To help students prepare for the upcoming winter finals, Octagon staffers share tips and tricks for finals in subjects in which they’ve done well. The Octagon will be posting these how-to guides over the course of this week.
Teacher Patricia Portillo’s AP Spanish final is difficult.
All those essays that you have been practicing up to this point prepare you not only for the AP but also for her final.
For the first half of the final, you will be given a prompt and will have to write an essay responding very much as you did with the in-class essay Dr. Portillo assigns every long period.
If you’re pretty comfortable writing those essays and don’t get too many points taken off for grammar, then you will probably be fine.
However, if you have trouble with the in-class essays, go over grammar rules before the final and ask Portillo questions.
When answering the prompt, make sure you stick with the topic and don’t deviate too much.
In addition, use a variety of words. You will find that your essay will sound repetitive if you keep using verbs like poder, caminr, and estar.
Study transition words as well as any other phrases that might be helpful when writing the essay, such as en otro lado or además.
For the second half of the final, which is formatted more like her tests and finals from previous years, make sure you know the vocabulary words well. Also know the subjunctive as well as the conditional and future tenses.
Pay close attention to the book and the review handouts she gives you. Ask as many questions as you can before the final, and look over the tricks she has taught you (like DISHES and WEIRDO) during class to remember certain grammar rules.
There might be moments during the final when you feel completely stuck.
If you’re having trouble understanding a question, or can’t remember a word, it doesn’t hurt to ask Dr. Portillo. If you’re still struggling, try to answer as best as you can by using circumlocution (such as saying caminar rápidamente instead of correr) and move on.
Also check for grammatical mistakes in your answers during this section of the final. She will take points off there.