Which lessons from Unit 5 are absolutely necessary for the Create PT and the AP Exam?


Hi @kkersch,

I would be a little nervous skipping 15 and 16 entirely. You might want to look at other ways to cover the content in a more efficient manner (sometimes as teachers we need to sacrifice,“hands on” activities in favor of quickly covering the content), but I do think lesson 16 provides excellent motivation for using functions with return values.

How much time do you have right now to do AP review? What other additional AP Practice do you hope to give students?

Those answers might impact your plans.



@kkersch I would not skip those chapters as they will be on the on the exam. One of the ways I cover the content is to assign chapters as homework. I then have brief discussions on the content before my students resume their Create Task. During these discussions, I can address any concerns students have.



You’ve been very helpful to me this year. I have a kind of specific question pertaining to this topic. In the interest of time, we skipped Unit 5, Chapter 2. I was thinking of assigning those for homework while we study for the end of year exam over the next 2 weeks. My question to you is, what parts of Chapter 2 do you think are most important for the end of year exam?



Not Katie here, but I’ll give this a stab and she can always add :slight_smile:.

There are three lessons that are more practice/application, and while they are important and purposeful, they don’t “cover” new stuff, so I would skip those (Lessons 14, 17, 18) if your priority is “coverage”. (Sorry if I’m breaking any hearts with that statement.)

Loops and arrays are definitely on the exam, as well as the concept of simulations, thus 11, 12, and 13 are in. Functions with return values are also in (16), particularly the idea that the computer exits the function once a value is returned (and I believe the curriculum does a good job drawing students’ attention to this in a couple bubbles). The exam does use a slightly different loop - it uses a “repeat until _” instead of a “while” loop in the curriculum. The difference shouldn’t be a big barrier - better to learn the “while” conditional loops from the curriculum than to not learn conditional loops at all.

I would say the idea of processing arrays is important, which is what lesson 15 addresses, but the practice exams seem to process arrays using a “for each” loop, which I didn’t find in the code.org curriculum. There are some questions featuring “for each” in both practice exams (at least 3 questions per exam).

My ideas of what will or won’t be on the exam are based solely on what I’ve seen in the two College Board practice exams - 2016 and 2018, both accessible in your AP Audit account (in the “Secure Documents” section). Thus, take with a grain of salt.

Oh - Definitely do the last lesson - AP Pseudocode Practice Questions - since that lesson specifically targets the programming questions on the exam. I should have led with that one - probably the most exam-targeted lesson in the unit.


HI @margaret.birch,

I think the assigning homework idea that @terence.stone25 mentioned is a great one! I woould prioritize lessons 11, 13, 15, and 16 in that chapter. Here are my reasons for leaving some of those other ones out:

  • Lesson 12: I think the logic piece here is really important, and does need to be covered in some way. If you are able to, I would add this to the “homework” list. If not, consider other ways you could cover the content in class.

  • Lesson 14: Event.key (the major piece of code introduced here) is not on the AP exam. I love this lesson because it summarizes lessons 11-13 really well, but if you don’t have time (and if you skip 12) you probably would skip this one.

  • Lesson 17: Again, this is a good “tie it all together” lesson, but it uses the canvas element which students don’t need to know for the AP test. If you’re short on time, that seems like an easy one to skip.

Also consider how else you are going to prepare students for the other topics on the test. Are you thinking about review games or one-pager sheets, or doing a practice test? All of that will impact how much you can give students to do outside of class.

AP testing is crazy for everyone - I know I can feel overwhelmed by it some times and it is a hard balance to strike between striking a sense of urgency and importance with students and just stressing them out. Even I have many students who have not submitted their tasks as final yet and it is preventing us from moving


Thanks for all the feedback! I ended up doing parts of 15 and 16, just not the entirety of both lessons, but made sure to cover the content. Will definitely pace a little differently next year to anticipate snow days instead of recover from them.