How Can I Get a 5 in AP Spanish Literature?

5 min readseptember 30, 2021

Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan

Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan

AP Spanish Literature 💃🏽

24 resources
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Overview 💬

In this guide, we'll give you some tips so you can ace that AP exam in May and get a 5! A lot of these tips just involve knowing the exam and its contents, and we'll walk you through them. Remember to stay optimistic! You've got this 🎉
A view of Alhambra in Granada, Spain — a great place to visit and practice your Spanish! Image from Pixabay

1. Know the required texts in and out! 📚

There are 38 required readings that you must know for the AP Spanish Lit exam. Not only should you know the content from these texts, you must also know the author, time period, and other contextual information 📖
If you are self-studying this course, it is especially important that you plan out your studying throughout the year 📆 You won't have time to cram since you have to read all 38 pieces of literature! Make sure you keep up throughout the year so that you aren't behind come exam 📄time.
You can find a full list of all 38 texts on this website 📑

2. Know what your test is going to look like 🔎

To get a 5 on the exam, you need to be comfortable with the format of the exam! Here is some general information about the questions on the AP Spanish Lit exam.
  • Section 1A: Multiple Choice (10% of Exam Score)
  • ⏰ 15 questions in 20 minutes
  • 3 sets of questions based on authentic audio texts
  • 💬 1 excerpt from an interview with an author
  • 📄 1 recited poem which is NOT on the required reading list
  • 👩‍🏫 1 presentation on a literary topic (will be related to course content)
  • Section 1B: Multiple Choice (40% of Exam Score)
  • ⏰ 50 questions in 60 minutes
  • 6 sets of 7-10 questions based on BOTH required and non-required texts
  • 📕 1 passage will be a literary critique of a text or author from the list
  • 📃 1 set will have 2 thematically related passages — 1 will be from the required reading list
  • Section 2: Free Response (50% of Exam Score)
  • ⏰ 4 questions in 100 minutes
  • Part A: 2 Short Answer Questions (suggested time: 30 minutes)
  • Text Explanation Question
  • read an excerpt from a text on the required reading list
  • identify author/period of text
  • explain the development of the excerpt's theme in relation to the entire text
  • 🎨 Text and Art Comparison Question
  • read an excerpt from a text on the required reading list AND study a work of art that is related to the text thematically
  • compare the representation of the theme as represented in the text and the image
  • connect the theme to the genre, period, or movement of the text
  • Part B: 2 Essay Questions (suggested time: 70 minutes)
  • 📜 Analysis of a Single Text Question
  • read an excerpt from a text on the required reading list
  • analyze how the text represents characteristics of a genre and cultural context
  • 🗯 Text Comparison Question
  • read 2 excerpts that are related thematically — one will be from a required text, another will be from a text not on the list
  • analyze how literary devices were used to develop a particular theme as stated in the prompt

3. Practice and use your resources! 💻

There is a wealth of AP Spanish Literature material available on the internet, including released tests. Use these! It is especially important that you practice academic writing ✍ in the Spanish language since much of your AP exam is just that.
Additionally, just like other FRQ sections, you'll be writing for 100 minutes straight! ⏰ Make sure you take short breaks as you're writing so you don't get fatigued.
Finally, try listening to Spanish songs, TV shows 📺, and other media sources over the summer and throughout the year. This will help build your vocabulary and might even help you when writing!

Some advice from a student who has taken the class! 🎒

We wanted to conclude with some detailed and helpful feedback that a student who has taken the AP Spanish Literature course wrote! It goes through some tips and strategies you can use to get a 5 on the AP exam. 😁
First of all, relax. You need to relax and find the aspects that you enjoy about each piece. That way, the (reviewing) process will be more enjoyable when you get to the exam.
Don't just read a passage, but deeply try to understand it and analyze it. Even find a connection with it if you can. Try to see if it helps you understand the world around you. For me at least, I find that when the works help me understand the world and aren't just words on a piece of paper, they leave an imprint and are much easier to remember. Also, try to analyze every aspect and do the work, even if it seems insignificant.
Analyze the structure of Horacio Quiroga's short story, even if it doesn't seem to have an extraordinarily unique structure. It will help you understand details of the story that you wouldn't have noticed before. You'll also notice what makes this work unique and how the theme the author is trying to convey is showcased. It will be worth it in the long run. It will help you appreciate literature and give you the skills you need to analyze complex works.
And third of all, just manage your time. I knew people from other schools who were very stressed. They had just completed reading a certain piece of literature whereas my peers and I were ahead, reading something completely different. You shouldn't dedicate more time to a certain work than is necessary. You have to get through 38 works and leave time to review for the exam. It is best to not spend a month or more trying to analyze "Don Quijote".
Read the text, have discussions with anyone else if you can and analyze the meaning behind the work as well as the tools the author used to convey the message. Just keep a good pace, don't slack off, but don't rush anything.
Isabella D.

In closing...

Good luck on your AP Spanish Lit exam! Remember to know the required text, know the exam structure, and keep practicing. We're always here to support you with resources for all AP subjects to help you get a 5! 🎉
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