Best AP Computer Science Textbook

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP Computer Science exam consists of 2 sections. The first one is multiple choice, has 40 questions, lasts 75 minutes, and counts for 50% of your overall exam score.

The second section is free response. It has 4 questions and lasts 105 minutes. You are required to answer the prompts using Java, and you are required to hand-write the code on a piece of paper. You will not be able to compile it or run it using a computer.

College Board provides free example test questions, so click here if you want to check them out.

Next Exam Date

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

The AP Computer Science exam has never been changed, and there are no plans in changing it in the future. However, another course called AP Computer Science Principles was added to the AP curriculum in 2016-2017 which you can take in addition to AP Comp Sci.

The Best AP Computer Science Books of 2018

Barron's AP Computer Science Review Book Best Preparations For AP Comp Sci

Barron’s AP Computer Science, 7th Edition

The best way to prepare for the exam is by coding your own projects using Java, but you also need to know the format of the exam as they like to trick you on some things.

Barron’s AP Computer Science review is the best book for figuring out the format of the test and practicing the free response questions.

It has 3 practice tests in the book, and you also get a bonus online practice test with all questions answered and explained in detail.

They also have a section that reviews static variables, Lists, and other Java and Object Oriented Programming concepts which you need to know for the exam.

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Self-Study Tips

Self-studying for the AP Computer Science exam is easy if you already know a programming language, are excited about programming, or have a lot of free time.

If you are a complete beginner to programming we recommend starting out by taking this excellent free Java course from Udemy and starting your own coding projects as soon as possible.

You should also do all of the Java Practice Problems on codingbat as they help you get used to writing Java code nearly from scratch.

After you’re feeling fairly confident in yourself you can start going through the Barron book and taking the practice tests.

If you’re not sure what projects you can do, here are a couple ideas:

    • Have the user put in a String using the Scanner method and then print out:
        1. The String in reverse
        1. The number of characters in the String
        1. The number of vowels in the String
    • Create a program that you can use to put in your current quarter grade, the weighting the teacher uses, and have it spit out what you need on the final to get a specific grade.
    • Create a simple game like:
        • Tic-Tac-Toe
        • Pong
        • Guess the number