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What's AP comp sci like?

CORVIDSCORVIDS Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
edited May 2011 in AP Tests Preparation
My school is offering AP comp sci for the first time next year and I'm trying to decide if I want to take it or not. Is there a heavy courseload? Do you need prior knowledge? (The last time I took a computer class was 8th grade.) How difficult is it? Is there math involved? Do you need to have a good teacher or some natural skill to be good at it?

Basically I don't know anything about it. Please tell me anything you know; I'm sure it'll help me. (:
Post edited by CORVIDS on

Replies to: What's AP comp sci like?

  • garfieldlikergarfieldliker Registered User Posts: 1,992 Senior Member
    I also have a similar question. I have no programming experience, but I will join my school's CS club next year, and one of their objectives is to prepare us for the AP test. Do you think it's possible for a club to do that?
  • FalconPunchedFalconPunched Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Overall it's a relatively easy Ap course. It is very confusing your first time learning how everything works, but as you become familiar with java, it becomes very easy. And yes, it is heavily math-based, although most math doesn't go beyond algebra II level.

    No prior knowledge is necessary, but it will be very confusing at first if you don't have any. A good teacher helps, but my teacher didn't do anything but play games on his computer while we self-studied, and our class did fine.
  • PancakedPancaked Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    It'd probably be manageable in a club setting as long as you go home and practice, do exercises, etc. Becoming familiar with Java and just messing around with code is a key to success. Knowing what doesn't work and WHY it doesn't work is just as important as knowing what works.

    If you can remember this later on, I recommend the website CodingBat for some random practice problems. Not linked to the AP curriculum but tests your Java skills. I found it kinda entertaining myself.
  • bobtheboybobtheboy Registered User Posts: 2,216 Senior Member
    The workload is minimal, and you need no prior computer knowledge at all. The "math" involved is really simple.
  • SuperCuberSuperCuber Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    I can say that no prior knowledge is required at all. A group of friends and I all took it IS this year and it was pretty easy. As long as you keep at a decent pace, you'll be fine - I didn't think I was going very fast and I was done by February with all the content. Also, it's easier if you really get into it and try using your knowledge at certain points in the year and try to make games. Simple exercises and book knowledge are all fine, but nothing clears up concepts and reinforces information than actually programming. Good luck, but really it's not too difficult a course, even independent study, and can end up being quite fun.

    EDIT: I can also suggest CodingBat as a wonderful source, especially when practicing recursion.
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