AP Computer Science Syllabus

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Paul Bui
E-mail: BuiEmail.bmp
Phone: 703.228.6200 (ask for the call to be forwarded to Mr. Bui)
Website: http://www.paulbui.net/wl/AP_Computer_Science


Students are expected to have completed Computer Science with a B or better.


In this course we will follow the College Board's AP Computer Science A curriculum.

"AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with many CS1 courses in colleges and universities." (College Board)


Class time will be divided between lecture and lab. I will lecture at the beginning of the class period, and the remaining time will be used for lab. The course will be structured such that all assignments, materials, and resources may be found on the course website.

Student grades reflect student achievement and not student behavior. Grades will follow the following guidelines. Border-line grades will be rounded up.

Grade Weights
Grade Scale

1st Semester (Q1, Q2)
70%    Labs & Assignments
20%    Tests & Quizzes
10%    Class Performance

2nd Semester (Q3, Q4)
50%    Labs & Assignments
40%    Tests & Quizzes
10%    Class Performance

A      90 – 100
B+    87 – 89
B      80 – 86
C+    77 – 79
C      70 – 76
D+    67 – 69
D      60 – 66
E      0 – 59

Labs & Assignments

Labs are a fundamental part of this course, and there will be many labs throughout each quarter. Some labs will cover only a few days, while others may take several weeks. All lab assignments will be posted on the course website, along with detailed instructions and due dates. I am available for help during second lunch or after school upon request. Labs may also be completed on a home computer. Late assignments will be accepted with a penalty of 5% each day, after the due date. NO late assignments will be accepted after three days.

"The AP Computer Science A course must include a minimum of 20 hours of hands-on structured lab experiences to engage students in individual or group problem solving. Thus, each AP Computer Science A course includes a substantial laboratory component in which students design solutions to problems, express their solutions precisely (e.g., in the Java programming language), test their solutions, identify and correct errors (when mistakes occur), and compare possible solutions." (College Board)

Tests & Quizzes

There will be tests and quizzes throughout the year. Makeup quizzes are allowed provided that there is an excused absence. Tests and quizzes will be structured similarly; quizzes however will be shorter in length. Tests will generally be given after the completion of each major unit, and will be designed to prepare the student for the AP exam.

Class Performance

Students are expected to discuss topics and concepts during both whole-class discussions and small group discussions. When we are working on a lab or assignment, students are to stay on task by either working on their assignment, or by assisting another student with their assignment. Tardiness and unexcused absences will take away from class performance.

Attendance Policies

  • Arriving 1-19 minutes late is reported as a tardy
    • 3 unexcused tardies -> detention
    • 5+ unexcused tardies -> administrative referral
  • Arriving 20+ minutes late is reported as an absence
    • 3+ unexcused absences -> administrative referral

Academic Integrity

In this course, collaboration among students is encouraged. However, copying another’s work or allowing your work to be copied is not acceptable and is a violation of Washington-Lee’s academic integrity policy. Students will be asked to sign an honor pledge for each lab or major assignment. By signing the pledge, students acknowledge their understanding of the honor policy and that they have not violated that policy in any way. The pledge states either:
"On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received information on this assignment."
"On my honor, I pledge that I have given [received] information on this assignment to [from] the following individual(s) …."


"Students will be able to:

  • Design, implement, and analyze solutions to problems;
  • Use and implement commonly used algorithms;
  • Develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures to solve new problems;
  • Write solutions fluently in an object-oriented paradigm;
  • Write, run, test, and debug solutions in the Java programming language, utilizing standard Java library classes and interfaces from the AP Java subset;
  • Read and understand programs consisting of several classes and interacting objects;
  • Read and understand a description of the design and development process leading to such a program; and
  • Understand the ethical and social implications of computer use."

(College Board)

Topic Outline

  1. Object-Oriented Program Design
    1. Program and class design
  2. Program Implementation
    1. Implementation techniques
    2. Programming constructs
    3. Java library classes and interfaces included in the AP Java Subset
  3. Program Analysis
    1. Testing
    2. Debugging
    3. Runtime exceptions
    4. Program correctness
    5. Algorithm analysis
    6. Numerical representations of integers
  4. Standard Data Structures
    1. Primitive data types (int, boolean, double)
    2. Strings
    3. Classes
    4. Lists
    5. Arrays (1-dimensional and 2-dimensional)
  5. Standard Operations and Algorithms
    1. Operations on data structures
    2. Searching
    3. Sorting
  6. Computing in Context
    1. System reliability
    2. Privacy
    3. Legal issues and intellectual property
    4. Social and ethical ramifications of computer use

Exam (3 hrs)

  • Multiple choice (40 questions) - 75 minutes - 50% of exam score
  • Free response (4 questions) - 105 minutes - 50% of exam score

Textbook & Supplies


  • No physical textbook
  • eIMACS - Online APCS textbook and prep materials
    • You will be given an account by APS




  • Students should have a cloud storage account (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.) They can be used to store work for all classes, and are generally free.
  • Students are recommended (*not required*) to bring earphones to class. We will be using on-line video tutorials and sound devices in our programming.
  • Students are required to have a computer with internet access at home.

Dual Enrollment

  • TBD

Lab Schedule

If you wish to schedule time in the lab during Generals Period, lunch, or after school, please e-mail or come talk to me.


Students are expected to follow the Acceptable Use Policy as well as other school policies

Lab Etiquette

  • Please arrive on time
  • Be mindful of your neighbors’ workspace
  • During lecture time, please take off your headphones and turn off your listening devices
  • Avoid being rude with your cell phone
  • During work time (not quiz/test time), you are encouraged to work with others, but DO NOT do their work for them
  • Please do not spin in the chairs or lean too far back because the desks will be marred
  • No food or drink in the lab area
  • Keep the lab clean – no trash!
  • The lab is used by 5 or more classes, so please leave it in the same condition or better when class is over
    • Clean up your workspace
    • Straighten the keyboard and mouse
    • Push in the chairs

Infractions will be followed by warnings, lunch detention, after-school detention, Saturday detention, or by an administrative referral and parent/guardian conference

Agreement Signature