• AP Computer Science


    Mr. Zendt - Lab Room C133
    Email: jzendt@alvinisd.net
    Tutoring: Wednesday 3:00pm – 4:00 & Thursday 3:00pm – 4:00 or by appointment.


    To be successful in my (and any) class, students must be able to:
    • Complete all work (even if not collected for a grade).
    • Study outside of class.
    • Ask for help when stuck.
    • Bring an open mind and try new things.
    • Work independently and in groups.
    • Participate in all Classroom Activities


    Course Materials
    Each student is required to bring:
    Flash Drive with one gigabyte (1 GB) free.  USB 2.0 or 3.0 (3.0 is preferred).
    Pencils or Mechanical Pencils for Notes and Written Assignments.
    3 Ring Binder: About 1-2" thick, or space in a larger binder
    Paper: Used for notes in the binder.
    5-Tab Binder Dividers: To keep the binder organized, see below.
    3 Different Color Writing Utensils: pens, markers, highlighters, or pencils, etc.
    • AP Study Guide for AP Computer Science A: Strongly recommended, should start reviewing early, ideally in the first semester.


    The Binder
    You will receive quite a few handouts of programming references and take a reasonable amount of notes. Organization is a major key to success in this class. So here's how I recommend setting up your class binder:
    Reference: Function Reference Cards
    Notes: Notes taken in class
    Worksheets: Various homework and worksheets (we don't have a textbook, MOST practice is in the form of handouts)
    Tests: Tests and Quizzes
    AP: FRQs and other AP-related review material


    AP Syllabus
    Topics by Unit


    Software used in class (in order of use):
    Jeroo: http://home.cc.gatech.edu/dorn/38
    BlueJ: http://www.bluej.org/index.html
    JCreator: http://www.jcreator.com/index.htm
    Greenfoot: www.greenfoot.org
    Eclipse: http://www.eclipse.org/


    All programming assignments will be turned in via assignment upload on Google Classroom.

    Some homework assignments (programming labs) will REQUIRE the use of a computer at home.  All software used in this class is compatible with both PC and MAC, is completely free to use, and is clean of any malware.  Only download from the links that I have provided.  Don't download from sites that are not the primary source, avoid rehosted files.

    Remember students have access to the Internet and a printer through the Manvel High School library, and I have enough tutorial hours that it would be possible to complete all homework labs at school during tutorials.


    It will be very difficult to get an A in this class without being able to pass (get a 3) the AP exam.  Grading is based on the District AP Level 70% Major / 30% Minor grading weights.  Late work can be turned in for a maximum of an 80, and will be accepted until one week before the end of the nine weeks.  Quizzes and tests can be retested for up to a maximum of 80, which also must be completed one week before the end of the nine weeks.  Retests are often more challenging than the original test and can be entirely FRQ-based.

    Homework/Classwork (Minor): Worksheets and Minor Programming Assignments (labs without rubrics and CodingBat assignments) fall into this category.

    Quizzes (Minor, 2x Weight): We will have one or two quizzes per unit.  These could be standard content quizzes, or a single graded AP Free Response Question.  Quizzes are meant to provide graded feedback to students about where they stand in a unit and not to punish their grade.

    Labs (Minor or Major): There are usually one to two major Labs per unit.  These are Labs that might span from 2-4 days of class and have a scoring rubric.  Minor labs count towards the minor grades and Major count for major grades.

    Tests (Major, 2x Weight): This category includes major tests structured like AP exams, and may contain multiple choice questions and free response questions. This category also includes larger programming projects that span multiple weeks.

    A note about assistance from peers: you may ask others for help on an assignment, but copying of another student's program (or small sections of) is NOT allowed and will be considered cheating/plagiarism. Changing variable names does not count as original work. Ask HOW they solved the problem, not WHAT is the solution. If you are helped by another student, please include them as a "with help from" in your program header!


    AP Exam
    The Exam will be given on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in the afternoon. (First week of AP Testing, AP US History Exam is in the morning)
    You must arrive 30 minutes early. The exam lasts 3 hours and Consists of two parts: 1 hr. 30 min. for 40 multiple choice questions and 1 hr. 30 min. for four free response.

    The test is entirely pencil and paper. In other words, no computers are available. AP tests are graded on a scale of 1 to 5 with 3 considered passing. The test is difficult but is doable if you have learned how to program.


    Studying for the AP Exam
    Although we will prepare in class, I have found that students who studied outside of class have significantly out-preformed those who did not. There so much content in AP Computer Science that some school have broken the class into two years; however our program is only one year. That means I highly recommend that students who want to get a 4 or 5 to purchase a study guide and practice outside of class. Students will learn everything they need in class, but due to time constraints we don't get the amount of practice I would like everybody to have.

    There are many good practice books now on the market (Barron's, Princeton Review, 5 Steps to a 5). Please pick one up as soon as possible and start reviewing on your own.  I will not require you to study from the AP Review Book, but the students who score 5s have studied some outside of class. I will host after school and Saturday AP cram sessions in April to help the dedicated get ready!


    Google Classroom
    I will use Google Classroom as the primary means of assignment submission and grading. Please create an account (if you haven't already) and join my class. I will check Google Classroom during most evenings, so if you ever have any trouble with an assignment, post a question and myself or another student will try to answer. I will stop checking around 8pm-9pm, so don't post at midnight expecting an answer!