ADVANCED PLACEMENT IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
This AP Computer Science A (CSA) prep class introduces students to software engineering, object-oriented programming and design using a programming language called JAVA . This course's curriculum covers a broad range of topics, that will allow you to get familiar with the concepts and tools of computer science . You'll do hands-on work to design, write, and test computer programs that solve problems or accomplish tasks. You will be designing a program, developing the algorithms it needs, and writing code to implement them. You will get comfortable with testing program code, correcting errors as well as documenting and explaining how your program code works. Before registering to take your AP CS A exam in May, you will need to have completed just under 100 hours of prep classwork and practice tests. This class will follow a College Board endorsed AP Computer Science A curriculum to teach Java programming in ten learning units and five practice units. We start early and go slow.
To be fully prepared for the exam, we will need to cover ten core units and five practice units. Each class meets one time a week for an hour and a half per class. Each level runs approximately eight weeks, depending on holidays. It's expected that students will complete ~48 hours per level. At the beginner level we will work to complete the first five units:
- Prep: Computational Thinking fundamentals and Number Systems
- Unit 1: Object-Oriented Programming
- Unit 2: Class Structure and Design
- Unit 3: Arrays and Algorithms
- Unit 4: Conditions and Logic
Students that have completed all four beginner levels APCS A prep classes can register for the intermediate levels. In the beginner levels, hopefully we completed units 1 to units 5, leaving units 6 to 10 for Intermediate levels. Unfortunately, if a unit was not covered in the beginner levels, we will need to get caught up. We can't just skip it. We will use the next four intermediate level courses to catch up.
The class meets one time a week for an hour and a half per class. Each level runs approximately eight weeks, depending on holidays. It's expected that students will complete ~48 hours within the four intermediate levels. At the intermediate level we will work to complete the following:
- Refresher on what we covered in the beginner levels and cover any concepts that we didn't address
- Unit 5: Two-Dimensional Arrays
- Unit 6: ArrayLists and String Methods
- Unit 7: Method Decomposition and Recursion
- Unit 8: Searching and Sorting
Ahh, the Advanced level. This is when things start to get real. By October of the year before you plan to take the exam in May, we will need to begin your exam registration process. There are very strict deadline we want to keep eyes on. We need to confirm the location that you will be taking the exam, get you registered on the College Board and assigned to an exam host. Hawaii does NOT have a lot of locations to take the exam, so this is the time to start locking plans down, especially if your school does hot host the APCS A exam.
During this last cycle of levels, we need to practice ... a lot. We'll be re-visiting all the concepts from the previous units and take several micro tests during class. Some of these will be timed and some will not. We will need to get used to being aware of how much time is remaining and determining how important a question is. Spending a lot of time on a question that is worth low points is not worth taking away from a question that is worth more.
- Unit 9: AP Exam Review and Practice
- Free Response Question practice (FRQ's)
- Practice Exams, timed and not timed
- Try and Solve it Challenges
- Learn the exam layout and testing strategies
- Registration and planning
Instructor: Andrew Towl
The Jack of all artistic trades. Mr Andrew has been an instructor with Computational Thinkers since 2015. He is also a 2D/3D freelance art generalist, Indie Augmented Reality game developer and the artists of the character Sparedax, seen in the video below. When Mr. Andrew is not working on the newest tech trends with Blender or teaching, he is dabbling on building new AR games and helping Hawaii's Youth Theater build new digital experiences.
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