The content of the college-level introductory programming course has evolved significantly over the years. Starting as a treatment merely of language features, it eventually incorporated first the notions of procedures and procedural abstraction, then the use of modules and data abstraction. At most institutions, the current introductory programming course takes an object-oriented approach to programming that is based on encapsulating procedures and data and creating programs with interacting objects. The AP Computer Science A course has evolved to incorporate this approach.
Current offerings of the AP Computer Science A Exam require the use of Java.Those sections of the exam that require the reading or writing of actual programs will use Java. The exam will not include all the features of Java; it will be consistent with the AP Java subset (see Appendix A). The AP Java subset can be found in the Computer Science section of AP Central (apcentral.collegeboard.com). Students who study a language other than Java during an AP Computer Science A course will need to be prepared to use standard Java, as specified in the AP Java subset, on the AP Computer Science A Exam.