Are you nervous about your upcoming AP French exam? Below, French teacher Jinky B. shares seven fool-proof strategies that will help you ace your exam…
Studying for your AP French exam can be intimidating–not to mention overwhelming. Luckily, there are proven and applicable methods you can use to help set yourself up for success.
Below are some of my favorite study methods that I suggest my students do before taking their AP French exam. You can either do these exercises by yourself or with your French tutor.
Note, that these study strategies can also be used when preparing for the International Baccalaureate French exam.
7 Study Tips to Help You Nail Your AP French Exam
1. Create a study plan
While it might seem a little soon, start studying two to three months before the AP French exam. The more time that you leave for review, the less time you should have to review each day.
Consistent repetition is ideal for learning a language. Set aside 30 minutes a day to review a specific grammar subject; for example, agreement, prepositions, and articles.
2. Review important French conjunctions
While it’s important to know the basic conjunctions, such as mais (but) and lorsque (when), it’s a good idea to start reviewing those special constructions that will you set you above your peers.
Coordinating conjunctions for emphasis: ne…ni…ni (neither…nor) and ou…ou (either…or).
Also, pay attention to those special conjunctions that are used with the subjunctive tense, such as quoique (even though).
3. Practice conjugating regular verbs and commonly occurring irregular verbs
Make sure that you’re familiar with the conjugations of the three different verb groups: -er, -ir, and -re. Also, be sure to you know the conjugations of être and avoir.
These are two verbs that you will encounter when conjugating not only the simple tenses of present, imperfect, and future, but also as a helping verb when writing in the passé composé and plus-que-parfait.
Keep in mind that when using the passé composé with étre, there needs to be subject agreement.
For example, Elles sont allées au cinéma. (They went to the movies). This is a group of women, so you must add an e and an s for agreement.
4. Listen to French podcasts and the radio
One of the best ways to prepare for your AP French exam or to simply maintain your French comprehension is by listening to podcasts.
Set aside five to ten minutes, ideally in the morning so that you’re able to start thinking in French without all the distractions of the day.
More authentic listening is ideal, so just tune into French radio. Most can be streamed online or via your phone.
5. Watch French movies without subtitles
There are a ton of American movies that you can stream in the French language. When watching, try not display the subtitles because they do not always coincide with what is being said on the screen. Rather, sit back and watch the movie!
If you need some help finding what to watch, browse through these two posts for some great options:
- Find the Best French Movies on Netflix Now
- 12 Classic French Movies (and Movie Series) All Students Need to See
6. Talk to your friends
Use your readily available sources. You’re most likely going to be in a classroom with other anxious students preparing for the AP French exam.
Gather a group of students together and set aside 30 minutes to discuss a topic. It could be something that is pre-determined, such as a movie that everyone watched. Or it could be something more relaxed, such as speaking in French over lunch.
7. Remember to relax
This is the most important part of test preparation. Relax. You’ve prepared for months. Do something that you enjoy. Sleep well. Eat a healthy breakfast. Put yourself in a positive mind-set. Cramming last minute benefits no one. So, just know that you’re prepared and you will succeed!
Now that you have some proven methods for success, go tackle your AP French exam with confidence.