What Are the Best AP Spanish Literature Textbooks and Prep Books?

5 min readseptember 30, 2021

Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan

Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan

AP Spanish Literature 💃🏽

24 resources
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Overview: The AP Exam‼

If you're reading this, you're probably wondering what prep book is the best to study for the AP Spanish Lit exam! Hopefully, we can help you make the right decisions!
Let's start with a refresher on the formatting of the AP exam:
  • Section 1A: Multiple Choice (10% of Exam Score)
  • ⏰ 15 questions in 20 minutes
  • 3 sets of questions based on authentic audio texts
    • 💬 1 excerpt from an interview with an author
    • 📄 1 recited poem which is NOT on the required reading list
    • 👩‍🏫 1 presentation on a literary topic (will be related to course content)
  • Section 1B: Multiple Choice (40% of Exam Score)
    • ⏰ 50 questions in 60 minutes
    • 6 sets of 7-10 questions based on BOTH required and non-required texts
      • 📕 1 passage will be a literary critique of a text or author from the list
      • 📃 1 set will have 2 thematically related passages — 1 will be from the required reading list
  • Section 2: Free Response (50% of Exam Score)
    • ⏰ 4 questions in 100 minutes
    • Part A: 2 Short Answer Questions (suggested time: 30 minutes)
      • Text Explanation Question
      • 🎨 Text and Art Comparison Question
    • Part B: 2 Essay Questions (suggested time: 70 minutes)
      • 📜 Analysis of a Single Text Question
      • 🗯 Text Comparison Question

The Required Texts 📚

Of course, you need to make sure that you have all 38 of the required texts that are a part of the AP Spanish Literature course. You can find a list of the required texts here.
You can likely find these texts as PDFs online; however, if you prefer paperback versions of some of the longer texts, you should be able to find them on Amazon.

A Foreword ✍

Before we get started, as you probably already know, there aren't a ton of resources for AP Spanish Literature. Unfortunately, even with those that exist, there are very limited quality prep books. That's why we'll be recommending one prep book/textbook 📕 that is designed to help you practice the skills in Spanish Lit, and a few supplemental materials 💭 that are good to have for AP Spanish Literature or any other Spanish class. 😊

Our Choice for a Prep Book/Textbook 📕

Abriendo Puertas: Ampliando Pespectivas — price: $29.67 on Amazon 💵


Image of the Abriendo Puertas: Ampliando Perspectivas textbook, courtesy of Amazon.

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the only textbooks/prep books that help develop the skills tested on the AP Spanish Literature exam. Each unit contains background on the book, some background on the required texts, as well as some interactive activities that you can use to help you as you read through the required work.
Take it from a student, who found this textbook incredibly resourceful:
This was the only textbook we used in class and I would highly recommend it. It has every work we needed for the class, along with some multiple choice practice questions, analysis questions for discussions in class and even reading comprehension questions on the side of the text that you can look at and answer while you read. It also has some chapters that describe historical context or the culture, in general, to help the student learn more background information. Each work also has a vocabulary section that explains certain words that students typically don't know the definition of. It is one great textbook; however, at times I did have to go on google to understand more the historical context of the work, the life of the author, and/or also the structure of the text. It is not free, but it is worth it in my opinion. —Isabella D.

Supplemental Resources 💭

The resources we chose are all for higher-level Spanish learners. Although these are not specific to AP Spanish Literature, it would be beneficial to have some of these. They can help you not only in Spanish Lit but also in future Spanish courses you may take — in high school or in college 🤔

Barron's Spanish-English Pocket Dictionary — price: $9.88 on Amazon 💵


Image of the Barron's Spanish-English pocket dictionary, courtesy of Amazon

As you move into higher-level Spanish courses, including AP Spanish Literature, google translate might not be your best option! Google Translate often translates word-for-word, and so you shouldn't rely on it too much. A great alternative to Google Translate is a Spanish-English translation dictionary 📃
This pocket dictionary 📑 is relatively cheap and contains 70,000 words and phrases that are presented both in Spanish and English. If you are unsure about a word or phrase you see in a text, you can look it up in this pocket dictionary!
If you plan on taking Spanish in future courses, including in college, this will likely be a good investment!

Spanish Short Stories for Beginners Volume 2 — price: $14.95 on Amazon


Image of the Spanish Short Stories for Beginners book, courtesy of Amazon

If you are looking for something fun 🎉 to read as a break from the difficult literature you are reading in class, this would be a great source! This book has 20 short stories that are interesting and can help you master some vocabulary. You'll also be given some comprehension questions to test your understanding of these captivating short stories 💬
Another great way to use this book is if you are wondering 🤔 whether or not you should take the AP Spanish Literature course! If you feel that you can run through the stories in this book pretty quickly, you should be ready for the Spanish Lit class! If you are having more trouble, consult your teacher before starting the course.

In Closing ✅

No matter what books you choose to buy, we wish you the best of luck in your studying and on the AP exam! We have your back with a huge bank of resources for AP Spanish Literature, as well as help for all 38 AP courses. Check them out on our website 🙂
Good luck! You'll do amazing 🎉
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