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Exam Skills: FRQ/MCQ

2021 AP Italian Exam Guide

10 min readโ€ขfebruary 27, 2021


Your guide to the 2021 AP Italian exam

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 AP Italian 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! ๐Ÿ˜

Format of the 2021 AP Italian exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 AP Italian exam format will be:
  • Multiple Choice (Print Text) - 25% of your score
    • 30 questions in 40 minutes
  • Multiple Choice with Audio - 25% of your score
    • 35 questions in 55 minutes
  • Free Response Written - 25% of your score
    • Read and reply to an email (15 minutes)
    • Write an argumentative essay based on three given sources (a text, a graphic, and an audio). You will have 55 minutes total for this section.
  • Free Response Spoken - 25% of your score
    • Participating in 5 exchanges in a simulated conversation (20 seconds per response)
    • Preparing and delivering a two-minute cultural comparison.ย 
    • You will be given 18 minutes to respond to these two tasks.
*The AP Italian Language and Culture exam will only be available at schools or school-proctored locations.

Scoring Rubric for the 2021 AP Italian exam

The following rubrics are from the College Board website.
Email Reply: Free Response Question
  • To receive full points:
    • Maintains the exchange with a response that is clearly appropriate within the
    • context of the task
    • Provides required information (responses to questions, request for details) with
    • frequent elaboration
    • Fully understandable, with ease and clarity of expression; occasional errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Varied and appropriate vocabulary and idiomatic language
    • Accuracy and variety in grammar, syntax, and usage, with few errors
    • Mostly consistent use of register appropriate for the situation; control of cultural
    • conventions appropriate for formal correspondence (e.g., greeting, closing),
    • despite occasional errors
    • Variety of simple and compound sentences, and some complex sentences
Argumentative Essay: Free Response Question
  • To receive full points:
    • Effective treatment of topic within the context of the task
    • Demonstrates a high degree of comprehension of the sourcesโ€™ viewpoints, with very few minor inaccuracies
    • Integrates content from all three sources in support of an argument
    • Presents and defends the studentโ€™s own position on the topic with a high degree of clarity; develops an argument with coherence and detail
    • Organized essay; effective use of transitional elements or cohesive devices
    • Fully understandable, with ease and clarity of expression; occasional errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Varied and appropriate vocabulary and idiomatic language
    • Accuracy and variety in grammar, syntax, and usage, with few errors
    • Develops paragraph-length discourse with a variety of simple and compound sentences, and some complex sentences
Conversation: Free Response Question
  • To receive full points:
    • Maintains the exchange with a series of responses that is clearly appropriate within the context of the task
    • Provides required information (e.g., responses to questions, statement, and support of opinion) with frequent elaboration
    • Fully understandable, with ease and clarity of expression; occasional errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Varied and appropriate vocabulary and idiomatic language
    • Accuracy and variety in grammar, syntax, and usage, with few errors
    • Mostly consistent use of register appropriate for the conversation
    • Pronunciation, intonation, and pacing make the response comprehensible; errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Clarification or self-correction (if present) improves comprehensibility
Cultural Comparison: Free Response Question
  • To receive full points:
    • Effective treatment of topic within the context of the task
    • Clearly compares the target culture with the studentโ€™s own or another community, including supporting details and relevant examples
    • Demonstrates an understanding of the target culture, despite a few minor inaccuracies
    • Organized presentation; effective use of transitional elements or cohesive devices
    • Fully understandable, with ease and clarity of expression; occasional errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Varied and appropriate vocabulary and idiomatic language
    • Accuracy and variety in grammar, syntax, and usage, with few errors
    • Mostly consistent use of register appropriate for the presentation
    • Pronunciation, intonation, and pacing make the response comprehensible; errors do not impede comprehensibility
    • Clarification or self-correction (if present) improves comprehensibility
Check out our study plan below to find resources and tools to prepare for your AP Italian exam.

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

There are three different exam administrations this year and all three AP Italian exams will be taken in person at your school. Here is what we know from College Board so far:
  • The first testing day for the exam is on May 14, 202 at 8 am, your local time.ย 
  • The second testing day will be on May 21, 2021, at 8 am, your local time.ย 
  • The final testing date is June 4, 2021, at 8 am, your local time.ย 
Remember, all three dates are on paper at your school, no digital version will be available. You will have 3 hours and 3 minutes 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.ย 

How should I prepare for the exam?

  • First, download the AP Italian Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!ย 
  • Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement and practice. Weโ€™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.ย 

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 youโ€™ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual.ย 
๐Ÿ–ฅ 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.ย 
๐Ÿ“š 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!
๐Ÿ“… 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.
๐Ÿ† 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!
๐Ÿค Get support from your peers.ย 
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!ย 

AP Italian 2021 Study Plan

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง Unit 1: Families in Different Societies

Big takeaways:

The first unit of AP Italian explores the various themes and patterns that are present within Italian speaking communities and societies. This unit will teach you about important familial values, and the progression of traditions and personal beliefs, as well as dive into the challenges that these families must face. This unit will cover more traditional challenges, as well as how Italian families have changed and grown into the contemporary era.

Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:
๐ŸŽฅ Watch this video:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out this article:

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity

Big takeaways:

Unit 2 of AP Italian discusses the different impacts that language and culture has on personal identities. It focuses on how various technological developments have changed cultures and their communities, and the ways it changed communication between societies. It also dives into the effects of social media and advertising on personal identification and ideologies, and how these beliefs are translated into art and the community.ย 

Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out this Fiveable Study Guide:

๐ŸŽจ Unit 3: Influences of Beauty and Art

Big takeaways:

This unit is all about how the Italian culture and community function with beauty and art. The focus is on beauty aesthetics, and how it relates to personal identities and culture. It also covers art, how art reflects the values and history of Italian culture, and its importance within these various societies. This unit will dive into some of the cultural differences, and highlight the various challenges and struggles within these Italian-speaking communities.

Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out this Fiveable Study Guide:
๐ŸŽฅ Watch these videos:

๐Ÿ”ฌ Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect our Lives

Big takeaways:

Unit 4 of AP Italian, as the name suggests, covers everything you need to know about how science and technology have impacted the growth and development of Italian-speaking countries and communities. It focuses on placing what you learn in a global context and being able to identify how the contemporary era is changing the lives of citizens. It also puts emphasis on how technology is used to create more communication and how it changes the traditions, values, and beliefs of the cultures it touches. This is an important unit to begin to understand the modern issues of Italian-speaking communities, as well as to begin understanding complex vocabulary and cultural identification.ย 

Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:
๐ŸŽฅ Watch these videos:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out this Fiveable Study Guide:

๐Ÿ  Unit 5: Factors that Impact the Quality of Life

Big takeaways:

Unit 5 of AP Italian discusses what factors impact Italian cultures and lifestyles in the modern era. It ties in ideas from science and technology and beauty and aesthetics and places them in a more global and understandable context. This unit should focus on exploring the effects of social status, differing cultural perspectives, and traditions on the quality of life. It will also cover the levels of education, healthcare, along with others, that are available and how that changes the way the Italian culture functions. Finally, it should explore how geography affects the quality of life and the various differences between geographical regions in Italy.

ย Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out this Fiveable Study Guide:
๐ŸŽฅ Watch these videos:

๐ŸŒช๏ธ Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges

Big takeaways:

The final unit of AP Italian covers the external factors, hardships, and challenges that cultures and communities must face in the contemporary era. This unit connects all of the previous ideas taught in this course to give the students a well-rounded and clear idea of life and culture within Italian-speaking regions. Within this unit, you will learn about how environmental, economic, political, and social issues affect people on a larger scale, as well as their impact on individuals and families. You will also need to look at and understand the possible solutions for many of these global contemporary issues that are affecting these Italian-speaking communities.

ย Definitely do this:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

๐Ÿ“ฐ Check out these Fiveable Study Guides:
๐ŸŽฅ Watch these videos:

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