Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (2022)

My goal is to help as many AP Spanish Language & Culture teachers as I can who are struggling because of a lack of support or not knowing where to start. At least, that’s how my AP journey started 11 years ago. I was told the first day back from summer vacation that I would be teaching both AP Spanish Language and Literature courses, and I felt lost. I had no preparation and was the only one on campus that taught the course. ‘Stressed and overwhelmed’ couldn’t even begin to describe all the emotions I was feeling.

The experience left me with a desire to guide other teachers through similar situations. In keeping with that goal, today I am sharing some of the teaching and test prep activities that I was able to curate for my students in these classes.

Every year I try something new or work on improving something old. For the Presentation Speaking “Cultural Comparison” section of the AP exam this year, I decided to break down the material and format into several smaller activities to make the test prep as coherent and helpful as possible for my students.

*Anything seen in green is hyperlinked so feel free to click away:)

Part 1:

My students have practiced the cultural comparison section of the AP exam at least twice informally this semester. However, a few weeks ago they started preparing for the first cultural comparison with AP rubric structure in the following manner:

1.Since the topic of Día de Muertos and Halloween was fresh in their mind, I figured it would be the easiest topic to start off with. My students were given two amazing resources to slowly ease their way into understanding the process:

(Video) How to Get a 5 on the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam

Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (1)

Activity Student Sample:

  • Suzann Baldwin shared a Halloween Google Slide resource (Click HERE FORCE COPY) that gives students an opportunity to learn about the history of Halloween. I made it an interactive Peardeck, because that made it easier to keep track of my students’ progress since I wasn’t at school the day this info was introduced.

(Halloween resource is being shared with Suzann Baldwin’s permission)

  • Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (2)

2. Once students were familiar with both topics, they were introduced to the AP Presentation Speaking Exam scoring guidelines so that they could become familiar with expectations.

AP Spanish Language & Culture CEDpgs. 191-193

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3. Students were given 30 minutes to write a one-page paper by using the following notes:

  • Suzann Baldwin’s Venn Diagram comparing 5 similarities and differences in Peardeck,
Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (4)

4. When the one-page task was completed, students were placed in assigned groups of 3-4 students per group. I teach a diverse group of scholars, so I purposely placed them in differentiated groups to improve or learn from each other’s proficiency levels. Students had 30 minutes to read, correct, and improve each other’s papers, making sure they were 2 minutes long by practicing and timing the finalized presentation.

(Video) AP Spanish Cultural comparison example

Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (5)

5. Each group presented their cultural comparison together as they were being timed (2 minutes) in front of their peers (or, as I call them, “Student AP Readers” for the day).

Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (6)

This presentation allowed students to build confidence before doing the next part of the assignment.

Part 2:

1. Students were placed in assigned groups once more. You can choose new groups or have them continue working in same group.

2. The Cultural Comparison task instructions were discussed this time around.

Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (7)

3. Each group was assigned a previous Cultural Comparison AP exam prompt from AP Central (2014-2018). If it’s easier you can have students be divided in two sections. One side is assigned the 2014 prompt while the other side is assigned the 2015 prompt. However, students continue to remain in small groups and have to brainstorm ideas together according to assign topic.

(Video) AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam 2021 (still relevant 2022)

Click HERE: AP Spanish Language and Culture Past Exam Questions

4.Groups were given 20 minutes to prepare task by using the organizer seen below (“FREEBIE” and editable Cultural Comparison organizer located in my TPT store), Claudia Elliot’s: vocabulario util, and brainstormed together to have something prepared to be presented once again in front of their peers. They were timed and evaluated by their classmates by using the “Jamboard: Ready Set Score” located in my TPT store.

  • Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (8)
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  • Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (11)

5. “Student AP Readers” scored each other’s assignments anonymously and wrote one thing groups did well and one thing they could improve on.

Students were engaged and eager to share their thoughts as group assignments are mainly competitions in my class. This activity helped them gain confidence and reassurance that they were on the right track to success.

Part 3:

Finally, my students practiced the Cultural Comparison just like they would on the real exam. By this time, they had gotten enough practice and feedback, gained some more confidence, and were more prepared to accomplish the goal.

My students recorded the Cultural Comparison 2019 prompt answer on Flipgrid. The next day QR codes that corresponded with each student’s Flipgrid video were printed and passed out to the entire class so that each student could scan and pull up their classmates recordings on their phones. They used their AP rubric to score a classmate’s 2 minute presentation on the back of the QR code paper that included the name of “Student AP Reader”, earned score, 2 things the classmate did well, and one thing they can improve on. There are many other ways to score assignments. However, this is a great way to give yourself less work and have students provide quick and helpful feedback for each other. Students can be paired up without needing QR codes to score each other, or they can opt to receive immediate feedback by volunteering themselves for teacher to have their audio play outload. My friend Profe Delgadillo calls this method “La Silla Caliente.” However, always make sure the student feels comfortable doing this and you have their full permission to score their audio with the class.

I also love when my “Student AP Readers” score the College Board free response student samples. After this practice I gave them an opportunity to listen to the three College Board student samples (2019) and they used the Jamboard as seen below to add scores and comments of each audio. It’s always a competition, which makes it more fun. Groups with closest or exact scores compared to College Board score get a 100% and incentives used in my classroom to pump up motivation and participation.

  • Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (12)
  • Introduction to the Cultural Comparison Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam - Señora Galo (13)

Conclusion:

(Video) 4 | Developing a Great Argument | Live Review | AP Spanish Language

I hope you found these strategies and techniques useful and easy to follow. Remember, if you find yourself lost, there are tons of teachers ready to help like me. I’d also recommend observing other teachers in your district or attending an AP Summer Institute.

The AP Community is also helpful.

My friends Bertha Delgadillo and Claudia Elliot also have wonderful AP resources and created an awesome AP Spanish on-line training I am also a part of: “AP Spanish in Action.”

My friend Diego Ojeda also has an amazing BLOG, resources, and YouTube videos that continue to help AP teachers alike.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.

12

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FAQs

What percent is a 5 on AP Spanish? ›

The score distribution tables on this page show the percentages of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s for each AP subject.
...
AP Score Distributions.
ExamAP Spanish Language and Culture
517.3%
429.7%
333.0%
216.5%
7 more columns

How do you get a 5 on AP in Spanish? ›

How to get a 5 on AP Spanish - YouTube

Is AP Spanish Language and Culture hard? ›

The AP® Spanish Language and Culture test can be difficult. Learning a second language can be difficult in general, and being tested on five or more years of Spanish classes for them AP® Spanish Language exam doesn't make things any easier.

Is 4 a good AP score? ›

A 4 or a 5 is the AP score that will most likely earn you college AP credit. Of course, no matter how you do on the AP test, you still get a grade for that AP class from your high school. Good grades in AP courses always look good on your transcript!

What percent is a 5 on an AP Exam 2021? ›

Usually, a 70 to 75 percent out of 100 translates to a 5.

How do you not fail the AP Spanish exam? ›

To improve your listening skills on the AP® Spanish exam, as well as familiarize yourself with colloquial expressions, accents, and cultural differences in the Spanish-speaking world, try to watch Spanish language films or television programs a few times per week.

What is the longest AP Exam? ›

How Long Are AP Exams?
ExamDuration
AP Biology3 hours
AP Calculus AB3 hours, 15 minutes
AP Calculus BC3 hours, 15 minutes
AP Chemistry3 hours, 15 minutes
29 more rows
Jan 26, 2020

Can I take the AP Spanish exam without taking the class? ›

The College Board

Yes. We recommend taking the AP course before taking an AP Exam—but it's not required. We want to be sure homeschooled students and students in schools that don't offer AP can take AP Exams.

What percent is a 3 on AP Spanish exam? ›

According to the latest 2020 AP® Spanish Language score distribution report, 90% of the test takers received passing scores of 3 or above.

Is AP Spanish good for college? ›

Whatever score you get on the exam, and whether or not you earn college course credit, the AP Spanish exam can help on the college admissions front. Colleges want to see that applicants have taken the most challenging courses available to them, and AP classes play on important role on that front.

Is AP Spanish Language worth it? ›

AP Spanish Language and Culture focuses primarily on developing your ability to communicate with others in Spanish, meaning that grammar is less of a focus.
...
Pass Rates 📊
Score2019 Rate (%)2020 Rate (%)
434.236.4
32623.1
29.58.8
11.81.2
1 more row
Nov 18, 2020

What is the hardest AP class? ›

The Three Hardest AP Classes
  1. AP Physics 1. Despite a reputation as one of the most difficult AP classes, Physics 1 is also one of the most popular—137,229 students took it in 2021. ...
  2. AP U.S. History. AP U.S. history is one of the hardest AP classes in the humanities and in general. ...
  3. AP Chemistry.
Jan 24, 2022

Is AP Spanish a lot of work? ›

If it makes you feel any better, according to the college board, 25% of test-takers got a 5 (the best score for an AP exam) on the AP Spanish exam in 2019. Most students did well, and if you study hard and work on the skill little by little every day, you will probably do a great job on the AP exam!

What score is a 5 on AP Spanish? ›

Receiving a 3, 4, or 5 is commonly accepted as scoring well on an AP® exam. According to the College Board a 3 is 'qualified,' a 4 'well qualified,' and a 5 'extremely well qualified. ' Depending on the school you plan to attend, college credits can be available for scores within the 3-5 range.

How is the AP Spanish exam graded? ›

AP Spanish Sections & Question Types. AP Spanish Scoring.
...
What's a good AP Spanish Score?
AP Spanish ScoreMeaningPercentage of Test Takers
5Extremely qualified30.5%
4Well qualified36.4%
3Qualified23.1%
2Possibly qualified8.8%
1 more row

What percent is a 4 on the AP exam? ›

CollegeBoard's data from 2016 reveals that the percentage of students earning scores of 4 and 5 is similar during the first two years of high school. Approximately 12.5% earned 5s, while 18.6% earned 4s.

What is the hardest AP class? ›

The Three Hardest AP Classes
  1. AP Physics 1. Despite a reputation as one of the most difficult AP classes, Physics 1 is also one of the most popular—137,229 students took it in 2021. ...
  2. AP U.S. History. AP U.S. history is one of the hardest AP classes in the humanities and in general. ...
  3. AP Chemistry.
Jan 24, 2022

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