AP Latin Self-Study and Homeschool

โฑ๏ธย ย 4 min read

written by

Sander Owens

sander owens

November 18, 2020


You're probably having doubts about self-studying the AP Latin course because you don't know how difficult it is and if it's even worth taking. Hopefully, this guide will provide you with all of the information necessary to make your decision.

Pros and Cons of Self-Studying

Pros ๐Ÿ‘

  • Translate at Own Pace:ย There is a lot of translating that you need to do in order to do well on this exam, so by self-studying, you can set a pace and schedule that works well for you, whether that is faster than a typical class, or slower than a typical class.
  • College Credit:ย This exam could get you potential college credit, so be sure to check out if you could satisfy a general education requirement or get into higher-level language courses with your AP Latin exam.
  • Challenge Yourself:ย Chances are, if you are ready for AP Latin, you are probably a student who is serious about your studies, so studying for Latin could be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you!

Cons ๐Ÿ‘Ž

  • No Real-Time Interaction:ย Since you won't have a teacher, most likely, it will probably take longer for you to figure out issues that you have with content, as well as clear up translation issues.
  • Time-Consuming:ย You probably will feel lost and confused at some point, and that is OK! But just know that it will be time-consuming and energy-consuming, so make sure you are prepared and manage your time wisely!

The Exam

If you are looking for more information about the exam, theย Course and Exam Descriptionย is a great place to start. It contains an overview of the course, including the themes and skills you should know to meet all of the requirements for a good score on the exam.

Exam Overview ๐Ÿ–‡๏ธ

Here is a brief overview of the sections of the AP Latin exam:

  • MULTIPLE CHOICE (60 minutes, 50%):

    • 10-12 questions about the Vergil readings

    • 10-12 questions about the Caesar readings

    • 13-15 sight prose readings (75-100 word stimuli)

    • 13-15 sight poetry readings (10-15 line stimuli)

  • FREE RESPONSE (120 minutes, 50%):

    • Vergil Translation: 15 minutes to translate ~35 words from the required *Aeneid* readings.

    • Caesar Translations: 15 minutes to translate ~40 words from the required *Gallic War* readings.

    • Analytical Essay: 45 minutes to write an essay analyzing two passages from the two authors

    • Vergil Short Answer Questions: 15 minutes to answer 5-7 questions based on 5-10 lines from the Vergil readings.

    • Caesar Short Answer Questions: 15 minutes to answer 5-7 questions based on 50-75 words from the Caesar readings.

As you can see, some parts, such as the essay, are worth more on the exam, so you might want to pay extra special attention to those.

However, even though the multiple-choice is worth half of your exam score, you can master this section by following a few tipsโ€”check out our AP Latin Multiple Choice guide for more info on that (coming soon).

Ways to Learn

Because you are self-studying, you get the advantage of learning however you want. Here are some possible ways that you could self-study Latin:

Don't be afraid to try a bunch of these out, especially if they are free, to see what works best for you. Because you don't have to worry about grades or your GPA, do what truly makes you learn best!
  • Prep Books: Referring to our Latin Text Books and Prep Books Guide <<TK>>, you can use a prep book to help prepare for the exam by using its test prep materials.
  • Videos:ย There are several great video series that you can use to learn about history than can act as the context for the books, so do some research!
  • Annotated Editions:ย Look for a good commentary or edition of theย Gallic Warsย or theย Aeneidย so that you can learn more about the text and background as you translate!

Taking the Test

Broadly speaking, taking the test will fall into one of two categories: either your school offers the exam, or it doesn't. If your school offers the exam, speak with your counselor, and see how you can register for the exam without being in the class.

If you cannot take the AP Latin exam at your school, contact nearby schools to see if you will be able to take the exam there.

Don't worry if it seems overwhelming at first! Just take the class one step at a time, and you will soon be on the road to success! You got this ๐ŸŽ‰

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