AP Chinese - Language and Culture

Look here for the basic facts and well as links and resources including text books for AP Chinese - all in one place - developed by trusted professionals.

What is AP Chinese?  The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a curriculum in the United States sponsored by the College Board which offers standardized courses to high school students that are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college. Participating colleges grant credit to students who obtained high enough scores on the exams to qualify. The AP is generally regarded as  "usually much more rigorous than the general course offerings.

The AP in Chinese Language and Culture  Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture (commonly known as AP Chinese Language and Culture or AP Chinese) is a course offered by the College Board as a part of the Advanced Placement Program. Designed to be comparable to a fourth semester or equivalent college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese, it is a high school course which deepens the students’ immersion into the language and culture of Chinese.

The AP course prepares students to demonstrate their level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities) . It provides students with opportunities to develop a full range of language and intercultural understanding skills. Since the course interweaves language and culture learning, this exploration occurs mostly in Chinese. Many people who take these tests are native speakers, which partly explains why an overwhelming majority of those who take the exam earn the maximum score. It is also a good way for international students to earn AP credits, not taking the course again in college, and focus more on English language.

Useful AP Chinese links:

College Board AP Chinese homepage:  See HERE

AP Chinese Course Description:  See HERE and attached at the bottom of this article.

AP Chinese Exam overview:  See HERE and attached at the bottom of this article.

Sample questions and scoring guidelines:  See HERE

AP Chinese Score distribution:  See HERE

Frequently asked questions about AP Chinese (taken from College board website)

What level of Chinese language ability and what aspects of Chinese culture will be taught in the course and assessed in the exam?

The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is roughly equivalent to a 4th semester college course. The course and exam incorporate Chinese cultural information within the teaching of reading, writing, speaking, and listening to the language.

On which Chinese dialect is the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam based?

The AP Chinese Language and Culture course and examination is based on Mandarin/Putonghua Chinese.

What type of characters are used on the exam?

The exam provides its questions using both traditional and simplified characters, enabling students with knowledge of either type of characters to take the exam. Similarly, student responses using either set of characters are accepted.

How can I find out if AP Chinese Language and Culture is available in my high school?

Please check with your Chinese teacher, your school's AP Coordinator, or principal/head of school to find out whether your school offers the AP Chinese Language and Culture course. If your teachers and school administrators are unaware of this course, encourage them to visit AP Central for more information.

How is the AP Chinese exam scored?

The AP Chinese Reader's scores on the essays and problem-solving questions are combined with the computer-scored multiple-choice questions, and the total raw scores are converted to a composite score based on AP's 5-point scare: 5 (Extremely well qualified), 4 (Well qualified), 3 (Qualified), 2 (Possibly qualified), and 1 (No recommendation).

Resources for AP Chinese

Cheng & Tsui's Strive for a 5: AP Chinese Practice Tests.  See HERE

Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture: See HERE

AP Chinese Language and Culture Simulated Tests: See HERE

Integrated Chinese.  See HERE

There are also options for working towards AP Chinese online.

More resources to be added, but in the meantime if you can recommend an AP Chinese resource of your own, please comment on this article including the title of the resource.