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2024 AP Computer Science A Exam Guide

6 min readโ€ขaugust 18, 2023



AP Computer Science Aย ๐Ÿ’ป

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Your Guide to the 2024 AP Computer Science A Exam

We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We created a study plan to help you crush your AP CSA exam. This guide will continue to update with information about the 2024 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you do your best on test day.ย Unlock Cram Modeย for access to our cram eventsโ€”students who have successfully passed their AP exams will answer your questions and guide your last-minute studying LIVE! And don't miss out on unlimited access to our database of thousands of practice questions. FYI, something cool is coming your way Fall 2023! ๐Ÿ‘€

Format of the 2024 AP CSA Exam

Going into test day, this is the exam format to expect:
  • Multiple Choice
    • 40 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
      • The MCQ section will mostly be individual questions, with 1-2 sets of two questions each.
      • Computational Thinking Practices 1, 2, 4, and 5 will be tested on the MCQ section.
  • Free Response
    • 4 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
      • Question #1: Methods and Control Structures
      • Question #2: Classes
      • Question #3: Array/ Array List
      • Question #4: 2D Array

When is the 2024 AP CSA Exam and How Do I Take It?

The exam is on paper, in school, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 12:00 PM local time.

How Should I prepare for the Exam?

  • First, download the AP Computer Science A Cheatsheet PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!
  • We've put together the study plan found below to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam. Pay special attention to the units that you need the most improvement in.
  • Study, practice, and review for test day with other students during our live cram sessions viaย Cram Mode. Cram live streams will teach, review, and practice important topics from AP courses, college admission tests, and college admission topics. These streams are hosted by experienced students who know what you need to succeed.

Pre-Work: Set Up Your Study Environment

Before you begin studying, take some time to get organized.
๐Ÿ–ฅ Create a study space.
Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space.ย 
๐Ÿ“š Organize your study materials.
Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also, create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!
๐Ÿ“… Plan designated times for studying.
The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.
๐Ÿ† Decide on an accountability plan.
How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First, set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!
๐Ÿค Get support from your peers.ย 
There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Joinย Roomsย ๐Ÿค to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together!ย 

AP CSA 2024 Study Plan

โž•ย  Unit 1: Primitive Types

This unit introduces the basics of Java. Students learn the Main method, how to call different methods and variables.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:
๐ŸŽฅWatch this video:

๐Ÿ“ฑย  Unit 2: Using Objects

This unit builds on the first unit by adding reference data, and new classes such as Math and String. This allows students to represent different real-world objects.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:
๐ŸŽฅWatch this video:

๐Ÿ–ฅย  Unit 3: Boolean Expressions and if Statements

This unit introduces conditional statements. Covering boolean expressions and If Statements, students learn how to use conditional statements and their syntax along with writing different boolean expressions.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:
๐ŸŽฅWatch this video:

๐Ÿ•นย  Unit 4: Iteration

This unit builds on writing conditional statements and introduces for and while loops. In addition, students learn standard algorithms that they will use for the rest of the course.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

โš™๏ธย  Unit 5: Writing Classes

This unit introduces students to writing their own reference data types or classes. This unit will be the backbone for the rest of the course.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

โŒš๏ธย  Unit 6: Array

This unit introduces arrays, which is a kind of data structure. This allows similar data to be stored in a different way than individual variables. In addition, students learn array standard algorithms that they will use for the rest of the course.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

๐Ÿ’พย  Unit 7: ArrayList

This unit builds on Arrays by introducing ArrayList which has its own unique differences from Arrays, including having a dynamic size, and has methods for changing elements.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

๐Ÿ’ปย  Unit 8: 2D Array

This unit introduces 2 Dimensional Arrays and different standard algorithms that they will use for the rest of the course.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

๐Ÿ–ฒย  Unit 9: Inheritance

This unit covers how to create a class hierarchy with super and subclasses. In addition, inheritance is covered which shows what methods and behaviors are shared to other classes.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

๐Ÿ–ฑย  Unit 10: Recursion

This unit covers recursion which are methods that call themselves.
๐Ÿ“–Read these study guides:

More Resources:

Browse Study Guides By Unit
โž•Unit 1 โ€“ Primitive Types
๐Ÿ“ฑUnit 2 โ€“ Using Objects
๐Ÿ–ฅUnit 3 โ€“ Boolean Expressions & if Statements
๐Ÿ•นUnit 4 โ€“ Iteration
โš™๏ธUnit 5 โ€“ Writing Classes
โŒš๏ธUnit 6 โ€“ Array
๐Ÿ’พUnit 7 โ€“ ArrayList
๐Ÿ’ปUnit 8 โ€“ 2D Array
๐Ÿ–ฒUnit 9 โ€“ Inheritance
๐Ÿ–ฑUnit 10 โ€“ Recursion

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