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Home > AP Coordinators  > Exams Requiring Special Preparation  > World Language and Culture Exams

World Language and Culture Exams

Note: the following information does not apply to the AP Chinese and Japanese Exams. Go to AP Chinese and Japanese Exams for specific information about those exams.

New submission process

Beginning with the spring 2017 AP Exams, all students’ oral free response tasks must be recorded digitally in MP3 format and submitted online using the Digital Audio Submission (DAS) portal. This new process replaces response tapes and response CDs. Visit our page on Submitting Audio for information on how to submit student responses.

Ordering materials

Each order for an AP Exam in world languages and cultures (except for Chinese and Japanese) contains at least one master listening and one master speaking CD. Some schools administer the speaking sections of the exams in multiple locations. If you plan to do this, order one CD for each location. You can order additional master CDs when you order your AP Exams online.

Visit AP Exam Ordering to order your CDs and AP Exams online for each type of exam.

Necessary equipment

  • CD player: You will need a high-quality CD player with speakers to play the listening and speaking master CDs. If you are recording the speaking portion in more than one room, you will need a CD player at each of these locations.
  • Recording devices/equipment: You will need digital audio recording devices or equipment to record student responses at each recording location. You can use computers with recording software and headset/microphone, handheld digital recording devices, or language lab with supporting equipment (e.g. headset or microphone). Visit Recording Audio and Submitting Audio for information on recording options.

Exam Preparation

Take these steps to prepare for the recording portion of the AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams:

  • You may administer AP Exams in world languages and cultures in a regular classroom, a language lab, or a computer lab.
  • Determine the digital recording technology students will use to record their responses (in MP3 format) for the speaking portion of the exams.
  • Hold several practice recording sessions so that you, teachers, your school’s technical staff (if applicable), proctors, students, and technical staff (if applicable) gain a full understanding of the process.
  • Encourage AP teachers to practice recording student responses using the method that will be used on exam day.
  • Make sure that students have the opportunity to practice with released free-response questions and short-answer questions available in the course and exam descriptions, and the teacher-accessible practice exams on the AP Course Audit website.
  • Have proctors practice saving and naming MP3 files before the exam administration.
  • Give proctors a way to cross-reference students’ AP numbers to ensure that the proper number is used when they name and save the MP3 files.
  • Remind proctors that they will need to verify that each MP3 file can be played and the audio level of each file is adequate.
  • Work with your school’s administration to establish a quiet testing environment. Refrain from using bells and making PA announcements during testing, if possible, and ensure that proctors do not converse with other staff during the exam.

Reference materials

  • Refer to the AP Coordinator’s Manual for full instructions and procedures for preparing for and administering the AP Exams in world languages.
  • Refer to the 2016-17 Exam Instructions (coming soon) for exam administration proctor scripts, including scripts specific to each audio recording option. View a walkthrough of the Digital Audio Submission (DAS) portal (.pdf/1.24MB) (includes step-by-step instructions with screenshots to guide you through the simple upload and submission process).

AP Chinese and Japanese Exams

AP Chinese Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture Exams are delivered on CD and administered at a computer. Detailed information about administering these exams, including hardware and software requirements, is available in the AP Coordinator’s Manual and AP Exam Instructions book.

These presentations provide students with a preview of the question types and directions screens they’ll see on exam day:

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