Computer Science Principles

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AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) is unique from other AP courses and exams in a number of ways, which impacts your role as an AP coordinator.

  1. The Computer Science Principles assessment consists of two parts:

  2. Students submit their performance tasks in the AP Digital Portfolio, a web-based platform. As the AP coordinator, you have the ability to monitor the activity in the digital portfolio, and will need to perform a few tasks connected to the digital portfolio before the performance tasks submission deadline of April 30, 2018.

Special Instructions for AP Coordinators

Review the following resources to learn more about your role as an AP coordinator supporting AP Computer Science Principles.

If you are an AP coordinator in a school that is offering AP Computer Science Principles, you need to take the following steps to ensure students are set up to submit performance tasks and take the end-of-course exam.

  • Review the Student Indicator in the AP Digital Portfolio

    For their performance tasks to be scored, students must indicate in the AP Digital Portfolio system that they are planning to take the end-of-course exam. You must review this indicator before ordering the end-of-course exams to ensure all students are accounted for. If students haven’t indicated in the digital portfolio that they’re taking the end-of-course exam, talk to them as soon as possible and ensure the correct indicator is selected in the digital portfolio.

  • Order Preadministration Materials

    Order preadministration materials with the initial exam order by March 14, 2018, to receive AP Student Packs by April 6, even if you're not planning to offer preadministration sessions. This is so CSP students will have their AP number in time to enter it into the AP Digital Portfolio before the April 30, 2018 submission deadline for their performance tasks.

    Because orders for preadministration materials can only be placed with the initial exam order, you need to have all of your AP Computer Science Principles Exams included in your initial order. You can order preadministration materials until April 4; however, this will give your students less time to enter their AP numbers. Orders placed between March 15 and April 4 will be delivered by April 16.

    Performance tasks will be sent for scoring only if the student has completed all required tasks for final submission in the digital portfolio by April 30: (1) submit the performance tasks as final, (2) indicate they are taking the end-of-course exam, and (3) enter their AP number in the AP Digital Portfolio.

If you’re an AP coordinator who is supporting students on a block schedule and need to access the AP Digital Portfolio prior to the spring, please complete the access code request form to obtain early access to the AP Digital Portfolio.

Share Resources with Students

To ensure scoring of their work, students must complete the following tasks in the AP Digital Portfolio:

  • Indicate intent to take the end-of-course exam
  • Enter their AP number
  • Submit required files for the performance tasks

Guide students with instructions on how to navigate the AP Digital Portfolio.

Supporting Independent Study and Homeschooled Students

If your school supports independent study or homeschooled students who want to take an AP CSP end-of-course exam without participating in an AP CSP class at school, as an AP coordinator you need to:

  • Confirm the number of homeschooled or independent study students by filling out and returning the AP Participation Survey in November.
  • Create an AP CSP class in the AP Digital Portfolio to enroll students. Coordinators who support students on a standard schedule will receive an access code to the digital portfolio in the spring. Coordinators who support students on a block schedule, and want to create a class section prior to this, should complete an access code request form to receive an access code earlier.
  • Give students all the necessary information and directions for enrollment and submission of work in the AP Digital Portfolio:
  • Order and administer the end-of-course exam.

Supporting Students taking AP CSP Online

Some students may be taking an AP CSP class through an online provider. The teacher of the online class is responsible for creating CSP classroom(s) on the AP Digital Portfolio where students will upload and submit final performance tasks.

If these students want to take an AP CSP end-of-course exam at your high school, as an AP coordinator you need to:

  • Order preadministration materials to provide students with the AP number for final submission (the AP number will be available in the Student Pack).
  • Order the end-of-course exam for the students in the online class.
  • Administer the end-of-course exam.

Students will have to temporarily change their school code to enroll in the online course. For more information see the AP Digital Portfolio Student Guide for AP Computer Science Principles, which outlines the steps students take to enroll in an AP CSP class at a school other than their primary school.

Supporting Students with Disabilities

Accommodations are available for the AP CSP end-of-course exam for students who have been approved for testing accommodations by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. Typical accommodations include braille and large-print exams, extended time, use of a computer for essays (in applicable AP courses), and extra breaks. These are not the only accommodations available—the College Board will consider all requests for students with documented disabilities.

AP and SSD coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the correct accommodations are in place every time students with approved accommodations take a College Board exam, including AP CSP. Find out more.

The AP Digital Portfolio conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (Level A and AA success criteria) and is compatible with screen readers like JAWS in browsers like IE and Firefox.

Technical Requirements and Recommendations

To navigate the AP Digital Portfolio, you will need to use a computer with an internet connection. System requirements include:

  • Browsers: Latest version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
  • Operating systems: Windows 7, 8.1, Mac OS X, iOS 9
  • Devices: Desktop, Tablet, Mobile

Important Tasks and Timelines

September 2017

  • The AP Digital Portfolio system opens this month. Teachers who complete the AP Course Audit for AP CSP will have access to the AP Digital Portfolio to create online classrooms and enroll their students.

March 2018

  • AP coordinators ensure that students have correctly indicated their plans to take the end-of-course exam in the AP Digital Portfolio.
  • March 14: AP coordinators should place orders for preadministration materials and end-of-course exams for students who plan to take the end-of-course exam. Orders for preadministration materials placed by March 14 will be delivered by April 6. 

April 2018

  • April 4: Final deadline for AP coordinators to order preadministration materials and end-of-course exams for students who plan to take the end-of-course exam. Orders placed between March 15—April 4 will be delivered by April 16. You won’t be able to receive any preadministration materials if you order after April 4.
  • AP coordinators give students the AP number from the AP Student Pack found in the preadministration materials.
  • AP coordinators designate a time for students to add their AP numbers and indicate exam intent on their digital portfolio account.
  • April 30 is the deadline for students to complete all required tasks for final submission of the through-course assessment in the AP Digital Portfolio: (1) submit the performance tasks as final (2) indicate they are taking the end-of-course exam (coordinators should make sure students indicate intent before exams are ordered, to ensure accuracy), and (3) enter their AP number in the AP Digital Portfolio.

May 2018

Planning is the key to a successful exam administration. Contact AP Services for Educators early in 2018 if you need assistance with any aspect of administering the AP Computer Science Principles Exam.