Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Music Theory Course and Exam Description (CED).
Encourage your students to visit the AP Music Theory student page for exam information.
The AP Music Theory Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.
Section I: Multiple Choice
75 Questions | ~1 Hour 20 Minutes | 45% of Exam Score
- Approximately 13 sets of 4–6 questions.
- Approximately 10–12 individual multiple-choice questions.
- Questions that assess students’ ability to use symbols and terms to describe features, procedures, and relationships in performed music.
- Students will also be assessed on their ability to detect discrepancies in pitch and rhythm when comparing notated and performed music.
- Questions that assess students’ ability to use symbols and terms to describe features, procedures, and relationships in notated music.
- All stimulus materials represent a variety of historical style periods, including baroque, classical, romantic, late 19th or 20th century, and contemporary (world music, jazz, or pop).
- Both instrumental and vocal music are represented.
Section IIA: Free Response: Written
7 questions | ~1 hour and 10 minutes | 45% of Exam Score
The seven questions include:
- 2 melodic dictation
- 2 harmonic dictation
- 1 part writing from figured bass
- 1 part writing from Roman numerals
- 1 composition of a bass line/harmonization of a melody
Section IIB: Free Response: Sight Singing
2 questions | ~10 minutes | 10% of Exam Score
The student will be asked to sing and record two brief, primarily diatonic melodies (of about 4–8 bars).
Exam Questions and Scoring Information
2022: Free-Response Questions
Samples and Commentary
Sight-Singing Scoring Guidelines