Veronica Wickline 8 min read AP Guides

How Long Is Each AP Exam? A Complete List

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Wondering how long your AP Exams are? In this post, we’ll go over the length and format of each AP exam. At the end of this article, you’ll also find tips for how to prepare for the big day.

 

How Long Are AP Exams?

 

It is not uncommon for students to come to us asking something like the following: “How long is the AP Chem exam? How long is AP Stats? How will I know what’s on my AP test?” If you are one of many students trying to wrap your head around the AP test format, this article should answer all of your questions.

 

Let’s start with a brief overview of AP exam duration:

 

Exam Duration
AP Art History 3 hours
AP Biology 3 hours
AP Calculus AB 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP Calculus BC 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP Chemistry 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP Chinese Language and Culture 2 hours, 1 minute
AP Comparative Government and Politics 2 hours, 30 minutes
AP Computer Science A 3 hours
AP Computer Science Principles ~2 hours
AP English Language and Composition 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP English Literature and Composition 3 hours
AP Environmental Science 2 hours, 40 minutes
AP European History 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP French Language and Culture 3 hours, 3 minutes
AP German Language and Culture 3 hours, 3 minutes
AP Human Geography 2 hours, 15 minutes
AP Italian Language and Culture 3 hours, 3 minutes
AP Japanese Language and Culture 2 hours
AP Latin 3 hours
AP Macroeconomics 2 hours, 10 minutes
AP Microeconomics 2 hours, 10 minutes
AP Music Theory ~2 hours, 40 minutes
AP Physics 1 3 hours
AP Physics 2 3 hours
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 1 hour, 30 minutes
AP Physics C: Mechanics 1 hour, 30 minutes
AP Psychology 2 hours
AP Spanish Language and Culture 3 hours, 3 minutes
AP Spanish Literature and Culture 3 hours
AP Statistics 3 hours
AP United States Government and Politics 3 hours
AP United States History 3 hours, 15 minutes
AP World History: Modern 3 hours, 15 minutes

 

How Are AP Exams Formatted?

 

Some students want to know more than simply how long is the AP Chem exam, APUSH, and so on. For them, we have compiled an overview of AP exam formats.

 

For the most part, AP exams begin with multiple-choice questions and conclude with a free response section. Additionally, a few exams include alternative question formats:

 

  • Several AP history exams include short answer segments.
  • Most language exams include a speaking component.
  • The exams for AP Chinese and AP Japanese include several tasks, such as narrating a story or writing an email.
  • AP Computer Science Principles involves two multi-hour tasks in addition to the exam, such as developing a computer program.
  • AP Drawing and the AP Studio Art exams require portfolios rather than exams.
  • AP Research and AP Seminar are not assessed with a traditional AP exam.

 

If you want to know the format and question weighting for each AP with an exam, scroll to find the subject areas that apply to you.

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Arts

 

AP Art History: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Score

 

AP Music Theory: ~2 hours, 40 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

75 Questions | ~1 Hour, 20 Minutes | 45% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response: Written

7 Questions | ~1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 45% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response: Sight-Singing

2 Questions | ~10 Minutes | 10% of Score

 

English

 

AP English Language and Composition: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

45 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 2 Hours, 15 Minutes | 55% of Score

 

AP English Literature and Composition: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 2 Hours | 55% of Score

 

History & Social Studies

 

AP Comparative Government and Politics: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Note: When students ask, “How long is the AP Government Exam?” they are usually referring to AP United States Government and Politics, listed a few entries below this one. The AP Gov exam is 3 hours long.

 

AP European History: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

Section 1B: Short Answer

3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

AP Human Geography: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour, 15 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Macroeconomics: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 67% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour | 33% of Score

 

AP Microeconomics: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 67% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour | 33% of Score

 

AP Psychology: 2 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

100 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 67% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

2 Questions | 50 Minutes | 33% of Score

 

AP United States Government and Politics: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour, 20 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP United States History: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

Section 1B: Short Answer

3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

AP World History (Modern): 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 55 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

Section 1B: Short Answer

3 Questions | 40 Minutes | 20% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

Math & Computer Science

 

AP Calculus AB: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

45 Questions | 1 Hour, 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Calculus BC: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

45 Questions | 1 Hour, 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Computer Science A: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

40 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Computer Science Principles: ~2 hours

Performance Task 1: Create—Applications from Ideas

12 Hours | 24% of Score

 

Performance Task 2: Explore—Impact of Computing Innovations

8 Hours | 16% of Score

 

End-of-Course Exam: Multiple Choice

~ 74 Questions | 2 Hours | 60% of Score

 

AP Statistics: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

40 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Sciences

 

AP Biology: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Chemistry: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

7 Questions | 1 Hour, 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Environmental Science: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 60% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 40% of Score

 

AP Physics 1: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

50 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

5 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Physics 2: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

50 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Physics C (Electricity and Magnetism): 1 hour, 30 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

35 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

AP Physics C: Mechanics: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Section 1: Multiple Choice

35 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

World Languages & Cultures

 

AP Chinese Language and Culture: 2 hours, 1 minute

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

20–35 Questions | 20 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice Reading

35–40 Questions | 1 Hour | 25% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Questions | 30 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Tasks, 7 Questions | 11 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP French Language and Culture: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

30 Questions | 40 Minutes | 23% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice with Audio

35 Questions | 55 Minutes | 27% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Questions | 18 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP German Language and Culture: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

30 Questions | 40 Minutes | 23% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice with Audio

35 Questions | 55 Minutes | 27% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Questions | 18 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP Italian Language and Culture: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

30 Questions | 40 Minutes | 23% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice with Audio

35 Questions | 55 Minutes | 27% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Questions | 18 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP Japanese Language and Culture: 2 hours

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

30–35 Questions | 20 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice Reading

35–40 Questions | 1 Hour | 25% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Tasks, 7 Questions | 30 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Tasks, 5 Questions | 11 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP Latin: 3 hours

Section 1: Multiple Choice

50 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

5 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Score

 

AP Spanish Language and Culture: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Listening

30 Questions | 40 Minutes | 23% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice with Audio

35 Questions | 55 Minutes | 27% of Score

 

Section 2A: Free Response Written

2 Questions | 1 Hour, 10 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

Section 2B: Free Response Spoken

2 Questions | 18 Minutes | 25% of Score

 

AP Spanish Literature and Culture: 3 hours

Section 1A: Multiple Choice Interpretive Listening

15 Questions | 20 Minutes | 10% of Score

 

Section 1B: Multiple Choice Reading Analysis

50 Questions | 1 Hour | 40% of Score

 

Section 2: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour, 40 Minutes | 50% of Score

 

How Should I Prepare for My AP Exams?

 

1. Keep up with Course Assignments. AP Exams are a marathon, not a sprint. You can assume that all assessments in an AP class, from small vocabulary quizzes to major projects, are designed to help you score better on the AP exam. For that reason, you will save a lot of catch-up work for yourself later on if you consistently take the time to stay on top of your AP classes.

 

2. Write Chapter Recaps and Host Review Sessions Leading up to the Exam. Nothing will prepare you for an exam quite like teaching someone else the material. When you review the material as someone who is taking responsibility for your peers’ learning, you will see the content through new eyes. It will help you make connections between the nitty-gritty details and the big picture.

 

3. Practice with Full Section or Full-Length AP Practice Exam. Going back to our marathon metaphor, no one would attempt a marathon without going on several long runs prior to the big day. The same goes for AP exams. Whether you want to try sitting for a full-length practice test or simply practice several sections of the exam, getting extended exposure to the test format will help your body know what to expect on test day.

 

4. Sleep for at Least 8 Hours All Year. If you want to get the most out of your brain on test day, you have to take care of it beforehand. That means giving your brain rest so it can review, categorize, and prioritize the information it learns each day. We see so many students skip this step and then wonder why they are unhappy or have trouble remembering things. Even if you do not sleep 8 hours every night, make a point of doing so for the week leading up to your exams and every night of that week, too.

 

5. Avoid Sugary Snacks and Caffeinated Beverages on Test Day. AP exams require a lot of stamina. By contrast, most junk food, candy, and caffeinated beverages are designed to give you short bursts of energy. Stick to balanced meals on test day, supplemented with a healthy snack (veggies, fruits, low-sugar granola bar) and water during your break times. The only exception to this tip is if you already have a caffeine dependency. In that case, keep up a low daily dose of caffeine so you do not send your body into withdrawal.

 

6. Only Perform Light Review Between AP Exams. If you have multiple AP Exams in one week, it’s important that you rest between them. This is NOT the time to cram new material, since you are more likely to wear yourself out than retain a lot of new content. Spend those evenings between exams catching up with friends, eating dinner with your family, or reviewing a handful of flashcards. 

 

7. Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture. AP exams depend so much on mastering the details that it can be easy to get lost in them. Leading up to the test day and after it, block off a couple afternoons to review your content at a high level. What have you learned from this class? How do you anticipate using the information in the future? Why was it important for you to cover this material? Taking stock will help you retain the content that matters most to you and help you to make sense of the huge effort you have just undertaken.

 

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Veronica Wickline
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Veronica is an alumna of Harvard College, where she earned her A.B. in History and Classics. After graduating, she joined CollegeVine serving as the Curriculum Development Manager. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA and is writing her debut novel.