AP Computer Science A Exam Preparation for Friday

Good afternoon AP Comp Sci parents and students,
This is Mr. Eliot…

I’m sending this email to make parents and students aware of important preparation that needs to be done before the AP Computer Science A exam on Friday, May 15th at 12:30pm.  Here are some suggestions to be completed before Friday.

(1)  Please make sure your student gets plenty of rest Thursday night.  Make sure they get a full 8 hours of sleep the night before the exam.

(2)  Please make sure your student eats well (but not too well) on Friday, the day of the exam.  They should not be too full, or too hungry when the exam starts.  If your student is more alert and focused after having a cup of tea or coffee, consider providing this before the exam.

(3)  Please make sure the student has a quiet testing environment free of all distractions.  This is not the time for them to do chores, or to babysit their siblings or to have family and friends over.

(4)  Please make sure your student has the best computer in the house with the best Internet connection.  Ideally this computer should have Visual Studio Code or JGrasp or Microsoft Word or Notepad or TextEdit (for Mac) installed.  They need a program that they can easily type code into with indenting, then copy and paste into the AP website.

(5)  Please make sure everyone else in the house is using minimal Internet during the exam.  Please avoid video conferencing (Zoom), Netflix, online game, etc from 12:30pm on Friday until the exam is over.

(1)  Please make sure you visit the AP Exam Demo website well before Friday.  Please practice copying and pasting code from the program you will use.  Please make sure that code maintains indenting after you copy and paste.  It is here at this link:


(2)  Please make sure you have a bookmark for the Java Quick Reference in your web browser AND a printed copy of the Java Quick reference next to you when you take the exam.  It is here at this link:


(3)  Please make sure you fill out and print the AP Exam Day Checklist for this exam.  It is here at this link:


(4)  Please use the PASTE CODE OPTION if at all possible, and write your code in Visual Studio Code or JGrasp or Microsoft Word.  I STRONGLY RECOMMEND the copy and paste method of taking this exam, as it is quick, easy, and safe.  I only recommend using the “Upload” file option and the “Upload” photos option as backup plans in case of extreme emergency. 

(5)  Please consider having some blank paper and a pencil nearby.  Use this to take notes as you go and as a possible backup if you need to write your code by hand and photograph it. 

(6)  Since this is an open notes exam, you can have out items that are useful to you.  Obviously, you should have the Java Quick Reference out.  Another good option might be the Java String API or Java Math API in your web browser if you understand how to read it quickly.  Beyond that, too many papers or too much Internet searching will only slow you down. 

(7)  Finally, if you are planning on using your phone as a backup plan and you have an iPhone, there is an important setting to change.  The AP website does not support the HEIC image format, which is the default for iPhones.  Please review the attached directions (below) on how to set your iPhone to “Most Compatable (JPEG)“.

Good luck on Friday, if you have any questions, please email me.
The rest of this week, we will be reviewing FRQs on Zoom at 3:00pm.
Mr. Eliot (deliot@pylusd.org)