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Important Updates

AP Score Reports
Subject score rosters and student score reports for the 2020 AP Exams will be available beginning July 15.

Sign In to AP Score Reports for Educators

Accessing 2020 FRQs and Exam Responses
If your students answered free-response questions on the AP Exam in 2020, you can access their responses in the Student Response Portal. The full suite of questions your students received on exam day is available within AP Classroom.

Learn more.

AP Questions and Feedback Throughout the Year
AP practice exams and past  exam questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank. Personal progress checks are also available in AP Classroom for use throughout the year and are a great way to ensure your students build mastery of content and skills. Use the progress dashboard to view progress across units and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses to inform instructional planning and additional support.

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Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP Music Theory Course and Exam Description (CED) and the CED’s companion audio files.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Music Theory student page for exam information and exam practice.

  • Event
    • WED, MAY 12, 2021, NOON LOCAL

    AP Music Theory Exam Day


Exam Format

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 1: 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 2A: 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 2B: 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).

Digital Audio Submission

Information about recording and submitting audio responses during the 2021 AP Exam will be available later in the fall.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 Free-Response Questions

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including the 2020 free-response questions, personal progress checks, the question bank, and practice exams aligned to the current course.

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.