Emily Xie

Academic Blog

Academic Blog

AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science is definitely self-study-able. There are a few things that you will need for sure though. First, you will need a friend or parent who knows how to program. This is probably the most important thing you can have. My dad really helped me through all of my CompSci woes, and it was really helpful to have someone to help that actually knew what he/she was talking about.

Next, if you have never programmed before, you will need to textbook. Yes, a textbook. You can't just start programming right out of an AP review book, because it won't teach you any of the basic things that you will need to know for the AP test, it only tells you the hard stuff you'll need to know (and won't understand at first). I used Java Software Solutions by Lewis and Loftus. They make a lot of comparisons between programming and everyday things, and the way things are explained is absolutely superb.

You will also need an AP review book. I used Barron's AP Computer Science. It gives you everything you need to know and more than enough practice. In fact, the practice is arguably easier than the test...

Quick Tip: Make sure you practicing programming! I can't stress this enough. You will start crying on the free-response section if you have never programmed before, and only read the book. Download Eclipse and do as many programming projects as you can!