Click here for detailed information about the official AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam.

We will be using a format similar to this exam for our unit tests in Japanese 3 and 4. The AP exam is given as a computer-based test, but we will ease into answering test items on a computer over the course of the year.

Multiple-choice listening:

Students will receive a brief explanation of the context of a listening passage in English. Next, they will listen to a native speaker read an article, during which they may take notes on paper. Multiple-choice questions (approximately five per listening passage) will be given in English, with an allowed response time of 12 seconds per question. On the AP exam, the computer will automatically advance to the next item when time is up. Students will answer a total of 30-35 questions about multiple listening passages on the AP exam.

Multiple-choice reading:

Students will receive a brief explanation of the context of a reading passage in English. At the same time, they will receive several multiple-choice questions in English relating to the passage. Students will have 15 minutes to work on the questions relating to a given prompt. On the AP exam, students will be given multiple reading passages, with a total of 35-40 questions to be completed in 60 minutes.

Simulated Text Chat:

Students will receive a brief explanation of the context of a conversation in English. A single written prompt (a message from a conversational partner) will appear in Japanese, and students will write a response. The next prompt will appear automatically after 90 seconds. There will be a total of six prompts that make up one conversation between the student and an imaginary conversational partner. Make sure that you include a greeting appropriate to the relationship mentioned in the instructions, and write using a level of politeness that makes sense for the context as well.

Comparison Essay:

Students will receive a prompt asking them to write a comparison of two topics. It is strongly recommended that students spend five minutes outlining and 15 minutes writing their response. The format for your response should be:
  • Introduction
  • Three points of comparison between the topics (similarities or differences)
  • Your opinion based on the points of comparison that you gave
  • Conclusion
Focus on answering the prompt fully, and try to explain around terms that you do not know in Japanese. No points can be given for any term appearing in English or student-created original katakana terms. Use です/ます form or だ form (whichever you prefer), but be consistent throughout your essay. Use AP kanji wherever they are appropriate.

Simulated Conversation:

Students will receive a brief explanation of the context of a conversation in English. A single audio prompt (a message from a conversational partner) will be played in Japanese, and students will record a verbal response. The next prompt will play automatically after 20 seconds. There will be a total of four prompts that make up one conversation between the student and an imaginary conversational partner. Make sure that you include a greeting appropriate to the relationship mentioned in the instructions, and write using a level of politeness that makes sense for the context as well.

Cultural Perspective Presentation:

Students will receive a prompt in English asking them to orally explain an aspect of Japanese culture. Students will also receive an article in English explaining the topic in detail. There is no requirement that students utilize this article if they feel sufficiently knowledgeable of the topic! Students will have four minutes to prepare, then two minutes to record their response. The recommended format for response is:
  • Introduction
  • Five facts about (or aspects of) the topic
  • Your view of the topic
  • Conclusion
Focus on answering the prompt fully, and try to explain around terms that you do not know in Japanese. No points can be given for any term appearing in English or student-created original katakana terms. Use です/ます form.