Interested in scoring a five on your AP German exam?
Sounds like a lofty goal, but with a decent amount of work and the practice tools that reflect the type of testing you’re bound to go through, many people come out happy with a three, a four or even a five.
If you’re not familiar with the AP (advanced placement) system, it’s broken up into two areas: classes and exams.
AP classes are designed to simulate what an entry level college course would cover. The only difference is that you’re taking the class in high school. We’re going to discuss AP German in this post, but various other AP subjects may be offered at your school.
Okay, you understand an AP German class, but what about the AP German exam? Is it some sort of big test you take at the end to determine your final class score?
The AP German exam is administered by the same organization that creates the SAT, and you don’t technically have to be in an AP class to take it. The AP exam evaluates your overall level of German knowledge, and potentially gets you college credit. The best part? You take the exam from the comfort of your own high school. As with all AP tests, the German AP exam is scored on a scale from one to five.
Overall, the AP German exam is used to show colleges that you’re ready to take on similar work when moving on from high school. It factors into the credits you receive in advance, along with your German level placement upon being accepted into college.
So, you could say that the AP German exam is pretty amazing, because you don’t get penalized for doing poorly, but you do have the chance of advancing your college career (and thus saving tons of money on college credits!) before stepping foot on campus.
However, a quality score doesn’t come along by accident. Therefore, keep reading to learn more about the best AP German exam practice tools.
Tips for Preparing for the AP German Exam
- Remember that the German AP exam has two sections. One section is free response and the other, multiple choice. This means you should speak German as much as possible prior to the test to ensure you’re feeling good about both.
- Actively participate in class. Although it’s a good idea to always remain active in your classes, before the big AP test is the time to buckle down. Ask your teacher for advice and find some study buddies prior to the test. If no one in your class works out, consider landing a German language exchange partner. Studying with your partner is all about touching on areas you’re having trouble with. Circle areas on text exams that have you confused. Have the study buddy help you with their strengths and vice versa. The primary goal is to constantly speak in German and communicate via email with German words (to strengthen writing skills).
- Start reading German text from various different sources. Start with books and magazine articles. Highlight areas you have trouble with and reference them when speaking with your teacher and/or study buddy. Read for 20 minutes every day, using these important tips.
- Spend a few minutes every day to practice your German writing. Implement some of the best daily German practices, and spend about 5-10 minutes every day simply writing in a journal in German. Ramble about your day and what you expect in the following days. When you want to use a word you don’t know in German, simply write the word in English within parenthesis so that you can continue writing smoothly in German. Then, when your time is up, go back and look up any English words in parenthesis. Try to use those German words in your next entry.
- Compile a list of digital and offline practice exams. We’ll be covering these below, but your teachers will probably also have practice exams or review materials on hand if they know you’re taking the test.
- Ask teachers and tutors for help if you can’t figure something out on a practice exam. There’s nothing worse than skipping a practice exam question and not getting help with it later. Grab your teacher after class or go to their office hours to resolve any questions.
10 Must-have Practice Tools to Score a Five on the AP Exam
—Online AP German Exam Practice—
The AP Students website is one of the more reputable options for finding practice exams, because it has versions of the test from the past four years. You receive scoring guidelines to understand how the graders are looking at your responses, along with free response questions and audio prompts.
The free response questions are displayed on PDFs, making it easy for you to print them out. Keep in mind that you must sign up for a College Board account to gain access.
The AP Central resource is fairly similar to that of AP Students above, since it also offers links to the past four years of exams. The main difference is that you don’t need an account to download the files, and the instructions and scoring guidelines are outlined a little better.
Sample responses to each of the questions are given for you to cross reference what you might have said after the test. All of the files are in PDF format or online MP3s, depending on the part of the exam.
Flashcards are handy for quickly going through the AP German exam basics when sitting on the bus, in the car, in study hall, etc. This app offers a digital version of those flashcards so you always have them on your phone.
The app features a 10-question AP quiz for testing your skills, along with fundamental AP flashcards, with sample problems, formulas and definitions. A free version of the app is available, but the majority of the content is packed into the $5.99 version.
The Quizlet website is a free resource for reviewing certain German terms and vocabulary. Each section is made by users, and clicking on one of the roundups provides German and English versions with audio clips in German.
Tests and flashcards are included, and you can even make your own little vocabulary test that helps out with your weaknesses.
Schmoop has monthly, annual and semi-annual plans that start at around $25 per month, but a free trial is offered. The German AP test prep module has three full-length practice exams, drill questions, answers and explanations, and a large glossary of around 500 German words.
Test taking tips and strategies are included, along with a grammar review for subjunctive, adjectives and articles.
—Physical Books for AP German Exam Practice—
Online tools are nice, but sometimes teachers don’t like it when you’re looking at a phone, tablet or computer while in study hall. Therefore, this paperback AP German training book has examples from each of the sections on the real AP German exam.
The organized sections make it easy to comprehend. For example, some of the chapters include practice exams, presentational speaking, interpretive communication and interpersonal writing. Finally, each section is complemented with a solid list of vocab words that were used.
The “Topics on German Culture” book is more for brushing up on your knowledge of German culture. This comes in handy considering the AP exam may actually reference certain moments in history, religions, famous Germans and more.
All chapters have suggestions for additional research and projects, and you can find sections for unique studies into social networks, the environment and the German work environment.
This intermediate cultural reader touches on all three of the primary German-speaking countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We like it because it includes writing exercises, group work and Internet research projects.
Consider using this book with classmates, and suggest it to your teachers for practice in the classroom.
This intermediate German exam practice book looks at grammatical structures and vocabulary, encouraging you to communicate as much as possible in German. This is done with the help of audio material, video and work problems.
The reading sections prepare you for diving into more complex, authentic German texts, which is a must for the AP German exam.
This resource has one primary study area. It’s meant to act as a grammar refresher before the big test. Exercises are organized for certain levels of learners, and the book uses more modern written dialogues like emails, texts and drawings to make it more enticing.
These AP German exam practice tools are designed to complement your work with teachers, study buddies, pen pals and tutors.
Don’t lock yourself in a room after going through these resources. Rather, get out into the world to ask questions, verbalize your German knowledge and get feedback for the ultimate AP German exam preparation. Good luck!
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