Passing the AP Computer Science A Exam


AP Computer Science A is a programming class similar to the computer science course taken during the first semester of college. This course helps in the development of skills that can help in writing programs correctly to solve problems. It is also based on Java, so you get basic knowledge of the programming language.

Passing the AP computer science A exam is very important because it will add value to your CV, and enhance your career perspectives. You can learn Java on CodeGym to get the necessary knowledge and pass the exams or use one of the other ways that we’ll discuss in this article.


On Overview on AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A as a Programming Class

As mentioned earlier, AP Computer Science A can be viewed as a programming class. The aim of this “class” is to teach you the following:

  • How to solve problems
  • Algorithm development
  • Objective Oriented programming
  • Data structures and abstraction

AP Computer Science A in the Pascal Era

As far back as the 1984 to 1998 exams, AP Computer Science A was taught in Pascal (named to honor the French). Pascal is a procedural and imperative programming language that was created by Niklaus as an efficient and small programming language. It was designed to encourage data structuring and good programming practices.


AP Computer Science A in the C++ Era

AP Computer Science A was also taught in 1999-2003 during the C++ Era. C++ is a multi-purpose programming language that was created by Bjame. C++ is an expanded version of the C programming language. It is designed to offer functional, generic, and object-oriented features.


AP Computer Science A in the Java Era

AP Computer Science A was also taught in 2004 when the Java Era began. Java is an object-oriented and multi-purpose programming language designed so that programmers can write the code once and run it anywhere.


Where to Learn AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A is a readily available class, but you have more than one option for studying it. You can learn it through any of the following methods:

Online Courses

There are different platforms where you can get online courses to learn AP Computer Science A, and one of such platforms is CodeGym. The benefit of online courses is that you can follow them at your own pace and access them from anywhere and on any device, even when you’re on the go.

Advantages

  • You can find affordable courses. For example, CodeGym is just $49 a month and you also get some free perks
  • You can set your own pace and stop at any moment (handy if you use a monthly subscription)
  • They utilize an individual approach
  • You can learn at your pace

Disadvantages

  • Any online course requires self-organization
  • Lack of universally recognized certification.

The Traditional Way – at the School or University

Rather than learning AP Computer Science A via an online course, you can decide to learn it the traditional way by taking the course in a school or university. Rest assured that it’s an effective way to learn the course.

Advantages

  • Proven track records, with many professionals from across the world who learned the course in a school or university
  • When in a big school, you’ll get direct exposure from great teachers. An example of one such big school is MIT
  • Learning in a school or university will give you easy access to software tools and other additional tools.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of flexibility and challenging environment
  • Learning the traditional way is expensive, and you don’t always get transparency of what you are paying for

Self-Learning

Even though this might be a slow way to learn AP Computer Science A, it’s still possible to study the course on your own, and this can save you a lot of money.

Advantages

  • Highly flexible in that you decide your own learning plan and pace
  • Comes just at the cost of books or online resources, but some resources are  free and books can be borrowed

Disadvantages

  • Lack of socialization with peers
  • Lack of guidance
  • Requires a high level of self-organization
  • You may need to buy educational materials on your own.

How to Pass AP Computer Science A Exam

You’ll need these tips and strategies if you want to pass AP Computer Science A Exam:

Main Challenges

Time: The main issue that most people face with the exam for this course is the time factor. There is very limited time for the exam, and as such, you have to carefully monitor the time. Try to ensure that you do not spend a lot of time on a single question because you’ll need to attempt all the questions.

Syllabus: Covering the syllabus is always a daunting task. Use online resources effectively, don’t try rote-memorizing everything and pace yourself well. Breaking down the syllabus into many smaller sections is a good way of making it more manageable.


Main Strategies

There are certain things you must ensure before you take the exam.

Take Breaks: Even if you have the paper the very next day, make sure to take breaks. As you study for long periods of time, your concentration and productivity drops. Taking short 10-15 mins breaks every now and then can help rejuvenate you and freshen your mind.

Practice Exams: You can take many practice exams, which will hep you get used to the time limit and the type of questions. This will all contribute to increasing your success in the actual Exam.

An Early Start: Cramming is never a good idea. Start early and go at a slower and more manageable pace. It will increase retention rates as well as making it more bearable.

Set Deadlines: In order to motivate yourself, set deadlines for completing certain tasks. This will give you the sense of urgency that most lack while the exam is still a good distance away. Similarly, studying together with a study buddy will motivate you to work harder.

What You Will Achieve After Passing It

Once you have passed the exams, you’ll be confident that you have achieved the following:

  • Improve your coding skills
  • Understand program design and algorithm development better
  • Enhance code logic and code testing

About the Writer: Hey, it’s Tom Bezlar, a pro writer with a CS Master’s Degree. I’m a fan of coding, so if you’re about to learn Java, stay tuned! I write about tools for Java programming, useful sources for learning to code, tech news, and IT trends genera


Conclusion

If you decide to take the AP Computer Science A Exam, you’ll need to know where to learn and how to pass the exam. You can do the studying on your own or take classes at your school, but passing the course and exam is certainly helpful.

As a future programmer, the course is a useful one that will come in handy for you, as you get a whole college semester credit for passing it.

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