|AP Latin Frequently Asked Questions
||How can I learn about the revised AP Latin course and exam?
For a detailed description of the revised course and exam, download a copy of the new AP Latin Course and Exam Description, which includes sample exam questions, along with scoring guidelines for the new free-response questions. You will be notified when bound copies are available for purchase from the College Board Store.
When will the revised AP Latin course and exam take effect?
The revised course takes effect in the 2012-13 academic year; the first administration of the revised AP Latin Exam is in May 2013.
How does the revised course differ from AP Latin: Vergil?
The revised course…
Are students allowed to use a dictionary on the AP Latin Exam?
- includes both poetry (Vergil’s Aeneid) and prose (Caesar’s Gallic War) in the required reading list.
- provides a list of specific terms so students have a shared vocabulary to describe the grammar, syntax, and literary style of the required Latin texts.
- emphasizes students’ ability to read Latin at sight; lists of recommended verse and prose authors are provided for this purpose.
- describes what students are expected to know in terms of contextual knowledge and the ability to relate the required Latin texts to Roman historical, political, cultural, and literary contexts.
Students are prohibited from using dictionaries or other reference works during the exam. However, glossaries are provided for use with sight-reading passages that include proper names or unusual terminology.
What prerequisites are required for taking the AP Latin course and exam?
In content and difficulty, the AP Latin course is equivalent to an advanced college Latin course. The course the course is consistent with the goal areas of the Standards for Classical Language Learning. It focuses on developing skills for reading, translating, and analyzing Latin texts—and requires students to demonstrate contextual knowledge, make connections to other disciplines, and compare Latin and English usages. The AP Exam presupposes four to five years of Latin language instruction.
Do I have to submit new materials for the AP Course Audit?
Yes. AP Latin teachers must submit a syllabus that meets the revised curricular requirements. Participation in course authorization ensures that teachers have incorporated the revisions into their curricula. Teachers began submitting materials for course authorization in March 2012.
What will my revised syllabus need to show?
Resources to support syllabus development were made available at AP Course Audit in March 2012. These include a new syllabus development guide and four sample syllabi, which meet all the curricular requirements of the revised course.
In general, teachers should include evidence that students will complete the required readings during the school year—and that they will have opportunities to engage in the following activities:
Can AP Latin be taught over more than two semesters?
- demonstrate comprehension of poetry and prose
- translate Latin literally and at sight
- enhance comprehension by reading aloud
- scan dactylic hexameter in poetry
- apply specific terminology to describe Latin texts
- relate Latin texts to Roman historical, cultural, and literary contexts
- analyze Latin texts via essays written in English.
Teachers may submit a course syllabus that covers AP Latin over a period greater than two semesters. The syllabus must describe the curriculum across semesters and meet curricular requirements in full.
Are students who have taken the AP Latin: Vergil course and exam free to take the revised course and exam?
Yes. The courses can appear on transcripts as AP Latin: Vergil and AP Latin, respectively, provided that each course has gone through the AP Course Audit process.
Has the emphasis on sight reading changed in the revised AP Latin course and exam?
Greater emphasis is placed on sight reading in the revised course and exam. Frequent practice in reading Latin at sight, under a teacher’s guidance, brings many benefits to students. It builds their working vocabulary; cultivates their ability to perceive word groups, phrases, and clauses; and helps them develop the ability to deduce meaning and make revisions in light of further information. Skill in sight reading reduces reliance on dictionaries, as students learn to infer the meaning of one word in a sentence from others they know. It also helps students go beyond knowing the meanings of words in isolation by focusing their attention on the relationship between endings and functions of words. Sight reading is required as part of the course content and it makes up approximately 30 percent of the total exam score, a weight similar to the AP Latin: Vergil Exam.
How have the essays in the free-response section changed in the revised AP Latin Exam?
The analytical essay tests the ability to construct a well-developed essay, in which students must analyze the texts and refer specifically to the Latin to support their arguments. The short essays on the Latin syllabus reading and the English syllabus reading have been replaced by “spots” or short-answer questions—on Vergil and Caesar—which allow students to demonstrate their ability to provide literal translations, to scan dactylic hexameter (for poetry), to identify grammatical constructions, and to provide contextualization and show comprehension of connections to the English readings.
How will the exam test the English readings of both Vergil and Caesar?
English readings will account for three to five percent of the exam and will be limited to syllabus-based multiple-choice and “spot” (or short-answer) questions.
Who develops the Advanced Placement courses and exams?
AP courses and exams are designed by committees of college faculty and expert AP teachers, who ensure that each AP course reflects college-level expectations.
These AP Development Committees define the scope and goals of the AP course, articulating what students should know and be able to do upon completing it. The committees’ work is informed by data collected from a range of colleges and universities to ensure that AP curricula reflect current scholarship and advances in the discipline. The committees then work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to develop multiple-choice and free-response exam questions. Committee members also write and review the course description for each AP course.
Do colleges and universities give credit or advanced placement for a grade of 3 on an AP Exam?
Students should check the credit-and-placement policy at the schools they are considering. Policies vary from one institution to another; they may also vary from department to department within an institution. For example, some institutions will not grant credit for both AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition Exam scores.
How do I determine who should be in an AP class?
The College Board recommends allowing any motivated and academically prepared student to take an AP course. We encourage the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underserved. Schools should make every effort to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population.
How should I help students prepare for the exam?
Some AP teachers spend little or no time preparing students for the AP Exam, because they believe that a challenging course is the most appropriate preparation. Others believe that students do better on the exam if they are familiar with its format, requirements, and restrictions.
Taking the following steps may help boost student’s performance on the exam:
- Explain to students how the scores are derived.
- Show students how to read, write, and think under time constraints.
- Teach students strategies for answering multiple-choice questions.