First, recall that the AP test is designed to be worth about 1 semester's worth of credit in a freshman intro course in . So AP CompSci should be thought of as that first intro to programming course. It isn't about deep concepts, it is about testing your understanding of the basics. Memory layout, pointers, memory management, etc, are not first semester intro course topics, and never were. AP CompSci is testing whether you should be forced to sit through intro to programming with people that have never coded anything, or whether you can proceed directly to the courses in topics like memory layout, pointers, and memory management. Don't expect it to be "AP Compiler Design Laboratory for Garbage-Collected, Declarative, Parallel-Processing Languages". That is not the intent.
My daughter took AP Comp Sci last year. The way the current test is structured is sort of interesting. Students are expected to have spent a significant amount of time studying and working with a particular body of Java code before coming into the test. The test itself then asks them to do things like add methods to particular classes to implement particular changes and enhancements. To that extent, it actually has a more practical structure than one might expect. Before doing AP CS, my daughter was quite fluent in Python, and also had done a modest amount of ANSI C and "Arduino C++" for a science fair project. She didn't much groove on the Java, and it still isn't her favorite language, but seeing another language and its approach to things isn't a bad deal either. Learning to read a big chunk of somebody else's code and grok it was also good, and turned out to be a good skill later when she had a summer internship and had to read a big honkin' glop of C++ mush in order to interface her Python code to it. Given her fluency with Python, the AP CS was actually a cake walk -- it really isn't a difficult test. But then again, the final exam for the very first Intro to Programming course for people that have never coded before isn't exactly a killer either for anyone with any previous fluency in any programming language.
From what I can see, the current AP CS exam tests what it claims to test, and gives a decent evaluation of the student's understanding. AP Calc, OTOH, seems utterly broken. I had a chance to talk to both a professor who was, for three years, on the grading committee for the hand-graded part, and also a math prof form Harvey Mudd. The HMC prof said they stopped give AP Calc credit, because a 5 was no guarantee that students knew enough to skip the first semester. The grader commented that he could easily see how -- there is a *huge* range on the AP Calc that can earn a 5. If you smack it, you get a 5, of course, but you also can miss a lot and still get a 5. So from the standpoint of a college trying to understand how much calc you know, a 5 has little meaning. So it seems to me that the AP calc exam is not serving anyone well.