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AP self studying - statistics and ap computer science

tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
I am taking four AP classes at school, but I want to take at least about 6 tests...I want to self study AP statistics and AP computer science. My questions are:

1. The colleges I REALLY REALLY want to go to don't give much or any AP credit. So the only reason I want to self study them would be my own interest and for purposes of getting in...Does it look okay to self-study APs, so long as you get get scores? Do colleges like that? Do they care? :-)

2. Is it difficult to self-study AP statistics? Do I need to get a textbook as well as a test-prep book? How long should it take (should I study it all year or just part of a semester, etc.)?

3. I only have some computer programming experience, and hardly any object-oriented, and no Java or C++, really...but programming never seemed too terribly difficult...would it be too difficult to self study for AP computer science? What books would anyone suggest?

Are there any other APs that are notoriously good for self-studying that would improve my chances of getting into a good college?

Any help much appeciated. :-)

Post edited by tweetletwoot on

Replies to: AP self studying - statistics and ap computer science

  • tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    no replies...

    *tweetle bursts into tears*

    not really.
  • sljaegersljaeger Registered User Posts: 368 Member
    colleges like anything that makes you seem more motivated, so yeah i'd say colleges would LIKE it, but i don't think it'll really make much of a difference in your application.

    with that being said, having taken both ap computer science and ap statistics in the same year but in a class (both the same teacher, actually) i think ap statistics would be extremely easy to self study for and ap computer science would be extremely hard.
  • SriLankanGangstaSriLankanGangsta Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    wut book r u using for comp sci?
  • LF61LF61 Registered User Posts: 406 Member
    i have self-studied AP Statistics for 4 days by using PR only and got 65% on 2005 AP free response B form from CB. So i think if you are a math student, it is easiest AP.
  • tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    is that a 5, then, LF61? Good job!!!

    Yeah, that's why I wanted to self-study statistics...heard it's really really easy.

    But with ap comp science...I've been looking over the curriculum and stuff and it looks really hard. It's making me nervous, but I love challenges...also I want to take it because I would love to learn programming to that depth...

    If I self-studied it and was nervous about what I would get I could always just take CS A, not AB, I suppose.
  • live-live- Registered User Posts: 810 Member
    I think you could handle Statistics...it's more in-depth than you'll think before you see some of the stuff, but really not complicated. I got a 100% in the class four straight quarters without really any study at home, and a 5 on the AP (pretty much aced the practice tests).

    You could do CS...but learning to program on your own is a lot different than the way it is taught in classes. I know a few people who have taken the A class and then self-studied for the AB exam the next year and have done well, but it would be difficult (from my experience) to self-study without any real programming experience...especially things like the Marine Biology Case Study, which is a pretty big part of the exam. I took the class, got a B in it, and a 4 on the exam w/o any programming experience.

    But anyway...don't torture yourself. It will look very good on your app that you self-studied Statistics. No need to overdo it and try to self-study two APs all-the-while taking 4 at school already.
  • live-live- Registered User Posts: 810 Member
    Oh, and a lot of the really elite programmers (who work on open source projects and Linux) will tell you that the way CS is taught in schools is a joke...the only way you are really going to get good at programming is to learn it on your own but NOT from a textbook. Search around...there's an entire open-source community out there. It would be much more impressive to make an actual contribution to the open-source community (maybe submit a copy of the software you contributed to?) than to just self-study a CS AP exam. It's not all that hard to get involved in things like that.
  • nash13nash13 Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    I'm taking both AP STAT and COMP SCIENCE this year.

    i am a little disappointed with statatistics, to be straight foward, the course is not really about math, but more about explanations of how you approach each question, and you have to memorize those stupid terms.

    I found Computer Science is okay, as long as you understand the "object oriented" concept
  • tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Because I am crazy, I still want to self-study AP CS...thanks for the help though, live and nash. I think I might just take the AP CS A if the AB seems really hard (and it probably will, come May).

    I liked your idea, live, about just contributing to the open source community...actually that's probably the main reason I want to study AP CS...just because I really want to be able to program in Java, etc. for research reasons, etc.
  • randompersonrandomperson Registered User Posts: 598 Member
    I'll echo what everyone else here is saying: statistics is generally considered a joke for self-study. I can't speak from experience, since I unfortunately had to sit through an entire year of statistics class, but I know a few people who learned everything in a night and got 5s (although these are pretty smart people).

    I did self-study Computer Science AB (got a 5), and I don't think it's really too hard. It sounds like you want to be able to create serious Java programs - if you're at that level, the test will be a joke.
  • tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    Thanks for the advice, randomperson. I like your name... :-)

    I have a sample syllabus for the course and enough books now that I think I can well-prepare myself. There is a slew of information on the web to help you with AP computer science, as well...
  • SriLankanGangstaSriLankanGangsta Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
  • SriLankanGangstaSriLankanGangsta Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Soorrry That Was A Little Over The Top
  • karchkarch Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    if you guys have time to blow, read through all of "Objects First With Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ." I hear it's a good book for beginning OO in Java at the right pace.

    You CAN'T pick parts and pieces out of it though - so this book does take time, but it's thorough...
  • tweetletwoottweetletwoot Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    SriLankan... there is another thread at http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=106280 that you might find helpful where people are discussing what book is best for ap cs. I am going to use barrons (haven't actually obtained the book yet though) and a book about java data structures, etc...I might get more java books from my library...

    are you self studying ap cs?
This discussion has been closed.