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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information

Updated April 8 Students can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare them for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) end-of-course exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

All versions of the end-of-course exam will cover the full scope of course content, giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement. Both the paper and digital versions of the end-of-course exam will consist of the typical multiple-choice section.

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 Principles only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

Information and resources for previously announced 2020-21 AP CSP course and exam changes:

Exams Previously Scheduled for May 13
To avoid conflicts for students observing Eid al Fitr, no exams are scheduled for Thursday, May 13. Exams previously scheduled for May 13, including the AP CSP end-of-course exam, will instead be administered on Monday, May 17.

AP Digital Portfolio Updates
We’ve extended the deadline for final digital submission of the AP CSP Create Performance Task to Thursday, May 20, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EDT, to support students and teachers impacted by delayed school start dates.

Students are now required to enter their responses to the written response prompts directly into the digital portfolio, rather than using a template. Watch the recorded webinar on the updated digital portfolio submission process.

Get students to watch a recording of the Create Performance Task Walk-Through webinar, which guides students on task directions, task guidelines, and the submission process.

AP Classroom and AP Daily
A new AP CSP practice exam is now available in the AP Classroom question bank, along with a scoring worksheet. As the exam approaches, assign the AP practice exam in the AP Classroom question bank to prepare your students, whether they are taking the exam digitally or on site.

Teachers and students can access short, searchable AP Daily videos in AP Classroom. Videos can be assigned as homework to encourage students to watch on their own, so you can use class time to focus discussions where students need more help, whether teaching online, in person, or both. Designed with AP educators, AP Classroom helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access your question bank, topic questions, and AP Daily videos. As the exam approaches, encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29. Students can also access the AP Digital Portfolio through AP Classroom.

Watch the recorded webinar for information on AP Classroom and resources.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

The AP Computer Science Principles Exam assesses student understanding of the computational thinking practices and learning objectives outlined in the course framework. The AP Exam consists of the Create performance task and an end-of-course AP Exam. For more information, download the AP Computer Science Principles Course and Exam Description.

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

 

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Computer Science Principles students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has a shortened multiple-choice section: 17 questions, 30 minutes.
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset–5 questions–of the Digital Practice.

We highly recommend all students take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if they can’t take the Digital Practice, they at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. Students can access their answers and an answer key for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override student answers from Digital Practice. Teachers can also access digital practice from the teacher dashboard, available beginning April 22.

Taking the Digital Exam

Students should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that they’ll encounter—in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • The AP CSP Exam Reference Sheet can be accessed with the Reference button in the upper right button bar of the application. The interface and layout are different in the digital testing application than in the paper exam booklet, so students should take a look when they take digital practice.
  • Students cannot go back to questions they’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead.
  • Exam directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. Students will see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so. Teachers and students can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

More information about taking digital exams is available in the Digital Testing Guide.

Digital Exam Readiness Dashboard

Beginning April 22, AP teachers and AP coordinators will have access to a new digital exam readiness dashboard. Teachers and coordinators will access the dashboard from their personalized AP login page (after signing in through AP Central or through myap.collegeboard.org). The dashboard can be used to monitor students’ progress in taking the steps necessary before and on exam day to enable them to take a digital exam. See details in the “Preparing for Digital AP Exams” section of the AP Digital Testing Guide.

Assessment Dates

  • Event
    • THU, MAY 20, 2021, 11:59 PM EDT

    Deadline to Submit AP Computer Science Principles Performance Task

    •  
  • Event
    • MON, MAY 17, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Computer Science Principles End-of-Course Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, MAY 26, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Computer Science Principles End-of-Course Exam—Administration 2

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  
  • Event
    • MON, JUN 7, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Computer Science Principles End-of-Course Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Computer Science Principles end-of-course exam will continue to have consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day. The overall format of the exam—including the weighting, timing, types of questions, and types of stimulus materials—won’t change.

Note on 2021 exams: 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 Principles only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The 2021 AP Computer Science Principles end-of-course multiple-choice exam can be taken as either paper (early May) or digital (late May, early June). Regardless of which end-of-course exam students take, their Create performance task is due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Section I: End-of-Course Multiple-Choice Exam
70 Multiple-Choice Questions | 120 Minutes | 70% of Score | 4 answer options

  • 57 single-select multiple-choice
  • 5 single-select with reading passage about a computing innovation
  • 8 multiple-select multiple-choice: select 2 answers
  • Note: On the digital exam, there are 59 single-select multiple-choice questions, 5 single-select multiple-choice questions with reading passage, and 6 multiple-select multiple-choice questions.

Section II: Create Performance Task
30% of Score

Students will develop a computer program of their choice. Students need at least 12 hours of in-class time to complete.

Scoring Information from the 2020 Exam

2021: Pilot Sample Student Responses and Scoring Guidelines

For scoring guidelines and pilot sample student responses with accompanying scoring commentary to prepare for the 2021 exam, check out the table below.