The Chinese AP Test in the United States

2007 was the first year the AP exam was offered in Chinese and Japanese.

Like much of the learning Chinese craze, things aren’t as rosy as everyone behind the craze would like them to be. Link: Results of US AP Exams…

(Thanks to http://www.pinyin.info for the excellent article. Pinyin.info is an essential site for all serious Chinese learners.)

From the article:

Only 11.1 percent of the 3,260 people taking the Mandarin exam did not indicate on their test that they “regularly speak or hear the foreign language of the examination at home, or that they have lived for one month or more in a country where the language is spoken.”

Percent of test takers who “regularly speak or hear the foreign language of the examination at home” or “have lived for one month or more in a country where the language is spoken”
chart showing that far more students taking the Mandarin AP exam are already speakers of that langauge

Thus, it’s no surprise to see that 89.4 percent of those taking the Mandarin exam identified themselves as “Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.” Of all those across the entire United States who took the Mandarin exam last year, only 363 people did not identify themselves as falling within that category. This certainly does not match the hype about Mandarin as the foreign language being studied.

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