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The Revised AP Spanish Language And Culture Exam For 2020

*Updated April 3, 2020

The College Board has modified the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam, and all other AP exams, in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The AP Spanish Language exam for 2020 will be shorter, administered online, cover less material, and have a different format than previous tests. 

Here are the key changes you need to know to do well in the upcoming AP Spanish Language exam. 

Will I get AP credit for the modified AP Spanish Language exam?

Students who take the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam will be eligible for college credit, according to the College Board: “Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.”

As in previous years, a student must obtain a score of 3, 4 or 5 to be eligible for college credit. 

Source: The College Board

How long is the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam?

The online 2020 AP Spanish Language exam will be just 45 minutes long, instead of the three hours and three minutes it took in previous years, and can be taken at home (if schools are still closed on exam day) or at school. 

What is the AP Spanish Language exam format for 2020?

The 2020 AP Spanish Language exam will be an open book/open note exam based entirely on free-response questions. There will be no multiple choice questions as there were in the past.  

For free examples of free-response questions, check here for the actual questions posed in the 2019 AP Spanish Language exam and here for those posed in the 2018 AP Spanish Language exam.

What device should I use to take the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam?

You can take the exam on any device you have access to, including a computer, tablet or a smartphone. You should make the determination of which device works best for you beforehand. 

You are also allowed to submit a photo of your handwritten work. 

What if I don’t have internet access?

If you need access to the internet or a working computer, contact the College Board here for help. The College Board is committed to making the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam work for all students: “We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating. Working with partners, we will invest so that these students have the tools and connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam.”

What will be tested on the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam? 

You will be tested only on material from Units 1 through 4, so you should be prepared to answer questions on these topics:

  • 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

What will not be tested on the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam?

You won’t be tested on material from Units 5 and 6. 

  • Unit 5: Factors That Impact the Quality of Life
  • Unit 6: Environmental, Political, and Societal Changes

Are exam question types and sample questions available for the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam?

The AP Spanish Language exam will consist of two questions. The first question is a conversation segment, and the second is a cultural comparison question. Check here for a description of the questions. 

What’s the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam date and time?

The College Board is offering two exam dates for each AP exam this year. 

The AP Spanish Language exam is scheduled for Friday, May 22 at these times:

  • Hawaii Time: 10 a.m.
  • Alaska Time: 12 p.m.
  • Pacific Time: 1 p.m.
  • Mountain Time: 2 p.m.
  • Central Time: 3 p.m.
  • Eastern Time: 4 p.m.

The AP Spanish Language make-up exam will be held on Friday, June 5 at these times:

  • Hawaii Time: 8 a.m.
  • Alaska Time: 10 a.m.
  • Pacific Time: 11 a.m.
  • Mountain Time: 12 p.m.
  • Central Time: 1 p.m.
  • Eastern Time: 2 p.m.

Note: Unless you have a scheduling conflict, you should plan on taking your AP Spanish Language exam on the primary date. This way, you can take it on the make-up date if it turns out you can’t take it on the primary date.

Is the College Board offering any free AP Spanish Language exam review courses? 

The College Board is committed to making free resources available to students through exam day.

Live classes and recordings delivered by AP teachers from across the country are available on the AP YouTube channel. You can find the daily course schedule here

Note: The AP Spanish Language review courses will also cover topics that have been excluded from this year’s exams.

What are my other options for preparing for the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam?

If you don’t have an AP Spanish Language review book already and can’t get it on time through Amazon, which has recently confirmed that even Amazon Prime deliveries of non-essential goods could be delayed a month, try eBay or other alternate sources. 

And don’t worry if you have problems getting your book delivered early enough to help you with your prep. There are online resources that you can use to help you prepare for the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam. 


Available through edX, AP® Spanish Language and Culture is an interactive MOOC (massive open online course) taught by Boston University professors. The course is taught entirely in Spanish and is aimed at preparing students for the AP Spanish Language exam. 

This course is free to audit, but will cost $50 if you want a Verified Certificate. 


In line with its mission to create inclusive and social learning experiences available to every student, Fiveable is offering a Cram Pass for the AP Spanish Language exam for just $35. This fee is further reduced when you purchase more Cram Passes — $50 for two AP exams and $60 for three AP exams. On top of that, students get a 10% discount with a special TUN coupon code — just enter “TUN10%” upon checkout to activate your discount.

And Fiveable also offers financial aid for students who can’t afford a Cram Pass. 

The Cram Pass includes 10 live-streamed lessons or cram sessions, which are about an hour long but may sometimes be longer if there are extra questions from students, downloadable replays, and practice prompts and feedback. Also, the night before the exam, Fiveable will host a live open forum Q&A to help students prepare. Fiveable cram teachers will tailor their sessions to align with the changes in the 2020 AP Spanish Language exam. 

Note that as of the date this article is published, Fiveable hasn’t scheduled cram sessions for the AP Spanish Language exam as it is still looking for more students to sign up for the course. If you’re interested, you can sign up and help tilt the course towards activation. You will get a refund if Fiveable doesn’t have enough students signed up by April 3. 

According to Fiveable, 92% of students who use Fiveable to help them prepare for their AP exams pass their exams with 70% earning a 4 or higher score.

If you’re taking more than one AP exam in 2020, check here for details on other revised AP exams.