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Exam Reviews

2021 AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam Guide

8 min readโ€ขmarch 9, 2021


Your guide to the 2021 AP Spanish Language and Culture 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 AP Spanish Language and Culture 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! ๐Ÿ˜

Format of the 2021 AP Spanish Language and Culture exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 AP Spanish Lang exam format will be:
  • Reading Multiple Choice - 23% of your score
    • 30 questions in 40 minutes
  • Reading/Listening Multiple Choice - 27% of your score
    • 35 questions in 55 minutes
  • Email Reply - 12.5% of your score
    • 15 minutesย 
  • Argumentative Essay - 12.5% of your score
    • 55 minutes
  • Conversation - 12.5% of your score
    • ~ 2 minutes
  • Cultural Comparison - 12.5% of your score
    • ~ 6 minutes

Scoring Rubric for the 2021 AP Spanish Language and Culture exam

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Courtesy of College Board

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Courtesy of College Board

Check out our study plan below to find resources and tools to prepare for your AP Spanish Language and Culture exam!

When is the 2021 AP Spanish Language and Culture exam and how do I take it?

All AP Spanish Language and Culture exams will be in person on paper.
  1. The first exam is on May 11, 2021, at 8 am your local time.
  2. The second exam will be on May 21, 2021, at 8 am your local time.
  3. The final time you can take the test is on June 4, 2021, at 8 am your local time.
You will have 3 and a half hours to take the exam.
We will have more updates from the College Board soon, but as of now, this is what we know! Create a Fiveable account to get updates on the latest 2021 exam news.ย 

How should I prepare for the exam?

  • First, download the AP Spanish Language Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!ย 
  • Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement and practice. Weโ€™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
    • Try to immerse yourself in Spanish: watching movies or videos, chatting with friends, and reading news in Spanish will help you be more fluent by the time the exam comes!ย 
  • 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.ย 
  • Finally, check out our live Cram events so that you can review for the AP Spanish Lang exam with a rockstar teacher and study socially among other students!ย ย 

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 youโ€™ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual.ย 

๐Ÿ–ฅ 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.ย 

๐Ÿ“š 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!

๐Ÿ“… 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.

๐Ÿ† 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!

๐Ÿค Get support from your peers.ย 

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!ย 

AP Spanish Language and Culture 2021 study plan

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ง Unit 1: Families in Different Societies

Unit 1 dives into the various themes related to families in the Spanish-speaking world. Some major questions we will consider are:
  • What constitutes a family in Spanish-speaking societies? / ยฟQuรฉ compone una familia en una sociedad hispanohablante?
  • What are some important aspects of family values and family life in Spanish-speaking societies? / ยฟCuรกles son algunos aspectos importantes de los valores y la vida familiar en las sociedades hispanohablantes?
  • What challenges do families face in today's world? / ยฟQuรฉ retos enfrentan las familias de hoy?

Some Resources:

๐Ÿ“š Read these study guides:
If you have more time or want to dig deeper:
๐Ÿ’ป Learn about the best prep books so you can start studying early:

๐Ÿ—ฃ Unit 2: The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity

This unit plunges deeper into a few aspects of personal and public identity by analyzing the influences that language and culture have on forming one's identity. Our guiding questions for this unit are:
  • How does oneโ€™s identity evolve over time? / ยฟCรณmo se desarrolla nuestra identidad a lo largo del tiempo?
  • How does language shape our cultural identity? / ยฟCรณmo moldea la lengua nuestra identidad cultural?
  • How does technology influence the development of personal and public identity? / ยฟCรณmo influye la tecnologรญa en el desarrollo de la identidad pรบblica y personal?
  • How does the art of a community reflect its public identify? / ยฟCรณmo refleja el arte de una comunidad su identidad pรบblica?

Some Resources:

๐Ÿ“š Read these study guides:
If you have more time or want to dig deeper:
๐Ÿ’ป It is never too early to want to prepare for the exam:
ย 

๐ŸŽจ Unit 3: Influences of Beauty and Art

This unit guide will explore how beauty and art influence quality of life and values in Spanish-speaking communities.
  • How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life? / ยฟCรณmo influyen los ideales/ modelos de belleza y estรฉtica en la vida diaria?
  • How does art both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives? / ยฟCรณmo el arte desafรญa y a la vez refleja las perspectivas culturales?
  • How do communities value beauty and art? / ยฟCรณmo valoran las comunidades la belleza y el arte?
  • How is art used to record history? / ยฟCรณmo se usa el arte para documentar la historia?

Some Resources:

๐Ÿ“š Read these study guides:
If you have more time or want to dig deeper:
๐Ÿ’ป Check out these AP Spanish Language Self-Study/Homeschool tips:
ย 

๐Ÿ”ฌ Unit 4: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives

This unit will explore how science and technology affect the lives of those living in Spanish-speaking communities.
  • What factors drive innovation and discovery in the fields of science and technology? /ยฟQuรฉ factores impulsan la innovaciรณn y los descubrimientos en los campos de la ciencia y la tecnologรญa?
  • What role do ethics play in scientific advancement? / ยฟQuรฉ papel juega la รฉtica en los avances cientรญficos?
  • What are the social consequences of scientific or technological advancements?ย / ยฟCuรกles son las consecuencias sociales de los avances cientรญficos y tecnolรณgicos?
We are working on these resources for you! Check back soon :)

๐Ÿ˜๏ธ Unit 5: Factors That Impact the Quality of Life

This unit will dive into some specific factors that impact our quality of life.
  • How do aspects of everyday life influence and relate to the quality of life? / ยฟCรณmo influyen y se relacionan los aspectos de la vida diaria con la calidad de vida?
  • How does where one live impact the quality of life? / ยฟCรณmo impacta la calidad de vida el lugar donde se vive?
  • What influences oneโ€™s interpretation and perceptions of the quality of life? / ยฟQuรฉ influye en nuestra interpretaciรณn y en nuestras percepciones de la calidad de vida?
We are working on these resources for you! Check back soon :)

โ›ˆ๏ธ Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Challenges

This last unit explores how global challenges and complex issues impact people's lives in the Spanish-speaking world. Some guiding questions are:
  • How do environmental, political, and societal challenges positively and negatively impact communities? / ยฟCรณmo los desafรญos medioambientales, polรญticos y sociales impactan, positivaโ€”o negativamenteโ€” nuestras comunidades?
  • What role do individuals play in addressing complex societal issues? / ยฟQuรฉ papel juegan los individuos a la hora de abordar asuntos sociales complicados?
  • How do challenging issues affect a societyโ€™s culture? / ยฟCรณmo los asuntos desafiantes afectan la cultura de una sociedad?
We are working on these resources for you! Check back soon :)

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