Understand the Exam 📑
This section has been updated to match the new 2021 CED.
The AP Computer Science Principles exam is FIVE-able when you have the right resources. 😉
The exam includes two sections: the Create Performance Task and the End-of-Course Multiple-Choice Exam.
Create Performance Task:
End-of-Course Multiple-Choice Exam:
⚠️NOTE: most prep books and online resources are not updated to the 2021 CED, so ignore all references to the Explore Performance Task and the 7 big ideas (now only 5 big ideas).
Prep Books 📔
🥇 = Best Value
🤓 = Easiest to Read
💸 = Cheapest
🖊 = Most Thorough
✍️ = Best for Create Performance Task
🔠 = Best for Multiple-Choice Questions
5 Steps to a 5🥇🤓💸🔠
Buy it on Amazon here!
I, personally, used this book to study for tests throughout the course and to review for the AP Exam in May. Reading this book for the content review a few weeks before the exam was very helpful in reviewing what was necessary to know for the exam‼️
This prep book is my top recommendation, as it is one of the only ones on the market. The book is pretty thin and not too word-heavy in a nice style to read. The book is currently less than $8.99 on Amazon. 💸
Buy it on Amazon here!
This prep book is great to use for people who are looking to prepare consistently all year 📆 before the exam or already have a schedule to study more than a week before the exam!
3 full-length practice exams on paper and another 1 online + even more practice questions!
Create Performance Task sections of this book are great 🤩 so make sure to consult this book while working on that section.
💡If you read the Amazon review 📝 on the link above, you might see many complaints about small content inaccuracies, but don't let that impact your whole decision process! The book is almost all correct and awesome 💫 but some of the content is not proofread ☹️
This prep book is my secondary recommendation if you want more enrichment than 5 Steps to a 5. The book is pretty thin and not too word-heavy in a nice style to read. The book is currently more expensive than the 5STA5 on Amazon at about $15 💰
While the College Board lists some APCSP textbooks on their website for classes to use, they actually have a disclaimer at the top of the page that they do not actually recommend or endorse those textbooks for the course. Since there are not a lot of textbooks that fit the course requirements, we have compiled a listicle 📜 of online resources that could substitute for a textbook!
Online Resources 🖥️
🥇 = Best Overall
🤓 = Easiest to Understand
🖊 = Most Thorough
🤯 = Best for All Learning Styles
offers free live streams 📽️ (and their replays), study guides, trivia games, videos, and slide decks for APCSP students. Beyond the content, Fiveable also offers a community platform where students can ask questions and receive feedback from AP Computer Science Principles 💻 teachers and other students.
Khan Academy APCSP Quizzes and Articles 🖊️
Source: Khan Academy
There are articles to read, annotate, highlight, and review 📋 with practice questions that are actually similar to the style of questions on the real AP Exam.
Khan Academy has units quizzes that you can take to earn points to prepare for the AP CSP Exam in a game-ified way 👍
Khan Academy is free, which allows you to use their practice tests.
Online practices with coding samples in 4 different programming languages which can be helpful in finding a platform to create your Create Performance Task Projects in.
Harvard’s CS50 YouTube Lectures Playlist 🤓
A Harvard Professor Teaches a lecture called CS50 which closely aligns with the AP CSP curriculum.
The lectures about Algorithms, Data Structures, Computational 🖥️ Thinking, and Information help emphasize content in a video format for visual and auditory learners.
The lectures are very easy to watch and listen to and help prepare for the AP Exam. They are posted on YouTube 📽️ in a playlist that is linked above!
codeHS AP CSP Exam Review Playlist 🤯
A teacher, Calvin Studebaker, created a playlist on a coding website for students to help review for the AP Exam!
These questions are very similar to those on the AP exam, so this playlist was one of my top resources preparing for the exam.
These AP Style Quizzes are very good reviews as each quiz has 5 questions that can be self-paced.
You can do all of the quizzes in one day if that is the time you have left before the exam or you can do 5 quizzes per week if you have 6 weeks before the exam ⏰
Closing Thoughts 💭
APCSP is a relatively small class 👨🏫 with a small number of resources online, but there are some amazing ones! If you use a good mix of the resources in this article, then you should be all set to do awesome 🤩 on your Create PT and ace your MCQ 🧐 exam.