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2021 AP Spanish Literature & Culture Exam Guide

7 min readmarch 13, 2021


Your guide to the 2021 AP Spanish Literature 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 Literature 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 Spanish Literature exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2021 Spanish Literature exam is 3 hours and the format will be:
  • Section 1A: Multiple Choice Interpretive Listening (10% of score)
    • 15 questions in 20 minutes
      • 3 sets of questions based on authentic audio texts: excerpt from an interview with an author, recited poem which is not on the required reading list, and presentation on a course-related literary topic
      • Interview and presentation is played once and recited poem is played twice
  • Section 1B: Multiple Choice Reading Analysis (40% of score)
    • 50 questions in one hour
      • 6 sets of 7-10 questions based on readings from several types of genres, periods, and places
      • Readings include: works from the required reading list, works outside the required reading list, literary criticism of a work or author from the list, and one set that has 2 passages with a common theme (one is from the required reading list and the other isn’t)
  • Section 2: Free Response (50% of score)
    • 4 questions in 1 hour and 40 minutes
      • 2 Short-Answer Questions
        • 15 minutes each (suggested)
        • Text Explanation: read excerpt (text is from a required reading list), identify author & period, and explain the development of a given theme in excerpt in relation to the whole work
        • Text and Art Comparison: read excerpt (text is from required reading list), study an image of a work of art (painting, photograph, sculpture, or drawing) that is thematically to the text, compare how a particular theme is represented in both the text and image, and connect them to the genre, period, or movement of the text
      • 2 Essay Questions: 
        • 35 minutes each (suggested)
        • Analysis of a Single Text: read excerpt (text is from a required reading list), analyze how the text exhibits characteristics of a particular genre and the historical, cultural, or social context
        • Text Comparison: read 2 excerpts that are related thematically (one is from the required reading list and the other isn’t), analyze the effect of literary devices used by authors to develop a given theme in question prompt

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

There are three different exam administrations this year and all 3 AP Spanish Literature exams will be taken in person at your school:
  • May 7, 2021, at 8 AM LOCAL (paper, in school)
  • May 21, 2021, at 12 PM LOCAL (paper, in school)
  • June 4, 2021, at 12 PM LOCAL (paper, in school)
Create a Fiveable account to get updates on the latest 2021 exam news. 

How should I prepare for the exam?

  • First, download the AP Spanish Literature Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!
  • Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement. 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.
  • Additionally, create your schedule ahead of time so that you can connect with other students instead of just studying alone! 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 and tons of free events and pep talks.
  • Finally, check out our live 5-Hour Cram Finale so that you can review for the AP Spanish Lit exam with a rockstar teacher and study socially among other students.
  • 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 Spanish Literature 2021 Study Plan

    Unit 1: La época medieval

    📰 Check out these articles:
    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 2: El siglo XVI

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 3: El siglo XVII

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 4: La literatura romántica, realista y naturalista

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 5: La Generación del 98 y el Modernismo

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 6: Teatro y poesía del siglo XX

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 7: El Boom latinoamericano

    🎥 Watch these videos from Youtube:

    Unit 8: Escritores contemporáneos de Estados Unidos y España

    Super Helpful Resources:

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