AP Comp Sci: 2 more weeks! how to prep?!

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: AP Comp Sci: 2 more weeks! how to prep?!
By Traci87 (Traci87) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

This is horrible. My teacher has not taught us anything this year; my class is basically a study hall for me.
I'm trying really hard to read Barron's, but I feel like it's a futile effort. I just don't get Comp Sci.

What should I do? Continue to read Barron's eventhough I'm having an extremely low comprehension? How do you learn Comp Sci? Should I be memorizing methods or stuff like the order in which a program operates +-x/% || &&? Do you memorize anything for comp sci?

Thanks for the advice.

By Foundnemo (Foundnemo) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

I was probably the worst student in my class, and my teacher didn't bother to teach either because everyone in the class programmed in their free time (... except for me) and knew everything already. I failed like, every single test. I used Barron's to study (know the case study really well, and do some extra studying on big O stuff since it's not covered well in the book). I walked out of the test room feeling like I failed, but I ended up getting a 5. I dunno though, that was last year and it was still in C++ so I don't know how different the Java version is.

By Ahwosg (Ahwosg) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:27 am: Edit

i'd recommend doing practice problems but if you don't get it that might not be possible. find problems in java (search on google) and problems in c++/c (easily convertable to java) and look at the solutions and write pseudo-code for it. just so you understand the nuances. understand the way of thinking first, and then memorize all the constructs. try some on your own.

as for MC, look at past APs and just take them. you'll begin to see recurring themes/points of importance; focus on those.

like the other guy said, know the case study well because it's so long that looking through it to help with answers would be so wasteful.

By Traci87 (Traci87) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 03:01 pm: Edit

should i be memorizing any classes or methods? or should i just memorize the idea of stuff like arrays and loops?

By Mike76 (Mike76) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

Most of the AP Comp Sci tests are a lot of logic. It obviously helps to know arrays, loops, methods, etc., but the logic behind them is what's the most important. Also, there was a suprisingly larger section of the test on Big O last year, so make sure you know that. The free response section usually is pretty easy, as long as you have a general idea of what you're doing.

By Traci87 (Traci87) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit

I guess this is an indication that i am really no prepared for the AP test: what is the "Big O"? Due you mean the case study?

By Andrew123s (Andrew123s) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:35 pm: Edit

Big-O is a way to represent the efficiency of an algorithm. For example, if you had a for loop that went though each element of an array and changed it, that algorithm would be O(n), where n is the number of items in the array (the number of comparrisons the algorithm made is proportional to the number of items in the array, since it just went though the array once).

In general, most algorithms are either O(1), O(log n), O(n), O(n*log n), O(n^2), O(n^3), or O(2^n). You should look in Barrons or a text book to really understand what all of this means.

By Wishful_Thinker (Wishful_Thinker) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

for your free response, you will need to know alot of the basics of writing and classes and methods. you should learn array lists because every practice test i have has atleast one thing on that. it's best to UNDERSTAND how java works...there's classes and methods and variables and you can use the if-else statements, for, and while statements and print out things, etc.

get all the review books, you may not get it the first time around but the next time will always come easier.

i'm taking the test as well and my class is an online class...so i never really had a teacher teaching me...it was like "look" "model" "write", you know? that's how i learned but i learn best that way. if you need help on any section, don't be afraid to e-mail me, i'd love to help and test if i really understand a topic.

By Traci87 (Traci87) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit

im taking the Java version A not AB, do i need to know big O ?

By Dshirazi (Dshirazi) on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 01:16 am: Edit

check out www.eimacs.com they have a test preparation you can do in less than a weekend. I did it last year and raised my practice AP score from a 2 to a 4 on the real thing.

By Wishful_Thinker (Wishful_Thinker) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 06:19 pm: Edit

Aers do not need to know big O.

who already took the AP Comp Sci test? do you know if your scores on barrons/PR are accurate? was the test harder/easier? do you remember a stupid mistake you made? ANY ADVISE??? *panicking*

please write ANYTHING..well not anything. but if you took it, please post.

By Andrew123s (Andrew123s) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

I think in general, the Barrons multiple choice questions are a lot harder than the AP multiple choice questions. However, now that it is a new language I can't say for sure.

By Wishful_Thinker (Wishful_Thinker) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit

i know taht's what stinks. i've been getting borderline 5s every time. (like 60 or 61 raw score). and so yea...hopefully the real thing will be easy so i have a secured 5. what really sucks is the fact that i'm just messing up on the multiple choice and with my score, even if i got like 4 points total for multiple choice, i would still get a 4 but i need like FULL points (or like top 4 pts off) to get a 5. *grrrr* frustration....

and there's no assurance from ppl who have already taken it b/c that was c++!!! ugh!!!!!!

By Metra (Metra) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit

Frankly, AP Comp Sci is one of the easiest tests youll take. If you like math and you like comp sci, im sure itll be a breeze. If youre not too focused on it, youll have to settle for a 4. Barronsis pretty good test prep for this particular exam. Its not overly difficult - all the problems are solveable. Plus Barrons doesnt incorporate new things into the test like it does for other tests, for the comp sci exam it just makes the problems harder. Again, not necessarily trivial, just harder. Skylit is also prob a good book since it specializes in the test, but frankly i havent used it.

BTW, i did most of the Barrons problems correctly (averaging an 85+% on their problmes) and got a 5 on the A exam.

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