AP Music Theory Exam Tips

These strategies for answering the free-response questions will help you on exam day.

Task Verbs

Pay close attention to the task verbs used in the free-response questions. Each one directs you to complete a specific type of response. Here are the task verbs you’ll see on the exam:

  • Complete: Use music notation to compose the remainder of a bass line.
  • Continue logically: Proceed according to conventions of 18th-century voice-leading procedures.
  • Notate: Transcribe using music notation.
  • Realize: Complete the music notation for a chord progression in four parts following conventions of 18th-century voice-leading procedures.
  • Sing or Perform: Vocalize by singing (humming or whistling is also acceptable).
  • Transpose: Sing in a key other than the written key.
  • Write: Use appropriate notation to indicate chords and their inversions and/or complete a chord progression in four-part harmony, following 18th-century voice-leading procedures.