Advanced Placement Prep

Many Davis School District students and teachers are anticipating the upcoming AP Language & Literature exams. We want to help our students do their best on these exams, so we've compiled some great tips for you.


This AP Language & Culture exams are designed to measure how well you communicate with others in the target language, how well you can present, and how well you can interpret (and respond to) what you read and hear. This includes your ability to think critically, your overall fluency, and especially your ability to communicate ideas. You should pass if you can comprehend the language close to how a native speaker would in many different contexts, most of which come from various Spanish-speaking, French-speaking, German-speaking, and Chinese-speaking milieu. The exams also gauges your cultural knowledge of the countries and people who use these languages. 


It may sound daunting, but you can do it! Similar to any standardized or AP test, the key is anxiety management and preparing well in advance. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for the AP Language & Culture exam:



  1. Get a tutor! There are tons of study booklets and materials available to help you practice, but a tutor can help you find the best ones, plus provide tips for helping you organize and channel your time. Using the AP themes as a guide, find articles and discuss them together.  Learn to express your opinion and support that opinion using information from the text and from your own experiences.

  2. Practice the language on mobile applications. These can help make learning fun and dynamic, where textbooks may fail.  While not the best way to learn a langauge, apps such as Duolingo can help.

  3. Manage your anxiety! Your fear about bombing the test may become a significant barrier, potentially bigger than the studying and the test’s difficulty itself!

  4. Remember, you got this far already. Mindfulness techniques can help — it’s no coincidence that students who believe in their ability to pass usually do.

  5. Begin preparing early— preferably four months before. Our brains absorb information the best when it’s presented relatively briefly but consistent over a large time span, such as 30-60 minutes of studying 3-6 times weekly. This is particularly true of language learning.

  6. Don’t underestimate the importance of practice tests. Kaplan and the Princeton Review both offer practice tests online. There are also many practice tests for the AP exams available for free online.

  7. Know how to use verb phrases that will help you express your opinions and support ideas--In my opinion...on the other hand...from my experience, etc

  8. Keep your general language skills fresh by practicing regularly! Keep in touch with friends you meet from countries where they speak the language and practice with people you know who also speak the langauge.

  9. Take advantage of online foreign langauge "chat" sites such as WeSpeke and Livemocha.  Those are two good ones and are safe for student use--especially WeSpeke. 

  10. Watch movies and television programs from the target culture. 

  11. Download Pandora and listen to foreign music whenever possible.

  12. In conclusion, you can do it! Systematic and early practice is the key.