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.
Here is some advice to be prepared for the big day.
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.
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:
Look online for past AP tests to be as prepared as possible!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
A study guide is useful so you won’t have to look over your neighbor’s shoulder!