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
2023: Free-Response Questions
Samples and Commentary