8 AP Chinese Practice Test Resources to Help You Ace Your Exam [Updated for 2023]
Passing the AP Chinese test can benefit you on a practical and psychological level.
Not only could you receive thousands of dollars worth of college credits, but you could also brag to yourself (and anyone who cares to listen) that you just passed an exam in one of the toughest languages for English speakers to learn.
Of course, you have to put in the time to practice if you want to score at least a 4.
To set you up for success, I’ve gathered the best AP Chinese practice test resources below.
- 1. College Board’s AP Central
- 2. Varsity Tutors
- 3. Albert.io
- 4. Shmoop
- 5. Quizlet
- 6. Cheng & Tsui’s Strive for a 5
- 7. Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture Premium
- 8. 5 Steps to a 5: AP Chinese Language and Culture
- How to Get the Most Out of Chinese AP Practice Tests Resources
- And One More Thing...
1. College Board’s AP Central
Available on: Website
College Board’s AP Central is one of the best—if not the best—resources online for AP exam preparation.
Aside from featuring the questions that are most likely to show up on the test, it also gives you a good idea of what the actual exam will feel like—minus the pressure. You’ll learn about general exam policies, accommodations, exam tips, scoring guidelines and even services for those who have disabilities, among other useful information.
For added practice, you can also refer to past exam questions. In fact, you’ll notice that these questions don’t change much from year to year, so practicing with them will definitely increase your chances of passing.
2. Varsity Tutors
Price: Free (requires sign-up)
Available on: Website
Varsity Tutors’ AP Chinese practice test is just 10 questions long (covering vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension), but it gives you a good idea of what the actual exam will feel like.
For starters, once you finish the exam, you’ll get information on how long it took you to complete each question and the test overall. You can also see how long other users took to answer the same questions and what percentage of users got each question right. This way, you’ll see how you’re faring against other potential examinees.
Of course, you’ll also know how many answers you got right and detailed explanations on the correct answers, as well as the difficulty level of each question.
Price: See pricing page here
Available on: Website
Albert.io’s simulated exams are designed to help you practice your language skills in a relevant context.
The tests are broken down into four main categories, which are indicated using boxes that have graphic representations and brief descriptions of each topic. These categories, in turn, are broken down into sub-categories, ensuring that you won’t get overwhelmed by having to answer so many questions in one go. This also makes it easy to concentrate on the themes that you feel you need to work on.
The questions are multiple-choice, and they’re labeled based on their difficulty level (easy, moderate and difficult). They also feature either a reading passage (in both simplified and traditional Chinese) or a listening passage, so you can easily practice these major language skills.
Once you answer a question, you’ll receive a detailed explanation (both in Chinese and English) of what the correct answer was and why. You’ll also get a vocabulary list you can use for further review.
Price: See pricing page here
Available on: Website
If you subscribe to Shmoop, you’ll be able to access a whole host of AP Chinese learning resources—from 500-word vocab lists to test strategies and (of course) practice exams.
Shmoop’s full-length practice exams include a diagnostic test designed to help you find your weak points right off the bat. There are also 95 drill questions with answer keys to help you understand the material in more detail.
Plus, Shmoop has a more playful vibe compared to the other resources on this list, so your practice isn’t likely to feel boring.
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Available on: iOS | Android
Quizlet offers a wide variety of ways to prepare for the AP practice test. You can use vocabulary sets in quiz form, as flashcards, for writing practice, for listening/spelling practice and even for learning games.
There’s also a nice selection of different themes. For instance, the vocabulary set of idioms could help you learn key phrases that will make you more proficient in Chinese.
Also, you can make your own quizzes, allowing you to practice whatever vocabulary you think you might need for the AP test. Alternatively, you can look up quizzes and study materials made by other users instead.
6. Cheng & Tsui’s Strive for a 5
If you think taking eight full-length practice tests will give you a major confidence boost when the big day comes, this book is for you.
“Strive for a 5” is chock-full of powerful learning materials, including downloadable audio MP3s. The tests also feature the sorts of themes you’re likely to find on the AP test, such as economics, customs, geography and more.
Best of all, the questions come with answer keys to help you score and gauge what you’re good at and what needs improvement.
7. Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture Premium
Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture Premium claims to be “the only book you’ll need to be prepared for exam day.” While I don’t entirely agree with that statement, I will say that this is one of the few textbooks that comes close to covering everything you need to prepare for the AP Chinese exam.
Aside from the four major language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), this book also features a ton of cultural notes for all six units of the test.
Plus, the Listening and Speaking sections come with audio that simulate these parts of the exam. You can download the audio online per the instructions laid out in the book.
8. 5 Steps to a 5: AP Chinese Language and Culture
Despite its name, you’ll definitely take more than five steps to make the most out of this book—and that’s a good thing in this case.
This book includes two complete practice exams, a detailed overview of the AP Chinese test and an audio CD with files in MP3 format. You’ll also find traditional and simplified versions of the Chinese characters used throughout the book, which is a nice touch.
In my experience, the exams featured in this book are much tougher than the real thing, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you. That could mean that, if you’re able to get a decent score on the practice exams herein, you might have an excellent chance at passing the actual exam.
How to Get the Most Out of Chinese AP Practice Tests Resources
Use a variety of AP Chinese practice tests. As you’ve seen, every practice test has different questions, vocabulary and takes on the exam. Taking multiple tests could give you a broader perspective on what you could expect from the real thing.
Start taking practice tests well ahead of schedule. If you start taking practice tests the night before the exam, you might end up stressing over all the studying you still have to do.
But if you start taking practice tests, say, at least a few weeks before, you’ll have ample room to work on any issues or areas you’re not fully comfortable with. For instance, you may realize you need to build your Chinese vocabulary, improve your knowledge of tricky grammar rules or fine-tune your listening skills.
Take tests frequently. If you take tests often, they’ll start to seem like second nature. You can get a good handle on the format of the real thing, allowing you to focus on the material rather than the exam itself.
Supplement your studies with other materials. Yes, it’s crucial to take practice exams. But studying with other resources will expand your horizons and keep you from burning out at the same time. For example, you can try a language learning platform like FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
These AP Chinese practice tests might just be the ace up your sleeve you need to nail the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam.
And One More Thing...
If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.
FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.
FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.
FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.
The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.