For AP Music Theory, there are two subscores (1–5): an aural component subscore and a nonaural component subscore.
The aural component subscore includes multiple-choice questions related to recorded musical examples, two melodic dictation questions, two harmonic dictation questions, and two sight-singing questions.
The nonaural component subscore includes multiple-choice questions requiring score analysis and other multiple-choice questions not related to recorded musical examples. It also includes free-response questions calling for realization of a figured bass, realization of a chord progression from Roman numerals, and composition of a bass line to fit a given melody.
The subscores help music departments make appropriate decisions about credit and placement when they offer separate courses for written theory and aural skills. Although each college or university sets its own policy for awarding credit and/or placement for AP Exam scores, it is recommended that for students continuing study in music, subscores be considered along with the overall score. It is further recommended that the college or university use the overall score to set policy for students seeking general humanities credits.
Note: Subscores for the 2020 exams are not available. Due to their shorter duration, the 2020 AP Music Theory Exams do not sufficiently assess the subsets of material required to calculate aural and nonaural subscores. However, this does not affect the calculation or validity of the AP Exam scores for the full exam in this course.