AP English Literature and Composition Exam

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AP English Literature and Composition Exam

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AP English Literature and Composition Exam

What is it?


Exam Overview

You will take the exam in May.

It is three hours long.

It consists of one multiple choice section and three free-response (essay) questions.

It is scored in the summer by college and AP English teachers.

The best score you can get is a 5 the worst you can get is a 1


Multiple Choice

The exam allows 1 hour for the multiple choice questions

There is not a set number of multiple choice questions but expect between 45 and 60

The multiple choice section is 45% of your final score on the exam

Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions (so GUESS!)

The MC section tests students’ critical reading of selected passages.

Be prepared to see excerpts from plays, novels, short stories and poems on the exam and questions that relate


Sample Multiple Choice

1 .Which of the following best describes the rhetorical function of the second sentence in the passage?(a) It makes an appeal to authority . (b) It restates the thesis of the passage . (c) It expresses the causal relationship between morality and writing style . (d) It provides a specific example for the preceding generalization . (e) It presents a misconception that the author will correct .2 .Which of the following phrases does the author use to illustrate the notion of an unnatural and pretentious writing style?(a) “unconnected, slipshod allusions’’ (line 7) (b) “throw words together’’ (lines 8–9) (c) “gabble on at a venture’’ (line 22) (d) “get upon stilts’’ (lines 30–31)(e)“pitch upon the very word’’ (line 34)

3 .In lines 10–32 of the passage, the author uses an extended analogy between

(a) language and morality



) preaching and acting



) writing and speaking



) vulgar English and incorrect pronunciation



) ordinary life and the theater

4. In line 17, “common speech’’ refers to

(a) metaphorical language



) current slang



) unaffected expression



) regional dialect



) impolite speech


Free Response Section

You have 2 hours to complete 3 free response questions. Approx. 40


for each essay.

This section counts for 55% of your final score

Each essay is graded on a score of 1-9. 9 being the best. Obtaining a 6 or higher is considered a good/great score. Obtaining a 5 or lower is considered a low score.

2 of the essays will have you read either a poem or a passage (from a play or novel) and write an essay about it

The last essay will be an open-ended question and will give you a list of possible books to write about. That’s why it is important to have an arsenal of novels at your disposal to use on question 3


Sample Free Response Question #1


Sample Free Response Question #2


Sample Free Response Question #3


AP Exam Scores

The Readers’ scores on the free-response questions are combined with the results of the computer-scored multiple-choice questions; the weighted raw scores are summed to give a composite score. The composite score is then converted to a score on AP’s 5-point scale. While colleges and universities are responsible for setting their own credit and placement policies, AP scores signify how qualified students are to receive college credit or placement.AP Exam scores of 5 are equivalent to A grades in the corresponding college course. AP Exam scores of 4 are equivalent to grades of A–, B+ and B in college. AP Exam scores of 3 are equivalent to grades of B–, C+ and C in college.


Extremely well qualified


Well qualified






No recommendation







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