The AP Music Theory exam is a rigorous test that evaluates the knowledge and skills of students in music theory. One question that often arises is whether or not students are allowed to hum during the exam. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in detail.

What is the AP Music Theory Exam?

The AP Music Theory Exam is an assessment of a student’s understanding of music theory concepts and skills. The exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice and free-response. Students are tested on their ability to recognize and analyze musical notation, as well as their understanding of theoretical concepts such as harmony, melody, rhythm, and form.

Can You Hum in the AP Music Theory Exam?

One of the most common questions asked by students preparing for the AP Music Theory exam is whether or not they can hum during the test. The short answer is no – humming is not allowed during the exam.

Why Can’t You Hum?

The reason why humming is not allowed during the AP Music Theory exam is that it can interfere with other students’ concentration. The test room can be a crowded and noisy environment, with many students taking the exam at once. If one student were to start humming, it could be distracting for others and make it difficult for them to focus on their own work.

Additionally, humming can be seen as a way of cheating on the exam. If a student were to hum a melody or rhythm that corresponds to a particular question on the test, it could give them an unfair advantage over other students who are not humming.

What Should You Do Instead?

If you find yourself wanting to hum during the AP Music Theory exam, there are other ways you can approach the task at hand. For example, you can silently sing or play in your head instead of humming out loud. This allows you to focus on the musical concepts you are trying to analyze without distracting others.

Another approach is to use visualization techniques. For example, you can imagine the melody or rhythm in your head and mentally follow along with the notation on the test. This can be a helpful way of connecting the theoretical concepts you have learned with the practical skills needed to perform well on the exam.


In conclusion, while it may be tempting to hum during the AP Music Theory exam, it is not allowed for good reason. Instead, try using visualization techniques or silently singing or playing in your head to help you focus and stay engaged with the material. With practice and preparation, you can succeed on this challenging exam and demonstrate your knowledge of music theory.