After LOTS of preparation 💦 and time ⏳ spent reviewing for the AP Chinese 🇨🇳 Language and Culture Exam 📖, you probably are ready to cross that finish line 🏁 with the exam 📖!
Don't let your AP scores define you! No matter what, give yourself a pat on the back 🤚 for all your efforts, and know that a two hour and 15 minute test 📖 cannot cover everything you've learned! ♥️
AP Exams in General ⭕
On an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam, you can score on a scare 1-5, with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest. According to the College Board, here is what each score is defined as:
Image taken from College Board: AP Score Scale Table
Getting an AP score in the range ↔️ of 3-5 is considered "qualified!" Most colleges will take scores 💯 that are 4s or 5s on AP exams for credit. However, this will depend on the specific college, so don't worry! Always ask your college about this!
🤔 Structure & Details: What to Expect⁉️
To start off, let's talk about the exam details. The total length of the exam ⌛ is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. It will be taken on a computer! You may choose to type in Traditional or Simplified Characters. You will have to input each character ONE by ONE. The 6️⃣ units covered in the AP exam are (with links to our Unit Guides!):
- Unit 1: Families in Different Societies 👪
- Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity 🏮
- Unit 3: Influences of Art and Beauty 🎨
- Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives 🧪 (coming soon)
- Unit 5: Factors that Impact the Quality of Life 🧬 (coming soon)
- Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges 💦 (coming soon)
There are 2 sections in the AP Chinese 🇨🇳 Language and Culture exam, with parts A and B for both.
Section 1A is comprised of 25-35 multiple choice questions, in a total of 20 mins, worth 25% of your total score. This covers the Multiple Choice Listening section (1A).
Section 1B is comprised of 35-40 multiple choice questions, in a total of 1 hour, worth 25% of your total score. This covers the Multiple Choice Reading section (1B).
Section 2A is comprised of 2 Free Response Questions, in a total of 30 minutes, worth 25% of your total score. This covers the Free Response Written section (2A).
Section 2B is comprised of 7 Free Response Questions, in a total of 11 minutes, worth 25% of your total score. This covers the Free Response Spoken section (2B).
Make sure 👍 to practice, practice, practice ‼️ for all sections!
Image taken from College Board: AP Chinese - About the Exam.
Section 1: Multiple Choice Questions ✅
This section is comprised of audio clips 🔊 and reading materials (short) 📚 Be ready to answer multiple choice questions based on what you hear 🎧 and read 📖!
Tips and Tricks 🆘
- There is NO penalty 🚫 for incorrectly answered MCQs so you should answer EVERY SINGLE QUESTION and don't leave anything empty ⚪! Take advantage of it! Try to cross off possibilities ❌ and choose ✅ the most plausible one, but take a guess if you have to! You won't be penalized!
- While the audio 🔊 is playing, try to physically or mentally take notes ✍️ (on your scratch paper) about the key points mentioned. This includes locations 🏙️ and dates/times⌛. If it's a conversation, make note of who is speaking 🗣️ as well.
- Audios 🔉 may be played once or twice, so be on the lookout for what you are told and see! They cannot be paused ⏯️ or repeated beyond what is given 💁♀️, so listen 👂 carefully.
- You cannot toggle between questions for audio prompts, so once it's over, it's over.
- You will usually get a couple of questions ❓ corresponding to 1 audio 🔊, so don't immediately erase what you heard just yet!
- Highlight/underline ⭐ important details as you're reading 📚 through the selections. Skim over your questions ❓ corresponding to the sections first, and then look for answers tying back to the questions in the reading selections 📖
- Take your time ⏳ as you go through the questions, but don't get stuck! Fill in an answer ✅, but leave a mark 🔖 beside the question so you can come back to it after you go through all the MCQs AND if you have time at the end. You can leave two types of marks to differentiate importance/how quickly you can rethink it (on your scratch paper): a star ⭐ if you're almost there and a question mark❓if you need to spend more time on it. Then, when returning, you can prioritize the questions with a star ⭐ next to them, and then, if you have time again, spend more time on the questions with a question mark ❓ for a nice finish!
Section 2: Free Response Questions 🗣️ ✍️
This section is comprised of a story narration 📘, an email response 📧, a conversation 💬, and a cultural presentation 🗣️ Practice using different prompts (including ones given by College Board)!
Here are some commonly used task verbs! Get familiar 🤗 with them!
Image taken from AP Chinese Language and Culture Course and Exam Description.
Tips and Tricks 🆘 for Story Narration 📘
- You will be given 4️⃣ pictures to write a story 📕 from.
- Make sure to include a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- It may help to write an outline 🧾 in English/preferred language and then write it in Chinese 🇨🇳
- Spread out your time ⏲️ so that you can cover all of the 4️⃣ images. You can always fill in your skeleton story and add fluff and details after! You don't want to miss the last one! Conclude, conclude, conclude your story!
- Include Chinese 🇨🇳 idioms if you can and lots and lots of vocabulary (but use it correctly)!
- Be careful not 🚫 to mess up words that are the same when typing ⌨️ Pinyin (homonyms)!
Tips and Tricks 🆘 for Email Response 📧
- After receiving an email 📧 from a friend, craft a well rounded response that covers ALL questions ❓and all other topics 📑 included in the email 📧.
- A popular theme is questions or issues about everyday life 🌆. Using your own experience with these topics (if you can) can help with ideas 💡 on how to respond. Make a note 🗒️ of all key questions/points and cross ❌ each one out as you answer them.
- Include Chinese 🇨🇳 idioms if you can and lots and lots of vocabulary (But use it correctly)!
- Be careful not 🚫 to mess up words that are the same when typing ⌨️ Pinyin (homonyms)!
- Start with 你好(Responder's name) and end with a closing greeting (varies from prompt to prompt, but a popular one is 加油 🤞). With that, you can tack on the specific possible issue/problem/question that they are dealing with as a nice conclusion.
Tips and Tricks 🆘 for a Conversation 💬
- You will be told what your role 🧑 is in a conversation 💬, who you are talking 🗣️ to, and what the subject is about. You will listen 🎧 to who you're having a conversation with talk first, and then you will be given 20 seconds to record a response. This will go on for 6️⃣ questions.
- This section is CHALLENGING! You are not alone if you start panicking or thinking 🤔 about what to respond 🗣️ with! Remember the main points 💡 the speaker wants you to answer and work your way through it.
- Pace yourself as you speak 🗣️, don't rush 🏃 through it, but don't talk too slowly 🐢 either. Take a pause ⏸️ if you need to think 🤔 at the end of a sentence.
- Include vocabulary that you are familiar with so that the conversation can flow 🌊. Include as much as you can.
- Make note 🗒️ if you're talking to someone who is not your peer. Be sure to use 您 instead of 你 for formalities.
- The best way to do well in this section is once again to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! The most important things are said 3️⃣ times! Try to fit in regular conversations 💬 in Chinese 🇨🇳 with other people, such as your classmates and teacher.
- Don't forget to check out the College Board Prompts as well to get used to the structure! These include previous years' FRQs and Audio Prompts with Example Answers and Scoring Guidelines!
Tips and Tricks 🆘 for Cultural Presentation 🗣️
- You will need to choose a cultural topic based off a couple of given options, and then give a 2️⃣ minute presentation 🗣️ on the prompt.
- You will have 4️⃣ minutes to prepare before your 2️⃣ minute presentation 🗣️
- During the preparation time ✍️, you should write down main points on the topic you chose to cover. This will help with organization. Include the major ⭕ points first, then after, group together a section of minor 🔸 points. The major points should average to about less than 1 minute of speaking 🗣️ to give yourself some wiggle room 👐. The minor points should cover about 30 seconds of material. Make sure to include a conclusion and wrap up your presentation 🎁 . A good way to end 🔚 your presentation is to talk about how the topic ties into your own life 🧬 and the global 🌎 community 🤼. Rehashing the main ⭕ points at the end is another good way to conclude.
- After preparation, during the presentation, follow your written list 🗒️ of topics to talk 🗣️ about. You can cover anything else that may come to mind 💭, but don't go off track or off the prompt.
- Practice with a timer ⏳ as it'll help you figure out when to switch 🔁 between sections and how much time ⌛ you need.
- It's okay to present for less than 2️⃣ minutes ⏲️, just don't go over because you will be cut off.
- Pace your speaking 🗣️ and pause ⏸️ in the correct places. Make sure your sentence structure is correct 👍. Switch up your vocabulary words and use as many as you can.
- Talk about the significance! It has been repeatedly missed by many AP Chinese students so don't forget about it!
Best of luck 🤞! 加油🛢️！继续好好的复习！记得一定要模拟考试📖！用College Board 给的资料📄是一个非常好👍的主意！祝你好运🍀！