AP Computer Science A

Sign in to My AP to access free support in AP Classroom, including AP Daily videos.

About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP Computer Science A Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

The paper and the digital versions of the AP Computer Science A Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full scope of course content, giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Computer Science A only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The Computer Science A Exam will test your understanding of the programming concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to read and write code for computer programs.

Exam Duration
3hrs

Exam Dates

  • Thu, May 6, 2021,
    12 PM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Computer Science A Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP Computer Science A Exam.

  • Tue, May 18, 2021,
    4 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Computer Science A Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP Computer Science A Exam.

  • Tue, Jun 1, 2021,
    4 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Computer Science A Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Computer Science A Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Computer Science A Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Computer Science A only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

40 questions 1hr 30mins 50% of Score

The multiple-choice section includes individual, single questions as well as sets of 2–3 questions. You’ll be asked to:

  • Determine the required code segments to produce a given output
  • Identify the output, value, or result of given program code based on initial values
  • Analyze program code for correctness, equivalence, and errors
  • Describe the behavior and conditions that lead to results in a program

4 questions 1hr 30mins 50% of Score

In the free-response section, you’ll respond to four questions with written answers. The section includes:

  • Question 1: Methods and Control Structures—You’ll be asked to write program code to create objects of a class and call methods, and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
  • Question 2: Classes—You’ll be asked to write program code to define a new type by creating a class and satisfy method specifications using expressions, conditional statements, and iterative statements.
  • Question 3: Array/ArrayList—You’ll be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 1D array or ArrayList objects.
  • Question 4: 2D Array—You’ll be asked to write program code to satisfy method specifications and create, traverse, and manipulate elements in 2D array objects.

Exam Preparation

Search AP Credit Policies

Find colleges that grant credit and/or placement for AP Exam scores in this and other AP courses.

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators