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I love the CodingBat platform and plan to integrate it throughout my course next year. Yet, since it will be my first year with AP CS A and I have not yet had a chance to study past years' FRQs, I'm not sure which sections I should focus on more than others.

Based on your experience, what sections of CodingBat are most helpful in terms of preparing students for the FRQs on the AP Exam?

(Note: I am asking about the problems already on the site, not ones I could author myself -- that's a separate topic as I see it.)

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  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, I don't consider codingbat to be a great resource for APCS A FRQs. The FRQs are not about standalone methods, they are about integrating various components together, and that is not really what CodingBat does. $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Jun 4 '17 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ Good to know. Would you say they have a general benefit? If so, I'll revise my question. $\endgroup$ – Peter Jun 4 '17 at 1:09
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, certainly - I usually assign a section at a time, because they are grouped together as a bunch of short problems that all deal with one skill. $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Jun 4 '17 at 1:26
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They've got an AP-1 category which is based on past FRQs. Not the whole question, but pieces. I'd make sure you hit every one in that category during the year. The String-2 and Array-2 are also good.

I use CodingBat and similar questions as warm-ups all year long. We start pretty much as soon as students are able to fill in a method.

Pretty much anything that involves looping through strings or arrays will help them with the test in May. Usually 2 or 3 of the FRQs involve iterating through some type of list structure and doing something with the values. I try to get my students to a point where they really don't have to think about loops, they just type on when they need it.

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CodingBat helps students make the connection between method calls and method headers. The first time I put a student (either a teenager or a brand new-to-programming teacher in one of my workshops) in front of CodingBat, they try to use the parameter value in their solution instead of using the argument in the method header. I also value the site for encouraging students to go through the tests in order to find their bugs. I want that experience to translate into them making up test cases to check their work for when they are writing their own methods on paper.

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