The AP Computer Science Principles course is designed to be equivalent to a first semester introductory college computing course. In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The course engages students in the creative aspects of the field by allowing them to develop computational artifacts based on their interests. Students will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills by working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and will discuss and write about the impacts these solutions could have on their community, society, and the world.
Unlike AP Computer Science A, which is taught in Java, the AP Computer Science Principles course does not have a designated programming language. Teachers select the programming language(s) that is most appropriate for their students.
Prerequisites: It is recommended that a student in the AP Computer Science Principles course should have successfully completed a first year high school algebra course with a strong foundation on basic linear functions and composition of functions, and problem solving strategies that require multiple approaches and collaborative efforts. In addition, students should be able to use a Cartesian (x, y) coordinate system to represent points in a plane. It is important that students and their advisers understand that any significant computer science course builds upon a foundation of mathematical and computational reasoning that will be applied throughout the study of the course.