Digits free response problem from the 2017 AP Computer Science A Exam

Digits is #1 from the from the 2017 AP Computer Science A Free Response problems.


Part (a) Digits constructor

public Digits(int num)
    digitList = new ArrayList<Integer>();
    digitList.add(0, new Integer(num % 10));

    int numRemaining = num / 10;
    while(numRemaining > 0)
        digitList.add(0, new Integer(numRemaining % 10));
        numRemaining /= 10;

It is very common for students to miss the first line of this constructor. Adding to a list (or setting elements in an array) is not the same thing as initializing the variable.

Adding to the beginning of an ArrayList isn’t my favorite approach, since all of the elements have to shift. Given the simplicity though, I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff.

Part (b) isStrictlyIncreasing method

public boolean isStrictlyIncreasing()
    for(int i = 1; i < digitList.size(); i++)
        if(digitList.get(i - 1).compareTo(digitList.get(i)) >= 0)
            return false;

    return true;

The use of compareTo here is optional. Java will automatically unbox the Integer objects into primitive types if >= is used.

For more on compareTo see compareTo on the AP CS A Exam.

2017 AP CS Exam Free Response Solutions


Comment on Digits