AP Computer Science A 5-6

AP Computer Science A 5-6

Two Semester Course

Prerequisite: AP Computer Science Principles or teacher approval

Level: Advanced

In AP Computer Science A, students apply their programming skills to larger and more complex problems and situations. AP Computer Science A 5-6 is a university-level course that emphasizes on object-oriented programming methodology using the Java programming language, which is one of the top languages in the world. Students will explore object-oriented programming concepts such as designing classes, data encapsulation, and write complete classes with logic and structure. Students develop an understanding of how programming works as a large scale process by using case studies and working on programming teams. Students completing this course are prepared to take the Advanced Placement A Exam in Computer Science. 

Students will benefit from taking this course by having the opportunity to earn college credit and being prepared for further successful computer studies courses. Students follow the same curriculum as a similar university course. AP Computer Science A will provide students with challenging computer experiences, both individually and in teams. Students will be prepared to work as a junior programmer, and they will realize the advantages of computer technology in education and the workplace. 

Goals of AP Computer Science A 

Students should be able to 

• Design, implement, and analyze solutions to problems; 

• Use and implement commonly used algorithms; 

• Develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures to solve new problems; 

• Write solutions fluently in an object-oriented paradigm; 

• Write, run, test, and debug solutions in the Java programming language, utilizing standard Java library classes and interfaces from the AP Java subset; 

• Read and understand programs consisting of several classes and interacting objects; 

• Read and understand a description of the design and development process leading to such a program; and 

• Understand the ethical and social implications of computer use

Topic Outline for AP Computer Science A 

I. Object-Oriented Program Design 

    A. Program and class design 

II. Program Implementation 

    A. Implementation techniques 

    B. Programming constructs 

   C. Java library classes and interfaces included in the AP Java      Subset 

III. Program Analysis 

    A. Testing                B. Debugging            C. Runtime exceptions 

    D. Program correctness          E. Algorithm analysis 

    F. Numerical representations of integers

IV. Standard Data Structures 

    A. Primitive data types (int, boolean, double) 

    B. Strings                    C. Classes               D. Lists 

    E. Arrays (1-dimensional and 2-dimensional) 

V. Standard Operations and Algorithms 

    A. Operations on data structures 

    B. Searching 

    C. Sorting

VI. Computing in Context 

     A. System reliability 

     B. Privacy 

     C. Legal issues and intellectual property 

     D. Social and ethical ramifications of computer use 


AP Computer Science A Exam Structure 

AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A EXAM: 3 HOURS Assessment Overview All code on the AP Computer Science A Exam is consistent with the AP Java subset that can be found in Appendix A of the Course Description. All questions involving code should be answered in Java. Students are not tested on minor points of syntax. 

Format of Assessment Section 

Section I: 

Multiple Choice | 40 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score 

• Discrete Question topics will include: programming fundamentals, data structures, logic, algorithms/problem solving, object-oriented programming, recursion, and software engineering. 

Section II: 

Free Response | 4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score 

• Short Answer (each requiring Java programming language)

• Solve problems involving more extended reasoning