As of the 2014-15 school year, the GridWorld case study has been replaced by a required lab component consisting of a minimum of 20 hours of hands-on lab experiences.
Three new AP Computer Science A labs are available as exemplars to support the implementation of at least 20 hours of hands-on lab work in the classroom. Teacher guides with solutions are available through teachers' AP Course Audit accounts, and student guides are available on the AP Computer Science A Lab Resource Page.
Teachers will have the flexibility to modify and implement these new labs according to the needs of their students and to use other, comparable labs and resources to meet the 20-hour lab requirement.
The 2015 AP Computer Science A Exam will not have specific questions that focus on the new AP Computer Science A labs and will continue to assess the concepts and skills outlined in the Course Description. In addition, there will no longer be any GridWorld case study questions. A practice exam is available for teachers through their AP Course Audit accounts.
Teachers with previously authorized courses are not required to revise and resubmit syllabi.
For more information, download the AP Computer Science A Course Description Effective Fall 2014, which includes the update to the curricular requirement along with a description of the characteristics of an AP-level computer science lab component.
What Educators Will Need to Do
To ensure that every course labeled AP Computer Science A in 2014-15 is taught by a teacher who is aware of the current lab requirement as well as of the resources available to help them meet the new requirement, teachers and administrators with previously authorized courses will need to take a few steps using their AP Course Audit accounts.
AP Computer Science A teachers whose courses have already been authorized have two options to retain their course authorization:
- Option 1: Attest to their understanding that a required lab component has replaced the GridWorld case study and to their awareness of the resources available online, by accessing the new exemplar AP Computer Science A lab files through their AP Course Audit accounts.
- Option 2: Submit a revised syllabus, either by creating their own syllabus that reflects the new lab requirement or by adopting one of the four new sample syllabi available on the AP Course Audit website.
AP Computer Science A teachers whose courses are not already authorized need to submit a new syllabus for the 2014-15 school year that reflects the new lab requirement. New teachers can also submit one of the four updated sample syllabi and adopt it in teaching their 2014-15 courses.
Starting in August 2014, administrators with previously authorized AP Computer Science A courses at their schools will need to attest to their teachers' incorporation of at least 20 hours of hands-on lab work.
The deadline is January 31, 2015.
March 2014: The AP Course Audit begins accepting syllabi for the 2014-15 school year. The following resources are available on the AP Course Audit website.
Upon accessing the resources, teachers need to attest to their
understanding of the change to the lab requirement.
- June 2014: A new AP Computer Science A Practice Exam reflecting the removal of the GridWorld case study will be available to teachers through their AP Course Audit accounts.
- August 2014: Starting in August, administrators will need to attest to the incorporation of the lab requirement upon renewing previously authorized courses.
- Fall 2014: Teachers will begin teaching the AP Computer Science A course with the new lab requirement.
- January 31, 2015: Final deadline for teachers to complete one of the options listed above and for administrators to complete their attestation.
- May 2015: Students will take the 2015 AP Computer Science A Exam, which will reflect the removal of the GridWorld case study.