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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Japanese Language and Culture Exams will be administered in early May, late May, and early June. This subject does not have an at-home version of the exam—students’ access to online translation applications and other resources means that a full-length exam can't be securely and fairly administered at home. 2021 AP Japanese Language and Culture Exams will only be available in schools or school-proctored locations.

The exam will cover the full scope of course content, giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement. As previously announced to AP coordinators, AP Japanese Language and Culture Exams will be administered on a new online platform that can be accessed on PCs, Macs, or Chromebooks with an internet connection. CDs will no longer be used for these exams. More information will be shared with AP coordinators and teachers in the coming weeks.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Japanese Language and Culture only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Japanese Language and Culture Course and Exam Description (CED) and the CED’s companion audio files.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Japanese Language and Culture student page for exam information.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • WED, MAY 5, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam—Administration 1

    Computer-Based, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • FRI, MAY 21, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam—Administration 2

    Computer-Based, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • FRI, JUN 4, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam—Administration 3

    Computer-Based, In School
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Note on 2021 exams: There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Japanese Language and Culture only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

To ensure equitable and secure testing of full course content and skills, the 2021 AP Japanese Language and Culture Exam will only be available in schools or school-proctored locations.

Section IA: Multiple Choice Listening
30–35 Questions | 20 Minutes | 25% of Exam Score

  • This section consists of a variety of audio materials (e.g., public announcements, voice messages, instructions, cultural presentations, radio broadcasts, uncontextualized dialogues, and school debates).
  • Students will be asked to:
    • Identify the main ideas and supporting details in the audio material
    • Determine the meaning of a variety of vocabulary and deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words
    • Decide the meaning of a text based on cultural and/or interdisciplinary information
    • Infer implied meaning through context

Section IB: Multiple Choice Reading
30–40 Questions | 60 Minutes | 25% of Exam Score

  • This section consists of a variety of print materials (e.g., journalistic articles, short stories, email inboxes, letters, step-by-step instructions, and travel brochures).
  • Students will be asked to:
    • Identify the main ideas and supporting details in the written material
    • Determine the meaning of a variety of vocabulary and deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words
    • Decide the meaning of a text based on cultural and/or interdisciplinary information
    • Infer implied meaning through context

Section IIA: Free Response Written
2 Tasks | 30 Minutes | 25% of Exam Score

  • Interpersonal Writing: Read and answer text-chat messages (6 prompts; 10 minutes)
  • Presentational Writing: Write a compare-and-contrast article of 300–400 characters or longer on two related topics or two opposing sides of a single topic (1 prompt; 20 minutes)

Section IIB: Free Response Spoken
2 Tasks | 10 Minutes | 25% of Exam Score

  • Interpersonal Speaking: Participate in a simulated interpersonal conversation (4 prompts; 3 minutes)
  • Presentational Speaking: Deliver a 2-minute presentation presenting the student’s own view or perspective on a Japanese cultural practice or product (1 prompt; 7 minutes, preparation time: 4 minutes; response time: 2 minutes)

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year’s free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser. Since the 2020 exams had to be designed for highly unusual circumstances, these questions were updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

2019: Free-Response Questions

Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

 

Speaking Audio Prompts

Scoring Guidelines

Chief Reader Report

Scoring Statistics

Interpersonal Writing

Text Chat

Presentational Writing

Compare and Contrast Article

Interpersonal Speaking

Conversation

Presentational Speaking

Cultural Perspective Presentation

 

Speaking Samples

Scoring Distribution