Published February 16, 2024

Everything You Need to get a 5 on AP French Language and Culture


Natasha Potter

MSU Alumni, Creative Advertising Major, Marketing Associate at Knowt 😃

This guide has got you covered with some awesome strategies and AP French test tips to teach you how to ace the AP French exam and score that 5! I'll break down all the tricks and resources you need to excel on the test. So, get ready to conquer the AP French exam with the right approach and the best AP French exam tips.

Free AP French Language and Culture Resources

No worries if you're cramming last minute for the AP French exam – we've all been there! So, don't stress, you got this! If you're wondering how to pass AP French in limited time, we've got your back. Check out these super helpful student-made tips for the AP French exam and resources specially designed for showcasing the best way to study for AP French last-minute cramming. You'll rock that exam! 

What Do I Need to Memorize for the AP French Exam?

Alright, let's discuss the key things you'll be tested on in the AP French Language and Culture exam:

Families and Communities 

Exploring social life and culture, we'll cover Childhood and Adolescence, Family Structures, Friendship and Love, Age and Class, Citizenship, and Customs and Ceremonies

Personal and Public Identities

These topics delve into cultural and societal dynamics, shaping identity, values, diversity, communication, multiculturalism, and emotional ties to one's country 

Beauty and Aesthetics

This exploration covers Architecture, Contributions to World Artistic Heritage, Ideals of Beauty, Literature, Music, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. 

Science and Technology

We'll explore a variety of topics related to technology and its impact on our world. Let's delve into Current Research Topics, Discoveries and Inventions, Future Technologies, and Intellectual Property, touching on the Ethical Questions and Social Impact of Technology, as well as the influence of The New Media. 

Contemporary Life

In this exploration, we'll cover a diverse array of topics. Let's delve into Advertising and Marketing, Education, Holidays and Celebrations, Housing and Shelter, Leisure and Sports, Professions, Rites of Passage, and Travel

Global Challenges

We'll delve into Diversity Issues, Economic Issues, Environmental Issues, Health Issues, Human Rights, Nutrition and Food Safety, and Peace and War

What is on the AP French Exam?

There are 9 units covered on the AP French exam. Each of these units represents a period and weighted as follows, to help you know how to prepare for the AP French Language and Culture exam 


Exam Weighting


Comprehend Text


Understand various forms of text, including written, audio, audiovisual, and visual materials, such as text, pictures, and numerical data.

Make Connections


Create connections across different disciplines and cultures.

Interpret Text


Understand and interpret the content of written or audio text (verbal communication).

Make Meanings


Interpret meanings from words and expressions.

Speak to Others

The multiple-choice section does not directly assess this.

Engage in interpersonal communication through verbal interactions with others.

Write to Others

The multiple-choice section does not directly assess this.

Engage in interpersonal communication through written interactions with others.

Present Orally

The multiple-choice section does not directly assess this.

Convey information through oral presentations.

Present in Writing

The multiple-choice section does not directly assess this.

Convey information through written presentations.

AP French Language and Culture Exam Format

The AP French Language and Culture exam is a bit of a marathon, lasting three hours and three minutes, but don't worry, you got this! It's divided into two sections, with the first one taking one hour and 35 minutes. This section is all about multiple-choice questions, and there are 65 of them to tackle – that's 50% of your total score right there!

Now, let's break down the multiple-choice section. In the first part, you'll spend 40 minutes working on 30 questions that come from printed texts. And in the second part, you'll have 55 minutes to handle 35 questions based on audio or a mix of audio and printed stuff.

So, keep your cool and rock those multiple-choice questions in the AP French Language and Culture exam

What does the AP French MCQ look like?

Section 1(a): Multiple-Choice Text 

You'll have 40 minutes to tackle 30 questions, and it makes up 23% of your score. In this section, they'll throw all sorts of print materials at you, like news articles, literary texts, announcements, ads, letters, charts, maps, and tables. It's like a wild ride through all kinds of stuff!

Now, get ready to show off your skills! You'll need to nail down the main idea and details of the text, figure out word meanings in context, spot the author's point of view or target audience, and even flex your cultural knowledge and interdisciplinary know-how from the text. 

Section 1(b): Multiple-Choice Audio 

You've got 55 minutes to handle 35 questions, and it's worth 27% of your score. This part is all about audio materials – cool stuff like interviews, podcasts, PSAs, chit-chats, and snappy presentations. Get ready for some ear action!

Now, here's the deal – there are two subsections of questions in this part. In one set, they'll throw audio files at you along with printed materials as the stimulus. And in the other set, it's all about just the audio material doing the talking.

So, grab those headphones, listen up, and ace those questions! 

What does the AP French Language and Culture FRQ look like?

Section 2(a): Free Response Written 

You've got 1 hour and 10 minutes for this part, and there are 2 questions to tackle, making up 25% of your score.

Now, let's break it down. The first question is all about reading and replying to an email. You've got 15 minutes to answer this one, and it's worth 12.5% of your total score.

Next up, the second question asks you to write an argumentative essay based on three sources they give you. You've got a total of 55 minutes to rock this one – 15 minutes to review the sources and 40 minutes to unleash your writing skills. And guess what? It's also worth 12.5% of your exam score.

Section 2(b): Free Response Spoken

You've got 18 minutes to shine here, and there are 2 questions waiting for you, making up 25% of your score.

Now, here's the deal – in this part, you'll be listening to prompts and responding orally. First, you'll have five exchanges to handle, where you'll give snappy 20-second responses in a simulated conversation. Quick and to the point!

Next up, get ready to rock a 2-minute presentation. You'll be comparing a cultural feature of a French-speaking community to another community you know well. Show off your speaking skills and make it awesome!

So, take a deep breath, speak confidently, and conquer those free response spoken questions!

When do AP French scores come out?

The French Language and Culture exam scores are currently set to be released on Thursday, May 11, 2023. If you want to stay updated or check for any changes, you can refer to the official CollegeBoard Annual calendar. Keep an eye out, and good luck with your results!

Should I Self Study AP French?

AP French  is a difficult exam to take, and by utilizing these AP French exam tips, tricks, and resources, you should understand how to study for the AP French exam.  

Alright, let's break down your AP French Language and Culture exam prep into easy steps – it's gonna be a breeze!

  1. Assess Your Skills - Start by taking a practice test to see where you're at. Check out the sample questions in the course description or find free practice exams online. You can even grab a commercial study guide for extra practice.

  2. Study the Theory - Immerse yourself in French language and culture – read, watch, and listen to French content. Use online resources, study guides, and websites to get a good grasp of the exam content.

  3. Practice Multiple-Choice Questions - Once you've got the theory down, tackle multiple-choice questions. Find them in study guides or online searches. Practice, practice, practice!

  4. Practice Free Response Questions - For the free response section, work on your writing, listening, and oral skills. Brush up on vocabulary and grammar, and practice with past exam prompts.

  5. Take Another Practice Test - Check your progress with another practice test. You'll see how far you've come and which areas need more work.

  6. Exam Day Specifics - If you're in an AP course, your teacher will guide you through registration. If you're self-studying, check out how to self-register for AP exams.

Is the AP French Language and Culture Exam Hard?

Getting ready for the AP French Language and Culture exam can be quite a journey, and it's got a bit of a tough reputation. People say it's one of the trickier APs, even for native speakers. So, you're probably wondering, "Is the French Language AP hard?"

Well, you know how it goes – it's not a simple yes or no. The answer is: it depends! In an article, they mentioned that over 20,000 students take the AP French Language exam, and around 75% of them score a 3 or higher. About 38% get a critical 4 or 5, and only 12% hit that top-notch 5.

Explaining the 2023 AP French Language and Culture Scores

Alright, let's talk about the AP French Language and Culture exam in 2019 – the results were pretty good, actually!

More than 77% of test takers scored a 3 or higher, which is awesome! Among the standard group students (not counting native or heritage speakers), 73.9% rocked it with a score of 3 or higher. And you know what? Only 16.1% of all students got that top-notch 5, while less than 5% scored a 1 on the exam. So, high-fives all around for those great scores!

Now, here's the thing – the credit and advanced standing you get from AP scores can vary big time from college to college. While a 3 is generally considered passing, some colleges might require a 4 or 5 for credit. And some schools don't give credit but use AP exams for placing students in courses. It's a bit of a mixed bag!

So, before you make any plans, make sure to check each college's specific regulations on the College Board's website and remember your AP French exam tips. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect. 

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