The Course

# AP Computer Science A

## Practice exams are available in AP Classroom

#### Future AP Computer Science A Revisions

We’re revising AP Computer Science A to align with current introductory college programming courses. The earliest these revisions will launch is the 2025-26 school year.

## Course Overview

AP Computer Science A is an introductory college-level computer science course. Students cultivate their understanding of coding through analyzing, writing, and testing code as they explore concepts like modularity, variables, and control structures.

## Adopt AP CSA at Your School

Find step-by-step instructions, a webinar, and other resources to help you bring AP CSA to your school.

## Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a description of the course requirements necessary for student success, with a focus on big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced computer science coursework and its integration into a wide array of STEM-related fields.

The AP Computer Science A framework is organized into 10 commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

Unit

Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Unit 1: Primitive Types

2.5%-5%

Unit 2: Using Objects

5%-7.5%

Unit 3: Boolean Expressions and if Statements

15%-17.5%

Unit 4: Iteration

17.5%-22.5%

Unit 5: Writing Classes

5%-7.5%

Unit 6: Array

10%-15%

Unit 7: ArrayList

2.5%-7.5%

Unit 8: 2D Array

7.5%-10%

Unit 9: Inheritance

5%-10%

Unit 10: Recursion

5%-7.5%

## Computational Thinking Practices

The AP Computer Science A framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called computational thinking practices, that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like computer scientists.

Skill

Description

Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

1. Program Design and Algorithm Development

Determine required code segments to produce a given output.

30%–35%

2. Code Logic

Determine the output, value, or result of given program code given initial values.

40%–45%

3. Code Implementation

Write and implement program code.

Not assessed in the multiple-choice section

4. Code Testing

Analyze program code for correctness, equivalence, and errors.

12%–18%

5. Documentation

Describe the behavior and conditions that produce identified results in a program.

12%–18%

## AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

## Meet the AP Computer Science A Development Committee

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.