So, you're taking the AP Italian Language & Culture exam this year. Right now, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of content covered in the course. But what if we told you that studying smarter, not harder, is how you can achieve these scores, and it only takes a few steps? By following the following studying tips and tricks, you'll be one step closer to making this year 5-able and getting a well-deserved cinque 🇮🇹
Knowing what to expect when you take the AP Italian exam will make it easier for you since what you see will be less of a surprise. The test consists of two sections: multiple-choice and free-response, which are both worth 50% of your final score.
Section 1 is an hour and 35 minutes long and consists of 65 print and audio questions, which are divided into 9 sets. Here's what's covered in each of the sets:
- Sets 1-4 test your comprehension of different print materials by asking questions about their main idea, perspective, choice of vocabulary, etc. (📖)
- Sets 5-6 combine print and audio texts of the same topic and ask similar questions to that of the previous four sets ( 📖 🔊)
- Sets 7-9 play audio sources, such as interviews and presentations, while you answer their corresponding questions (🔊)
Section 2 is approximately an hour and 28 minutes long and consists of 4 tasks, which are split into 2 smaller groups: writing and speaking. Here's what you'll do in each of the tasks:
- Task 1 tests your interpersonal writing skills by having you formally reply to an email in Italian ( ✍️)
- Task 2 assesses your ability to form an argument by presenting you with three sources that vary in perspectives about a certain topic ( ✍️)
- Task 3 gives you a little bit of time to respond to a speaker in a simulated conversation ( 🗣️)
- Task 4 has you deliver a presentation comparing a certain part of Italian culture to that of where you live or another place ( 🗣️)
We know that it seems complicated, but studying the format of the esame will make it easier when you take it.
Not all studying needs to be with traditional resources like textbooks and prep books. In fact, immersing yourself in the language and culture through more unconventional resources is just as important.
"You need to start studying and practicing for the AP Italian exam early, even if that means watching Italian TV shows and movies, reading the news, or listening to music. It will help you become a stronger language learner. Plus, you never know when you will be able to input what you learned from that studying into a writing or speaking question." - an AP Italian student
Here are some ways that you can follow that advice and immerse yourself in Italian using untraditional resources:
Studying with these resources will help you score high on the AP Italian exam by immersing you in the culture, exposing you to new vocabulary (or reviewing older words), and increasing your fluency in a fun way 🎉
What may work for others may not work for you, which is why finding the right resources is crucial. When looking for AP Italian study materials, you may want to consider some questions, including but not limited to the following:
- Do you prefer using textbooks, prep books, online resources, or a mix of them all?
- How would you describe your learning style?
- Do you want a well-rounded resource or one that focuses on one specific aspect of the course like grammar, vocabulary, or culture?
- Is the resource aligned with the requirements for the 2021 exam?
- Have you visited our "Best AP Italian Textbooks and Prep Books" (coming soon) post for some recommendations?
- And most importantly, have you checked out our new AP Italian resources on Fiveable like streams and unit guides?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you pick the best study materials, but that won't guarantee you a 5 without proper studying, which brings us to the next tip...
Once you find your materials, create a study plan that'll keep you on track as you study toward a 5. By dedicating a part of your day to studying (even if it isn't a lot), you will be able to brush up on what you have learned and review your weaker areas, increasing your chances of scoring high.
Lots of AP Italian students have found the Pomodoro Technique (well, isn't that ironic? 🍅) to be helpful while preparing for the exam because of its combination of productive work time and breaks. Here's how it goes:
- 25 minutes: Work on a task of your choice (homework, reading, note taking, etc)
- 5 minutes: Take a break
- Repeat the steps above 4 times
- Take a longer, 15-20 minute break.
- Repeat as many times as you'd like
The Pomodoro Technique is not the only studying method out there, so be sure to test several of them and see which works the best for you.
An idiomatic expression is a saying with a figurative meaning that nonnative speakers of a language might find troublesome to understand at first, like "a piece of cake" in English. Knowing these for the AP Italian exam is integral since using them makes you seem more fluent in the language. Also, many of them are helpful to use in Section 2 when expressing an idea.
To practice Italian idiomatic expressions, visit this Quizlet set
By following the 5 tips mentioned above, you'll be able to ace the AP Italian Language & Culture Exam. For more studying materials, including live streams, unit reviews, and other posts, be sure to create a free account
In bocca al lupo ( 🚨 idiomatic expression detected 🚨) and have fun studying!