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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.

  • Event
    • Tue, May 15, 2018

    AP Computer Science A Exam Day 2018

    • Noon | 3 hrs

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.

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 students’ ability to solve problems involving more extended reasoning.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

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

You can also watch the 2017 Chief Reader Report Module. In this presentation, the Chief Reader of the 2017 exam, David G. Miller of Mississippi College, gives a brief and helpful walkthrough of the highlights of his 2017 Chief Reader Report.

2018: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Exam Resources


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