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Exploring 2021 AP CS Principles Create Task + Added Resources

2021 is right around the corner. It’s time we start gearing up our AP CS Principles students to develop their best Create Task!

We’ve received questions and requests from teachers on how to better prepare students for the newly updated Create Task requirements. To help tackle this challenge, we’ve inserted a dedicated Unit into our AP CS Principles course, to assist students in understanding the requirements by going through multiple hands-on practices. In addition to the new Create Task Unit, we’ve included a Teacher’s Guide and a complete example of a well crafted Written Response that meets the newly updated 2021 requirements developed by an experienced AP Reader.

In this blog, we’ll share some answers to the questions our teachers have asked. Leave us a comment and let us know if you find them useful!

  1. How is 2021 Create Task different from 2020?
  2. Which Rows will my students find most confusing?
  3. How can I help my students understand the language of the guideline?

1. How is 2021 Create Task different from 2020?

Here’s a table that shows a summary of the major differences.

Scoring Criteria20202021
Video narrationAudio narration or written responseNo audio narration allowed in the video
Video ResponseDemonstrates the running of at least one feature of
the program submitted
Demonstrates input, program function, and output
Development processDescribe the incremental and iterative development process. Describe challenges and opportunitiesNo description of the development process required
Required Programming conceptsMathematical or Logical operators
One or more of the following abstraction: procedures, parameters, lists, APIs, libraries
Procedure (with at least 1 parameter)
AlgorithmsMust include one or more algorithm – sequence, selection, and iterationMust include all three algorithms – sequence, selection, and iteration
AP CS Principles Create Task 2020 VS 2021

2. Which Rows will my students find most challenging?

Row 6 is probably the one that students may find most challenging. However, once you see a code example, you’ll realize that it’s actually not very difficult to implement.

Scoring CriteriaDecision Rules
The written response:
• describe two calls to the selected procedure identified in written response 3c. Each call must pass a different argument(s) that causes a different segment of code in the algorithm to execute.
• describes the condition(s) being tested by each call to the procedure.
• identifies the result of each call.
Consider ONLY the written response for 3d and the selected procedure identified in written
response 3c.
Responses that do not earn the point in row 4 may still earn the point in this row.
Do NOT award a point if any one or more of the following is true:
• A procedure is not identified in written response 3c or the procedure does not have a parameter.
• The written response for 3d does not apply to the procedure in 3c.
• The two calls cause the same segment of code in the algorithm to execute even if the result is different.
• The response describes conditions being tested that are implausible, inaccurate, or inconsistent with the program.
• The identified results of either call are implausible, inaccurate, or inconsistent with the program.
Row 6

This code is part of the Restaurant Project in Unit 5. A customer orders food using the program. When the customer is ready to check out, the program tallies up the total price and depending on the total, it will provide the customer with a special offer.

# Written in Python
def special(subtotal):
    if subtotal > 10:
        print("You get a free 2 Liter Coke!")
        items.append("2 Liter Coke")
        print("For being a loyal customer you'll receive a $1 coupon.")
        items.append("$1 off coupon for future purchase")

If the subtotal is greater than 10, then the customer will get 2 Liter Coke. Else, the customer will receive a $1 coupon. For the written response, give examples of two calls that will produce different results. In this case, these two examples will work.


OUTPUT: “You get a free 2 Liter Coke!”


OUTPUT: “For being a loyal customer you’ll receive a $1 coupon.”

* Note that this is not a written response. It is an example of a code segment that meets the requirements for Row 6.

3. How can I help my students understand the language of the guideline?

Try the following with your students to help them internalize the guideline:

  1. Review the Scoring Guideline.
  2. Grade Sample Written Responses (from good to bad)
  3. Have students create a program along with a Written Response. *
  4. Peer grade the Written Response.

* If you have access to Unit 5. Create Task Practice, there are two practice projects for your students. The first project ‘Project Trivia Game’ is a primer activity for the second ‘The Restaurant Project’. There are a matching solution guide and a scoring exemplar created by an experienced CSP reader. The scoring exemplar uses the Restaurant Project code to answer the most recent version of the Written Response questions. To make the best use of these resources, make sure your students complete the project code and also answer the Written Response questions. Then, using the exemplar document as a guide, provide feedback as needed. You can find the documents under My Classroom management >> Resources section.
We’ll be uploading more exam-related materials throughout the school year.