Chapter 1: Keys for Success on the AP Computer Science Principles Exam
Anyone with access to a computer and a love of learning can complete the AP Computer Science Principles course and exam.
You have probably realized that there are many different ways to learn about this AP course and exam.
You may have followed the "rabbit holes" of information online and learned that you need a way to (1) get the essential knowledge, (2) figure out what you need to do to score well, and (3) find one resource that you can trust.
This Crash Course is designed to help you get the best score on your AP Computer Science Principles exam by providing the information that you need to know, helping you manage your time to complete the performance tasks, and helping you find resources that you can trust.
Two performance tasks and an End-of-Course multiple-choice exam are part of the AP Computer Science Principles exam.
40% of your score comes from the two performance tasks and the other 40% comes from the End-of-Course Exam.
The End-of-Course Exam is administered in May and the two performance tasks are submitted to the College Board prior to that.
This task takes about 8 hours to complete and is worth 16% of your AP exam score.
You will research a computing innovation that interests you.
To complete the task, you will need to submit a computational artifact and written responses to the College Board.
This task is worth 25% of your AP exam score and takes about 12 hours to complete.
This task involves creating a program to express yourself, solve a problem, or understand something better.
In this task, you will design a program and submit a video of your program running and your program code.
The College Board will provide you with written responses about your program and development process.
Both performance tasks require that you have access to a computer to type your responses and find solutions to programming problems.
The End-of-Course Exam is the final part of the AP Computer Science Principles course.
There are approximately 74 questions with four answer choices in this exam.
It is worth 60 percent of your AP exam score, and 2 hours to complete the exam.
The two Performance Tasks were created by you.
40% of your exam is worth these and you will know how to maximize your score with careful planning and tips from the book.
The Explore Performance Task, the Create Performance Task and the End-of-Course Exam will all be scored on their own.
The End-of-Course Exam is scored by machines.
There is no partial credit for either type of question.
Your score is based on the number of questions answered correctly and each of the 74 questions is worth one point.
Incorrect answers and unanswered questions are not deducted for points.
You must choose the correct answers to get credit for the multiple-choice questions.
During the annual AP Exam Reading, the Explore Performance Task and create Performance Task are scored.
AP Computer Science Principles teachers and college instructors use a scoring guide to award points for these items.
The scores from your performance tasks and the end-of-course exam are combined and converted to an AP scale.
Some colleges and universities only accept 4s and 5s for college credit, while others accept scores of 3, 4, or 5.
It is important to research the policies of the colleges you are interested in attending if you want to get credit for an AP test.
Colleges and universities can change their acceptance policies at any time.
The latest AP policies can be found on their websites.
The content was tested on the end-of-culus exam.
Five final performance task artifacts, three artifacts for the create task, and two artifacts for the explore task will be submitted using the College Board's Digital Portfolio.
The Digital Portfolio can be accessed by your AP Teacher at the beginning of the school year.
He or she will set up a class for you.
If you have taken the SAT or PSAT, you will have an account with the College Board.
You can connect your account to your AP Computer Science Principles class by going to www.collegeboard.org/digital-portfolio.
Your teacher will confirm you are a student.
Once done, you'll be able to submit your artifacts, your written responses for the performance tasks, and indicate your intent to take the End-of-Course Exam.
The final performance task artifacts and written responses must be submitted by the end of April.
The AP Computer Science Principles tasks and End-of-Course Exam are contained in REA's Crash Course.
Information about the course and the exam can be found in the AP Computer Science Principles Course Description booklet from the College Board.
sample responses for the performance tasks and scoring guidelines are included in the College Board's AP Central website.
You should show up at the exam site at least 20 minutes before the exam starts.
There are two pencils and two pens.
At the beginning of the exam, you should turn in your cell phone and other electronic devices.
A lot of instructions will be read by the exam proctor.
You can spend more time at the exam site.
If you have to guess, answer every multiple-choice question.
There is no deduction for an incorrect answer and no points for unanswered questions.
Give it your best guess.
Relax when you're done.
Test tips scattered throughout the crash course will help you save time as you prepare for your exams.