4 Best AP French Language & Culture Exam Prep Books (2020)

Best AP French Language Study Books

Your study journey for the AP French test can be daunting, but your investment in a prep book can make all the difference. You want a French Language and Culture prep book that will make you feel confident and ready for the big day. A quality prep book provides you with the necessary information and questions to help you navigate through the long AP exam.

In this article, we provide you a list of the top prep books on the market, their pros and cons, and some frequently asked questions that you may be wondering about. Our goal is to provide you with crucial information that will make your investment into the AP exam worthwhile.

Reviews of the Best AP French Exam Prep Books

1. Barron’s AP French Language and Culture with Audio CDs

Barron’s AP French Language and Culture prep book is a comprehensive option for serious students who need extra practice exams and will utilize CD learning.

Publisher: Barron’s

Year: 2013

Number of Pages: 324

Our Final Grade: A

Barron’s AP French Language and Culture prep book, written by Eliane Kurbegov, provides an in-depth option. Within the book are two practice tests, which include fully explained answers to all questions. These exams are full-length, so you can simulate what the actual test will feel like. There are also strategies and pointers for all situations that could come up during the AP exam.

Another unique feature about Barron’s prep book is the three CDs that get included with the package. One of the CDs contains oral presentations and comprehensive conversations that will make the student more familiar with the content. The other pair of CDs include additional multiple-choice practice questions, audio versions of the exams, and essays.

Eliane Kurbegov, the author, is a native, experienced speaker of the French language and instructed the subject at many advanced levels. You are receiving a credible option with this prep book.

Pros

  • Multiple practice tests that are reflective of the actual AP exam
  • Extra CD resources included that will enhance your confidence for the test
  • Written by a credible source in Kurbegov and published by a trustworthy publisher

Cons

  • Natural wear and tear after carrying in backpack for a while
  • Some consumers complain of too much English content inside

2. AP French Language & Culture All Access (Dr. Eileen M. Angelini)

AP French Language & Culture All Access provides a personalized, improvement-focused approach to the exam.

Publisher: Research & Education Association

Year: 2012

Number of Pages: 456

Our Final Grade: A-

Eileen Angelini’s AP French Language & Culture prep book guides you through the study process and helps you identify your glaring weaknesses. As you navigate the prep book, you can track your progress and personalize it by filling out scoring reports. You can then go back and revisit the areas of the book where you are most weak. There is also a REA Study Center where you can create e-flashcards.

Another excellent feature of this prep book is the consistent, immediate checkpoint quizzes that you can take right after you review the material. These shorter, 15-minute exams help keep you on a reliable journey toward French mastery. Within the prep book, you will also find an audio component, full-length practice tests, and other useful strategies to help you succeed on test day.

Pros

  • The book has excellent flow and tests you via checkpoints as you go
  • E-flashcards are a unique digital component for extra review
  • The personalized component helps you focus on your weakest parts

Cons

  • There are not many sources included in the essays
  • The number of video clips is limited

3. 5 Steps to a 5: AP French Language and Culture

5 Steps to a 5 is a prep book that provides a clear, step-by-step plan to succeed with the AP exam.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

Year: 2018

Number of Pages: 267

Our Final Grade: B+

5 Steps to a 5 AP French prep book are a viable option for students because of its clear path for success. The prep book includes three full-length practice exams, including robust explanations for the answers. Navigation through the actual test can be difficult, so it provides you with a detailed overview of the AP exam structure.

Not only does 5 Steps to a 5 provide realistic and vigorous multiple-choice exercises, but they are also in audio and print form. The book also includes free essay responses and explanations for all situations and question types. If you enjoy the audio version, the package comes with a full MP3 program that helps enhance your listening skills and increase your understanding of interactive conversations.

The author, Genevieve Brand, comes with plenty of experience in the French space. She teaches at Avon High School in Connecticut and provides her expertise at the University of Connecticut as an adjunct professor.

Pros

  • Includes more than average practice exams with 3
  • Package contains a robust MP3 program for audio learning
  • Provides a precise preparation for navigation for the exam

Cons

  • According to other professors, there are a few mistakes in the content.

4. AP French: Preparing for the Language Examination (Addison Wesley)

AP French: Preparing for the Language Examination by Addison Wesley delivers an organized, 9-unit exam prep book covering all the areas of expertise needed for the exam.

Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2nd Edition

Year: 1997

Number of Pages: 220

Our Final Grade: C+

Addison Wesley’s AP French prep book is a comprehensive product that goes in-depth on the four critical areas of the AP French course, including speaking, speaking, listening, writing, and reading. This book is geared for the AP exam, but it can get utilized for any advanced course. There is also an audio cassette and CD that comes with the package, including expansive listening sections.

One unique part of this prep book is the robust list of vocabulary words that can be found toward the end. Although there is a minimal presence of answers and explanations, this is an excellent option for a teacher who is reviewing it with a group of students.

Pros

  • A strong list of vocabulary words at the end of the book
  • Great review for grammar, oral work, and writing
  • The content itself covers all the different units and requirements of the AP exam

Cons

  • Limited sample answers and explanations to questions
  • No way to check your answers for correctness

FAQs

When is a good time to start studying for the AP exam?

It all depends on your level of existing skill in French, but you should budget at least one month to review. You should also ensure that you allow one more week to ask additional questions for the exam.

How do I earn college credit for taking the AP exam?

While each college has its policy and procedure for awarding college credit for AP, you will usually need a score of 3 to get the credit. You can learn more about earning credit by visiting the specific college’s AP page.

What is the overall format and structure of the AP French Language Exam?

The first section is 65 questions of multiple choices, dividing into two parts (50% overall weight). In the second section, you will find written responses for tasks, which are about 25% weight. Lastly, there are tasks included with verbal responses, which accounts for the last 25%.


Conclusion

As you can see, there are many quality options for a useful AP French exam prep book. The most important thing is to match your study style with the appropriate text. If you enjoy the audio, choose a package that has a full MP3 or CD set. If you value the process of improvement and working on your weakness, there are quality options that monitor your progress through scoring cards.

Above all, your success on the exam is reflected by your passion for working hard and preparing. It is essential to keep the overall goal in mind and let that motivate you as you make for the big day.

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Hannah Young
 

Contributor at ExamCave. Hannah is pursuing a degree in middle school English education at The Ohio State University. Hannah has worked as a writing and math tutor for elementary, middle school, and high school students.