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The AP Computer Science A Exam

Important Updates

Free 2015 Exam for Classroom Use

An AP Computer Science A Exam administered in 2015 is available through your AP Course Audit account, along with an answer key, scoring notes, and a scoring worksheet.

Exam Day 2017

Tues, May 2, 8 a.m.

Exam Duration

3 hours

Exam Overview

The exam covers fundamentals of object-oriented programming in Java typically taught in a first-semester college course. Both sections of the exam require students to demonstrate their ability to design, write, analyze, and document programs and subprograms. The exam emphasizes programming in Java, programming methodology (including recursion), and procedural abstraction. It also includes algorithms, data structures, and data abstraction.

All code on the exam is consistent with the AP Java subset (.pdf/149KB). All questions involving code should be answered in Java. Students are not tested on minor points of syntax.

For more information, download the AP Computer Science A Course Description (.pdf/776KB). It includes the curricular requirements along with a description of the characteristics of an AP-level computer science lab component.

The Java Quick Reference (.pdf/50KB) 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.

Access online score reports for your students.

Policies

Students may take Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles the same year; the exams are on different days.

Learn about late testing policies, and see all late testing dates.

Exam Format

Section I

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

Question topics will include:

  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Data Structures
  • Logic
  • Algorithms/Problem Solving
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Recursion
  • Software Engineering

Section II

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

The free-response section tests your ability to solve problems involving more extended reasoning.



Exam Questions and Scoring Information

Looking for sample multiple-choice and free-response questions? You can find them in:

The AP Computer Science A Course Description (.pdf/800KB), which has everything you need to know about the course and exam.


A full practice exam on AP Course Audit. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page.


The 2015 Released Exam, which can be found by logging into Course Audit. The 1999 Released Exam is publicly available.


The Student Performance Q&A. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe 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.

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

 



2016: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

2015: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Score Distributions

2014: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Score Distributions

2013: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Score Distributions

2012: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

 

Score Distributions

2011: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Score Distributions

2010: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Score Distributions

2009: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

2009 Canonical Solutions

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

2008: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

2007: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

2006: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

2005: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Response

Grade Distributions

2004: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

2003: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Grade Distributions

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