Studying AP Computer Science
Have you always found programming and computer data analysis as an interesting career in the future? High school can be the stepping stone towards finding one’s interest or possible career. For those who find their interests in the computer science field, AP Computer Science would be a good Advance Placement course for students who are looking to get college credit for these courses or just to get the basic feel of the industry that they are going to pursue.
Learn the basics of AP Computer Science, the typical lesson plan that one has to go through, the resource materials that would be taken up, and other possible branches of this AP course.
What Are the Topics in the AP Computer Science Exam?
There is a general outline provided by the College Board that deals with the following areas: Object-oriented program design, Standard algorithms, Program analysis, Program implementation, Computing in context, and Standard data structures.
- Object-oriented program design.
This part aims to show the proper techniques for designing software. Here students will have to understand and analyze the problem to be able to design a program that will solve it.
- Standard algorithms.
For good solutions to standard problems, standard algorithms are said to be efficient and useful in analyzing the efficiency of the program. It will involve standard data structures like insertions and deletions.
- Program analysis.
Here, the students will have to examine and test the programs and analyze the algorithms involved to determine if they are within the restriction boundaries.
- Program implementation
This takes off from object-oriented program design, only it involves a methodology on object-oriented development and procedural abstraction.
- Computing in context.
A necessary part of the AP Computer Science training is knowing the social and ethical implications of the field of computing, which will be tackled in this part.
- Standard data structures.
This will deal with the information representations of data structures in a program.
Helpful Resources For Class
To further excel in the AP Computer Science course, one has to continually study the concepts even outside the classroom. This will give the student an edge in terms of his or her familiarity with the lessons.
The following are some of the most well-known and most-used books, which can help the student to learn the lessons and prepare for the AP Exam:
- Fundamentals of Java, 4th edition by Kenneth Lambert
- Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java by Maria Litvin and Gary Litvin
- Chief Reader of AP Computer Science’s AP CS web page for more links and information
- 250 Multiple-Choice Computer Science Questions in Java, also by Maria and Gary Litvin
- Java Concepts for AP Computer Science by Cay Horstmann
AP Computer Science Principles: Another Branch to Learning Computer Science
Computer science topics covered in AP courses usually focus on Java-related material. In recent years, studies have shown that more high school students have expressed their interest in pursuing a Computer Science or IT career. This does not necessarily mean a career solely in Java programming and hacking.
This is the reason why the College Board has begun to broaden AP Computer Science to include computing and creating programs. According to an open letter addressed to the Computer Science Community in the University of Washington, this movement has been funded by the National Science Foundation in partnership with College Board.
By separating the field of Computer Science, this emerging AP Computer Science course will give students another option in the field. For instance, those who want to pursue a CS career that is not just about programming will find that AP Computer Science Principles illustrates the difference between the utilization and creation of an application. This will also give a chance for students who are not necessarily interested in AP Java Programming to build on a career in Computer Science.
However, this action will require more planning. As of the 2010 to 2011 academic year, five schools are said to have piloted college-level AP courses that are the basis for AP Computer Science Principles. This is considered to be the start of the concretization of the new course’s content and syllabus.
There is still much to accomplish and polish with regards to this new trend in AP Computer Science, but in a few years’ time, it will probably see the light and usher students into the realization of their future careers.