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How Can I Be Prepared for the AP Spanish Language Multiple Choice?

4 min readseptember 30, 2021

sander-o

Sander Owens


AP Spanish Language 🇪🇸

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If you're like quite a few students, multiple-choice questions can be a huge stress point on exams. Between multiple stimuli, multiple plausible answers, and the need to keep moving and on pace, they can seem like an unconquerable hurdle. However, do not worry! With just a few quick tips, you can be successfully moving through them in no time!
This guide will cover the basics of timing and the logistics of the AP Spanish Language and Culture multiple-choice section and some general tips to succeed!

The Exam

The Timing⏱️

As you may already know, there are two sections to the AP Spanish Language multiple-choice portion: exclusively reading and reading with audio.
The exclusively reading portion consists of 30 questions, and you have 40 minutes to complete the section. This equates to about 1 minute, 20 seconds per question. As with all other multiple-choice questions, however, don't hold yourself too strictly to that guideline, as you might end up spending more time pacing yourself than working on the questions.
The section with both reading and audio has 35 questions, and you have 55 minutes to complete it. This equates to just over 1 minute, 30 seconds per question. However, the 55 minutes includes the playing of the audio selection, so you will more likely have less time per question than that time indicates.
Overall, this section is worth 50% of your grade, so it is important to learn how to master this section in order to do well.

The Content 📚

All of the questions will be based around the six units for the course, but don't worry — you won't be required to know specific content for the multiple-choice questions — the questions will just focus on these six themes:
  • 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 🌪️
However, knowing some about these topics may help you with general topical information and may mean you don't have to read the question as closely.
Don't assume you know the answer to a question! Always make sure the reading supports what you think at first, even if you are 90% sure of the answer!

General Tips 📌

This sounds silly, but know how to use a bubbled multiple choice answer sheet correctly. If this is your first AP exam or standardized test, you might not know how to fill out one of these things. CONSTANTLY check to make sure you are lined up and aren't out of sync. Also, bubble as you go to ensure you have all of the questions filled out when time ends - don't transfer all at once. It also will help you to write in the booklet, as crossing out incorrect answers is a highly effective strategy.
If there is 1 minute left and you still have unanswered questions, choose a letter and fill out the rest of the unanswered questions with that one letter. Don't go random, choose one letter. Odds are there is one question with the answer B and if you answer them all with B, you'll get that point. ONLY do this when you are truly out of time.
Always look at headings and preread the questions so that you know exactly what you are looking for — don't waste your time trying to understand parts of the reading that aren't important.

Sample MCQ ✔️

https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-kEGcIm7mGKP9.png?alt=media&token=2c13a715-55e8-4871-957b-c45dfe5793cd

from the 2020 Spanish Language and Culture Exam CED

Now, before even looking at the questions, you should get some idea of what the table shows. From the title, we ascertain that we are looking at statistics about movies in Argentina based on their distribution. Looking at the data, the vast majority of revenue was from European movies. Now, we can move on and look at the questions more closely.
https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-fHyQKsaoDPSu.png?alt=media&token=36799f83-3d48-45bf-bad4-d067da8cedca

from the 2020 Spanish Language and Culture Exam CED

We can answer the first question just with our prereading! We know it is b), because of the title of the graph, and we know number 10 because we looked at the important/most extreme numbers in the chart, which makes it a).

Conclusion 👋

Hopefully, this guide will prove useful to you, and it will make you feel more comfortable with the multiple-choice questions! If you would like more help, check out our AP Spanish Language 5 Steps to a 5 Guide, as well as our AP Spanish Language FRQ Guide (coming soon) if you are feeling uncomfortable on that portion of the exam.
If you don't make these intuitions from this guide right away, that's OK! Practice will help ensure that those connections get made in the future!

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Browse Study Guides By Unit
👨‍👩‍👧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
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