3 Best AP Italian Language & Culture Exam Prep Books (2022)

Best AP Italian Language Study Books

The AP Italian Language and Culture exam requires months of healthy preparation and review. The test itself is lengthy, and it is more than just learning the material. You must know how to navigate the structure of the test and dedicate the right amount of time in specific areas. A quality AP Italian prep book gives you the necessary tools to master the test and its tasks.

This article provides the necessary information to make an informed investment in an Italian Language and Culture prep book. We highlight the top three product choices, their benefits, drawbacks, as well as our final grade. Toward the end of the article, we dive into frequently asked questions that a lot of students often wonder about.

Reviews of the Top 3 Best AP Italian Books

1. AP Italian Language and Culture w/ Audio CDs (Ellen Knauer)

AP Italian Language and Culture by Ellen Knauer gives you an authentic prep option that mirrors the exact format of the AP Italian Exam.

Publisher: Research & Education Association/Ellen Knauer

Year: 2008

Number of Pages: 568

Our Final Grade: A-

This AP Italian exam prep book, written by Ellen Knauer, gives you focused practice with real exercises that are on the big test. The package comes with two CDs that help you adequately prepare for the listening task section. You also receive the benefit of three full-length practice tests. These mock tests focus on the critical areas of writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

Knauer’s prep book does an excellent job of checking your knowledge and tracking your progress. You can align your responses with a chart so that you can study the comprehensive explanations and answers. Throughout the text, there are vital strategies for test-taking that you may not always think of.

Overall, the lessons are relatable, and the tutorials focus on specific tasks that will be useful for the test. When you invest in this product, you receive an organized blueprint for succeeding on the exam.


  • The material is formatted in a similar way to the test, so you receive quality preparation
  • Focused tutorials and drills help you refine specific skills for the exam
  • The audio component contains robust lessons for listening and comprehension


  • The only thing to enhance this book would be to add in more practice tests.

2. Barron’s AP Italian Language and Culture: with Audio CDs

Barron’s AP Italian Language and Culture prep book provides an all-encompassing guide to prepare you for all aspects of the AP Italian Exam.

Publisher: Barron’s

Year: 2008

Number of Pages: 512

Our Final Grade: B+

Barron’s AP Italian prep book is dedicated to addressing the most common, challenging questions that are present on the AP exam. When you invest in this product, you will experience detailed explanations, answers, and exercise for all five parts of the test. These sections include writing, reading, culture, listening, and speaking. There are also critical test-taking tips in all chapters of the book.

If you want to do a full practice run for the exam, there are two mock tests and a smaller diagnostic exam to help you monitor your knowledge. These practice exams get included with explanations, answers, and charts for self-evaluation. Toward the end of the book, there is a comprehensive glossary that lists out grammar review sections and Italian idioms.


  • You receive a full review of all parts of the AP exam with this book
  • There is also an audio component with three CDs, included with speaking and listening sections
  • The glossary functions as a useful quick review section


  • Some of the information in this book might be outdated.

3. Ace the AP Italian Language and Culture Exam (Edizioni Farinelli)

The AP Italian Language and Culture Exam prep book by Edizioni Farinelli delivers a healthy option with ample practice exercises and a robust audio component.

Publisher: Edizioni Farinelli

Year: 2008

Number of Pages: 144

Our Final Grade: B-

You will not run short on authentic practices exercises with Farinelli’s prep book because you have access to 100 of them. These quizzes prepare the student for the exact situations they will run into on the test, which will increase their confidence. There is also an audio component with two CDs that dive into all areas of the exam, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, and culture.

Throughout the book, Farinelli provides small strategies for increasing your score, saving time, and navigating effectively. If you invest enough time into this book, you will be ready for the cultural section. The book has ten lessons that are themed: the environment, economy, technology, and transportation. You will experience authentic content and lessons to get you confident for the test day.


  • There are meaningful grammar and reading lessons included as well
  • Comprehensive answer keys are included for each section and practice test
  • Besides the book itself, the audio CDs give you a full review of all critical sections of the test


  • The content could be more up to date (published in 2008)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do students submit their speaking samples for the test?

Students record their responses digitally and then upload them to a server.

During what time of the year can I take the AP Italian Language and Culture exam?

The AP Italian exam usually gets administered in the earlier part of May each year.

How much should I study for the exam?

It all depends on how skilled you are at implementing the material, but it is safe to say you should spend 1-3 months preparing. You should set aside 1-2 weeks for final reviews and questions, but make sure you over prepare if you want a good score.

How does the AP Italian exam test for cultural knowledge?

Students will need to tackle different audio and print texts throughout the test. These sections test for relevant cultural information like transportation, economics, family, technology, and more.


The AP Italian exam study period is critical in your educational career. You want to make sure you maximize the value of your time, and it all begins with the right prep book. You need to align your study style with the right book, and then invest your passion in mastering the material. With the right mindset and prep book, the sky’s the limit for you on the AP Italian exam.

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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.