AP Computer Science Principles Practice Exam

Answer Some Sample Questions with Our AP Computer Science Principles Practice Test
If you want additional questions, take more AP computer science practice exams.
This is just a sample quiz. If you want to take another AP computer science practice test, click here.

All AP Computer Science Principles Practice Exams

Take an AP computer science principles practice exam below. Each exam includes detailed answer explanations. Make sure to review those to help you learn key concepts.

What is the AP Computer Science Exam?

There are two different AP computer science exams:

  1. AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP): An introductory level computing courses that introduces students to computer science.
  2. AP Computer Science A (AP CSA): A course that is more focused on JAVA and object-oriented programming.

Both courses are taken by students in high school. If students score a 3 or higher on the AP exam for the course, they will earn college credit for the course that they can use when they go to college.

AP Computer Science Principles Exam Breakdown

The AP CSP exam is broken down into 2 sections. Section 1 is a typical exam. Section 2 is split into a class project and 2 written response questions about their class project.

 Answer TypeScore %Time GivenQuestions
Section 1Multiple-Choice70%2 Hours70
Section 2Personal Project and Written Response30%

9 Hours In Class

1 Hour Exam



AP Computer Science Principles Course Breakdown

Unlike other AP exams, the AP computer science exam is broken into five main ideas instead of units to be taught over the course of a school year. Your teacher may teach them in a different order, but you can be certain these five ideas will make an appearance in your class and on the exam:

  1. Big Idea One: Creative Development (10-13%)
  2. Big Idea Two: Data (17-22%)
  3. Big Idea Three: Algorithms and Programming (30-35%)
  4. Big Idea Four: Computer Systems and Networks (11-15%)
  5. Big Idea 5: Impact of Computing (21-26%)

There are also six computational thinking practices that will be incorporated into your AP CSP course:

  1. Computational Solution Design – design and examine computational solutions for a specific purpose (18-25%)
  2. Algorithms and Program Development – develop and implement algorithms (20-28%)
  3. Abstraction in Program Development – create programs that use abstractions (7-12%)
  4. Code Analysis – test and evaluate the efficacy of algorithms and programs (12-19%)
  5. Computing Innovations – investigate computing innovations (28-33%)
  6. Responsible Computing – follow the rules and contribute to computing’s inclusive, safe, collaborative, and ethical culture (tested in other answers)

How to Use an AP CSP Practice Exam

An AP computer science principles practice exam is one of the best ways to study for the actual AP exam. Make sure that you have a CSP practice test, not an AP computer science A practice exam.

When using a practice exam, keep these items in mind:

  1. Utilize Answer Explanations: Use the answer explanations at the end of the exam to better understand complex concepts.
  2. Take Your Time: Do not rush through the questions. Take your time and try to learn the concepts that are being tested.
  3. Narrow Down Problem Areas: After taking the practice questions, take some time to reflect and determine which areas you struggled with the most.

How Do I Study for the AP CSP Exam?

There are a few different methods you can use to prepare yourself for the AP computer science principles exam:

  1. Determine Where You Stand: You need to figure out where your stand. You can do this by taking a baseline practice exam. You may find that you scored very well and you do not need to study.
  2. Find Problem Areas: After taking a baseline, you can narrow down specific concepts or topics that give you trouble. This will help you study more efficiently and save you time.
  3. Study Problem Areas: You can do so by reviewing your notes from class, using online resources, or taking more practice exams. Do not hesitate to ask you teacher for help!
  4. Do Not Rush: Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for this exam. Cramming at the end of the semester will not set you up for success (or be fun).

Frequently Asked Questions

The AP CSP exam has a pass rate of right around 66%. However, the AP CSP has one of the lowest perfect score rates at a low 12.4%. If you want a perfect score, it is important to study hard and perform well on the computer program portion.

You will need to answer at least 75% of the multiple-choice questions correctly as well as really impress the AP test scorers with your computer program to be able to score a 5 on the AP computer science principles exam.

AP test scores are not curved. However, they are calculated by the College Board in a manner that reflects more consistent scores across several years and subjects.

You will need to score a 3 to pass the exam and earn college credit. The exam is scored on a scale of 1-5.

Dave Evangelisti
Dave is our founder and CEO. He has 20+ years of experience in the testing and test prep industry.