Of the eight foreign language exams offered by the College Board, the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam is one of the more popular language exams, taken third most frequently after the AP French Language and Culture Exam and the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam. If you’re planning to take the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam, whether you have taken the AP class, are a native-speaker, or have self-studied, read on for a breakdown of the test and advice on how to best prepare for it.

How Long is the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam? What is the Format?


The AP Chinese Language and Culture exam is approximately two hours and 15 minutes. The exam is split into four separate parts, each of which assess a different skill. 


Unlike most AP exams, the Chinese Language and Culture exam is administered entirely on a computer. You will read text on the screen, type on a keyboard, listen to recordings through headphones, and speak into a microphone. You won’t have the need to write on paper, although you may use paper to take notes during the exam, which will be collected but not scored. 


In terms of text display and input, the AP exam computer will offer you options. 


Character display options: 

  • Traditional characters

  • Simplified characters


All text displayed on the screen is available in traditional and simplified form, and you can change between the two if necessary. 


Input methods: 

  • Microsoft Pinyin IME (MSPY), based on Hanyu Pinyin

  • Microsoft New Phonetic IME, based on Zhuyin Fuhao (Bopomofo)

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