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

The AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam

For the May 2014 Exam Administration and Beyond

Exam Content

The AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam assesses students’ proficiencies in the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication. The exam is 3 hours long and includes both a 95-minute multiple-choice section and an 85-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of the student’s exam grade, and the free-response section for the other half.

The The AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2013 (.pdf/2.11MB), provides complete details about the exam.

Multiple-Choice Section

Section I, the multiple-choice section, primarily assesses Interpretive Communication by asking students to identify main points, significant details, purpose, and intended audience of a variety of texts and to make inferences and predictions based on them. Some questions require students to show understanding of cultural or interdisciplinary information contained in the text. Each selection is accompanied by a preview that provides contextual information.

Section I, Part A, consists of a variety of authentic print materials (e.g., journalistic and literary texts, announcements, advertisements, letters, maps, and tables).

Section I, Part B, consists of a variety of authentic audio materials, including interviews, podcasts, public service announcements, conversations, and brief presentations. This section is divided into two subsections. The first subsection includes audio texts that are paired with print materials; the second consists solely of audio texts. Students will have time to read the preview and skim the questions before listening to the audio. All audio texts will be played twice.

Free-Response Section

Section II, the free-response section, assesses Interpersonal and Presentational Communication by requiring students to produce written and spoken responses.

In the writing portion, students demonstrate their ability to write in the Interpersonal Mode by reading and replying to an email message. Then, using the Presentational Mode, they write a persuasive essay based on three sources that present different viewpoints on a topic. Students read an article, study a table or graphic, and listen twice to a related audio. Then they have 40 minutes to write an essay in response to a prompt using the information from all three sources to present and defend their own viewpoint. Students have access to the print sources and any notes they may take on the audio during the entire 40-minute writing period. The speaking portion assesses speaking in the Interpersonal Mode by asking students to respond to questions as part of a simulated conversation. Students are provided a preview of the conversation, including an outline of each exchange.

This portion also assesses speaking in the Presentational Mode by requiring students to make a 2-minute presentation in response to a prompt on a cultural topic.

AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam Format

Section Number of Questions Percent of Final Score Time
Section I: Multiple Choice Approx. 95 minutes
Part A Interpretive Communication: Print Texts 30 questions 50% Approx. 40 minutes
Part B Interpretive Communication: Print and Audio Texts (combined) 35 questions Approx. 55 minutes
Interpretive Communication: Audio Texts
Section II: Free Response Approx. 85 minutes
Interpersonal Writing: Email Reply 1 prompt 50% 15 minutes
Presentational Writing: Persuasive Essay 1 prompt Approx. 55 minutes
Interpersonal Speaking: Conversation 5 prompts 20 seconds for each response
Presentational Speaking: Cultural Comparison 1 prompt 2 minutes to respond


Sample Exam Questions

For sample exam questions, refer to the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2013 (.pdf/2.11MB). Exam questions can be found on the pages listed below.

Sample Multiple-Choice Exam Questions:
  • Pages 43–85
Sample Free-Response Exam Questions:
  • Pages 87-99
2014: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

AP Spanish Language 2014 Audio Scripts

Speaking Audio Prompts 
Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Interpersonal Writing
Presentational Writing
Interpersonal Speaking
Presentational Speaking

Speaking Samples
Score Distributions


Past AP Spanish Language Exam Questions

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Spanish Language and Culture 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 2013 administrations and before.



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