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AP Comp Sci A Self Study Tips

cali573cali573 19 replies10 threads Junior Member
I'm planning to self study for AP Comp Sci A. Are there any good books/online resources or anything that will help me be prepared for the AP test in spring without taking the class? What are some important things to know while self studying for this AP exam? How do I stay on track and make sure I am learning everything that will be tested? Any help is appreciated.
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Replies to: AP Comp Sci A Self Study Tips

  • zbrown01zbrown01 109 replies10 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2019
    Buy the Barron's book. It could very well be the only resource one needs to get a 5 on CSA. If you need to, you can buy other test prep books as well (princeton review, 5 steps, etc.). According to my CS teacher, the curriculum is getting "nerfed" this coming year (or maybe a future year), so it will be even more conceptually straightforward and easy to teach yourself. Anyways, it's not that difficult of a test/course to begin with so if you go through a test prep book or two entirely you should be set for a relatively easy 5.
    edited June 2019
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  • mathhappymathhappy 115 replies15 threads Junior Member
    @zbrown01 is correct; they will be taking off all questions related to interfaces and abstract classes next year (because teacher were complaining that there was too much content), in addition to making some of the free response questions easier. For the latter part of that, I suspect that their motive is to make the scoring distribution more evenly distributed, as opposed to the almost bimodal distributions they've seen in years past (lots of 1's and 5's with few kids in the middle). I would say that the Barron's book is indeed comprehensive in its review in content, but to make sure that you do lots of practice free response questions (ones from previous years: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-computer-science-a) throughout the year to see how well you're understanding and applying your knowledge.

    Also, even if it's not on the test, I would highly recommend doing actual programming on the computer, as the experience of testing and debugging your code will prove to be invaluable should you choose to continue your study of CS.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    The actual programming and the experience you get from it is the reason why I don’t recommend self-studying this class - unless you diligently do the programming work as well.
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  • billybassbillybass 7 replies4 threads New Member
    As other people said, buy the Barrons book and you can easily do well. There are countless YouTube tutorials you can use to teach yourself the hands on coding part. I recommend "thenewboston" and his videos are very good.
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  • ultraphoenixultraphoenix 16 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Barron's is good for test prep but for concepts, I recommend Runestone Academy's online interactive textbook to really grasp the programming skills needed for the test.
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