AP Computer Science/About
Now that you've decided to take the AP Computer Science exam and prepare for it, it's important to learn more about the test.
There are currently two forms of the exam. The AP Computer Science A exam covers the knowledge required for the first semester of a college-level computer science course. The AP Computer Science AB exam, on the other hand, is more in-depth in content, and covers the knowledge required for the first year, or two semesters, of computer science. There are currently plans to merge the two exams. The AP Computer Science AB Exam will be discontinued following the May 2009 exam administration, and May 2009 will be the last offering of the AP Computer Science AB Exam.
There is now only one form of the exam; AP Computer Science A.
The AP Computer Science exam is administered in two parts: a multiple choice section and a free response section. The first section has 40 multiple-choice questions, to be answered in 90 minutes. Because this section is multiple-choice, no partial credit is given for wrong answers. The second section gives a set of four free-response questions, each having multiple parts. Each question will give you the code for part of a program, leaving space for additional code, and each part of the question will give you instructions for what code you should write to fill the spaces left in the original program. Partial credit is given for wrong attempts and incomplete answers on this section.
The multiple-choice and free-response sections are each scored separately. The free-response section is given a weighted value, and both are added together to provide a raw score. This score is then compared to other scores, and a final scaled score is given between 1 and 5, with 5 being the best score. Generally, most colleges in the United States will accept a 3 as a passing score for college credit, roughly equivalent to a "C" on the A-F grading scale. Some schools may require a "4", roughly equivalent to a "B", and the most competitive universities in the nation will only accept a "5", roughly equivalent to an "A". Many schools who do not offer college credit may offer accelerated or advance placement in college-level courses for those who have taken the exam.