Should I take the AP Chinese test if I already know Chinese?

I am a fluent speaker of Chinese and I’ve taken some of the sample tests and they seem pretty easy. Should I take the test, or would it seem like I’m just trying to get a “free” 5 on an AP test during admissions?
It would be great if someone who has already graduated from high school and in college right now and was in my situation when they were in high school could respond.

Well, I just graduated college. Does that still count? :slight_smile:

Should you take it for admissions? No. Should you take it to get some potential college credit? Sure if you’ve got the money to spare. Why not?

Do you mean taking it for admissions is a net negative or that it’s just not recommended to do it just for admissions?

The latter. For the most part, admissions does not really care about your AP scores and care even less about AP scores without an accompanying class. But there are often reasons to take an AP exam without the class. Potential credit and exemption from the college’s foreign language requirements being two.

And there’s nothing that says that AP scores, particularly when there is no course, need to be reported on the application. So colleges won’t even see the “free 5” unless you tell them.

Admissions officers will ignore it. It could get you a few cheap credits, but none of the credits my D transferred in helped accelerate anything. She still needed to take X GenEd courses, with a mix of topics and levels. She could have started at language 3 instead of language 1, but still would have needed the 3 course sequence.

There is little evidence to back it up, but there is a claim that some college admissions officers aren’t that impressed with ethnic Chinese/native Chinese speakers taking the AP Chinese test.

The test has the highest average score since a vast majority of the test takers are Chinese. Go ahead and take it, but some schools won’t give any credit for it.

My kid took the test based off what he learned from Saturday Chinese school/self study and got a 5. Claimed it was the one AP test that he didn’t really prepare for (he thought it was a joke test to be honest). Most of his friends who are ethnically Chinese took AP Chinese for the grade boost. Probably 95% of the ethnic Chinese kids in his high school took AP Chinese-he was one of the Chinese outliers in his school who took French but the school got rid of AP French due to a lack of teachers/enrollment.

His current college gives no FL credit for it and students who want to take a higher level Chinese class need to pass a placement test. Definitely check the policies of the colleges that you’re interested in.

One can’t generalize that AP scores don’t matter to adcoms. One can, however, say that taking an AP exam in your native language, without having taken the classes, likely won’t be perceived well. And the last thig you want is for adcoms to question your thinking.

The AP Chinese test is easy enough for most ‘native speakers’ or a student who has gone to weekend Chinese school to get a decent score.

I haven’t observed much of an issue without AP Spanish though given the large number of heritage speakers in California and the Southwest, although there are Spanish for heritage speakers class taught at a higher level in several high schools near where I live.

All AP Foreign language classes are a joke for native speakers, and potentially the same for heritage speakers depending on their level of preparation. Which should come as no surprise - AP does not test (nor does it claim to) to an advanced level; it’s intermediate level at best, and I’d argue that it’s low-intermediate for Japanese/Chinese and mid- to high-intermediate for the European languages, which is why the Asian AP scores are accepted by fewer colleges, IMO. Not a perfect analogy, but taking the AP Foreign Language exam is like a native English speaker taking TOEFL.

I’d also note that Saturday Chinese school is a phenomenon not shared by the Hispanic culture.

Many heritage speakers do take Chinese or Spanish classes (or whatever language it is.) But they don’t get admissions points for simply testing in a native language. Imo, Chinese school, like Hebrew school or some similar programs, is an interesting EC, as it’s part of cultural identity, as well as the effort to master the language.

If you are aiming for California public universities, a 3 on an AP foreign language exam is an alternative way to fulfill the ‘e’ (language other than English) part of the a-g requirements for frosh applicants.

However, some colleges using subjective admissions reading may expect heritage speakers whose skills in the heritage language are already beyond the top level of high school foreign language to take another foreign language in high school rather than skip foreign language altogether. (But it may be different if you are an immigrant who had to start learning English as your second language relatively late.)