How To Crush the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam [+ FREE Practice Guide]
The AP Spanish Language and Culture exam is one of the best Spanish tests you can take. It doesn’t only focus on the Spanish language, but also on the overall Spanish culture.
This exam prepares you to travel around Latin America and it can even give you a college credit. For all these reasons, the AP Spanish test is very popular among Spanish learners.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s an easy exam. On the contrary, you need to prepare yourself well to get a good result in this test.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know about the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam, its format, and how to study for it.
Additionally, you will get a free downloadable practice guide.
About the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam
The AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam is a high school exam with a college level.
It’s administered every May by the College Board after completion of an AP Spanish Language course. It offers the possibility of earning college credits, depending on your score.
The AP Spanish exam has four sections:
30 multiple choice-type questions to be answered in 40 minutes.
This part is known as “Section IA,” consists of a diversity of print materials, and counts for 23% of your score.
Multiple Choice with Audio
This part known as “Section IB” includes 35 multiple choice questions related to a variety of audios.
You have 55 minutes to answer Section IB and it counts for 27% of your score.
Free Response Written
“Section IIA” focuses on your writing skills. It includes only 2 questions, but gives you 1 hour and 10 minutes to answer them.
In one question you need to reply to an email, and in the second one you have to write an argumentative essay. This section counts for 25% of your score.
Free Response Spoken
Finally, in “Section IIB” you have to answer two questions and have 18 minutes to do so.
The first question is a simulated conversation, while the second one is a 2-minute presentational speaking. This last section also counts for 25% of your score.
How To Study for AP Spanish
If you’re planning to take the AP Spanish exam and you want to know how to get a 5 on AP Spanish language, there are a few things you can do to help you get ready for it.
Take an AP Spanish Practice Test
This is one of the best tips you can get during your AP Spanish prep.
Find a free online AP Spanish Practice Test, and see for yourself how you would do if you were taking the real exam today.
These tests have been designed following the structure of the AP exam and are a good way to diagnose your current Spanish level.
Study the Questions Beforehand
If you want to know how to study for a Spanish exam, perhaps one of the best methods is getting the questions of the exam beforehand.
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you cheat on the test. There are different websites that take some of the hardest questions from previous AP Spanish Language and Culture exams and analyze them to help students prepare for their test.
Of course, you’re not getting the exact same questions in your test, but you’ll get a pretty good idea of the type of questions you’ll get.
Focus on the AP Spanish Themes
During your AP Spanish course you should have covered certain topics required by the College Board. It’s very important that you get familiarized with these themes:
- Contemporary Life
- Families and Communities
- Personal and Public Identities
- Beauty and Aesthetics
- Science and Technology
- Global Challenges
Get an AP Spanish Book
Among exam tips, this one may be the more obvious one. Get yourself an AP Spanish exam preparation book.
Some of these books include audio tracks to help you with the listening section, translations for all the test passages and questions, and full-length practice tests too.
Use Different Learning Techniques
There are many different learning techniques that can help you prepare for your AP Spanish exam.
If you happen to be taking more than two foreign languages at once, here is a hand-picked piece for you: 9 Tips for Learning Multiple Languages At Once.
Develop Essay Writing Skills
One of the most feared sections of the AP Spanish test is the essay-writing one.
That’s because it requires developing not only writing in Spanish skills, but essay writing skills in general.
Use a Diversity of Spanish Resources
The best thing you can do when studying Spanish and preparing yourself for the AP Spanish exam is to use a balanced approach and include different resources in your preparation efforts.
This way, you will cover different angles and make sure to develop different skills. These days there are so many resources online that it’s hard to choose the right ones, but here you can find a list of the most useful ones.
AP Spanish Practice Guide
Is AP Spanish hard? Yes, a little bit. I’d be lying to you if I said otherwise.
But you can prepare yourself with this AP Spanish Practice Guide. You can download it and work through the different exercises on it, they follow the same structure as the AP Spanish test questions and include preparation answers.
Important Vocabulary You Need to Master
The following list of words will help you enrich your written answers and strengthen your essay. After learning some useful verbs, each group of words is related to a specific AP Spanish theme.
Merecer – to deserve
Miguel merece un ascenso.
Miguel deserves a promotion.
Adquirir – to acquire
El maestro adquirió varios libros para su biblioteca.
The teacher acquired various books for his library.
Destacar – to stand out
María destaca por su inteligencia.
Maria stands out for her intelligence.
Señalar – to point out
Le señalé su error.
I pointed out her mistake.
Science and Technology
La informática – computer science
La informática es la carrera del futuro.
Computer science is the career of the future.
El progreso – progress
El progreso de la ciencia se ha ralentizado en los últimos dos años.
The progress of science has slowed down in the last couple of years.
Personal and Public Identities
Las creencias personales – personal beliefs
Estas son mis creencias personales.
These are my personal beliefs.
La identidad étnica – ethnic identity
Su identidad étnica es un misterio.
His ethnic identity is a mystery.
La autoestima – self esteem
Carlos tiene una gran autoestima.
Carlos has great self esteem.
El cambio climático – climate change
El cambio climático es un gran desafío para la humanidad.
Climate change is a great challenge for humanity.
La población – population
La población de Argentina ha crecido mucho en los últimos años.
Argentina’s population has grown a lot in the last few years.
El pronóstico – forecast
El pronóstico del tiempo se equivocó de nuevo.
The weather forecast was wrong again.
Families and Communities
El patrimonio – heritage
Chichén Itzá es patrimonio de la humanidad.
Chichén Itzá is humanity’s heritage.
Los valores – values
En México los valores familiares son muy importantes.
In Mexico family values are very important.
Las raíces – roots
Queremos echar raíces en esta comunidad.
We want to put down roots in this community.
El desempleo – unemployment
El desempleo creció mucho en Latinoamérica.
Unemployment grew a lot in Latin America.
El trabajo comunitario – community work
Mi hermano está haciendo trabajo comunitario en Centroamérica.
My brother is doing community work in Central America.
El crimen – crime
El crimen organizado es un problema global.
Organized crime is a global problem.
Beauty and Aesthetics
La armonía – harmony
Debemos vivir en armonía con la naturaleza.
We should live in harmony with nature.
El tratamiento – treatment
Necesito un tratamiento para la piel.
I need a skin treatment.
El equilibrio – balance
La sociedad debe crecer con equilibrio.
Society must grow in a balanced way.
Choose the right word on each sentence:
1. Mi papá ____________ un nuevo refrigerador.
2. La _____________ mundial casi llega a los 8 billones de personas.
3. Miguel ama las computadoras y quiere dedicarse a la _______________ .
4. El juez le ordenó hacer 30 horas de ____________ .
5. Esta casa es _________________ de la familia.
6. El ________________ económico para los próximos años es positivo.
7. Las ________________ de Juan son muy distintas a las mías.
8. Para _______________ en español tienes que esforzarte.
9. Erika es muy tímida y tiene muy baja ________________ .
10. Pedro no cree en el _____________ .
Get Ready for Your AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam
Use the different strategies and learning techniques shared with you throughout this lesson and make sure to download the AP Spanish Practice Guide to get ready for your upcoming test.
Don’t forget to check out the dates for the AP Spanish exam 2022 here.
Prepare for the AP Spanish test and sign up for a free trial class with one of our certified, native Spanish speaking teachers. They teach over 24,000 actively enrolled students every month, have experience preparing students for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam, and offer flexible scheduling.
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