The Difference Between AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A
Do you like creating things? Learning skills that solve real-world problems? If so, you might be trying to decide which AP® computer science course is right for you. In this post, we’ll explain the similarities and differences between AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) and AP Computer Science A (AP CSA).
What is AP Computer Science Principles?
AP Computer Science Principles is a course that encompasses a wide range of topics. When you take AP CSP, you'll learn the underlying principles of computing and the computational thinking skills computer scientists use daily, including:
- Designing a program to solve a problem.
- Analyzing computational work.
- Communicating ideas about technology.
- Working collaboratively to address real-world issues.
To learn more about the skills gained and topics explored in this course, visit the AP Computer Science Principles Course page.
To learn more about the exam structure, visit the AP Computer Science Principles Exam page.
What is AP Computer Science A?
AP Computer Science A is a course that focuses more on programming. When you take AP CSA, you'll learn programming content and skills used by computer scientists to develop creative solutions to today’s problems. Skills emphasized in this course include:
- Designing a computer program.
- Writing the necessary code to implement a program.
- Testing program code and correcting errors.
- Documenting and explaining how program code works.
To learn more about the skills gained and topics explored in this course, visit the AP Computer Science A Course page.
To learn more about the exam structure, visit the AP Computer Science A Exam page.
AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A share characteristics. Both courses:
- Give you a solid introduction to programming content and skills.
- Encourage you to continue your studies and interest in the field of computer science.
- Require you to have familiarity with concepts from Algebra 1.
- Do not require you to have any computer science or programming experience before enrolling in the course.
How are these two courses different?
Although AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A have similarities, they differ in ways you should know:
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Computer Science A