About the AP Computer Science A Course

CodeHS offers two AP Computer Science A courses: AP CSA (Nitro) and AP CSA (Mocha). Both are year-long courses designed to help students master the basics of Java and equip them to successfully pass the AP Computer Science A Exam at the end of the school year. 

The curriculum has been pre-approved by College Board's AP Course Audit as meeting or exceeding the curricular expectations colleges and universities have for this subject.

Visit our AP CSA page to learn more about the course!

Course Prerequisites

The AP Computer Science in Java course is a fast-paced, AP level course. While there are no official prerequisites for the CodeHS AP Java course, we recommend that students take our Introduction to Computer Science course in either JavaScript or Python prior to AP CSA. Learn more about our high school curriculum pathways here.

AP CSA will prepare students for the multiple choice AP Computer Science in Java exam. Each unit includes a cumulative AP style multiple choice exam to test understanding of the concepts in the unit.

AP CSA Course Flavors: Nitro vs. Mocha

The AP CS A (Nitro) course is the most recent version of our course, and was created to align with the sequence of units recommended by College Board in the updated Course and Exam Description

What are the differences between AP Computer Science A (Nitro) and AP Computer Science A (Mocha)?

College Board Units

The AP Computer Science A (Mocha) is aligned to the AP CS A standards framework, however it teaches objects later in the course, which differs from the unit sequence recommended by College Board.

The AP CS A (Nitro) course implements the sequence of units that College Board recommends in the new Course and Exam Description. Note that this sequence of units is not required — teachers may continue to teach topics in the order that works best for their students.

Here are the new units:

  • Unit 1: Primitive Types
  • Unit 2: Using Objects
  • Unit 3: Boolean Expressions and If Statements
  • Unit 4: Iteration
  • Unit 5: Writing Classes
  • Unit 6: Arrays
  • Unit 7: ArrayList
  • Unit 8: 2D Array
  • Unit 9: Inheritance
  • Unit 10: Recursion

Main Method

The AP Computer Science A (Mocha) course instructs students using the CodeHS Java Console. 

Our AP CS A (Nitro) course that uses the Java Main Method. Instead of the CodeHS Java Console that we use in AP CS A (Mocha), exercises in AP CS A (Nitro) will utilize the Java Main Method. Students will also use the Scanner class to take user input.

Teachers may choose to continue the AP Computer Science A (Mocha) course--both Nitro and Mocha will prepare students for the AP CS A exam.

Choosing the Right Course

Depending on experience and preferred instructional approach, the right course varies by teacher. This chart can help you make the right decision for your classroom!

AP CSA Nitro Unit Quizzes

You can find all of the Unit Quizzes in the course supplemental materials. We are still releasing unit quizzes, so if you can't currently access a unit quiz please check back later. 

How to Assign Nitro Unit Quizzes

  1. Navigate to the Assignments page
  2. Click on Add Assignment or scroll down to the bottom of the page
  3. Under Supplemental Materials click on Assign next to the Unit Quizzes module

Still have questions? Contact our team at hello@codehs.com to learn more!

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