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AP French Language and Culture with Online Test & Downloadable Audio

AP French Language and Culture with Online Test & Downloadable Audio

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AP French Language and Culture with Online Test & Downloadable Audio

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Lançado em:
Aug 11, 2020


Barron's AP French Language and Culture is aligned to the College Board's AP French course and features expert review and key practice to help students prepare for the exam.
The College Board has announced that there are May 2021 test dates available are May 3-7 and May 10-14, 2021. 

Developed by expert French teachers who have worked with the College Board for years, this edition features:
  • Two full-length practice exams in the book with all questions answered and explained
  • One full-length online practice exam with audio and answer explanations
  • Downloadable audio and audio scripts for all listening exercises, exemplary conversations, and oral presentations
  • Expanded open response and oral presentation section
  • Tips and strategies for mastering all skills and tasks required for success on the exam
  • Practice for multiple-choice sections, the persuasive essays, and the audio portions of both practice exams
Lançado em:
Aug 11, 2020

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AP French Language and Culture with Online Test & Downloadable Audio - Eliane Kurbegov






Eliane Kurbegov, Ed.S.

Edward Weiss, M.A.

AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

About the Authors

Eliane Kurbegov is from Strasbourg, France. She has been teaching French in high schools and universities in both Florida and Colorado throughout her career. As a high school teacher, she began consulting for the College Board: leading workshops, writing test items for the AP French exam, creating materials for AP workshop manuals, and participating in the exam and course redesign in 2011. She has scored AP exams as a reader, table leader, and question leader for over twenty years. In addition, Eliane has trained and mentored AP consultants and is currently monitoring the AP French Language and Culture Course Teacher Community. She is the author of numerous French manuals published by Barron’s and McGraw Hill, as well as the author of French for Dummies and co-author of the AP French textbook Thèmes published by Vista Higher Learning.

Ed Weiss has spent his career teaching French at both the high school and college levels in the Philadelphia area, as well as serving as World Language department chair at the secondary level. Ed has worked for the College Board for over twenty years and has served as an AP reader, table leader, and exam leader for the AP French Language and Culture exam. Ed is a national consultant for the College Board and has led Advanced Placement Summer Institutes for French teachers around the country. He has also developed workshop and online materials for the College Board. He is a three-time recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute grants and has been a presenter for ACTFL, AATF, and at the AP French reading.

© Copyright 2019, 2016, 2013 by Kaplan, Inc., d/b/a Barron’s Educational Series

All rights reserved.

No part of this product may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Published by Kaplan, Inc., d/b/a Barron’s Educational Series

750 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017


ISBN: 978-1-5062-7203-0

ISSN: 1938-7873

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Kaplan, Inc., d/b/a Barron’s Educational Series print books are available at special quantity discounts to use for sales promotions, employee premiums, or educational purposes. For more information or to purchase books, please call the Simon & Schuster special sales department at 866-506-1949.


Barron’s Essential 5


Overview of the AP French Course and Exam

Scoring the AP French Language and Culture Exam

What Is an AP Score and What Does It Mean?

How AP Exams Are Scored–Overview


1 About Interpretive Communication

Listening vs. Reading

Strategies for Answering Multiple-Choice Questions

How to Draw a Conclusion or Make an Inference

Using Context to Determine the Meaning

2 Multiple-Choice Reading Selections

Answer Explanations–Multiple-Choice Reading Selections

3 Combined Reading-Listening Selections

Answer Explanations–Combined Reading-Listening Selections

4 Multiple-Choice Audio Selections

Answer Explanations–Multiple-Choice Audio Selections


5 Writing E-mail Replies

Instructions, Strategies, and Tips

Useful Vocabulary for E-mails

Writing the E-mail Response

Instructions, E-mail Prompts, and Exemplary Replies

6 Writing the Argumentative Essay

Instructions, Strategies, and Tips

Useful Vocabulary for an Argumentative Essay

How to Write an Argumentative Essay

Instructions, Prompts, and Exemplary Essays

7 Conversation

About DAS and Digital Submission of Audio Files

Instructions, Strategies, and Tips

Useful Vocabulary for a Conversation

Conversation Prompts, Outlines, and Replies

8 Cultural Comparisons

Instructions, Strategies, and Tips

Useful Vocabulary for a Comparison

Instructions and Examples

Facts You Should Know


Practice Exam 1

Answers Explained

Practice Exam 2

Answers Explained


Appendix A–Audio Scripts for Chapters 3 and 4

Appendix B–Audio Scripts for Chapter 6

Appendix C–Audio and Exemplary Conversations for Chapter 7

Appendix D–Audio Scripts for Practice Exams 1 and 2

Appendix E–Scoring Guidelines

Appendix F–Overview of Transitional Words and Phrases


5 Barron’s Essential

As you work toward achieving that 5 on your AP French Language and Culture exam, here are five essentials that you MUST know above everything else:


This book is a supplemental resource for students who are preparing for the AP French Language and Culture exam. It is designed primarily to familiarize students with the format and the required tasks of the exam and to offer useful test-taking strategies.

The first objective is to familiarize students with the type of test questions they may encounter on the Advanced Placement French Language and Culture examination. Therefore, students must have access to more than one practice test and to many print and audio passages. Twenty-first century technology allows instructors and students to access many print, audio, and audiovisual resources online. Providing students with all the information they need to prepare for the current exam is a huge task. However, this book does just that. In addition, students should practice for the test in conditions that approximate those of the AP examination. Doing so will contribute enormously to a student’s level of comfort and confidence when taking the examination.

To meet this first objective, this book includes a general section with authentic print, print and audio, as well as audio passages accompanied by multiple-choice questions. This section will allow students to practice the first section of the examination. These authentic passages come from various French-speaking regions of the world. They have been categorized by theme to ensure that the six themes in the AP French course are represented. Each passage is also accompanied by an introduction that establishes a context for the particular passage. The multiple-choice questions reflect the variety of questions that students will encounter on the actual examination. Explanations of the correct answers are provided to allow students to practice taking this section of the exam, reflect upon their answers, self-correct, and learn from their mistakes. The book also includes a variety of tasks to practice each one of the free-response tasks on the AP French exam. These are accompanied by exemplary responses and essays to serve as models for each task.


Throughout this book you will come across a few icons that emphasize essential strategies for the AP French Language and Culture exam. Keep a lookout for the following:

Target: This icon indicates strategic ideas that help you complete the task.

Key: This icon indicates specific strategies on test-taking and language-specific suggestions.

The second objective is to offer suggestions and strategies that help students showcase their skills and knowledge. Multiple strategies are described and explained for each section and for each task on the exam. Once again, a variety of examples, ideas, and graphic organizers are provided to prepare students to perform at their best on the exam.

Students will learn and practice numerous skills:

Reading and listening to authentic material in French

Analyzing and synthesizing information from various sources

Answering multiple-choice questions

Writing e-mails

Planning and developing an argumentative essay

Participating in a dialogue

Making an oral presentation based on cultural comparison

Students should visit the College Board website regularly to stay current regarding any changes to or additional information about the AP French exam.

Overview of the AP French Course and Exam

This edition of Barron’s AP French Language and Culture will thoroughly prepare students for the redesigned AP French course and exam. The current exam is dynamic, has a real-world basis, and integrates various modes of communication. It combines all elements of communication and reflects the way in which people actually learn language. The course is based on six essential themes. These themes provide a context through which teachers can present a variety of language concepts.

These six themes can be taught in both individual lessons and in broader, more comprehensive units of study. This course framework enables students to learn the language in context. This standards-based approach puts the instructional focus on the ability to function in the target language, not merely the mastery of complex grammatical concepts. The holistic study of language and culture in the course and exam allows students to demonstrate their analytical and communicative skills as well as develop proficiency in French.

Students who take the AP French Language and Culture course will acquire language control and increase their vocabulary, as did students who took the previous course. However, in this course, students will also learn to comprehend French better and gain more cultural awareness. Integrating a wide variety of authentic materials is an essential part of this effective course design. The use of numerous types of resources helps engage the learners while providing them with the opportunity to increase their grammatical accuracy. Examples of these resource types include:




Magazine articles

Online articles




The addition of the term Culture to the title of this course implies a broad exposure to the cultural products, practices, and perspectives of francophone life as guided by the six themes. This does not imply the mastery of a list of cultural or historical facts. Rather, students gain a familiarity of French culture by exploring the six themes and suggested recommended contexts, or subthemes. An effective curriculum design leads to a natural interconnection of the themes. Students’ interest should be stimulated by posing essential questions. For example, a unit on modern living conditions may touch upon such themes as Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, and Personal and Public Identities.

The AP French exam concentrates on the three fundamental modes of communication—interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. The exam is divided into a multiple-choice and a free-response section. However, language skills will often be combined as opposed to being treated separately. Students may be asked to read several paragraphs about a topic and then listen to a related podcast followed by a series of multiple-choice questions. In the free-response section, students are asked to read an article and a graph and to listen to an audio on a certain topic. They must then develop an argumentative essay in which they use examples from print and audio sources to support their position. Students are provided context for completing exam tasks. Task and source materials come with advance organizers to give test takers important information about exam resources. Cultural knowledge is assessed throughout the exam, not in a separate culture section.

Format of the Exam

This book is written by experienced French teachers. They have spent their careers not only in the classroom but also working with the College Board as readers, table and exam leaders, consultants, and authors. The authors hope to assist students of French to develop a true familiarity and mastery over the elements of the current exam.


The MP3 files and audio scripts for all listening segments can be found online. You can access the audio materials in addition to the full-length online practice test at barronsbooks.com/ap/ap-french-lang-culture/ or by scanning the QR Code below.*

*Be sure to have your copy of AP French Language and Culture, 3rd edition on hand to complete the registration process.

Scoring the AP French Language and Culture Exam


Your AP score shows how well you did on the AP exam. It is also a measure of your achievement in your college-level AP course. This score will be used by colleges and universities to determine if they will grant you credit for what you have already learned or allow you to skip the equivalent course once you get to college. (This is known as advanced placement.)

Your final score is a weighted combination of your scores on the multiple-choice section and on the free-response section. The final score is reported on a 5-point scale as follows:

5 = extremely well qualified

4 = well qualified

3 = qualified

2 = possibly qualified

1 = no recommendation

Qualified means that you have proven yourself capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college. Many colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4, or 5; however, each college decides which scores it will accept. To see college policies for AP scores, visit the College Board website: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/creditandplacement/search-credit-policies

Scoring Guidelines


Teachers and students have access to the 2011 AP French Language and Culture practice exam. Although this exam was developed prior to the administration of the first redesigned exam, it gives students an accurate example of what to expect on the exam. A secure 2017 AP French Language and Culture exam is also available, but it is accessible only to teachers who have an AP Course Audit account; this exam may not be shared or disseminated online.


Scoring guidelines are published on the College Board website each year for the various free-response components of the exam after the readings of the exam have been completed. To access the 2017 scoring guidelines, go to Appendix E of this book, or use the following link: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/ap/pdf/ap17-sg-french-language.pdf. To access more current guidelines, check the AP Central website.


The College Board provides detailed comments and suggestions each year with regard to each one of the free-response tasks on its website; the report is extremely useful in understanding typical student errors and it includes valuable suggestions for improving student preparation: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/ap/pdf/ap17-chief-reader-report-french-language.pdf

We suggest that teachers who use this guide in the classroom make use of the above-referenced guidelines. Similarly, students should familiarize themselves with the guidelines in order to understand what is required of them to earn a good score.

The Scoring Process

Although this guide provides a scoring formula for the practice tests, the authors would like to explain how the true process of scoring works. It involves ETS statisticians, a College Board leadership team, AP readers, and particular student groups representing exam takers during a precise year and during previous years. The scoring process is both precise and labor intensive, involving numerous psychometric analyses of the results of a specific AP exam.

In addition, to ensure alignment with college-level standards, a part of the scoring process involves comparing the performance of AP students with the performance of students enrolled in comparable courses in colleges throughout the United States. In general, the AP composite score points are set so that the lowest raw score needed to earn an AP score of 5 is equivalent to the average score among college students earning grades of A in the college course. Similarly, AP exam scores of 4 are equivalent to college grades of A−, B+, and B. AP exam scores of 3 are equivalent to college grades of B−, C+, and C.

You see now why no individual teacher, student, or AP specialist can reproduce the above-described steps and accurately score an entire exam.

We remind students and teachers that the AP French Language and Culture exam is a very rigorous and well-balanced assessment of skills and that obtaining the highest score of 5 does not require a perfect or nearly perfect performance. To do well on the exam, students should aim to attain the highest score descriptors in the guidelines for the free-response tasks. Students should also become adept at answering multiple-choice questions based on a variety of print and audio texts.


Section I of the exam yields 50% of the entire score on the exam. It consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, which are scored by machine.

Section II of the exam yields 50% of the entire score. It consists of 4 free-response questions. These are scored by thousands of college faculty and expert AP teachers at the annual AP reading. AP exam readers are thoroughly trained. Their work is monitored throughout the reading for fairness and consistency. In each subject, a college faculty member with significant experience in the exam development as well as the exam scoring process fills the role of chief reader. With the help of AP readers in leadership positions, the chief reader maintains the accuracy of the scoring standards.

Scores on the free-response questions are combined with the results of the computer-scored multiple-choice questions. This raw score is converted into a composite AP score of 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1.

How Various Parts of the AP Exam Are Scored—Rationale and Design


Section I of the exam counts toward 50% of the total exam score and is divided into two parts.

Part A of the multiple-choice section assesses interpretive communication skills of print sources only. Part A contains 30 questions.

Part B of the multiple-choice section assesses interpretive communication skills of print and audio sources. It therefore includes two types of tasks. Part B contains 35 questions.

Students must first complete tasks that include both a print and an audio stimulus. Some questions assess only the print source; others address only the audio source. However, some questions address both sources since the print and audio sources are related to a common theme.

For the remainder of Part B, students must answer questions based on only the audio stimulus.

Note that some of the questions in the combined print and audio tasks are addressed to each stimulus as well as both stimuli. Therefore the number of questions on Section I of the exam assessing audio is comparable to the number of questions on Section I of the exam assessing print.


Section II of the exam counts toward 50% of the total exam score. This section is divided into four tasks. All four tasks in this free-response section are weighed equally.

Interpersonal communication–written, e-mail reply: The student reads an e-mail and writes a response. This is an exercise in interpretational written communication.

Presentational communication–written, argumentative essay: The student reads some text and either a chart or graph. The student also listens to some audio. This is an exercise in interpretational written and audio communication.

Interpersonal communication–oral, conversation: The student listens to a recording of an interlocutor and provides an appropriate reply. This is an exercise in interpretational audio communication.

Presentational communication–oral, cultural comparison: This task is based on a prompt. The student makes an oral presentation.

Score Distribution 2012–2017

The chart on the following page gives an overview of score distributions from 2012 through 2017. Note that only the scores of the Standard Group students are used to determine the score distributions. This group consisted of 75—80% of all test takers. These students answered No to the following questions on their answer sheet:

Do you hear or speak the target language regularly at home?

Have you lived for more than a month in a country where the target language is spoken?

Scores of Standard Group Students


Multiple-Choice Section

1 About Interpretive Communication

This chapter gives tips and advice for taking the multiple-choice portion of the exam. It focuses on reading strategies. However, you can apply these strategies to the listening portion after making some minor adjustments.


The difference between reading print text and listening to oral text is that you can highlight and go back to the print text to verify information. In listening tasks, you will have to take notes because after the second listening, you will have to rely on your notes and memory. Since you will always hear the audio source twice, first listen to the recording without taking notes to gain a general understanding of the topic and information. Then listen to the second playing of the recording and take notes relevant to the questions that you have previously skimmed.

The combined print and audio portion will require you to use all the strategies outlined in the upcoming section. You will have to synthesize what you read and hear as well as make connections between the print and audio sources. In that portion of the exam, you will want to organize what you read and hear in terms of similarities and differences. You may also have to organize your notes based on varying points of view.

Section A (print only), section B (combined print-audio), and section C (audio only) will consist of selections of varying styles, lengths, and levels of difficulty. The time given to read instructions and skim through questions may therefore vary accordingly. This book groups all combined print-audio selections into section B and all audio-only selections into section C for clarity. However, the combined print-audio and audio-only sets will be grouped into a single section on the actual AP exam.


Good readers and listeners use a variety of strategies when learning any language. Knowing these strategies will make you a more consciously competent reader or listener.

Since reading and listening passages are usually linked to more than one theme, this book places each of the following selections and practice questions under a primary and secondary theme for broader focus and guidance during this phase. Be aware that this practice section of the guide exposes you to all six themes comprised in the AP French Language and Culture course and exam.

Look at the themes. Use them as background information before reading the respective introduction, selection, and questions. Remember, however, that on the AP exam, each selection will be placed under one single theme.

Strategy 1: Use the Introduction

Read the information given in the introduction. This will remind you of knowledge you may already have and may prove to be an asset to you. You will be able to make connections to what you already know from personal experience or from your academic learning.

In some cases such as interviews, the introduction gives you the name of the person who is interviewed. This fact alone is helpful as you will not confuse the name with some new French word that you might waste time trying to figure out or remember.

In other instances, understanding the focus of the passage will put you at ease and spare you from being overwhelmed. For example, in selection 1 of chapter 2 (page 7), the introduction gives you information about where this print article appeared (la Société Spatiale Européenne Astrium). Once you know that the communication is posted on the site of a European space agency, you can think of NASA and its missions in space. The selection also mentions the use of satellites to observe Earth. Make connections to what you have learned in your science classes. Now that you have certain expectations of the passage, you are ready to read.

Strategy 2: Scan and Skim Through the Questions and Answers

Before reading the passage, scan the questions. Determine which ones you can easily answer because they call for specific factual answers. Separate these questions from the ones that require you to analyze the tone of the message and make conclusions.

Warning: Do not answer any questions based on your prior knowledge of the topic. Do not assume that you are familiar enough with the topic to answer the questions without actually finding the answer in the text. Your prior knowledge should help you predict answers. However, you must confirm and support your answers with evidence provided in the text.

Strategy 3: Apply Critical Skills

Find the main ideas. Underline or highlight them. Start answering factual or comprehension questions as you come across evidence in the text.

Find details that are relevant to some of the questions you previously scanned. Underline or highlight these details.

Focus on words or phrases that help identify the following:

Point of view (il me semble would point to a personal opinion).

Purpose of the text (instructions in the imperative form might be used to urge you to do something).

Intended audience (a letter opening with the words chers amis would identify the intended audience).

As you encounter unfamiliar words or phrases, try to get the main idea of the sentence by using context clues.

Look at the nature and organization of the text:

Is it an interview (question/answer)?

Is it divided into paragraphs? Why?

Are subheadings provided that clearly give you the main ideas of the text?

Strategy 4: Familiarize Yourself with the Question Types

Be aware that most passages will be followed by a mix of the following types of questions:

Comprehension questions (what, where, when, why).

Reading strategy questions (using context to figure out the meaning of a word or expression; distinguishing relevant details from irrelevant details).

Interpretive questions (intended audience, purpose, genre, interpretation of stylistic devices, and so on).

The most challenging questions will require you to infer and draw conclusions. Use logic, critical thinking, and reasoning skills when answering these types of questions.


Sometimes drawing the right conclusion can be pretty obvious. If telegrams are mentioned in the passage, you can easily conclude that the passage mentions old technology from the twentieth century.

At other times, you have to use the process of elimination to arrive at the correct conclusion. For example, to answer question 5 on page 9, you are looking for how satellite technology is used according to the information presented in this passage. (That answer is not necessarily the first one that comes to mind.) Choosing answer (A) (to reduce the greenhouse effect) sounds sensible. Answer (C) (to prevent the polar caps from melting) sounds equally sensible. Answer (B) (to predict natural events) sounds sensible. Answer (D) (to change Earth’s topography) does not sound sensible. You can quickly eliminate choice (D) because in the passage, satellites help study Earth’s topography, not change it. Now go back into the passage and see if the text provides any evidence to support (A), (B), or (C). Answer (A) must be eliminated. Although l’effet de serre (greenhouse effect) is mentioned, the text does not state that satellites prevent it. Answer (C) must also be eliminated. Although polar caps are mentioned, the text states that satellites are a tool of surveillance, not prevention. The sentence « . . . fournissent une capacité de prévision de plus en plus avancée et nous alertent

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