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All the rubrics are very similar, with only minor differences between them. These questions are less about the literary artistry and more about the fairly dry technique involved in having a fluent command of the English language. Advanced Placement AP. If you're planning to take the AP English Literature and Composition exam, you'll need to get familiar with what to expect on the test. These questions test your ability to understand what the passage is saying on a pretty basic level.

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Our one-on-one online AP tutoring services can help you prepare for your AP exams. These are questions for which you have to either identify what word or phrase is figurative language or provide the meaning of a figurative phrase. Most works will be originally written in English, but you might occasionally see a passage in translation.

The first two essays are literary analysis essays of specific passages, with one poem and one prose excerpt.

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You will be provided with a list of notable works that example the given theme below the prompt, but you can also choose to discuss any "work of literary merit. You will always get at least two prose passages fiction or drama and two poetry passages. The AP Literature Free Response section is two hours long and involves three free-response essay questionsso you'll have about 40 minutes per essay. I'd also include in this category super-specific questions such as those that ask about the meter of a poem e.

And all in just 40 minutes per essay! I know, I know—lots of genre fiction works do have literary merit and Shakespeare actually began as low culture, and so on and so forth. The final essay is an analysis of a given theme in a work selected by youthe student. Scoring for multiple choice is pretty straightforward; however, essay scoring is a little more complicated. Save it for a really, really essay college admissions essay instead. One of the passages will be poetry, and one will be prose. These questions ask you to describe something about a character.

Get matched with a top tutor who got a high score on the exam you're studying for! Why did the author use these particular words or this particular structure? Some questions ask you to identify or describe essay about the passage or poem as a whole : its purpose, tone, genre, etc. Also, these crop up much more commonly for prose passages than they do for poetry ones. Below are some sample questions from the Free Response Questions. Now, let's take a look at the free-response section of the AP Literature exam.

The multiple-choice section, or Section I of the AP Literature exam, is 60 minutes long and has 55 questions. Very occasionally you will be asked a specific grammar questionsuch as what word an adjective is modifying. Indeed, you might find academic deations of "literary merit" elitist and problematic, but the time to rage against the literary establishment is not your AP Lit test!

I suggest checking out this list of notable authors in the AP Lit Course Description s In addition to reading broadly, you'll want to become especially familiar with the details of four to five books with different themes so you'll be prepared to write a strong student-choice essay. For the multiple-choice section, you receive 1 point for each question you answer correctly. There are, generally speaking, eight kinds of questions you can expect to see on the AP English Literature and Composition exam. It will be something that isn't stated directly or concretely but that you can assume based on what's clearly written in the passage.

These questions ask you to infer something—a character or narrator's opinion, an author's intention, etc. In many ways, inference questions are like second-level reading comprehension questions: you example to know not just what a passage says, but also what it means.

To get a high-scoring essay in the point range, you'll need lit not only come up with an original and intriguing argument that you thoroughly support with textual evidence, but also stay focused, organized, and clear. One of lit most important steps you can take to prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam is to read a lot and read well.

Ap® english literature

Note, though, that no one will prompt you to move from essay to essay, so you can theoretically divide up the time however you want. Being able to identify and understand the ificance of any shifts —structural, tonal, in genre, and so on—will be of key importance for these questions.

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The date ranges of these works could fall from the 16th to the 21st century. You can spot them because they will refer directly to characters' attitudes, opinions, beliefs, or relationships with other characters. What is the phrase referring to? You can identify these as they will either explicitly mention figurative language or a figurative device, such as a simile or metaphor or include a figurative phrase in the question itself.

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You can expect to see five excerpts of prose and poetry. I'll break each of them down here and give you tips on how to identify and approach them. For the first two essays, you'll be presented with an excerpt and directed to analyze the excerpt for a given theme, device, or development.

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For the third and final essay, you'll be asked to discuss a particular theme in a work that you select. If you're not sure what a work of "comparable literary merit" is, stick to the titles on the provided list. There's no guessing penalty, so you should answer every question—but guess only after you're able to eliminate any answer you know is wrong to up your chances of choosing the right one. One thing students might not do very much on their own time but that will help a lot with AP Lit exam prep is to read poetry.

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What is the overall picture created by all the tiny details? This is, in many ways, a special kind of inference questionsince you are inferring the broader personality of the character based on the evidence in a passage.

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Your test dates, and whether or not your tests will be online or on paper, will depend on your school. Just be sure to leave enough time for each essay! Some AP Lit questions will ask you about specific structural elements of the passage: a shift in tone, a digression, the specific form of a poem, etc.

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These questions involve identifying why an author does what they dofrom using a particular phrase to repeating certain words. Without further example, here are the eight question types you can expect to see on the AP Lit exam. Skipping an essay, or running out of time so you have to rush through one, can really impact your final test score. As you can see, the list of works provided spans many time periods and countries : there are ancient Greek plays Antigonemodern literary works such as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's TaleShakespeare essays The Tempest19th-century English plays The Importance of Being Earnestetc.

So while you do have the power to choose which work you wish to write an essay aboutthe key words here are "literary merit. Also note that you can choose a work of "comparable literary merit. Our advice? Each of your essays will lit a score from 0 to 6 based on the College Board rubricwhich also includes question-specific rubrics.

Note that you might have to go back and reread parts to make sure you understand what the passage is saying. The key to these questions is to not get tripped up by the fact that you are making an inference—there will be a best answer, and it will be the choice that is best supported by what is actually found in the passage.

Using sample essays to improve student writing

You'll succeed on these questions as long as you carefully read the text. We'll be looking at the current rubric for the AP Lit examwhich was released in Septemberand what every score means for each of the three elements above:. To answer these questions, you need to think about the excerpt with a bird's-eye view. As on other AP exams, your raw score will be converted to a score from You don't have to get every point possible to get a 5 by any means—but the AP English Literature test does have one of the lowest 5 rates of all APswith only 9.

Whether the test date of Wednesday, May 5, is near or far, I'm here to help you get serious about preparing for the exam. That covers the eight question types on the multiple-choice section.

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You should know the plot, themes, characters, and structural details of these books inside and out. You can identify this question type from words and phrases such as "according to," "mentioned," "asserting," and so on. Stick to safe bets like authors in the list on s of the old AP Lit Course Description. You can identify these by phrases such as "in the passage" and "as a whole. You'll be on your way to AP English Lit success in no time! The exam tests your ability to analyze works and excerpts of literature and cogently communicate that analysis in essay form.

You will be provided with the author of the work, the approximate date, and some orienting information i. The meaning of figurative phrases can normally be determined by that phrase's context in the passage—what is said around it? Unusual words are also sometimes defined for you. They don't require you to do a lot of interpretation—you just need to know what's going on.

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You can identify these questions from words such as "infer" and "imply. In this guide, I'll go over the test's format and question types, how it's graded, best practices for preparation, and test-day tips. So you have a lot to work with! You'll be reading a wide variety of notable literary works in your AP English Literature course, but additional reading will help you further develop your analytical reading skills. In general, you will not be given the author, date, or title for these works, though occasionally the title of a poem will be given.

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College Board provides sample responses for Question 1 poetry , Question 2 prose , and Question 3 open-ended for every year dating back to


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Download free-response questions from past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring distributions.


These essays are examples of good AP-level writing.