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How Long Is The AP German Exam?

Detailed guide that covers everything you need to know about the AP German test

You took on the challenge of learning German over the past few years. Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky people who grew up speaking a bit of German with family members, and you’ve had even longer to practice. Whatever the case, now you’re ready to take the AP German test so that you can get a head start on those college credits. You need to be as prepared as possible, though, so you can go into exam day cool, confident, and ready to ace the exam with a passing score. Here’s everything you need to know.

How Much Does It Cost To Take The AP German Exam?

Every year, the AP board sets exam fees for the entire gamut of tests. Each language exam costs the same, so you won’t be paying more for AP German compared to the AP Spanish or AP French tests.

For 2023, the AP German exam will cost you $97. If you register late, though, (after November 16) you’ll have to pay an extra $40 fee. If you’re one of the few students taking this exam outside the US or its territories, you’ll also incur an extra $40 fee.

student taking ap german exam

All these fees will be paid to your school. Some schools charge extra amounts for proctoring or administrative costs, so be sure to double-check with your teacher or guidance counselor before budgeting for all the AP tests on your schedule.

How Early Should You Arrive To The Testing Center?

You should plan to arrive at the testing center at least half an hour before the test is scheduled to begin. This will give you time to use the restroom, check-in, get to your seat, and get settled before the starting test time.

If you’re late, you will not be allowed to complete the exam and you might not get the chance to make it up.

To give yourself some extra peace of mind, drive to the testing center the week before the test on the same day and time (if it’s not at your school).

Take note if there’s any traffic, where the parking lot is, and how long it will take you to get to the testing area from your car. This way, you won’t be rushed or feel undue pressure right before you have to begin your exam.

How Long Does It Take To Complete The AP German Exam?

Every year, the AP German exam is the same length and format. This makes it easy for students to prepare. Even though you can’t know exactly what will be on the test, you can know how long it takes to complete and what the exam will cover in general.

The AP German exam is separated into two sections, each with two subsections. The first half of the test (multiple-choice) takes 95 minutes and the second part (free-response) takes an hour and 28 minutes.

So, including the scheduled 10-minute break, the entire test takes just over three hours.

How Long Is Each Section Of The AP German Exam?

There are two sections of the AP German exam, each broken down into two smaller sections.

In Section I, you’ll have 65 multiple-choice questions. The first 30 questions (Section IA) are straight text, asking you about vocabulary, main idea and details, and point of view.

Section IB is multiple-choice with audio, so you’ll listen to authentic German recordings and then answer a total of 35 questions. This will take you 55 minutes and account for half your score.

Section II consists of Free Response Written and Free Response Spoken. Section IIA requires that you answer two questions: one is an email reply and the other is an argumentative essay. You get 70 minutes for this part and it’s 25% of your score. Section IIB is only 18 minutes.

Here you’ll have a simulated conversation in which you have five turns of 20 seconds each, as well as give a two-minute presentation in which you need to compare a German cultural feature with one from another culture.

Are There Any Breaks During The AP German Exam?

There is a scheduled 10-minute break between Section I and Section II of the AP German exam. Some testing centers provide unscheduled breaks for various reasons, but this is unlikely.

For any type of break, though, there are strict rules and regulations. You may not talk to any teacher, proctor, or other students about the exam. You may not use your phone or another electronic device, and you may not leave the testing area. You also can’t consult any books, reference guides, dictionaries, etc.

You aren’t allowed to bring any food or drinks into the exam room, including bottled water. During the break, though, you can leave the room to get a drink or snack if there are provided machines in the testing place.

If these rules are broken, you could be dismissed from the test and your score canceled, without an opportunity to retest.

Tips For Learning The German Language

German has a reputation for being difficult, but you know that once you get the basics down, it’s not that bad! That’s how you’ve come so far as it is. As you’re taking your final steps to prepare for the AP German test, utilize these tips and tricks.

  • Speak and listen in a natural, conversational environment.
  • Concentrate on your modal verbs.
  • Learn the basic rules for the 16 different types of “the.” There is a logic behind these rules, as well as those for the three genders.
  • Take note of prepositions so you can more easily figure out the sentence structure.
  • Become a grammar nerd! German is full of logical grammar rules, and when you notice the patterns, everything else will fall into place.

You may also want to consider using a German language app to help you prepare for the AP German exam. There are tons of great options out there. For example, our team really likes the Rocket German and Pimsleur German apps. Both of these German language courses offer lessons that include mock conversations with fluent German speakers. Our team has found these types of practice exercises help you expand your vocabulary and conversational skills.

rocket german quiz
Example of German language learning app

The German app from Babbel is also a nice option since their lessons only take about 10 minutes to complete. Tis is great for busy students who don’t have a ton of time throughout the day. All it takes is a few minutes per day to really improve your German language skills. Of course, there are plenty of other German courses out there too, such as Rosetta Stone and Duolingo.

Some of these language apps (like Busuu and Memrise, for example) even include videos of fluent German speakers, which are obviously a great choice for visual learners.

Final Thoughts

The AP German exam is simply a culmination of everything you’ve learned so far. You’ve studied hard, and now you know all there is to know about the test. You’ve got this!


How long to study for the AP German exam?

Our team recommends studying for a total of 15-20 hours before sitting for the AP German exam.

How long does the AP German exam take to finish?

The AP German exam takes over three hours to complete from start to finish.