It seems as if the AP Computer Science course next year is to be given in Java. Since I'm not really experianced with it, and I'd like to take the class, I figured I might as well start early and learn Java now. So, first, I'm wondering what sort of java is going to be on the test? Simple text-based only? Or applets and such? Second, I'm looking out for any books or tutorial-ish things that are really worth going out and getting...any suggestions?
I think you'd have a better chance of knowing (or finding out) what's on the AP exam than I would, since you're still in High School I take it. You can ask one of your teachers. I took the AP exam in HS and it was in Pascal. There was no sort of graphics programming. Everything was basics. I guess you can consider it "console programming." I believe C++ was the same way.
However, the Java Certification exam from Sun does cover the AWT. You have to know the basics of it, and that means how to initiate windows, colors, etc. (stuff you'd do for applets). I'm not sure if the AP would be the same way, but I figure I'd tell you.
If you want an online tutorial just do a search for "Java tutorial." (Duh ;)) The best book that I've come across with has been Beginning Java 2 SDK 1.4 Edition by Ivor Horton.
If you're going to buy a book, which I recommend, always look at reviews first before you buy. If you can't grasp concepts from a book, usually, it's not you. It's the author that can't explain.