Preparing Students for the Exam
Starting August 1, students and teachers will have new resources and a daily support tool called AP Classroom to use throughout the year. Designed and tested in collaboration with AP teachers, these resources include unit guides that cover the content and skills assessed on the exam, progress checks and a dashboard to highlight strengths and opportunities for growth, and a question bank of real AP questions.
Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP Computer Science A Course and Exam Description. The updated Java Quick Reference (.pdf/358KB) for the 2020 exam lists the accessible methods from the Java library that may be included on the exam. The Java Quick Reference is included in the exam booklet.
Encourage your students to visit the AP Computer Science A student page for exam information and exam practice.
- Fri, May 8, 2020
AP Computer Science A Exam Day
The AP Computer Science A Exam will continue to have consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day. The overall format of the exam—including the weighting, timing, and number of questions in each exam section—won’t change.
Section 1: Multiple Choice
40 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 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 | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 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.
Exam Questions and Scoring Information
For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.
Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.
New Exam Resources
Beginning in August 2019, you’ll have access to the full range of questions from past exams in AP Classroom. You'll have access to:
- an online library of AP questions relevant to your course
- personal progress checks with new formative questions
- a dashboard to display results from progress checks and provide real-time insights
2019: Free-Response Questions
Coming Soon: Scoring Guidelines for CED Sample Free-Response Questions
Scoring guidelines for the sample exam questions within the AP Computer Science A Course and Exam Description will be posted later this summer.