AP Spanish Exam

The AP®  Spanish Language and Culture Exam is a college-level exam administered every year in May upon the completion of an Advanced Placement Spanish Language course taken at your high school. If you score high enough, you could earn college credit!

Check out our AP Spanish Guide for the essential info you need about the exam:

What's on the AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam?

The College Board requires your AP teacher to cover certain topics in the AP Spanish Language & Culture course. As you complete your review, make sure you are familiar with the following topics:

  • Families in Different Societies
  • The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity
  • Influences of Beauty and Art
  • How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives
  • Factors That Impact the Quality of Life
  • Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges

For helpful exam review and test-taking strategies, check out our book, AP Spanish Language & Culture Prep

Sections & Question Types

The AP Spanish Language & Culture Exam is just over 3 hours long to complete and is comprised of two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. There are two parts to the multiple-choice section, and four questions in the free-response section.



Number of Questions

% of Exam Score

Section 1

Part A: Multiple-choice questions

  • Interpretive Communication: print texts

Part B: Multiple-choice questions

  • Interpretive Communication:
  • Print and audio texts combined and audio texts

Part A: 40 minutes

Part B: 55 minutes

Part A: 30 multiple-choice questions

Part B: 35 multiple-choice questions

Part A: 23%

Part B: 27%

Section 2

Question 1: Email Reply

Question 2: Argumentative Essay

Question 3: Conversation

Question 4: Cultural Comparison

88 minutes

  • Question 1: 15 minutes
  • Question 2: 55 minutes
  • Questions 3 & 4: 18 minutes


50% (12.5% per question)

Part A Multiple-Choice Questions

The first part of the multiple-choice section contains sets of questions based on one or more print text sources.

Part B Multiple-Choice Questions

The second part of the multiple-choice section contains sets of questions based on audio text sources, as well as a combination of audio and print text sources.

Free-Response Questions

  • In Question 1: Email Reply, students are required to compose a formal email response in Spanish. They must include a greeting, a closing, and respond to all questions and requests in the incoming email. They must also ask for details about something mentioned in the incoming email.

  • In Question 2: Argumentative Essay, students are required to write an essay as a submission to a Spanish writing contest. The topic is based on three sources, a combination of audio and print sources. The students must form an argument, defend their position, and integrate information from all three sources into their essay.

  • In Question 3: Conversation, a student must participate in a simulated conversation where they have five turns in the conversation. They have 20 seconds to respond in each turn.

  • In Question 4: Cultural Comparison, the student must compare an aspect of a Spanish-speaking community with the student’s own, or another, community. They must demonstrate an understanding of the cultural features of this Spanish-speaking community with an organized and clear presentation, using varied and appropriate language.

What’s a good AP Spanish Score?

AP scores are reported from 1 to 5. Colleges are generally looking for a 4 or 5 on the AP Spanish Language & Culture exam, but some may grant credit for a 3. Here’s how students scored on the May 2020 test:

AP Spanish Score


Percentage of Test Takers


Extremely qualified



Well qualified






Possibly qualified



No recommendation


Source: College Board

How can I prepare?

AP classes are great, but for many students they’re not enough! For a thorough review of AP Spanish content and strategy, pick the AP prep option that works best for your goals and learning style.

Read More