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AP CSP exam overview

Are you studying for the exam? This overview will give you an idea of what to expect and what we cover here.

Exam format

The 2019 AP Computer Science Principles Exam is 2 hours long and includes approximately 74 multiple-choice questions.
There are two types of questions:
  • Select 1 answer from 4 options
  • Select 2 answers from 4 options
Make sure you read the questions carefully and select as many answers as requested.

Exam topics

The AP CSP exam covers the following topics:
Big ideaApproximate % of exam questions
Big idea 1: Creativity--
Big idea 2: Abstraction19%
Big idea 3: Data and information18%
Big idea 4: Algorithms20%
Big idea 5: Programming20%
Big idea 6: The internet13%
Big idea 7: Global impact10%
The multiple-choice exam does not include any questions on creativity (since that is covered by the Create performance task), so that is not covered here. We hope you all have experienced the creative expression of computer programming in your classrooms!
We cover all the big ideas. The topics in Abstraction are spread over our Computers, Programming, and Data analysis units. The topics in Data and Information are spread over our Computers and Data analysis units. The other big ideas are covered in the units of the same name.

Exam reference sheet

The AP CSP exam includes a reference sheet which describes a common pseudocode for programming questions. The reference sheet is on page 118 of the exam description.
Keep the reference handy during programming questions to help you understand the code used in the questions.

More details

For the official description of the AP Computer Science Principles exam, please consult the College Board AP CSP exam site.

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