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How to Pass Your AP Spanish Test

Blog > Languages > Spanish > Preparing for a Spanish Test

Spanish is the official language of 21 countries. If you study it seriously in high school, you will have to pass your Spanish AP test.

What about high scoring on the SAT subject test?

Is Spanish your second language?

Here is some advice to be prepared for the big day.

What Do You Need to Know for the Spanish AP Test?

prepare for AP Exam in Spanish The oral component is not an interrogation, relax!

Even if all AP tests have something in common, the Spanish AP has some specificities in terms of length, content, and grading.

The Various Components of the Exam

The AP Spanish Language and Culture exam is made up of three sections with two parts each. The Section I is multiple choice. The first, shorter part A is 30 questions based off of print texts. Part B incorporates audio text. Section II is free response. The first, much longer part A includes various writing prompts, including a persuasive essay. Part B is spoken responses.

For each of these parts of the exam, a score of 0-5 is given, adding up to a final AP score of 0-5.

The multiple-choice section is made up of 65 questions, and lasts about an hour and 35 minutes. It counts for 50% of the exam score.

Part A has 30 questions and lasts 40 minutes. This part utilizes a variety of print materials, including journalistic and literary texts, letters, charts, maps, and more. You will be asked questions about the main ideas behind the texts and the details as well. You will also be asked questions about vocabulary and the author’s point of view.

Part B is made up for 35 questions lasting 55 minutes. This part employs different audio materials, including interviews, podcasts, public service announcements, conversations, and more. This part is made up of two subsections: audio texts paired with print materials, and audio texts on their own. You will be asked questions about the key concepts and details of the recordings. It’s important to note that you will have time to read a preview of each section and skim the questions before hearing the recordings, which will be played two times. It is a good idea to take notes during this part of the exam and there will be blank space for this exact purpose.

The free-response section is made up of 4 tasks, totaling about an hour and 28 minutes, and 50% of the exam score.

Part A is made up of tasks with written responses, lasting about 70 minutes. This includes interpersonal writing, a 15-minute section in which you will be asked to read and reply to an email message, and presentation writing, for which you will be given 55 minutes to write a persuasive essay based on three sources—an article, a table or graphic, and an audio source—that present different perspectives on a given topic.

Part B consists of tasks with spoken responses, a section lasting 18 minutes, which includes interpersonal speaking (5 exchanges in a simulated conversation), and presentational speaking (a 2-minute presentation in response to a prompt, focusing on a cultural topic).

Your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills will all be put to the test on the AP Spanish exam.

How to prepare for AP exam in Spanish Try recording yourself to evaluate your speaking skills before the exam.

How to Prepare for the Listening Component of the Exam

Of course, you should be preparing for the Spanish test throughout the year. You can’t learn the nuances of a language in a week! It’s important to listen daily to some form of Spanish audio.

To be completely at ease during the listening portion of the exam, you must be familiar with the sounds of the language, listening all year and every day.

You don’t need to devote a huge amount of time to this. For 10 minutes a day, listen to the radio, to the TV or the latest popular songs in Spanish—that will help to train your ear!

Make sure that you’re listening with the test in mind:

  • Take notes
  • Refine your comprehension as you listen
  • Try to respond to who, what, where, when, how and why
  • Focus on what you do understand and not on what you don’t understand

Look online for past AP tests to be as prepared as possible!

Speaking Practice

There’s no secret for preparing for the speaking portion of the exam: you have to speak Spanish!

Talking in the mirror will allow you to see what posture to adopt and how to correct your pronunciation and facial expressions. You have to speak clearly and distinctly. There is nothing more frustrating for an exam proctor than a student who is not speaking loud enough.

how to ace AP spanish exam Skype isn’t just for calling your mother when you’re far from home!

To better prepare for the exam, why not practice with someone from your class? This will allow you to review, structure your thoughts, and managing your stress when it comes to test day.

Don’t forget that to pass your exam in the language of Cervantes, it’s necessary to be as spontaneous as possible on the oral portion: don’t settle for using phrases you’ve memorized beforehand.

Prepare for Your Spanish Test with the Help of a Tutor

From middle school to senior year of high school, a private tutor can help you learn Spanish in the best way and prepare for your exams effectively.

Why hire a private tutor?

  • Gain confidence: a thorough review with an expert Spanish professor before the exam, practicing the exercises that will appear on the test, can reassure you of your Spanish skills
  • Be motivated: the teacher is there to “force” you to review for Spanish exam
  • Hone a good methodology: sometimes, we don’t learn efficiently. Your tutor is there to correct your aim and show you the right path to review so that you pass your test!

What does a private tutor do?

A private Spanish tutor will adapt to a student and their difficulties. How to review well? Simply follow the guide that your professor has concocted! One less thing to do for those who have trouble figuring out where and how to start.

Is your weakness your speaking ability? Passing the Spanish AP test isn’t a given for everyone. Your tutor will be there to role-play conversations with you and to correct your pronunciation and grammar. They will be able to advise you on how to improve.

Do you have trouble with your writing skills? A private tutor will help you in your revisions and can help you go over your previous corrected exams and homework assignments to improve on past mistakes.

use tutor to pass AP spanish Meeting a private tutor in an informal setting is essential before choosing who to work with.

Do you need a private Spanish tutor all year round?

That’s for you to decide! But a year-round tutor will allow you to have the best chance of succeeding. You will be more at ease, you will better manage your stress, and you will without a doubt attain a higher level of Spanish than the majority of your classmates.

10 Steps to Pass Your Spanish Test

Word to the wise: You need to be preparing for your Spanish AP test the entire year, and even before! You don’t learn a modern language in a few weeks. Engaging with Spanish early on is the best way to pass your Spanish test.

  • Go to Spanish class: On average, a student retains 20% of what they hear, 70% of what they say, and 90% of what they do. Going to class but being passive will not work. Ask questions, take notes, respond to the teacher’s questions. Be focused, and you will have less work to do at home later.
  • Do your homework: Rereading your class notes the night after your class is a way of aiding memorization. Make a review sheet by underlining the essential concepts from that day’s class. Then rewrite, make diagrams, simplify the lesson in the form of a worksheet. Then, reread and review those worksheets.
  • Be curious: The two or three hours of Spanish that you have per week are not enough to make you perfectly at ease in the Spanish language. Be curious: seek out new vocabulary, research Pachamama, Che’s revolution, or Franco’s dictatorship.
  • Review effectively: Forget about distractions when you review. No cell phone, no music (or else something without words), no little brother next to you. Make sure you have everything you need: notebooks, books, pencils, worksheets, a bottle of water, a snack…

prepare for ap test tutor A study guide is useful so you won’t have to look over your neighbor’s shoulder!

  • Study with your classmates: Although for the written portion you might prefer to review on your own, it’s helpful to practice with others for the speaking and listening portions. Do some role-playing to be as prepared as possible for the test. And it’s easier to be motivated when you’re with others! Just make sure to choose a serious partner.
  • Use previous exams: Your professors will try to model their test questions off of the AP test to help you. So go over your previous tests and homework assignments, and you’ll be better prepared for your test answers.
  • Take breaks: To learn efficiently, breaks are necessary. You cannot concentrate indefinitely. Try to review intensively for 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes and then take a 10 minute or 15 minute break. And keep to your schedule!
  • Forget your stress: Remember to breathe if you start to feel anxious. A deep breathe and a long exhale. This is a good way to relax.
  • Work on your handwriting: Write legibly in blue or black, skip lines, don’t cram your letters together. Try not to cross things out, or if you have to, use a ruler to do it neatly. Being conscientious with your handwriting is a good way to avoid losing points for a silly reason.
  • Take care of yourself: As you review, hygiene is of the utmost importance. Get up early and go to bed early, drink water and eat well (pasta, bananas, almonds, kiwis, oranges, berries, etc.) and exercise to unwind and better concentrate.

In sum:

  • Make sure you’re familiar with what will be on the test. This is essential before showing up for the test and even before beginning your review.
  • Preparing for the AP test starts at the beginning of the year, especially the listening portion, which posing the most difficulty for students. Listen to the radio, watch the news in Spanish, familiarize yourself with the popular Spanish-language songs… make sure you’re listening to a little bit every day.
  • A private tutor can help you by focusing your studying, honing your methodology, motivating you, and managing your stress.
  • Follow our advice and the Spanish AP test will be a cinch for you!
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