Barron’s AP Computer Science A, 8th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests

When it comes to AP test preparation, you can not have too many resources. The College Board provides teachers and students with many resources including practice tests and questions, exercises, projects, and ideas. However, in the months leading up to the AP exam, it is really useful to students to have a guide that takes them through each of the skills they’ll need to know. The 8th edition has two bonus tests bringing the practice materials to 6 total full-length practice tests as well as the now-essential online component. Including, of course, Barron’s unsubstantiated claim that it is “Students’ #1 Choice”… whatever that means. In conjunction with the Walter Savitch book I’ve reviewed in a different post, I use this as a good AP prep guide book. Though not strictly necessary, it gives a very substantial supplement in an organized and easy to follow form and is highly suited to those who like to refer to a text. Remember, the AP exam IS a pencil-and-paper endeavor so it’s not outrageous to think that a book would help toward that end.


  • Thorough and organized
  • 6 practice tests – ON PAPER (like the real AP test)
  • Even if you know Java very well, it is a good way to focus your pertinent skills towards the AP Exam


  • Not strictly mandatory with a lot of freely available materials online (though they are not all in one place and organized like a book)
  • Not thorough enough to be the sole preparatory resource for a student, just to focus and hone her studies for the AP exam
  • Not an introduction to the language of Java – assumes a certain level of proficiency and understanding of coding

Check it out!

Categories: Book Review