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published on september 19, 2020
Last updated on September 23, 2020
If you're thinking of self-studying for AP French Language & Culture, you may be having doubts as to whether or not you should go through it this year. Maybe you're worried about not having support from a teacher and having to learn all by yourself, especially during a time like quarantine. Or maybe you think that it may be too much of a commitment for your busy schedule?
If you relate to any of these questions, then this post is for you because we'll be discussing everything you need to know when deciding whether to self-study. Let's get into it!
Self-studying can be a big commitment for some students, which is why it's so important to weigh both your pros and cons before making a final decision. Below, we've listed some of the major points that you should consider:
Getting AP Credit 5️⃣: Many colleges around the United States accept AP scores of 3 or higher as college credit, which means that passing the exam may get you placed out of an intro course and save you money 🤑
Improving a Hobby 🗣️: If you're interested in French language, culture, linguistics, or a mix of the three and have some background in the topics, self-studying for AP French is a great way to improve at your hobby.
Good Option for Native Speakers 🇫🇷: If you're a native speaker, you may want to consider self-studying for the course rather than taking it in school, since you can skip material that you already know and focus on what you don't 📚
Work at Your Own Pace🚶: Because you have the ability to create your own schedule while self-studying, you have much more freedom about how much time you spend on certain topics.
Difficult for Nonnative Speakers 😬: For nonnative speakers of French, self-studying may be more difficult because you won't be immersed in the language, whether that's in a traditional classroom setting or in the home.
Time Commitment ⏰: Self-studying is a time commitment, and on top of all the things that you already do, it may be too much to handle.
The CED or Course and Exam Description is an AP student's saving grace because it mentions all the topics that are tested on the final exam and how it'll be formatted. Here's what you'll see on the AP French exam:
Unit 1: Families in Different Societies 👨👩👧👦👩👩👧👨👦
Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity 🎼
Unit 3: Influences of Beauty and Art 🎨
Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives 🔬
Unit 5: Factors That Impact the Quality of Life 💰
|Section||# of Questions||Time||Percentage of Score|
|Multiple Choice (With and Without Audio)||65||1 hour, 35 minutes||50%|
|Free Response||4||1 hour, 28 minutes||50%|
Multiple Choice: In the first four sets, you'll answer multiple-choice questions using information given to you in print sources like newspaper articles, letters ✉️, charts 📊, and much more.
Multiple Choice with Audio: The first two sets of this section will test your ability to understand print 📝 and audio sources and answer questions about their content. The last three are only audio sources like interviews and presentations 🗣️, which play twice as you go through questions asking about their central ideas and supporting details.
Written Tasks: In the first writing free-response question, you'll read an email in French 📧 and reply to its sender using the content discussed in the message and your knowledge of the language. The second question has you write an argumentative essay using 3 given sources with different opinions on a similar topic.
Spoken Responses: In part 1 of this section, you'll participate in a conversation with a prerecorded speaker and provide five 20-second responses to what the person on the other end says 📱 The last task has you give a 2-minute presentation where you compare a part of French culture to one in another community.
Knowing what to expect on the AP exam in terms of content and question format will help you decide whether or take to take the class. If you think that achieving everything above ⬆️ is achievable for you, then definitely consider self-studying AP French this year!
Having good resources is so important, but it is even more vital for self-studiers since you won't have a teacher that can give them to you. To make this even more difficult, AP French is not one of the most popular AP classes, so it has a limited amount of resources that students can use. That's why we listed our favorite resources below, which you can read more about in our Best AP French Textbooks and Prep Books post.
Starting this year, Fiveable will be offering two semester-long AP French Language & Culture courses, which include live streams, community support, and lots of other content from exam readers and teaching assistants. To learn more about the class and payment for it, visit the links for either the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 offering.
Prep Books 📚
Other Resources 📰 💻
One of the most important things that a self-studier should have is a studying schedule that works for them. Some AP French students prefer having a more traditional schedule, where they work a certain amount of time for a certain amount of days. However, some people prefer a more lax schedule where they only study when they have free time for however long they'd want. If you don't know which one you would prefer, be sure to check out the two study plans below and test which one works best for you:
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25 minutes: Work on a task of your choice like reading, notetaking, studying, etc.
5 minutes: Relax and take a break.
Repeat the steps above 4 times.
15-30 minutes: After that, take another longer break that's anywhere from 15-30 minutes
Repeat as many times as you'd like (⬅️ this schedule is great for students who want to work for longer hours)
If you'd rather not have such an exact studying schedule, that's completely fine too! Just make sure that you study for the course and try to avoid procrastination by following the next few tips.
Stay organized! Keeping everything neat from your notes and study materials will make you more motivated to study.
Set yourself goals! They will help keep you on track and make you feel motivated.
Get rid of distractions! Sometimes it's best to have unnecessary things like phones far away when studying, so you don't get sidetracked.
One of the biggest questions that self-studiers have is where they would take the AP exam, since they aren't technically enrolled in a class. Since the answer to this question depends by school 🏫, you may want to reach out to your school's AP coordinator, but there are two likely situations:
In the ideal situation, you'll be able to take the AP French exam in school by yourself or with other self-studiers and AP French students from your school.
However, in a less ideal situation, you'll have to travel to another school where the AP French exam is being offered and take the exam there with that school's class. This may not be a practical option if you live in an area where few schools offer the class or in a rural area, unless you are willing to travel a bit to take it 🚗.
And that's it! Hopefully, the information in this post will help guide you through the decision of whether or not to self-study. Bonne chance! 🇫🇷
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