Thinking about the impending AP French test might give you anxiety as it does to many students. However, if you're aptly prepared for it, there wouldn't be any need to be worried!
To achieve this level of preparation, there are many resources and tips one can use for AP French prep. Read on as we discuss some handy AP French tips to get you to that top score you're aiming for!
Preliminary Tips For AP French Prep
The best way to prepare for any language exam is to speak it. But unlike Spanish, French is not as widely spoken in the US, and it would be even harder to find French radio stations or news channels.
This lack of French in our surroundings makes one wonder: how do we immerse ourselves in the language despite limited accessibility?
Here are some ways to get your foot through the proverbial French door:
Find French Pen Pals
There are many ways to immerse yourself in the Francophone culture. Thanks to the internet, it's not difficult to find French pen pals.
Several countries have French as an official language; among them are:
There are countless ways to create friendships with people in those countries, travel and live there, or even watch their movies. Either way, the world is now much smaller than we envisage.
Look For Language Exchange Opportunities
You can also find language exchange programs in the US. These programs pair two people from different backgrounds to teach each other their native tongue.
While French may not be spoken widely in America, there are still plenty of French speakers and French-teaching programs if you know where to look.
Look for a language exchange buddy and spend 15 to 20 minutes speaking one language, after which you can switch to the other. To find language exchange opportunities, check out libraries and community centers.
Incorporate French In Your Everyday Life
It may benefit you to incorporate the language within your d life, and there are many ways to do that; some options include:
- Changing your browser homepage to a French site like Le Monde
- Reading a French article every day
- Watching television programming with French subtitles
You can also change your social media accounts to French, in which case your ads and video recommendations will also start appearing in the language, allowing you to pick up conversational phrases easily.
Practice Past French AP Tests
Get yourself a set of old AP French practice exams and review them. This technique can help familiarize you with the format and rigors of the test as you learn your way around the AP French exam format
Keep in mind that the AP French test has three major components:
- The multiple-choice section
- The speaking section
- The writing section
Multiple Choice Tips
When attempting the multiple-choice segment, it's important to answer each question. While you will be punished for wrong answers on the SAT, this is not the case in AP exams.
The grading formula is set to ignore any wrong answers, so it doesn't hurt to attempt all multiple-choice questions, even if you're unsure of a few.
How long is the French exam? How many minutes per question? If you know how to plan your time wisely, you can successfully cover each segment.
Furthermore, always remember to calculate your time and manage it wisely. Ideally, it would help if you devoted a minute to each question.
Don't linger on a question for more than this time, even if you are struggling with it. Mark it and return to it after you have attempted the rest of the questions.
You may also encounter some words in this segment that you are unfamiliar with it. Do not stress yourself out on them and instead focus on the words that you know.
Even if you don't know one particular word, you can still figure out the question's meaning using the context.
And if you still find yourself confused by what to expect, go over this AP French class guide.
Tips For The Free Response Questions
Always remember to sound natural and keep a conversational tone. This may be hard for someone who does not speak French as a native language. But always avoid sounding too formal and using old phrases in an attempt to seem more verbose.
Listening to French media, such as television shows or talk show programs, can help you learn a very natively spoken version of French.
Remember that conversational French is littered with native interjections, like uh and bon, which make any spoken sentence sound more natural.
The Free Response segment of the AP French test can be the most problematic for most students, and that's why many tend to get tongue-tied, ahead of themselves, and fail to make their point adequately.
Remember to speak slowly and coherently and avoid rushing your words. Practice to ensure that you do not get confused between your pronouns – such as vous and tu – and use plenty of transition words to ground your speech.
Recording yourself while speaking can also be helpful. It's not uncommon to be nervous during the speaking part, but going over your speech can help you improve on the areas where you're struggling.
AP French Language Essay Tips
Make sure to maintain impeccable handwriting, as it matters in the essay section. To make a good impression on your exam grader, adopt good penmanship, and make it easier for them to read and understand what you've written.
Additionally, before starting with your essay, make an outline and a thesis. It's important to know what you'll be writing about; otherwise, you risk losing valuable time.
Writing a thesis will help you make sense of your topic and develop your essay structure. In case you seem to flounder, you can always refer back to your themes.
It's crucial to proofread your essay. Even if you're at the end and have just a few minutes remaining, do not overlook your proofreading responsibilities!
You will be surprised at the number of errors you will detect on your second reading. Some people may even find glaring mistakes on the third or fourth time they go through their paper.
When writing an essay, we tend to get so engrossed in the topic that we miss out on punctuation and grammatical nuances. Proofreading will help you catch these errors.
Having dished out all the details on what to look out for in specific scenarios, let's discuss some general tips regarding the AP French exam:
Consult Your Teacher/Tutor
The best person to ask for AP French tips is your teacher. Each year, AP French teachers are tasked with grading the speaking and writing segments of the AP French exam, so they know the grading criteria inside out.
Most teachers will tell you to write neatly and clearly. There should be no confusion about what you wrote, and do not try to get out of writing a word whose spelling you are unsure of by writing it incoherently.
Practice the Test Without Supervision
Teachers also advise students to practice exams on their own. Most preparatory AP French classes focus on specific parts and segments, leaving students to attempt the remaining sections independently.
If you want to master the AP French test, do a complete practice exam yourself in one sitting. Although it is a long exam, an entire practice attempt will help you develop stamina for the actual test.
Don't Cram, Stay Consistent
Keep your study sessions consistent. AP French prep is not something that you can do just a few weeks before the exam, nor pass just by studying a few weeks before the exam.
The best study routines and habits are those that you develop months before the date. AP French teachers tell students to treat the exam like they treat a college-level course and study throughout the year rather than cramming at the end.
Focus On Grammar And Vocabulary
Make sure to focus on your diction, perfect your spellings, and fix any grammatical weaknesses. Besides that, keep adding to your vocabulary. Try to learn new phrases and practice speaking with your teacher in French daily.
As AP French exams tend to focus a lot on vocabulary, you might want to make a list and keep physically adding to it. This technique can help you feel more in control of your preparations.
Try to go through AP French study guides, mark out essential words, and learn new words every day.
Furthermore, try reading newspapers, articles, and blogs every day to help you absorb words rather than rote-learn different words.
Prepare For AP French With An Expert
Remember that you can never get enough practice, and these tips are not exhaustive, nor do they promise you an excellent grade. Don't just take the exam for the sake of it. Attempt it only if you enjoy learning the language.
Before signing up for the course or the test, ask yourself, "Should I take the AP French exam? Only if you feel like you genuinely enjoy learning the language should you take on AP French.
For the best AP French prep, find qualified and fluent French teachers who can teach you the language like a native Parisian speaking French!
And if you want to find the best possible tutors, there is no platform better than Superprof!
Superprof has a catalog of experienced AP French tutors who come qualified and highly recommended. All you have to do is visit the site, search for a professional tutor in your area, and begin learning!