Network Questions in the AP Computer Science Principles AP CSP Exam

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AP CSP Exam Preparation

In this series of articles we will explain some of the sample questions that are provided to help AP CSP students help with exam preparation.


This article focuses on the AP CSP exam questions related to the Internet and networks. This includes the initial areas of protocol, packets, architecture and security.

Sample Exam Questions

We have taken examples from the sample questions from the two practice question sets from 2021 and from previous practice exercises provided by the college board.

Although it does not mean these are going to be in the exam, it is assumed that the primary areas of computing, programming, networks, data and algorithms will form most of the CSP exam.

These articles will present and explain questions and answers in these areas.

What type of network questions will be in the CSP exam?

We don’t know. But we do know that during the AP CSP course we have learn about the Internet, WANs and LANs, types of network attacks, and protocols such as HTTP, TCP, IP, and DNS.

In the sample practice exams there are simple questions about networks that we can answer if we understand how we design a network, how packets are passed and how the protocols are used .

Practice Exam questions

Read the questions and check your answer with the explanation below. We want to help everybody so if you think the question is easy then move on to the next question without reading the solution if you wish.

Some questions have more than one answer – these multiple answer questions are also in the AP CSP exam.


Which two protocols are responsible for breaking the data into packets and putting it back together at the destination? Select two answers

  • A. TCP
  • B. HTTP
  • C. FTP
  • D. IP

This question has two answers.

This question tests we understand that TCP creates packets by breaking the data into the correct size blocks and adds the header, and at the destination it does put these blocks of data back into the original form.

Routing the packet is the responsibility of IP, that is why the internet is often referred to as a TCP/IP network although it used many other protocols.

Answer: A and D

What is an Internet Protocol (IP) and why are protocols used?

  • A. Protocols are a set of rules used to ensure packets can be used with the Internet
  • B. Protocols are procedures used to police the Internet
  • C. Protocols classify the data into clusters used for Internet traffic analysis
  • D. Protocols measure the latency on the Internet to determine the fastest path to send the data

This is another example of testing your knowledge of protocols. A is correct, the internet is not ‘policed’, protocols don’t cluster data or measure latency, so we can assume the answer is A.

Answer: A


How do Internet packets travel to their destination?

  • A. Router to router based on the Traveling Salesman algorithm
  • B. Along the same path to stay in order
  • C. Timed to arrive at the destination in their correct order
  • D. Along a variety of paths

Router to router is not wrong, although the ‘travelling salesman’ algorithm is a really hard (NP-hard) problem, so it is not obvious that this is right or wrong.

Packets do not travel the same path or arrive in order, but do travel along a variety of paths. So we know D is true and the best answer.

Answer: D

Which of the following is true about packets?

  • A. The receiving device acknowledges the first and last packets to indicate receipt of the data stream
  • B. Packets travel in order to their destination
  • C. Packets follow the shortest path to their destination
  • D. Packets are reassembled at their final destination

A is not true and packets do not travel the same path (shortest) or arrive in order, but do get reassembled. So D is the answer.

Answer: D


What is bandwidth?

  • A. The amount of data that can be transmitted in a specified amount of time
  • B. The speed that data can be downloaded
  • C. The size of the cable that connects homes and businesses to the Internet
  • D. The type of wireless access point in use at a location

We think of the maximum amount of data a network can pass as the bandwidth, so which of these answers best matches this definition.

A seems a good match, it is not speed, it it not about the cable size, and it is not limited to wireless. So A is the best answer.

Answer: A


According to the domain name system (DNS), which of the following is a subdomain of the domain

  • A.
  • B.
  • C.
  • D.

The top level domain is the .com or alternative ending, then there is the domain like google, drcodie or alps. The subdomains are before the domain.

There seems to be only one subdomain, the ‘about’ in the first answer.

Answer: A


How do TCP and IP interact?

  • A. IP forwards the data to the server to identify which TCP to use
  • B. TCP hands off control to HTTP, which passes it to IP
  • C. TCP creates packets from the data to be sent and transfers control to IP for routing. TCP the reassembles the packets at the destination
  • D. IP uses the SSL in conjunction with TCP to securely send data

As we have seen before, TCP creates packets by breaking the data into the correct size blocks and adds the header, and at the destination it does put these blocks of data back into the original form.

Routing the packet is the responsibility of IP.

So IP does not forward data to the DNS server to identify TCP, or to HTTP from TCP, or SSLs with TCP. Option C explains what happens correctly.

Answer: C


If a fire occurs at a major Internet hub, what is the result?

  • A. Internet traffic will be routed to its destination in a different way because of the redundancy built into the Internet
  • B. The part of the globe that is served by that Internet hub will go down because of the end-to-end architecture of the Internet
  • C. Different IP addresses will be assigned to devices that were impacted by the unavailability of the Internet hub
  • D. People can use dedicated phone lines as a backup with no change in service

Assuming a network has no single point of failure, it will route traffic to different routers if there is a problem with one of them.

So A explains this correctly, B is incorrect, and so are C and D.

Answer: A

Why is the Internet designed to be fault tolerant?

  • A. People often have typos in their web requests and fault tolerance prevents the system from crashing when these occur
  • B. So the Internet can keep running even when it has malware
  • C. So it can keep running when sections of it are not working
  • D. So as companies move from IPv4 to IPv6, conflicts can be resolved

The previous solution above explains how networks keep working with faults, they are fault tolerant.

Fault tolerance is not related to user input, or malware, or IP versions. But C explains what we have already seen about fault tolerance.

Answer: C


How can consumers ensure that a website is not a phishing scam before making an Internet purchase?

  • A. Go to the website directly rather than clicking a link from an email
  • B. Call the company directly to be safe
  • C. Use antivirus software and keep it up to data
  • D. Use a firewall to block malware

Phishing attacks are dodgy emails that try to get personal or login information by tricking the receiver to go to a false website.

Never click on a email link unless you are sure it is secure, so A seems good, but calling the company does not seem like the correct answer.

Firewalls and anti-virus software are important but don’t prevent these types of attacks that try to trick people, they are more technical or digital protection.

Answer: A

What is a cybersecurity attack that floods a website with too many requests causing it to slow down or crash?

  • A. A Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack because the website is surrounded by devices attacking it
  • B. A firewall breach because the attackers only need one “brick in the wall” to crack to gain entry
  • C. A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack because the website requests come from multiple locations
  • D. A net-phishing attack, which casts a wide “net of requests” over the website

Causing a website to slow down or crash is a type of denial of service, which is called a DDoS if it uses multiple machines to attack.

Man-in-the-Middle attacks intercept a message and can alter it before the receiver gets it, that is why it is called in the middle.

Firewalls work by recognizing bad or unauthorized packets but not the amount of packets.

A phishing attack is called social engineering as it tries to trick people. So C is the correct answer.

Answer: C


Why should public key encryption be used? Select two answers

  • A. It is shorter than other ciphers
  • B. It cannot be broken with brute force techniques
  • C. It uses an asymmetric key making it harder to decrypt
  • D. It uses a symmetric key making it harder to decrypt

This question has two answers.

Public key encryption is when there is a private key held by someone that can decrypt the text that has been encrypted by the public key, this is an asymmetric key.

This is not shorter that other ciphers, therefore both A and D seem wrong. As the asymmetric key, in C, most be used, then the answer must be B and C.

Answer: B and C

More AP CSP exam practice questions

This is the second of a series of articles that take questions from the sample practice exams. The first article was about computing questions. Click on the following link to see this article: Computing Questions in the Computer Science Principles AP CSP Exam

The third article focuses on programming questions. Click on the following link to see this article: Programming Questions in the Computer Science Principles AP CSP Exam 202

If you wish to see an overview of the sample questions related to the AP CSP exam, please visit the following article:

Ultimate Guide to AP Computer Science Principles Exam Questions

AP CSP exam webpage

For all courses, articles and information relating to the AP Computer Science Principles Exam, see our dedicated web page. Click the following link to visit this webpage: AP CSP Exam webpage

Big Ideas exam practice questions

There are also practice questions grouped by the ‘big ideas’ that are here in pdf format.

So, if you want free download AP CSP questions and answers, then click on the big idea:

  1. Creative Development
  2. Data
  3. Algorithms and Programming
  4. Computer Systems and Networks
  5. Impact of Computing

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