The Best AP Chinese Books

Exam Info And Course Content

The AP Chinese Language and Culture exam consists of 2 sections. The first one is a 70 question, 90 minute multiple choice section that makes up 50% of your total exam score. There are 25-35 listening questions and 35-40 reading questions.

The second section is free response. There are 4 questions total and it lasts for around 45 minutes. There are 2 writing tasks, and 2 speaking tasks. The first speaking task is a conversation and you can choose the topic from 6 prompts. The second one is a cultural presentation and you only have one prompt.

The exam tests Mandarin Chinese,and you can choose between traditional or simplified Chinese characters when reading or writing in Chinese.

College Board provides free example test questions, so click here if you want to check them out.

Next Exam Date

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Last Time The Exam Changed

The exam has never been changed, and there are no plans for changing it in the near future.

The Best AP Chinese Language & Culture Textbooks 2018

Barron's AP Chinese Language Best AP Prep

Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture, 2nd Edition

The review materials on the right assume that you already have a solid knowledge of Chinese, or that you have at least a year ahead of you to study it and that you’re passionate about it.

Barron’s AP Chinese book is your best option for figuring out the format of the test and practicing your listening skills.

Barron’s book is actually harder than the real exam, because the real exam has a big curve, and if you learn and understand all of the material in this book, you should be well on your way to getting a 5.

The book’s grammar section is exhaustive, and the readings are usually harder than the ones on the exam, so you will come into the exam room confident of your abilities.

Also, if you don’t already speak and listen to Chinese in your daily life you should strive to listen to Chinese radio and read in Chinese for at least 15 minutes per day, every day.

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Self-Study Tips

If you already learned Chinese through Chinese school, or through other means, then preparing for the AP Chinese exam shouldn’t be hard.

All you have to do is buy the Barron book to get to know the format of the exam, and practice your speaking, listening, and reading skills every day.

However, if you want to learn Chinese from scratch the road ahead of you is a long and hard one, especially if you’re going to do it without a tutor, and you will need to spend at least 2 to 4 years dedicating yourself to learning the language.

You can also learn Chinese and get ready for the AP Exam by using this course. It costs less than a couple hours with a professional tutor, but it is much more useful for you in the long term as you will be comfortable with speaking Chinese once you’re done with it.

Before you start I recommend reading this blog post as it will help motivate you, and nudge you in the right direction.

After that you should buy the following 3 books as they will be your main way of learning Chinese.

Spend around 30 minutes every day going through the lessons in these books. Then spend around 15 minutes per day on this website learning new words and pronunciations. For the last 15 minutes you should listen to Chinese music, watch Chinese movies, or talk to someone who is fluent in Chinese.

Spend at least 1 hour per day for 3 years studying Chinese and partially immersing yourself into the language, and by your fourth year you will be ready to review using the Barron book, and tackle the AP Chinese exam head on!