How Do I Self-Study AP Spanish Literature?

4 min readdecember 16, 2021

AP Spanish Literature 💃🏽

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Self-Studying for AP Spanish Lit

So, you want to self study AP Spanish Lit? Let's talk about it!

Pros and Cons of Self-Studying 🤔

First, let's walk through some of the pros and cons to self-studying an AP class, whether that's Spanish Lit or another course!

Pros ☺

  • 🏠 You can self-study an AP course without taking the class at school. Sometimes you have to take the course in a classroom to take the AP exam and to get credit. That's not the case 😊
  • If prerequisites, class size caps, or other conflicts prevent you from taking an AP class at school, self-studying might be a great option for you 📑
  • ⏰ You have a lot more flexibility. Since you are not bound to a teacher, you can create a flexible schedule and choose how you want to study. However, you need more motivation to stay on track 😉
  • 📅 You choose how to pace the content. You're able to study for the course whenever you'd like. If you want to study over the summer and throughout the year, you can do that. If you want to study every other day instead of every day, you can do that, too 💪

Cons 😐

  • 🕰 You need to time manage appropriately. Even though you have flexibility in your schedule, you still need good time management skills before you decide to self-study a course, especially one like Spanish Lit. If you wait until the last minute to start studying for the exam, it will be nearly impossible to cover all of the required texts 📚
  • 👩‍🏫You won't have a teacher to guide you with every piece of content. Although there are tons of resources online, nothing can completely replace a teacher, especially when learning a foreign language. Since AP Spanish Lit is taught almost 100% in Spanish, you may miss out on expanding your vocabulary if you are not speaking Spanish every day like you would in the classroom 🇪🇸
  • 🎒There may be logistical hassles when signing up for the exam**.** If there aren't a lot of self-studiers at your school, it might be a hassle to sign up for the exam. Make sure you let your AP coordinator know in advance if you plan on self-studying 📅

Tips for Self-Studying AP Spanish Lit

1. Use the Course and Exam Description 📑

The AP Spanish Literature & Culture course and exam description (CED) is the ultimate document for the class! It contains all the information you must know to get a 5 on the exam and includes a practice test 📄
The CED has all of the required texts for the course 📚There are 38 works that you are required to know for the class, and you should get started on them as soon as possible.
Finally, the CED has lots of information about the exam structure. Use this information to guide you while studying 😊

2. Read, analyze & annotate all of the texts 🤓

As I mentioned before, there are 38 required texts that you must know for the AP Spanish Literature exam. You should be familiar with the plot, author, time period, and any other contextual information that is necessary 📚
If you decide to self-study this course, it is super important that you take the time to plan ahead and make time to read each of the 38 texts throughout the year. 🤔
If you wait until the month before the exam, there won't be enough time to read and comprehend everything, especially if you are not a native Spanish speaker. 📆
Are you looking for a list of the required texts? You can find them on the College Board website! 📖

This might be your shelf as you read through the Spanish Lit required texts! 😉 Image labeled for reuse.

3. Create a study schedule for yourself 📆

Make sure you create a study schedule well in advance of the exam. AP Spanish Literature is a course where you likely will need the entire school year to self-study 🎒
These required texts require a lot of detailed analysis, so you should plan out your schedule to fit in all 38 texts before the AP exam 💭
Additionally, leave 1-3 weeks before the AP exam to review all of the content. Of course, adjust this based on your needs. If you are a native Spanish speaker, you may need less time to cover all the content 🤔
Pace yourself and don't procrastinate 😉We know that's way easier said than done, but it's crucial for this course.

4. Practice, practice, practice ✍

The AP Spanish Literature exam is a long one! Here's what the exam looks like:
  • Section 1A: Multiple Choice (10% of Exam Score)
    • ⏰ 15 questions in 20 minutes
    • 3 sets of questions based on authentic audio texts
  • 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
  • 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
While creating your study schedule, add some time in to practice FRQs. You can also find sample questions from past years on the College Board website and the Course/Exam Description.

In Closing 🎉

Whether you decide to self-study or AP Spanish Literature, take it in school, or not take it all, we'll always be there to support you! Check out our website for resources!
Good luck! 😃

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