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Course Updates

AP Spanish Language and Culture has been updated for the 2019-20 school year to make things clearer for you and your students and to better align with college-level expectations.

Course and exam information is now more clearly presented in an updated course and exam description (CED).

The CED organizes the course into six thematic units.

  1. Families in Different Societies
  2. The Influence of Language and Culture on Identity
  3. Influences of Beauty and Art
  4. How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives
  5. Factors that Impact Quality of Life
  6. Environmental, Political, and Social Challenges
  • By organizing the course content and skills into units, we’re able to give you and your students free formative assessments—personal progress checks—that you can assign throughout the year to measure student progress.
  • We want to respect your time and expertise by providing a road map you can modify and adapt to your local priorities and preferences. You can choose to follow this suggestion for how content can be sequenced and paced. As always, you’ll have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

The CED defines skills and more learning objectives for students.

  • The course framework outlines specific skills that AP Spanish Language and Culture students should practice throughout the year, like interpreting written and audio texts and speaking to others.
  • Additional learning objectives are included in the framework so that it’s clearer what students should be able to do.
  • Each learning objective is clearly connected to the defined skills. With this kind of specificity, you and your students will know how course content and skills will be assessed on the AP Exam.
  • Throughout the CED, you’ll find thoughtful suggestions for pairing course content with skills.

Exam Updates

Starting in the 2019-20 school year:

  • The second free-response question (the persuasive essay) will now be known as the argumentative essay. This is a change in name only; the task, expectations, types of sources, and rubrics aren't changing.
  • Task directions will now align exactly with the expectations set by the scoring guidelines.
  • There will be no other updates to the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam.

Key Dates for AP Spanish Language and Culture Teachers

  • 2019 AP Summer Institutes begin. Updated AP Spanish Language and Culture workshop materials will be available to provide context on the CED, unit guides, and other new resources.
  • 2019 CED binders are available. You can preorder your free copy now using the 2019-20 AP Course and Exam Description Preorder Form.
  • August 1: The AP Classroom system resources—including unit guides, personal progress checks, progress dashboard, and question bank—become available, along with interactive tutorials on how to make the most of these resources with your students.
    • Completing a simple digital activation process will give you immediate access to the system and ensure your students can register for the exams by the new fall deadlines.*
    • If you’re teaching a new AP Spanish Language and Culture course in 2019-20, you’ll need to have your AP Course Audit form approved by your administrator before you can access the system.*
  • Mid-August: 1-day workshops begin.
  • Your school’s AP coordinator will set up your class sections in the system. If your coordinator chooses not to create class sections, you can create your own.
  • Familiarize yourself with the system and start exploring the resources.
  • As you create your sequencing and pacing calendars, use the Course at a Glance and unit guides in the CED to inform your decisions. These can also help you determine how to fit the personal progress checks into your instruction so you and your students can receive timely instructional feedback.
  • Access the AP question bank to see what questions are available for you to assign to your students for instructional and assessment purposes throughout the year.
  • Before classes start, log in to the system to get join codes for each of your class sections.*
  • Post the join code for your class section on the board or distribute it to your students. Tell students to log in and join you class section before the next class.*


  • October 4: Preferred deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams.
  • November 15: Deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams. 
  • Use your progress dashboard to see where students are demonstrating strength and where they have opportunities for further growth.
  • January 31, 2020: Deadline, if applicable, to submit your AP Spanish Language and Culture Course Audit form and have it approved by your administrator for 2019-20 AP Course Audit authorization.*
  • Before March: If your course started after November 15, 2019, make sure that all your students have joined your AP Classroom section and are following your AP coordinator’s directions about registering for AP Exams.*
  • March 13, 2020: Deadline for your AP coordinator to place exam orders for students in courses that started after November 15, 2019.*
  • Use the AP question bank and feedback on the progress dashboard to help students prepare for their AP Exams.
  • May 2020: AP Exam administration.

* = required action