Recording Student Responses Using Handheld Digital Recording Devices

The AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams and the AP Music Theory Exam allow the use of digital recording devices, also known as digital audio recorders or digital voice recorders. These devices record student responses as digital files, which can be transferred from the device via a USB cable or removable storage media (e.g., an SD card). 

Many brands and models of digital recording devices are suitable for students' audio responses. AP requires that the device meet the following requirements to be used for the final exam. 

Digital Recorder Requirements 




The device must be school owned and controlled; under no circumstances can students use their own personal devices. 

Digital Recording Format 

The device must be capable of saving the recorded audio as an MP3 formatted digital file. No other audio file format is acceptable (e.g., WAV, WMA, or AAC). 

File Transfer 

The device must include a means to move or copy digital files from the device to an external computer. Most devices do so via a USB port and cable or removable media (SD card)—either of these is acceptable. 


The device must have the ability to record (begin the recording), pause/unpause (temporarily suspend the recording and then continue recording), and stop (stop/end the recording). The stop (or a separate save) control should create a digital file that contains the recording. 

What Must Be Disabled 

If a device includes features for taking pictures or video such as a built-in camera or webcam, the camera or webcam must be inaccessible or disabled. 

If a device includes features for wireless communication over a network—including cellular, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi—the communication capability must be disabled. 

Administration Options 

If necessary to accommodate a large number of exam takers, the device may be reused to record more than one student's response.  Each student's responses must be saved as a single MP3 file.