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A redesigned version of AP Latin launched in fall 2012. The new course is equivalent to an upper-intermediate (typically fourth or fifth semester) college or university Latin course. This revision to the course and exam is a reflection of our commitment to continually enhance AP’s alignment with current best practices in college-level learning. Learn more about the AP course and exam redesign.

Foundations of the Redesign

The new AP Latin was developed by a committee of college Latin faculty and AP teachers, incorporating the results of a study of parallel college course curricula.

Goals of the redesign:

  • Offer poetry and prose readings.
    Required readings are included in the AP Latin Reading List. In addition, the curriculum framework features a list of common terminology, which can help facilitate discussions of Latin grammar, syntax and literary style.
  • Expose students to characteristic methods of classical philology.
    Students pay rigorous attention to linguistic detail, critical interpretation and analysis.
  • Develop students’ ability to read Latin at sight.
  • Articulate achievement-level descriptions.
    Expectations for student progress are clear, as students relate Latin texts to Roman historical, cultural and literary contexts.
  • Incorporate learning objectives.
    Learning objectives articulate the skills students need to succeed on the AP Latin Exam in terms of reading and comprehension, translation, contextualization and analysis of texts.

Course and Exam Overview

AP Latin is designed to provide advanced high school students with a rich and rigorous Latin course. Students who successfully complete the course are able to read, understand, translate and analyze Latin poetry and prose. Despite many similarities, Latin poetry and Latin prose have broadly different featuresand patterns. Thus, the syllabus of required readings includes poetry and prose to ensure that students will be confident in handling both.

AP Latin students prepare and translate the required Latin readings with an accuracy that reflects precise understanding of the Latin in all its details. The course allows time for regular, sustained and integrated practice at sight reading. Throughout the course, students develop their language skills through various activities: precise, literal translation of prepared poetry and prose; reading with comprehension of sight passages, both poetry and prose; and written analyses that demonstrate the results of critical reading in clear and coherent arguments supported by textual examples.

Another important aspect of reading Latin lies in the mastery of the terms that have been devised by scholars and teachers over the years to describe and analyze Latin grammar, syntax and literary style. Students use these terms to describe what they see in the texts, allowing them to translate correctly; to fully grasp the ideas, nuances and emphases; and to appreciate the literary art of the Latin texts.

Texts have been chosen that will allow students to encounter some of the important people, events and literary genres of Roman times, focusing on the core periods of the late Republic and the early Principate, including Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War.

With explicit attention to developing skills for reading, translating and analyzing Latin texts, as well as to demonstrating contextual knowledge, making connections to other disciplines and comparisons between Latin and English usages, the AP Latin course is clearly consistent with the goal areas of the Standards for Classical Language Learning.

Read the full course and exam description.