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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Computer Science A Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

The paper and the digital versions of the AP Computer Science A Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full scope of course content, giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Computer Science A only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Computer Science A Course and Exam Description (CED). Scoring guidelines for each of the sample free-response questions in the CED are also available. The Java Quick Reference (.pdf/358KB) lists the accessible methods from the Java library that may be included on the exam. The Java Quick Reference is included in the exam booklet.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Computer Science A student page for exam information.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • THUR, MAY 6, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Computer Science A Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • TUE, May 18, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Computer Science A Exam—Administration 2

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  
  • Event
    • TUE, Jun 1, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Computer Science A Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Computer Science A Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Note on 2021 exams: Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Computer Science A Exam will be full-length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections, and cover the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Computer Science A only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Section I: Multiple Choice 

40 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • The multiple-choice section includes mostly individual questions, occasionally with 1–2 sets of questions (2 questions per set).
  • Computational Thinking Practices 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all assessed in the multiple-choice section.

Section II: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • All free-response questions assess Computational Thinking Practice 3: Code Implementation, with the following focus
    • Question 1: Methods and Control Structures—Students will be asked to write program code to create objects of a class and call methods, and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
    • Question 2: Classes—Students will be asked to write program code to define a new type by creating a class and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
    • Question 3: Array/ArrayList—Students will be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 1D array or ArrayList objects.
    • Question 4: 2D Array—Students will be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 2D array objects.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year’s free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

The Java Quick Reference (.pdf/358KB) lists the accessible methods from the Java library that may be included on the exam. The Java Quick Reference is included in the exam booklet.