The AP French Language and Culture Exam assesses students' proficiencies in the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication. The exam is three hours long and includes both a 95-minute multiple-choice section and an 85-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of the student's exam grade, and the free-response section accounts for the other half. The AP French Language and Culture Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2011 (.pdf/2.13MB) provides complete details about the exam.
Section I, the multiple-choice section, primarily assesses Interpretive Communication by asking students to identify main points, significant details, purpose, and intended audience of a variety of texts and to make inferences and predictions based on them. Some questions require students to show understanding of cultural or interdisciplinary information contained in the text. Each selection is accompanied by a preview that provides contextual information.
- Section I, Part A, consists of a variety of authentic print materials (e.g., journalistic and literary texts, announcements, advertisements, letters, maps, and tables).
- Section I, Part B, consists of a variety of authentic audio materials, including interviews, podcasts, public service announcements, conversations, and brief presentations. This section is divided into two subsections. The first subsection includes audio texts that are paired with print materials; the second consists solely of audio texts. Students will have time to read the preview and skim the questions before listening to the audio. All audio texts will be played twice.
Section II, the free-response section, assesses Interpersonal and Presentational Communication by requiring students to produce written and spoken responses.
AP French Language and Culture Exam Format
- In the writing portion, students demonstrate their ability to write in the Interpersonal mode by reading and replying to an e-mail message. Then using the Presentational mode, they write a persuasive essay based on three sources that present different viewpoints on a topic. Students read an article, study a table or graphic, and listen twice to a related audio. They then have 40 minutes to write an essay in response to a prompt using the information from all three sources to present and defend their own viewpoint. Students have access to the print sources and any notes they may take on the audio during the entire 40-minute writing period.
- The speaking portion assesses speaking in the Interpersonal mode by asking students to respond to questions as part of a simulated conversation. Students are provided a preview of the conversation, including an outline of each exchange. This portion also assesses speaking in the Presentational mode by requiring students to make a two-minute presentation in response to a prompt on a cultural topic. In their presentation, students compare cultural features of their own community to those found in an area of the French-speaking world with which they are familiar. Students are encouraged to cite examples from materials they've read, viewed, and listened to, as well as from personal experiences and observations.
||Number of Questions
||Percent of Final Score
|Section I: Multiple Choice
||Approx. 95 minutes
||Approx. 40 minutes
Print and Audio Texts (combined)
|Approx. 55 minutes
|Section II: Free Response
||Approx. 85 minutes
|Interpersonal Writing: E-mail Reply
|Presentational Writing: Persuasive Essay
||Approx. 55 minutes
|Interpersonal Speaking: Conversation
||20 seconds for each response
|Presentational Speaking: Cultural comparison
||2 minutes to respond
Sample Exam Questions
For sample exam questions, refer to the AP French Language and Culture Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2011 (.pdf/250MB) .
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2014: Free-Response Questions
2013: Free-Response Questions
2012: Free-Response Questions
Important Note: PDF Files
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