstraction

Abstraction is a central problem-solving technique in computer science. In this course, you'll use abstraction to model the world and communicate with people and machines.

Big Idea 3: Data and Information

Data and information facilitate the creation of knowledge. Managing and interpreting an overwhelming amount of raw data is part of the foundation of our information society and technology. In this course, you will work with data to better understand the many ways in which data is transformed into information and knowledge.

Big Idea 4: Algorithms

Algorithms are used to develop and express solutions to computational problems. They are fundamental to even the most basic everyday task. In this course, you will work with algorithms in many ways: You will develop and express original algorithms, implement algorithms in a language, and analyze algorithms analytically and empirically.

Big Idea 5: Programming

Programming enables problem solving, human expression, and creation of knowledge. It results in the creation of software, and it facilitates the creation of computational artifacts, including music, images, and visualizations. In this course, you'll learn the fundamental concepts of programming that can be applied across a variety of projects and languages. You will create programs, translating human intention into computational artifacts.

Big Idea 6: The Internet

The Internet and systems built on it have a profound impact on society. It pervades modern computing. In this course, you will: gain insight into how the Internet operates; study characteristics of the Internet and systems built on it; and analyze important concerns, such as cybersecurity.

Big Idea 7: Global Impact

Computation has changed the way people think, work, live, and play. In this course, you'll become familiar with many ways in which computing enables innovation. You will analyze the potential benefits and harmful effects of computing in a number of contexts.

AP exam requirements

About the Exam

The AP Computer Science Principles Assessment consists of two components: a through-course assessment and the end-of-course AP Exam. Both of these parts will measure your achievement of the course learning objectives.

Through-Course Assessment

For the through-course assessment, you will upload digital artifacts and written responses via a Web-based digital application. You will be asked to describe or analyze your work, whether it includes research, the creation of an artifact (e.g., a video, spreadsheet, graph, or electronic slide show), or the creation of a program.

Explore Performance Task

The Explore performance task requires students to identify a computing innovation, explore its impact, and create a related digital artifact – ex. digital art, video – accompanied by a written response.

Create Performance Task

The Create performance task focuses specifically on the creation of a computer program through the collaborative and iterative process of programming.

End-of-Course AP Exam

The end-of-course AP Exam is a paper-and-pencil written exam. It is 2 hours long and includes approximately 74 multiple-choice questions. There are two types of multiple-choice questions:

  • Single Select Multiple-Choice: you select 1 answer from among 4 options
  • Multiple Select Multiple-Choice: you select 2 answers from among 4 options

Examples of Python Programs

Dragon's realm: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user45_PwVpXP822N_0.py

falling snow: https://py3.codeskulptor.org/#user301_d2ZPMTci43QXYYW.py

Click the ghost: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user45_sNxvUynbjz_0.py

Choose your own adventure game: https://py3.codeskulptor.org/#user302_7vlUu1FC8WN1sJR.py

Rock, paper, scissors: https://py3.codeskulptor.org/#user302_dGemkNAtWO_7.py

Small picture in loops: https://py3.codeskulptor.org/#user302_FuEk7urddL_15.py