New AP Computer Science Exam: Hit or Miss?


By: Anna Lee and Tristen Tetlow-Ames


AP Computer Science is a new course to Oakdale High School and has been received with open arms. Like any other AP class, there is an AP test at the end of the year. The only difference is there are many students refusing to take this test.

The new course contains five units, and the sixth unit is devoted to working on their AP Performance Task projects, which is creating a computer artifact that describes an innovation in computer science.

The Computer Science course has a requirement of taking Algebra 1 as a prerequisite. There is a significant amount of expository writing: writing used to explain, describe, give information and inform the reader. The curriculum doesn’t assume any  prior knowledge on computing concepts before taking the class.

Along the way the students learn about how the internet works and its impact on society. The students focus on how to collect, analyze and visualize data to gain insight and knowledge about computers. Another topic hit in this class is evaluating harmful and beneficial effects brought on by computing innovations.

Mathias Yost is a tenth grader in the class this semester, and he is one of the students not taking the test at the end of the year. He said, “The curriculum does not teach us anything, it is boring, and poorly paced.” This is because the test has material in it that the students do not learn in their curriculum.

The course and the exam is new to everyone in the nation. The teachers don’t know what to expect on the exam. Also there isn’t any way to prepare the students for this exam. But contrary to him, ninth grader Quinn Mood says, “There is no reason not to take the test. It is a good AP test taking experience.”

Despite of the uncertainty, since it is an AP course, the students do get the AP experience taking the new class.

Don’t let this discourage you from taking the class, if you like programing and coding then take this course! But remember that the end AP test may be a hit, or a miss.