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AP Computer Science: Best Tutors & Best Practices to Score Highly on APCS Exam

AP Computer Science: Best Tutors & Best Practices to Score Highly on APCS Exam

Having a solid grasp of AP computer science concepts can make all the difference in setting a successful college trajectory ahead. Between passing the APCS exam with flying colors and earning college credits before the first semester even begins, there are a few components that go into making the most out of the preparation process. With a supportive AP computer science tutor and implementation of practices to make the most out of each session, young coders increase their exam success rate exponentially.

 

5 Best Practices to Make the Most of AP Computer Science Tutoring

 

Mastering AP computer science positions students at a great entryway into the world of STEM and programming careers. While most colleges accept a passing score of 3, achieving a score as high as 4 or 5 is worth the extra time invested in studying for getting a leg up during the early stages of a future in coding. Implementing a set of top-tier practices in conjunction with one-on-one tutoring instills confidence and ease of mind come exam time.

 

Know what is on the exam and which topics to master

There are two kinds of APCS exams and knowing what is on them is the first step to developing an understanding of what topics might need extra attention. The AP Computer Science A exam is 3 hours and is made up of two separate sections including a multiple-choice and free-response component. Some of the concepts covered include boolean expressions, arrays, and recursion, to name a few.

 

The AP Computer Science Principles exam also consists of two sections, however, the multiple-choice section is taken in May while the performance task project is completed throughout the school year. Some of the concepts in the APCS Principles exam consist of creative development, data, and computing systems and networks, for example. Having an understanding of what is on each exam and how they differ should be the starting point to determine which areas are strong and which areas need more studying.

 

Have an understanding of how much you REALLY need to know.

Knowing what is on the exam is light preparation and most AP Computer Science courses will have already gone over most of what needs to be covered. However, students on track to take the exam might not be aware of what they really need to know. Since courses taken in high school are group taught, it is helpful to take stock of what topics may have been glossed over for the sake of time. By reviewing course notes and any feedback from quizzes and tests, gaining an understanding of what topics have been mastered leaves room for deepening skills in other areas of computer science. Of course, it also goes without saying, not every topic taught will be on the exam—so know what you need to know and study wisely!

 

Prepare questions for tutoring sessions ahead of time

Once a student has reviewed all of their coursework, it’s time to create a list of questions with detailed examples to bring for AP Computer Science tutoring sessions. In doing so, students make the most of their tutoring time while giving their tutors an understanding of what areas need highlighted attention. Since tutors aren’t teachers, students should not expect to roll into a session blindly. A tutor can only meet students halfway and by removing any of the guesswork, ample preparation creates an environment where young coders can thrive in gaining clarity on otherwise muddied concepts.

 

Review multiple-choice and free-response training

Directing ample time to practice different question formats can build speed through trial and error giving students more time to review their responses before submission. For the multiple-choice section, students should be sure they understand what is being asked. Through the process of elimination, remove the wrong answers and choose the best answer that fulfills the question. On the other hand, free-response questions give budding computer scientists the opportunity to identify different method descriptions when recalling proper concepts and applications.

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Remember, practice makes permanent

The above tips on preparation can go a long way, but nothing builds fluency better than consistency. For every hour of invested time in tutoring, students should double in their study sessions afterward. The old adage that practice makes perfect is dead. Coding is a language, and how a student practices is how fluency gets reflected. When practicing concepts and studying, be sure to take note of what is and isn’t clicking. Direct this energy toward exploration to generate questions for your next tutoring session. After all, practice makes permanent.

 

Top STEM Professionals for 1:1 AP Computer Science Tutoring with Code Galaxy

 

With a solid grasp of testing requirements and overall standing, young coders are prepared to make the most of their one-on-one computer science tutoring sessions. Tutoring professionals in the STEM and AP computer science arena are plentiful, and selecting the right computer science can include a variety of factors, including a blend between industry experience and personality.

 

George 

With 15 years of programming experience and ten years of teaching, George Chaaya is a phenomenal support system to have in your child’s corner for mastering coding concepts. A computer/communication engineer and computer scientist, George currently teaches university-level computer classes while offering tutoring sessions to the Code Galaxy. His versatile teaching style marks him as a relatable tutor for students at both the high school and college levels. Students can feel confident when learning from an active STEM professional while building a network for future references or additional help.

 

Brian

A software engineer with top-of-the-line industry experience, Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science and has worked as a software engineer at Apple as well as in the electric and cyber security industries. With a diverse background and experience, Brian has developed fluency in languages like C++, Java, Python, and JavaScript, to name a few. He began learning computer programming 20 years ago and quickly stepped into a teaching role by tutoring students at middle and elementary school levels. His enthusiasm for computer coding translates to the students he works with promising a supportive environment for achieving excellence and instilling confidence come exam time.

 

Vishal

Students who work with Vishal can expect a wide-range of input from his experience working with kids from the elementary stage to college level. With a degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Vishal is skilled in Python, C++, C, and Java, among other languages. The experience in data analysis and computer science tutoring he brings to one-on-one sessions magnifies student strengths while tailoring to areas of improvement.

 

As sessions unfold, young coders receive the support they need to rise beyond self-imposed challenges. Gratefully, coding and programming extends to the personal benefits needed to strengthen confidence, problem-solving and applied solutions. Working with a private AP computer science tutor is the added benefit to advancements in the STEM field at an exponential rate.

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