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2021 AP German Exam Guide

7 min readfebruary 27, 2021


Your guide to the 2021 AP German exam

We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We have created a study plan that will help you crush your German exam. We will continue to update this guide with more information about the 2021 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you score that 5. Create a Fiveable account and join our Discord to stay involved in all things AP exams! 😁

Format of the 2021 AP German exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 German exam format will be:
  • Section 1A: Multiple Choice - 23% of your score
    • 30 questions in 40 mins
    • Contains 4 sets of print sources
  • Section 1B: Multiple Choice Audio - 27% of your score
    • 35 questions in 55 mins
    • Contains 5 sets of audio sources (some with print materials and others with questions)
  • Section 2A: Free Response Written - 25% of your score
    • 2 writing tasks in 1 hour and 10 minutes
    • Includes interpersonal (email response) and presentational (argumentative essay) writing
  • Section 2B: Free Response Spoken - 25% of your score
    • 2 questions in 18 minutes
    • Includes interpersonal (a simulated speech) and presentational speaking

Scoring Guidelines for the 2021 AP German exam

For a deep dive into the scoring guidelines check out the College Board's guidelines; however, some of the key aspects to getting a 5 can be seen below.
Interpersonal Writing
Presentational Writing
Interpersonal Speaking
Presentational Speaking
  • Include all required information while maintaining the context of the task and elaborating frequently
  • Is fully understandable with varied vocab, syntax, and grammar with minimal errors
  • A variety of sentence structures
*There is no single, expected format that is required for citing sources in this section
  • Demonstrate a high comprehension of the sources
  • Develops a persuasive argument with persuasion and detail
  • Is well organized and easy to understand with varied vocab and syntax
  • Provides the required information and stays within the context of the task
  • Is fully understandable with a variety of vocabulary and syntax
  • If errors are present they are either self-corrected or do not impede the comprehensibility of the text
  • Compares the students own experiences to that of the German culture
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the German culture and includes supporting details and examples
  • Is organized with a  wide variety of vocab and grammar with a tone that is appropriate for the task
Check out our study plan below to find resources and tools to prepare for your AP German exam.

When is the 2021 AP German exam and how do I take it?

This year the AP German exam will be administered over 3 testing sessions this year and you will have around 3 hours to take the exam. Unlike some of the other AP exams, there is no digital version of the AP German exam. Students must take the exam in person on pencil and paper. To get real-time updates about 2021 exam news, create a Fiveable account.
  • Administration 1 will take place on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 12 PM (your local time)
  • Administration 2 will take place on Friday, May 21, 2021, at 12 PM (your local time)
  • Administration 3 will take place on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 12 PM (your local time)

How should I prepare for the exam?

We’ve put together this plan to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam. Join our Discord channel to talk to real students just like you studying for this exam! We have TAs in each subject channel to support you this Spring. Also, keep an eye out for more information on Cram Sessions and Cram Finales- live streams that will help you cram for your exam! 

Pre-work: set up your study environment

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Remote learning can be great, but it also means you’ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual. 
🖥 Create a study space.
Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. 
📚 Organize your study materials.
Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!
📅 Plan designated times for studying.
The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.
🏆 Decide on an accountability plan.
How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!
🤝 Get support from your peers. 
There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Join our Discord channel to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! 

AP German 2021 study plan

More AP German resources are on their way, but feel free to use the resources below to help you ace your AP exam.

👨‍👩‍👦Unit 1: Families in different societies

Big takeaways:

Unit 1 teaches German skills in the context of family life for societies that speak German and also discusses modern-day beliefs and familial challenges. Some of the things used to practice these skills include interpreting promotional materials, reading formal letters, describing data from a variety of sources (including tables, maps, charts, and infographics), participating in conversations, writing email replies, and giving presentations.

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

🗣 Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity

Big takeaways:

Unit 2 focuses on building vocabulary while learning about the evolving culture and identity of German-speaking societies. Tasks in this section may include analyzing poetry and other literary texts, interpreting audio recordings and movies, reading articles and charts, making connections between sources, writing, and presentations.

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

🎨 Unit 3: The Influences of Beauty and Art

Big takeaways:

Unit 3 explores how beauty and art influence and reflect the culture in German-speaking communities. This may include analyzing articles and ads about health and beauty, reading children’s stories, interpreting letters, practicing conversations, analyzing cartoons and infographics, email replies, and giving presentations.

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

🔬 Unit 4: How Science and Technology affect our lives

Big takeaways:

Unit 4 focuses on developments in science and tech in German-speaking communities and growing your language skills to interpret new words in more complicated texts. Tools used to practice these skills may include, reading articles about technology, understanding interviews, giving presentations, writing essays, and comprehending presentations.

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

🏠 Unit 5: Factors that Impact the Quality of Life

Big takeaways:

Unit 5 focuses on contemporary life in German-speaking societies including discussions on social status, cultural perspectives, job, and resource access, and other factors that impact the quality of life. Tasks included in this section include connecting literary texts, interpreting articles, identifying literary aspects in podcasts, understanding instructions, creating email replies, and participating in conversations. 

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

⛅ Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges

Big takeaways:

Unit 6 focuses on how global issues impact people in German-speaking communities. Skills practiced in this section may include analyzing social issues using articles and charts, listening to audio reports, making connections among presentations, writing essays on global issues and solutions, and giving presentations.

Definitely do this: 

📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:
📰 Also, check out this article:

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Browse Study Guides By Unit
✍️
Exam Skills- FRQ/MCQ
👨‍👩‍👧
Unit 1: Families in Different Societies
🗣
Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity
🎨
Unit 3: Influences of Beauty and Art
🔬
Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives
🏠
Unit 5: Factors That Impact the Quality of Life
🌪
Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges