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Home > AP Courses and Exams > AP Exam Information > The AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam

The AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam

For the May 2013 Exam Administration
and Beyond


Exam Content

The AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam assesses students' proficiencies across a range of modes of communication—with special attention to the interpretive and presentational modes of communication—and asks students to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish. The exam is 3 hours long and includes both an 80-minute multiple-choice section and a 100-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of the student's exam grade, and the free-response section accounts for the other half.

The AP Spanish Literature and Culture Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2012 (.pdf/2.33MB) provides complete details about the exam.

Multiple-Choice Section

Section I assesses students' understanding of the works, authors, genres, and periods included in the required reading list, as well as language proficiency in the interpretive mode of communication. Some questions require students to show understanding of cultural or interdisciplinary information contained in the text.

Section I, Part A (Interpretive Listening) contains 15 questions in three sets that are based on authentic audio texts related to course content. The audio texts include an excerpt from an interview with an author, a recited poem that is not on the required reading list, and a brief presentation on a literary topic related to course content. Students will have time to skim the questions for each set before listening to the audio. The interview and presentation will be played once; the recited poem will be played twice.

Section I, Part B (Reading Analysis) contains 50 questions in six sets that are based on literary readings representing a variety of genres, periods, and places in the Spanish-speaking world. The literary readings include works from the required reading list, works that are not on the list, and one passage of literary criticism regarding a work or author from the list. One set in Section I, Part B contains two passages that are related by theme—one of those passages is taken from the required reading list.

Free-Response Section

Section II, the free-response section, assesses students' ability to analyze structural and rhetorical features of literary texts as well as the significance of the contexts in which the texts were written. Students are also assessed in the presentational mode of communication by writing comprehensible text analyses that demonstrate their understanding of course content. In this section of the exam, students are given two short-answer questions and two essay questions to complete in 100 minutes. They may answer the questions in any order; recommended times are printed in the exam booklet (15 minutes for each of the short answers, 35 minutes for each of the essays).

AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam Format

Section Number of Questions Percent of Final Score Time
Section I: Multiple Choice 50% Approx. 80 minutes
Part A Interpretive Listening
15 questions
10% Approx. 20 minutes
Part B Reading Analysis
50 questions
40% Approx. 60 minutes
Section II: Free Response Approx. 100 minutes
Short Answers: Text Explanation
1 prompt
7.5% Suggested time:
15 minutes
Short Answers: Text and Art Comparison
1 prompt
7.5% Suggested time:
15 minutes
Essay: Analysis of Single Text
1 prompt
17.5% Suggested time:
35 minutes
Essay: Text Comparison
1 prompt
17.5% Suggested time:
35 minutes

Free-Response Questions 2013


2013: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Score Distributions


Past Exam Questions

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Spanish Literature Exams. These questions do not reflect the redesigned AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam administered for the first time in May 2013, but the question types are the same and the topics similar, making them a valuable resource for students and teachers. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2012 administrations and before.

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Spanish Literature Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2012 administrations and before.


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