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AP Computer Science A for me?

  1. Jul 8, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone, I was wondering because I am looking for a rewarding elective to take in my senior year of high school if AP Computer Science A would be a worthwhile choice. I am interested and think it can't hurt to get a taste of a new subject before I go to college.

    With a strong background in math (I'll be going into AP Calc BC) am incur out for this course?
    What will I expect?
    Is it worth my time and effort?

    Everyone's input is much appreciated:)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey Concavity and welcome to the forums.

    I'm not in the US, but if it's like the similar course offered in high school, it should be OK.

    I don't think they are going to get you to do anything that you wouldn't be able to do if you put the right amount of work in.

    I don't know about your other subjects (besides math), but I would probably just familiarize yourself with simple things like loops, branching, and some of the standard stuff like setting variable contents, doing arithmetic and how to use functions (calling a function, passing stuff to it) and then following the flow of a program when it goes through the loops, branches, and functions.

    They will no doubt spend a fair bit of time doing this kind of thing for programming, but if you know what's going on with respect to the above, you'll by fine with the code side including what to do when you have to write some code in your exam.

    As for the theory side, I'd imagine there will be some non-technical stuff but you'll probably be ok for this if you put the time in.
  4. Jul 8, 2012 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    its a worthwhile course, as most STEM degrees require some measure of using a computer to solve a problem numerically or graphically. Engineering courses usually require use of MATLAB which implements its own form of programming language. The course you are thinking about will either teach C++ or Java depending on the school.

    Follow CHIROS advice on learning about how to do loops, conditionals ... in the language and it will help immensely. Also you could start learning about IDEs (Integrated Dev Environments) such as Eclipse or Netbeans or even Bluejay (a simpler IDE).
  5. Jul 13, 2012 #4
    if you have no background, at the beggining it might be a little bit hard, but after that, it will be super easy.

    Oh, and all the math you need to know (for this course, not for programming as a whole) is algebra.
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