The Varsity Tutors AP Computer Science A Mobile App
AP Computer Science A is equal to a first-semester college course that requires problem solving, data organization and analysis, and Java language skills. The course culminates in a three hour exam in which you will have to work with code and understand all aspects of Java syntax. Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools offers an AP Computer Science A app for iOS and Android devices that provides ample practice opportunities ahead of time, so you both understand the content and are familiar with the test format before taking on the exam.
In AP Computer Science A, you are required to perfect the ability to solve small- to large-scale complex problems using a computer language. This requires being comfortable with functions and the proper notation. A solid foundation of mathematical reasoning ability is therefore absolutely necessary before delving into this course. In addition to understanding ethical and social aspects of computer science, you will need to know a full range of topics. Program and class design; program implementation; Java library classes; and analytical techniques, such as debugging, runtime exceptions, algorithm analysis, and numerical representations and integers, are all part of the course.
With the app, you can also test your proficiency with data structures. Data types, strings, classes, lists, and arrays are covered. Standard operations and algorithms, as well as concepts such as searching and sorting, are essential for mastering this level of computer science. The app offers both Full-Length Practice Tests and topic-specific practice tests. These both cover the material that’s on the test, giving you valuable practice of both the content and the exam format. Since you’ll have to answer 40 multiple-choice questions on logic, algorithms, object-oriented programming, and software engineering – in addition to free response questions – over a three-hour period, this practice time is well worth it.
These practice tests included on the AP Computer Science A app test your knowledge and provide realistic assessments of your abilities. You can track your performance on the practice tests and how your score compares to other test-takers. You can then use this knowledge to hone in on your weaknesses and track your progress over time. You can also share your score with others, which can be useful for group study or working with a tutor or family member. Explanations are provided and can help even if you answer correctly, so you don’t miss out on any key concepts and can be sure any knowledge or skill gaps are filled by exam day.
Additional practice tools include Learn by Concept, which lets you drill down to each individual subject and sub-topic to find a series of relevant questions, answers, and explanations. Even quicker practice sessions are possible with the flashcards, where you immediately get feedback to each individual question. With the Question of the Day, which rotates on a daily basis, you can get quick reviews with random topics selected from the longer practice exercises in the app. All of these exercises are ideal for focusing your study efforts and then going back to the Full-Length Practice Tests to see how you’ve improved.
Available for Android, iPhone, and iPad, the Varsity Tutors AP Computer Science A app covers the exact topics you’ll need to know. Java and computer programming are complex and involve advanced subjects. Now you can build your skills, confidence, and time management ability ahead of the exam to maximize your chances of success.
Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A is one of two computer science courses offered at the AP level. The other is AP Computer Science Principles; the two courses can be taken in any order. Both AP Computer Science classes focus on the use of appropriate methods to communicate solutions. They also place an emphasis on societal issues and needs, such as increasing participation, equity, and access in computing. AP Computer Science A is an intensive introduction to the foundations of computer science, and focuses particularly on mastering the skills needed to program in Java. It also includes a hands-on lab component, and students will spend a minimum of 20 hours engaged in structured problem-solving experiences on both an individual and group basis. Due to its heavy reliance on mathematical reasoning, students must have a solid foundation in functions and function notation before enrolling in AP Computer Science A. You can study these topics on the go when you download the Varsity Tutors AP Computer Science A app to your iPhone, iPad, or Android-powered device.
This college-level course is roughly equivalent to a first-semester computer science class. It covers the fundamental topics of computer science, including problem-solving, organization of data, design strategies and methodologies, algorithms, analysis, and the ethics of computing. By the end of the course, students will be proficient in imperative and object-oriented problem-solving and design in Java. These solutions should also be scalable in order to solve problems of all sizes equally well. The lab experiences allow students to gain practical experiences in designing, expressing, testing, identifying and correcting errors, and comparing potential solutions.
AP Computer Science A classes typically begin with an overview of basic topics like objects, classes, looping, and conditionals. Students will learn to write and use simple classes, and they will create simple programs using loops and conditionals. Next, the course moves on to cover the basics of Java, input and output, and using the compiler. Students will learn the difference among a variety of errors, including compile time, runtime, and logic errors. They’ll also use Java to edit, compile, and run a program. There is a lot of new terminology involved in AP Computer Science A, so it is important for students to keep up with unfamiliar vocabulary. One great way to fortify your vocabulary in the course is to download Varsity Tutors' free AP Computer Science A app from iTunes or the Google Play Store.
Next, the class will move on to variables and arithmetic expressions. Students will be expected to use and understand variables and comments, and be proficient in the hierarchy of Java-based arithmetic expressions, variables, and constants. Once these skills are strong, students will be prepared to begin creating and writing public- and private-access classes from scratch. After students have learned to build simple programs, they will move on to apply conditionals and looping to their programs. They’ll learn to ensure that their loops and conditional statements are syntactically correct, and incorporate logical operators to strengthen their programs. The different errors that can occur with loops are addressed, too. Conditionals such as if, while, for, and if-else are introduced here, and runtime exceptions and program correctness will also be covered.
Arrays are the next major topic addressed in AP Computer Science A. Students will learn to use Java to declare one-dimensional arrays. Then, sizing, loops, and array indices will be covered. Students will master the manipulation of loops in arrays, and they’ll work with arrays of both primitive data and objects. Insertion, selection, and bubble sorting algorithms will be written, performed, and traced, as will sequential and binary searching techniques. It’s vital for students to understand when to use each search and sort, as each has unique advantages and disadvantages.
Toward the end of the course, earlier topics are covered in more detail. Interfaces, classes and abstract classes, and inheritance are taught, and students must understand how to extend a class to demonstrate inheritance, situations in which it is appropriate to override a superclass, implement an interface, and create an abstract class. The class will also return to sorting: students will have to use and understand the merge sort. Recursive methods will be among the last concepts introduced, and students will get plenty of practice using it to solve problems.
Finally, AP Computer Science A covers the societal and ethical impacts of computer science in the context of society as a whole. Issues such as system reliability and privacy are discussed, as are many of the legal issues that can arise while using a computer. A key component of this course is teaching students to be responsible users of technology. As society becomes increasingly connected, issues concerning intellectual property and privacy occur more frequently. Learning about the ethical issues that surround the field of computer science ensures that students become well-rounded users of technology. When you download the free Varsity Tutors AP Computer Science A app to your iOS or Android device, you get a comprehensive review of the social issues of Computer Science, as well as all preceding topics, giving you the entire curriculum at your fingertips.
The AP Computer Science A Exam is given over the course of three hours. It consists of one multiple-choice section and one free-response section. All of the code presented on the exam will use the same Java subset used throughout the course, and minor points of syntax are not tested. Section I has 40 multiple-choice discrete questions that must be answered within 90 minutes. It accounts for half of the total exam score, as does Section II. Section II consists of four free-response questions that require Java programming. This section is also 90 minutes long. A strong performance on the AP Computer Science A Exam provides students with a variety of benefits, including potential college credit, the opportunity to be placed in more advanced courses, or an advantage during college admissions decisions.
AP Computer Science A incorporates a wide range of basic college-level skills in Java programming. It is an intensive foundational course that lays the groundwork for future success in computer science, both in the classroom and in the professional sphere. With the problem-solving, programming, and debugging skills developed in this course, students will have an easier time transitioning into upper-level computer science classes. Taken in concert with AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A enables students with a keen interest and talent for programming to expand and strengthen their skillset. Though it is a demanding course, students who dedicate themselves to mastering the course material and exam have the opportunity to benefit in the classroom and beyond. You can get started mastering the course with Varsity Tutors’ AP Computer Science A app. Download it for free today from iTunes or the Google Play Store.