AP Exam

Need to know

The most important things to know for your exam:

  1. You will need an AP Exam E-ticket for EACH exam you take. You'll receive your e-ticket by email two days before each test. You can also access your e-ticket in your student account on My AP (myap.collegeboard.org).
  2. Verify the time is in Pacific Time zone. The AP CS A Exam is 1:00 pm.
  3. Complete the "5 steps to Take Before Exam Day" at least 3 days before your exam (or see page 21 of Advanced Placement Guide).
  4. Review "What is Needed On Exam Day" and prepare all materials prior to test day.
  5. Practice with the exam demo at least 3 days prior to testing.

Exam Overview

Date of AP CS A Exam: Friday, May 15th. 1:00 PM (PST).

Practice starting an exam with the exam demo.

The CollegeBoard will email AP students on Monday, April 13, with their exam schedule. They will also survey the students to learn more about their AP plans.

There is online learning and AP Exams available at home for all students this spring. Don't forget all the videos I have linked directly on my Video Page.

There are live classes on YouTube as well. Here is the AP CS A Playlist.

Exam Details

All the details you need can be found here. (designed for teachers) It discusses:

  • The AP Exam e-ticket
  • Five steps to take before test day
  • Understanding the test day experience
  • Exam scores, credit, and placement

Consider downloading and using the Java Quick Reference. In past exams, this was all students were allowed to have. This year, according to the testing guidelines, you may have any and all notes.

2020 AP Exam Day Checklist (.pdf/526 KB): Students should complete this checklist for each exam they take and keep it next to them while testing.

Explainer Videos: New videos are available to give students quick, easily accessible information about their test day experience, what they need to do to prepare, exam security, and more. Explore the playlist.

Exam timing

Students will have 25 minutes to read and respond to Question 1, and then 5 minutes to upload their response. After uploading the response to Question 1, students will have 15 minutes to respond to Question 2, with 5 additional minutes to upload their response to Question 2. Once their response to Question 1 has been submitted, they cannot go back to it.


Question 1 (25 mins.), Array / ArrayList. It will be worth 65%

Question 2 (15 mins.), Methods and Control Structures. It will be worth 35%

Question description

Question 1 assesses students’ ability to do the following:

  • Write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements
  • Write program code to create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 1D array or ArrayList objects

Question 2 assesses students’ ability to do the following:

  • Write program code to create objects of a class and call methods
  • Write program code to satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements

Use of JGRASP or IDE

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or compiler is not required for the 2020 AP Computer Science A Exam, and students will not have an advantage if they use one. However, students may use an IDE or compiler if they choose.

Units Covered

When the AP College Board says they are covering Units 1-7, they are referring to a different organization than what Mr. Stride does. Here is the College Board info. To be clear, I am going to reference MY UNIT numbers only.

Subjects on the AP Exam that you will need to learn at home are:

  • Unit 8: Classes
  • Unit 10: Array Lists
  • Unit 11: Searching and Sorting

Topics that will not be covered on the AP Exam are:

  • (part of) Unit 6: 2D Arrays
  • Unit 9: Inheritance and Polymorphism
  • Unit 12: Recursion

Past Exams

To see past Free Response questions, students can go here.

The best way to prepare for the exam is to practice with old exams!! Try 2016 and 2017.

AP Test Taking Strategies: check out the document posted

Enrolling (old info)

  • Enroll in AP - Instructions for how to "Join the AP Class Section". Join Code = X2MPEA