Tips for the MCQ section of the AP Spanish Exam

Tips For the MCQ Section of the AP Spanish Exam

We focus a lot on the open-ended sections, but the MCQ section of the AP Spanish Exam is worth 50%! Today’s post will highlight some strategies for teachers and their students. If you are interested, you can find a FREE strategies hand-out (printable or postable) in the Free Resources Library!

Question Types

One of the best tips for the MCQ section of the AP Spanish Exam is to help your students become familiar with the kinds of questions that are frequently asked. For example,

-Which was not mentioned in the audio?

-If you wanted to read more on this subject, what title would be appropriate?

-What do X reading and Y audio have in common?

-Questions with number answers

These are all question types that come up a lot. Make sure your students expect them and understand them!


Another really important tip for the MCQ questions is to drill it into your students’ heads that they MUST pre-read both the questions and the answers.

Hopefully, you will be practicing all year. Students should have the directions memorized and know what kinds of questions to expect before the day of the exam. So the 2 minutes they have to read the instructions should be used to read the introduction and the questions.

Teach students how to underline important parts. Examples could be “not included”, which is “true” or which is “false”. The important part is that students already know what kind of information they’re listening or reading for, so that they can get more done in a more accurate way!

How To Eliminate Some Choices

When we do practices in class, there are times when the question writers have thrown us a bone! There are instances when at least one answer choice is ridiculous, totally out of context, not related to the theme, etc. I teach my students to put a little X next to those answer choices.

Another gift that we sometimes see is when the answer to a question is either obvious or can be answered with previous background knowledge. I teach my students to look for these kinds of questions when they pre-read, and capitalize on them!

Practice & Timing

One of the best tips for the MCQ section of the AP Spanish Exam that I can offer is to give your students lots of practice. At the beginning of the year, make questions about what you’re reading and listening to in class similar to the AP Exam. Use the same types of questions, but maybe scaffold early in the year by offering 3 choices instead of 4. You can also make the answer choices less complicated to build confidence.

As the year progresses, continue to offer these kinds of questions, and begin to use readings and audios that mimic the test. These can be found in AP Classroom or if you’re lucky, your district may provide Test Prep Workbooks.

The last step for my tips for the MCQ section is to practice the timing. Students will have 30 questions to answer for the interpretive reading with 40 minutes. And the audio and combined reading and audio consists of 35 questions and 55 minutes. Make sure students have the opportunity to practice the real test timing so they can be sure they are working at a good pace.


MCQ Strategies Hand-Out

AP Spanish Exam Prep Mega Bundle

AP Spanish Exam Bundle Open Ended Questions: How To Tutorials

AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam: Quiz about Exam and Strategies: 3 versions

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Tips for the MCQ section of the AP Spanish Exam