Get an A on Your Latin Exam: 9 Study Tips (AP Latin)

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You are about to take your AP Latin exam, and you are feeling a little nervous. Don’t worry! This is an article that will give you 9 study tips that will help you pass the test with flying colors. If you implement these strategies into your studying process, then there is no way that you won’t get an A on your exam. Let’s get started!

I developed the following approach to preparing for and taking the AP Latin Exam over the course of more than two decades as a Latin student and teacher. The first part of this article covers the 6 steps students need to take leading up to the AP Latin Exam. The second part covers the 5 essential aspects of a good general Latin education, which top scorers need to have had as well.

– As a first step to the AP Latin Exam, you need to find out if your school offers any test preparation sessions.

– Second, it is important that you have an up-to-date and reliable study guide on hand as well as other materials such as flashcards or vocabulary lists. You should review these resources at least

#Part 1: The 6 Steps for AP Latin Success

1) Translate Required Passages

You need to read and translate passages from Vergil’s  Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War for your college exams. The specific passages are:

Vergil, Aeneid

  • Book 1: Lines 1-209, 418-440, 494-578
  • Book 2: Lines 40-56, 201-249, 268-297, 559-620
  • Book 4: Lines 160-218, 259-361, 659-705
  • Book 6: Lines 295-332, 384-425, 450-476, 847-899
  • Caesar, Gallic War
  • Book 1: Chapters 1-7
  • Book 4: Chapters 24-35 and the first sentence of book 36
  • Book 5: Chapters 24-48
  • Book 6: Chapters 13-20

2) Read Required Texts in Translation

Read the required sections of the two books. They are in English translation. Know what happens in both stories very well.

  • Vergil, Aeneid
  • Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12
  • Caesar, Gallic War
  • Books 1, 6, and 7

3) Increase Sight-Reading Ability to pass ap latin exam.

You should read and translate the passages on the ap latin exam. It is important to go over them a lot of times. You should be able to understand the texts without reading them aloud and with a good knowledge of Latin grammar.

4) Take Vocabulary Quizzes

Take vocabulary quizzes, and you will know more words. This will help you when reading because it helps you with words that are difficult to read.

5) Master Meter and Scansion

There will be a question on the test about how to scansion a line of the Aeneid. The best way is to learn about meters and practice scanning lines in the Aeneid. The basic rules for dactylic hexameter scansion are outlined on Wikipedia. Be aware, though, that it’s almost impossible to learn latin how to do this without a certain amount of training in scansion from an experienced Latin teacher or Tutor.

6) Complete Practice Tests

Take any practice tests that you can find on the College Board website. These will help you get ready for the test. In the end, students who do best will have studied in a lot of ways. They will have studied many things and also know Latin.

A small portion of the Exam will cover sections of the two works not listed among the required translation sections, so memorization of the required passages will almost never be enough to get the student a score of 5. Of course, many students, particularly if their school’s Latin classes don’t provide them with sufficient support and/or do not focus enough on any of these six steps, will need expert supplementary tutorial help.

Part 2: Essential Aspects of a Good Latin Education

The Latin test can be challenging for someone who has not had a significant amount of general Latin education. Don’t think you are ready to take the exam unless you have already studied the following aspects of Latin over a sufficient period:

1) Sentence Translation – Learn and get good at translating Latin sentences.

2) Pronunciation and Accent – Follow these tips to get your Latin grammar in check:

– Make sure you have a firm command on proper pronunciation and accent.

– Familiarize yourself with the different types of nouns in Latin, which are classified by gender like enums when formally created in Rome (i.e. masculines, feminines).

3)Latin Forms- You need to use the time you have to study the different forms (conjugations, declinations, endings).

4) Rules of Grammar – Memorize and be able to apply Latin grammar rules, including the details of Special Ablative and Dative Uses, Prepositions, the Sequence of Tenses, and Dependent Clause Types.

5) Vocabulary – The best way by far for students to memorize vocabulary long term is to speak the language, to converse in Latin with other Latinists who, ideally, are at your same competence level, not to memorize vocabulary lists or flashcards.

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