New AP Computer Science Principles Exam

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
June 28, 2013

The College Board announced this month a new Advanced Placement course and exam – Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). The course will introduce high school students to fundamental concepts of computing beyond computer programming. The course will be introduced in 2016, with the first exam to be administered in 2017.

The proposed curriculum will teach students to analyze computational artifacts, develop an abstraction, develop and express algorithms, and learn how mathematical and logical concepts can be used in programming.

The ACM SIGCSE Board endorses the new AP Computer Science Principles exam. “We agree with the goal to create a new AP exam that attracts a diverse range of students and introduces important computer science concepts, beyond the basic syntactic and semantic structures of a programming language,” said Renee McCauley, ACM SIGCSE Chair, in a letter to SIGCSE members when the College Board and NSF was piloting the proposed curriculum framework in high schools.

The National Science Foundation is providing a $5.2 million grant to fund the creation and introduction of the AP Computer Science Principles course and exam.

To learn more about the new AP Computer Science Principles course and exam, see the College Board’s press release, available at: