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Exam Skills - FRQ/MCQ

Your guide to the 2021 AP Chinese exam

7 min read•february 27, 2021


AP Chinese  🇨🇳

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We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We have created a study plan that will help you crush your Chinese exam. We will continue to update this guide with more information about the 2021 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you score that 5. Create a Fiveable account and join our Discord to stay involved in all things AP exams! 😁

Resources:

Format of the 2021 AP Chinese exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 AP Chinese exam format will be:
  • 70 multiple choice questions and you are given 80 minutes to complete the section. 
    • Part A is the listening section, containing 25-35 questions and about 20 minutes to complete them. 
    • Part B is the reading section, containing 30-40 questions and an hour to complete them.
  • 4 free-response questions that will take 40 minutes to work through.
    • Question one is a story narration.
    • Question two is an email response. 
    • Question three is a conversation that requires 6 responses.
    • Question four is a cultural presentation. 
The time breakdown is 15 minutes each for sections one and two. Then 4 minutes to complete question three and 7 minutes for question four. 

Scoring Rubric for the 2021 AP Chinese exam

View the scoring guidelines from the College Board to understand the scoring rubric of the AP exam!
Check out our study plan below to find resources and tools to prepare for your AP Chinese exam.

When is the 2021 AP Chinese exam and how do I take it?

Unlike most examinations, all of the AP Chinese exams will be in-person and computer-based at your school.
  • The first exam date will be on May 12, 2021, at 12 pm, your local time.
  • The second exam date is May 21, 2021, at 12 pm, your local time.
  • The final day is June 4, 2021, at 12 pm, your local time. 
You will have just over 2 hours to take the exam. 
We will have more updates from the College Board soon, but as of now, this is what we know! Create a Fiveable account to get updates on the latest 2021 exam news. 

Resources:

How should I prepare for the exam?

We’ve put together this plan to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam. Join our Discord channel to talk to real students just like you studying for this exam! We have TAs in each subject channel to support you this Spring. Also, keep an eye out for more information on Cram Sessions and Cram Finales- live streams that will help you cram for your exam! 

Pre-work: set up your study environment

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Remote learning can be great, but it also means you’ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual. 
🖥 Create a study space.
Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. 
📚 Organize your study materials.
Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also, create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!
📅 Plan designated times for studying.
The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.
🏆 Decide on an accountability plan.
How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!
🤝 Get support from your peers. 
There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Join our Discord channel to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! 

AP Chinese 2021 study plan

👨‍👩‍👦 Unit 1 - Families in Different Societies

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

Unit 1 is all about exploring the idea of family in the communities that speak Chinese 🇨🇳. Other themes discussed are the identities, life in the current world🌏, and global challenges. Here are the guiding questions for this unit:
  • How do families influence values, beliefs, and traditions in Chinese communities? (在华人社区,家庭是怎么影响到价值观,信仰和传统?)
  • What does a typical Chinese family look like? (一个普通的中国家庭是什么样子?)
  • What are some challenges that families face? (家庭要面对哪些挑战?)

Definitely do this:

📚 Read these study guides:
📹 Watch this video:

Resources:

🗣️ Unit 2 - The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

This unit focuses on exploring identities, both personal and public, and how the Chinese language and culture affect and influence them. As you work through this unit, think about these questions:
  • How does one’s identity evolve over time? (一个人的自我身份认知随着时间如何改变?)
  • How does language shape our cultural identity? (语言是如何塑造我们的文化认同?)
  • How does technology influence the development of personal and public identity? (科学技术是如何影响到个人和地区的成长?)
  • How does the art of a community reflect its public identity? (一个社区的艺术是如何反映它的公共行为和特征?)

Definitely do this:

📚 Read these study guides:
📹 Watch this review video:

Resources:

🎨 Unit 3 - Influences of Beauty and Art 

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

The main topic of this unit is exploring how beauty and art influence the Chinese-speaking communities. Beauty and Aesthetics will be the main focus, although some previous themes mentioned make a reappearance. Here are the guiding questions for this unit:
  • How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life? (审美和美学的理想是怎么影响到日常生活?)
  • How does art both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives? (艺术是如何又反对又反映文化观点?)
  • How do communities value beauty and art? (社区是如何看待美和艺术?)
  • How is art used to record history? (艺术是如何用来记录历史的?)

Definitely do this:

📚 Read these study guides:
📹 Watch this review video:

Resources:

🔬 Unit 4 - How Science and Technology Affect our Lives

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

The main topic of this unit is understanding the role that science and technology play in the lives of people living in Chinese-speaking communities. You will also take a look at how technology has influenced the ethics and values of these communities. Here are the guiding questions for this unit:
  • What factors drive innovation and discovery in the fields of science and technology? (在科学技术领域的创新和发现,有哪些因素可以驱动?)
  • What role do ethics play in scientific advancement? (伦理学在科学发展中扮演什么角色?)
  • What are the social consequences of scientific or technological advancements? (科技进步对社会会造成什么样的后果?)

Definitely do this:

📹 Watch these helpful videos:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

📚Read this job ad with vocab about technical careers:

🏠 Unit 5 - Factors that Impact the Quality of Life

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

Unit 5 focuses on contemporary life in Chinese-speaking communities. Other themes discussed are identities, life in the current world, and global challenges! As you work through this unit, think about these questions:
  • How do aspects of everyday life influence and relate to the quality of life? (日常生活的各个方面如何影响生活品质并与之相关?🧐 )
  • How does where one lives to impact the quality of life? (一个人 的住所🏡 如何影响生活品质?)
  • What influences one’s interpretation and perceptions of the quality of life? (是什么影响一个人对生活品质的认知和看法?🧐 )

Definitely do this:

📹 Watch these helpful videos:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

📚Read these writings:

🌪️ Unit 6 - Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges

Unit Summary and Guiding Questions:

Unit 5 focuses on current and complex issues in Chinese-speaking communities. Other themes discussed are contemporary life, families and communities, and global challenges! As you work through this unit, think about these questions:
  • How do environmental, political, and societal challenges positively and negatively impact communities?
  • What are possible solutions to those challenges?
  • What role do individuals play in addressing complex societal issues?

Definitely do this:

📹 Review these helpful videos and audio clips:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

📚Read these writings:

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