beginning of content:

Important Updates

  • AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams must be administered in school. There isn’t a digital or at-home testing option for these exams. Students’ access to translation applications via mobile devices and other resources means that not all parts of a full-length digital exam in these subjects can be securely and fairly administered in students’ homes. Therefore, these exams can only be administered in a proctored school environment in Administration 1 and 2, reserving Administration 3 as the last makeup testing opportunity for these subjects.
  • In 2021, a version of the Digital Audio Capture (DAC) app for Chromebook will be available as a recording option for these exams. More information will be posted on the AP DAC page when it’s available.
  • Determine ahead of time if you’ll need to take any particular precautions with the recording equipment to adhere to your local health and safety protocols. For instance, if students will be recording in groups and recording equipment will be used by multiple students, consider how the equipment can be sanitized between uses.
  • Due to the coronavirus, schools may need to consider additional aspects of the sight singing administration for the AP Music Theory Exam. We support schools that may want to take steps to minimize contact between the student and the proctor during the sight singing part of the exam. Review details in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2.
  • This year, the requirement for devices is that they be school owned and controlled. Because many schools are using a blended learning model this year, in which students need to take their devices home with them, devices that have left the school and/or have been assigned to students may be used for testing if necessary.

This page provides an overview about these exams. For full details, review the “French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams” section in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2.

  • All student audio responses for AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams must be submitted through the Digital Audio Submission (DAS) portal to be scored. Visit Submitting Audio for more information about the DAS portal.
  • The Digital Audio Capture (DAC) app is an additional recording option available for the AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams.  DAC app is available for iPads and Chromebooks. The 2021 DAC app will be available for download in March from the Apple App Store and the Chrome Web Store. Schools that use the DAC app must use the 2021 version of the app. (Files recorded using previous versions of the DAC app will not be accepted by the DAS portal.)
  • For more information, please see the AP Digital Audio Capture (DAC) App Overview for Chromebook or the AP Digital Audio Capture (DAC) App Overview for iPad.

Ordering Exams

You’ll order exams for AP French, German, Italian, Spanish Language and Culture and AP Spanish Literature and Culture through AP Registration and Ordering. For more information about ordering AP Exams, go to Ordering Exam Materials.

Ordering Master CDs

Each order for an AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture and Spanish Literature and Culture Exam includes one set of master CDs, as follows:

  • French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture: master CD for Section I (listening), and a double CD set containing the master CD for writing and the master CD for speaking for Section II.
  • Spanish Literature and Culture: master CD for Section I (listening).

By default, you’ll receive one set of master CDs for each subject ordered, regardless of the number of exams ordered. If there will be multiple testing rooms for any of these subjects, you’ll need to order a set of master CDs for each testing room. Order additional master CDs by March 12. Review the “Ordering Additional Master CDs” section in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 1.  

When you submit your exam order, you may request:

  • 1 additional master writing/speaking CD set for every 4 exams ordered
  • 1 additional master listening CD for every 10 exams ordered

You may add additional master CDs to your exam order until March 12, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET. After March 12, if you need to request additional master CDs, you must contact AP Services for Educators.

Necessary Equipment

  • CD player: You will need a high-quality CD player with speakers to play the listening and speaking master CDs. If you are recording the speaking portion in more than one room, you will need a CD player at each of these locations.
  • Recording devices/equipment: You will need digital audio recording devices or equipment to record student responses at each recording location. Acceptable recording methods in 2021 are:
    • Computers with MP3 recording software and headset/microphone
    • Handheld recording devices
    • Digital language lab
    • Digital Audio Capture (DAC) app running on Apple iPad tablets and Chromebooks

Visit Recording Audio for information on recording options.

Submitting Audio Files

All students’ recorded speaking response files must be submitted online through the Digital Audio Submission (DAS) portal. Visit the Submitting Audio page for information on how to submit student responses. The DAS portal will be available in early April 2020 for AP coordinators and school staff to create accounts.

Important: Only audio responses submitted through the DAS portal will be scored.

Exam Preparation

To prepare for AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams, please take the following steps:

  • New! Review the “AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture” section in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2 for aspects to consider this year when planning for the administration of the speaking part of these exams.
  • Decide where you’ll administer the exams; you may administer these exams in a regular classroom, a language lab, or a computer lab.
  • Determine the digital recording technology students will use to record their responses for the speaking portion of the exams. (If using a digital language lab, computer, or handheld recording device, files must be saved in MP3 format.)
  • Hold several practice recording sessions so that you, teachers, proctors, students, and your school's technical staff (if applicable) gain a full understanding of the process.
  • Encourage AP teachers to give students time to practice recording responses using the method that will be used on exam day.
  • Make sure students have the opportunity to practice with released free-response questions and short-answer questions available in the course and exam descriptions, and the teacher-accessible practice exams available in the fall through AP Classroom.
  • If using a digital language lab, computer, or handheld recording device, have proctors practice saving and naming MP3 files before the exam administration. If your school is using the DAC app for recording, the app directly names and saves the files with the student’s AP ID. Learn more about the DAC app.
  • Give proctors a way to cross-reference students' AP IDs to ensure that the proper AP ID is used when they name and save the MP3 files. (Applies only when recording with a digital language lab, computer, or handheld recording device.)
  • Remind proctors that they will need to verify that each file can be played and the audio level of each file is adequate.
  • Work with your school's administration to establish a quiet testing environment. Refrain from using bells and making PA announcements during testing, if possible, and ensure that proctors do not talk with other staff during the exam.

Extended Time

If a student taking an AP French, German, Italian, or Spanish Language and Culture Exam has been approved for an accommodation of extended time, it’s important that the proctor understands how to apply the extended time during the exam. These exams don’t offer master CDs with embedded extended time due to the varied needs of students with disabilities. (The Chinese and Japanese Language and Culture exams do have 50% and 100% extended time enabled within the computer-based exam application.)

AP coordinators and proctors should review the instructions for determining extended time for the AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2.

Although master CDs must not be paused during a standard exam administration, remind proctors administering AP Exams to students approved for extended time that they can apply extended time to master CDs by pausing between tracks or after the audio stimulus is played.

Reminder: As noted in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2, questions in Section II, Part B require students to provide oral responses. In this part, students are limited to short responses that should not exceed the time allotted on the master CD (20 seconds or two minutes, depending on the task). If a student is approved for extended time for this part, the extended time should be used for preparing responses, not for creating responses that are longer than requested.

Remember that to take an AP Exam with accommodations—including extended time—a student must be approved for accommodations by College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. Providing accommodations to students without College Board approval will result in the cancellation of these students’ scores.

If you have questions about applying extended time to exams for students approved for this accommodation, or any other accommodations, contact SSD:

Reference Materials

  • Refer to the AP Coordinator's Manual, Part 2 for full instructions and procedures for preparing for and administering the AP Exams in world languages.
  • Refer to the AP Exam Instructions for exam administration proctor scripts, including scripts specific to each audio recording option.
  • Review AP Digital Audio Submission (DAS) Help, a step-by-step guide to using the DAS portal to upload and submit students' recorded responses.
  • If your school is planning to use the DAC app to record students’ responses, check the DAC App page for the DAC App Overview, a guide to using the app.