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The AP Computer Science A 2020 Exam
As the AP Exam approaches this May 15th, College Board recently announced that there will be some unique changes to this year's test in response to school closures and the impacts of COVID-19. The 2020 AP Exams will be offered as at-home tests, and will also be undergoing several rule and format changes. Some the of the main changes for AP CS include a shorter test time, fewer questions, and an open book format.
If you haven't already, we highly recommend first watching our overview of the new test and visiting College Board's official AP Computer Science A page to familiarize yourself with the updates.
In the video below, watch how AP CS Instrutor Gabriel approaches 2020 exam sample free response question 1 on arrays/array lists: prioritizing strategically, using his best 2020 AP CS Exam tips. His walkthrough of Question 2 can be found here.
Question 1 Tutorial: Arrays/Array Lists
Gabriel has not seen this exam question beforehand, nor worked on it prior to filming. This walkthrough is meant to simulate a real test evironment, to help students see how an instructor would prioritize during an actual AP CS A exam. We recommend attempting the problem yourself first before watching his tutorial.
How Gabriel uses his 25 minutes
- Introduction + 2020 exam recap (0:00)
- Test approach + setup overview (00:39)
- Gabriel starts the test! (1:14)
- Question 1 Part a (2:10)
- Question 1 Part b (7:51)
- Question 1 Part c (11:44)
- Gabriel finishes question 1 (22:41)
- Gabriel goes back and talks about his syntax (22:45)
- Wrap up + closing thoughts (23:35)
- 2020 AP Computer Science A Sample Exam
- College Board: Java Quick Reference Guide
- College Board: Exam Sample Question Solutions & Scoring
- Repl.it (the browser-based IDE Gabriel uses)
- Gabriel's solutions (as shown in the video)
More AP CS Exam Prep Resources
To help students better understand the new exam format and best prepare for their 2020 AP Computer Science A Exam, our our Juni AP CS Instructors have put together several tutorial lessons:
- AP Computer Science A: 2020 Exam Overview
- AP Computer Science A: 2020 Exam Tips & Tricks
- 2020 Sample Free Response Question #2 Walkthrough: Methods & Control Structures
Visit our previous blog post for more AP Computer Science A information on:
- Curriculum Goals
- Transfer Units & Courses for Top Schools
- Advice from Previous AP CS Students
Our final and best tip is to get plenty of rest leading up to the test. You got this!
Is AP Computer Science right for me?
The official prerequisite for AP Computer Science A is first-year high school algebra, including function notation and other algebraic problem solving skills. Overall, the course recommends a solid foundation in mathematical reasoning. At Juni, we offer an AP Computer Science A Course to help students succeed in both their course and Exam.
However, having worked with many students taking this course, we have found that some prior coding experience really helps students be successful in this course. At Juni, we recommend students who are new to programming start with our Python Level 1 and sometimes our Python Level 2 course before moving into Java.
At Juni Learning, we offer online coding classes for kids, and many of our highly qualified instructors are pursuing a Computer Science major at UC Berkeley or other similar top universities. Learn more on our CS curriculum page, or get started with our Admissions Team to find the course best for your child.