We cover everything you need to know about taking the AP French test
You’ve been working hard for years in class studying French, bypassing easier electives, and spending evenings and weekends memorizing flashcards. Now, it’s about to pay off with the AP French exam, and earn you some college credit. But before you can dive right in, you need to know what’s on the AP French exam, as well as how long it is and what it tests. This article will give you all the information you need to know.
AP exam fees are standard across the board for each type of test (except AP Seminar and AP Research). This means that it will cost the same to take AP French exam as it will to take AP Spanish.
In 2023, each AP exam costs $97 when taken in the US, US territories, Canada, or foreign DoDEA schools.
If you decide late to take the AP French exam late though, (between November 16 and March 15), you’ll also need to pay an additional $40. Transfer students aren’t subject to this fee.
Some schools also require additional fees for proctoring and admin. You’ll pay all fees directly to your school, so your teachers or guidance counselors can give you further information.
What You Should Bring With You On Test Day
AP exam season is a stressful one, especially if you’re taking more than one test. Knowing as much as possible beforehand will help you to go into these tests calmly and confidently.
🟢 Here’s what to bring with you to the AP French exam:
Multiple #2 pencils (in case one breaks) for the multiple-choice section
Dark blue or black ink pens for the free response section
Government-issued photo ID (if you’re taking the test somewhere other than your school)
An approved College Board SSD Accommodations Letter (if applicable)
A basic watch that doesn’t connect to the Internet or make noise
An approved digital recording device for the audio portion
🚨 Here’s what not to bring:
Any electronic equipment (besides your approved digital recording device)
Other writing utensils besides your pencils and pens
Books, references, dictionaries, etc.
Clothing or shoes that contain subject-related information
Food or drinks
If you bring anything that is not approved, it will be confiscated. It’s also possible that you will be dismissed from taking the exam or that your score will be canceled without the possibility of retesting. They mean business people.
If preferred, you may also bring a mask and hand sanitizer (which will need to be kept underneath your desk).
How Long Does The AP French Exam Take To Complete?
Section I of the AP French exam takes 95 minutes and Section II takes 88 minutes, making the two sections roughly equal in time. For the record, each section is worth 50% of your cumulative score.
Thus, it will take you a little over three hours to complete the AP French exam, including breaks.
How Long Is Each Section of The AP French Exam?
Every year, the AP French exam has the same structure and format. Although the questions change each year, the basics stay the same.
The first section is divided into two parts: Multiple-Choice and Multiple-Choice with Audio. The first one, which consists of basic multiple-choice problems (30 questions), takes 40 minutes and accounts for 23% of your score.
The other half of Section I takes 55 minutes as you listen to audio recordings and then answer questions from there. This is 35 questions and is 27% of your total score.
Section II of the AP French Exam also has two parts: Free Response Written and Free Response Spoken. The written portion takes an hour and 10 minutes (25% of your total score) and the spoken portion only takes 18 minutes, because it’s a “conversation.” This section is also 25% of your score, even though it’s the shortest.
👉 Practicing with a French language app can really help prepare you for section II of the AP French exam. French lessons from programs such as Rocket Languages or Rosetta Stone include simulated conversations to help improve your French vocabulary and get you ready for the free response portion of the AP exam.
How Many Breaks Are There During The AP French Exam?
There is one scheduled break during the AP French exam, between Section I and Section II.
You aren’t allowed to use your phone, consult a textbook, speak to other students or teachers about the exam, or utilize any electronic devices. You must also stay in the exam building.
Tips For Learning French
Learning any language takes commitment, practice, and patience. First and foremost, be easy on yourself. Have fun with it and know that even people who have been speaking a foreign language for years make mistakes sometimes. Some other tips will help you strengthen your skills, too.
👉 Use it or lose it. Don’t leave your skills in the classroom. Speak French to yourself as you go about your daily activities, seek out people who can help you practice, and make it a habit to speak, listen to, read, or write French every day (apart from where you’re learning it in school).
👉 Utilize all your resources. Ask your teacher if there are clubs or groups you can join that focus on speaking French. Search your streaming services for movies and music in foreign languages to develop your “ear” for the way it sounds and to get a handle on some of the ways the language is used in real life.
👉 Know when to use conversational vs. academic tone. This is important on the AP French exam, especially If you’re crafting an email reply, you’re going to want to use different language nuances than if you’re speaking casually with someone. Practice both types of communication in your studies. French language apps such as Babbel can help you with this.
👉 Practice your accent. French is one of those languages where the accent is key. Practice your ascending and descending tones and try to match native speakers’ flow.
👉 Watch videos. For visual learners, watching French videos is extremely important. This will help you pick up the language much faster. You can utilize French YouTube videos or use language apps that include videos of native French speakers (like Busuu and Babbel, for example).
👉 Language tools. Use a language learning app such as Rocket French or Pimsleur French to expand your vocabulary and knowledge. French courses and apps offer fun lessons that will hold your attention.
The AP French exam is the culmination of all your hard work these past years. It’s smart that you’re preparing beforehand with exam knowledge and tips for learning French. Study hard, then take a deep breath, and go into your AP French exam knowing that you’ve done your best.
How long should you study for the AP French exam?
Most teachers recommend that you study for at least 15-20 hours before taking the AP French exam. Use your notes from class, school books and language apps.
How long does the AP French exam take to finish?
The AP French exam takes just over three hours to complete from start to finish, including breaks.