5 Tips to Succeed at the Chinese AP® Exam

The standardized AP® exams are used to test a student’s knowledge of college-level curricula. When reviewing applications, admission boards at competitive universities tend to favor high AP® scores on student transcripts. The score validates a student’s likelihood to succeed in college-level academic courses and can influence whether they are admitted.

The AP® Chinese Language and Culture exam has been growing in popularity. It is now the third-most popular AP language exam after AP® Spanish Language and Culture and AP® French Language and Culture. Since language fluency has been linked to having more career opportunities, an increasing number of students who don’t speak or hear Chinese at home have been taking the exam. The number nearly doubled between 2012 and 2018. This year, the exam will take place on May 6, 2019.

Below are five tips to ensure that you are prepared to successfully pass the AP® Chinese Language and Culture exam.


Tip 1: Take the high school AP® Chinese course

Offered in many North American high schools, the course was designed to prepare you to succeed on the test. But the course is not always available. If this is the case, you have the option to enroll in Ponddy’s AP® Chinese Language and Culture course online, while still obtaining credit through your high school. The course is taught live by an AP-trained  teacher in a class of three students or less. It offers access to advanced AI learning tools and, to make your experience even more personalized and efficient, gives you the option to enroll in AP one-on-one tutoring. For the final stretch, Ponddy offers a 4-week exam prep program called “30 days to AP.” You can sign up for it until April 6 to make sure you’re ready for the exam on May 6.

Tip 2: Practice the test

Besides measuring your Chinese language proficiency, the AP exam assesses how well you understand questions. It’s best to approach this exam by practicing as you would for any other standardized tests, such as the SAT®. As part of the AP exam prep program, Ponddy Tutors will provide you with sample exams to practice under conditions that simulate the pacing of the actual exam, while offering you helpful test taking strategies.

Tip 3: Work on your Interpersonal Communication

Engaging in conversations to express ideas is a sure way to make quick progress. Learning a new language requires commitment and confidence, and not worrying about making mistakes. All of our Ponddy Tutors are native Chinese speakers. Connecting with them online gives you the opportunity to practice on a regular basis and develop new ways to express yourself.

Tip 4: Work on your Interpretive Communication

By exposing yourself to a variety of online content, such as articles, podcasts and videos that describe the culture, common practices and perspectives of Chinese people, you are growing your knowledge base. Ponddy Reader can help with that. It’s a web-based application that uses artificial intelligence to personalize your learning experience. It automatically links any piece of content to an online dictionary, pinyin and sample sentences to give you access to co-locations of words, characters and radicals. You can find material that genuinely interests you, upload it to Ponddy Reader and it will help you understand it better. Don’t have anything on hand? No problem. The Reader comes with a library of 500+ thematic interactive learning modules, called Pondlets, for you to explore. Many of the Pondlets also come with audio narration allowing you to become familiar with hearing native speech.

Tip 5: Work on your Presentational Communication

Presenting your ideas to an audience gives you tremendous advantage in mastering the language. When you tell a story, give a speech, or write a movie review, you practice organizing your thoughts around a core idea while supplementing it with relevant details. Depending on the goals of your presentation, you’ll need to narrate, explain, compare, or argue your points. These are advanced skills to have. If you need feedback, simply submit a speech or an essay to the Ponddy Reader. You can upload your own audio narration on Reader and share it with your teacher and classmates. As part of the Ponddy Tutors program, you will receive feedback on whether your content and presentation match the level required on the exam.


Try Ponddy Today!

Learning a language can and should be a fun and enjoyable experience. At Ponddy, we strive to create a positive learning environment for both students and teachers, enabling faster learning and lasting retention. We offer programs that follow the progression of our students, from beginner to advanced levels, using a combination of AI tools and experienced online teachers.

Not feeling 100% ready to take the exam? Try our 30 days to AP 4-week intensive program offering you 8 hours of one-on-one online tutoring with a native Chinese teacher and 6 months access to the Ponddy Reader, all for just $300. We wish everyone the best of luck on the exam!

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