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The Ultimate List of AP English Literature Tips

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❶This year in my classes of juniors and seniors, I will have students who were mostly not yet born or possibly were only old enough to be toddling around when the steel and concrete sky came down on September 11, There are a couple of ways of assembling the essays that I have used.

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AP English Literature Multiple-Choice Tips
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You answer the prompt in a way that is not implausible or unreasonable, but your analysis of the poem is surface-level. You may paraphrase the poem instead of making specific references to its language. You may not adequately support your analysis of the poem, or you may misinterpret it slightly. Your essay is not a total mess, but not necessarily particularly well-organized or argued.

These lower-half essays fail to offer an adequate analysis of the poem. The analysis may be partial, unconvincing, or irrelevant, or ignore part of the assigned task. Evidence from the poem may be slight or misconstrued, or the essays may rely on paraphrase only. The essays often demonstrate a lack of control over the conventions of composition: Essays scored a 3 may contain significant misreading, demonstrate inept writing, or do both. You do not adequately address the prompt.

Your analysis of the poem is incomplete or incorrect, or you do not reference any specific language of the poem. Your essay is undeveloped, unclear, or poorly organized. A 3 essay either significantly misinterprets the poem or is particularly poorly written.

These essays compound the weaknesses of the papers in the 4—3 range. These essays may contain serious errors in grammar and mechanics. They may offer a complete misreading or be unacceptably brief. Essays scored a 1 contain little coherent discussion of the poem. Only minimal attempt is made to respond to the prompt.

Essay is disorganized or not supported by evidence from the poem. May contain numerous grammar and mechanics errors. May completely misinterpret the poem or be too short. A 1 essay barely mentions the poem. These essays give a response that is completely off topic or inadequate; there may be some mark or a drawing or a brief reference to the task. They may consider a variety of literary devices, and they engage the text through apt and specific references. Although these essays may not be error-free, their perceptive analysis is apparent in writing that is clear and effectively organized.

Essays scored a 9 reveal more sophisticated analysis and more effective control of language than do essays scored an 8. Your argument is convincing and addresses all parts of the prompt. You discuss a number of literary devices in your analysis and use specific and appropriate excerpts from the text as evidence in your argument. Your writing is clear, focused, and well-organized. A 9 essay has a particularly well-developed interpretation of the text and is better-written than an 8.

These essays reasonably address the task at hand. The writers provide a sustained, competent reading of the passage, with attention to a variety of literary devices. Although these essays may not be error-free and are less perceptive or less convincing than 9—8 essays, they present ideas with clarity and control and refer to the text for support.

Essays scored a 7 present better developed analysis and more consistent command of the elements of effective composition than do essays scored a 6. You address all elements of the prompt. Your interpretation is coherent and you reference multiple literary devices in your analysis.

You do reference specific moments in the text for support. Your essay is adequately organized and focused. However, your argument may be less convincing or insightful i. These essays respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading of the passage but tend to be superficial or thin.

While containing some analysis of the passage, implicit or explicit, the way the assigned task is addressed may be slight, and support from the passage may tend toward summary or paraphrase. While these essays demonstrate adequate control of language, they may be marred by surface errors.

These essays are not as well conceived, organized, or developed as 7—6 essays. You address the prompt, but your argument may be surface-level. You rely too much on summary or paraphrase of the text in your argument instead of using specific moments in the text.

Your essay does have some elements of organization and focus but has some distracting errors. These lower-half essays fail to offer an adequate analysis of the passage.

The analysis may be partial, unconvincing, or irrelevant; the writers may ignore part of the assigned task.

These essays may be characterized by an unfocused or repetitive presentation of ideas, an absence of textual support, or an accumulation of errors. You do not adequately address the prompt, whether because your argument is partly unrelated to the task at hand or simply ignores elements of the prompt.

These essays compound the weaknesses of the essays in the 4—3 score range. They may feature persistent misreading of the passage or be unacceptably brief.

They may contain pervasive errors that interfere with understanding. Essays scored a 1 contain little coherent discussion of the passage. Essay does not adequately address the assigned task. It may be very short or repeatedly misinterpret the passage. May be poorly written enough that it is hard to understand. These essays may be unfocused, unclear, or disorganized. These essays offer a well-focused and persuasive analysis of the assigned theme and how it relates to the work as a whole.

Using apt and specific textual support, these essays address all parts of the prompt. Although these essays may not be error-free, they make a strong case for their interpretation and discuss the literary work with significant insight and understanding. Essays scored a 9 reveal more sophisticated analysis and more effective control of language than do essays scored 8. Your essay convincingly addresses the task in a way that is clear and focused.

You reference many specific moments in the text in support of your argument. You build a strong case—with lots of evidence—in support of your interpretation of the text. Your argument shows a deep understanding of the text. A 9 essay has more complex analysis and is better-written than an 8. These essays offer a reasonable analysis of the work of the assigned theme and how it relates to the work as a whole.

These essays address all parts of the prompt. Your essay addresses the task adequately. Your interpretation of the text is apt and shows that you generally understood it, although your analysis may be more conventional or include less specific textual evidence than a essay.

These essays respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading, but they tend to be superficial or thinly developed in analysis.

They often rely upon plot summary that contains some analysis, implicit or explicit. Although these essays display an attempt to address the prompt, they may demonstrate a rather simplistic understanding and support from the text may be too general.

Your essay may reveal that you do not thoroughly understand the text. Your essay is not especially well-organized or focused. These lower-half essays fail to adequately address the assigned task. The analysis may be partial, unsupported, or irrelevant, and the essays may reflect an incomplete or oversimplified understanding of how a given theme functions in the text, or they may rely on plot summary alone.

These essays may be characterized by an unfocused or repetitive presentation of ideas, an absence of textual support, or an accumulation of errors; they may lack control over the elements of college-level composition. Your essay does not address the prompt. Your analysis shows that you either do not understand how to address the prompt, cannot build support for your interpretation, or do not understand the text. Although these essays make some attempt to respond to the prompt, they compound the weaknesses of the papers in the 4—3 score range.

Often, they are unacceptably brief or incoherent in presenting their ideas. They may be poorly written on several counts and contain distracting errors in grammar and mechanics. Remarks may be presented with little clarity, organization, or supporting evidence. Essays scored a 1 contain little coherent discussion of the text. It may be too short or make little sense. As you can see, the rubric for the poetry essay is focused more on poetic devices, and the rubric for the prose essay is focused more on literary devices and techniques.

To get a high-scoring essay in the range, you need to not only come up with an original and intriguing argument that you thoroughly support with textual evidence, your essay needs to be focused, organized, clear, and well-written. The mean scores on each of the essays last year was around a 4 out of 9. That means, most essays were scored lower than a 5. So even getting a 7 on these essays is an accomplishment. One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for the AP Literature and Composition exam is to read a lot, and read well.

You should know the plot, themes, characters, and structural details of these books inside and out. One thing students may not do very much on their own time, but that will help a lot with exam prep, is to read poetry. Try to read poems from a lot of eras and authors to get familiar with the language.

When you think you have a grip on basic comprehension, move on to close-reading see below. Close-reading is the ability to identify which techniques the author is using and why they are using them.

Taking practice tests is a great way to prepare for the exam. It will help you get familiar with the exam format and experience. You can get sample questions from the Course and Exam Description , there are released College Board exams here , and we have a complete article on AP English Lit practice test resources.

Since there are two complete released exams, you can take one towards the beginning of your prep time to get familiar with the exam and set a benchmark, and one towards the end to make sure the experience is fresh in your mind and to check your progress. Look back at the passage! Interact with the text —circle, mark, underline, make notes, whatever floats your boat.

This will help you retain information and actively engage with the passage. Be sure to plan out your essays! Organization and focus are critical for high-scoring AP Literature essays. Manage your time on essays closely. One strategy is to start with the essay you think will be the easiest to answer. The AP Literature exam is a three-hour exam: It includes one question, hour-long multiple-choice section based on four-five prose and poetry passages, and a two hour free-response section with three essays—one analyzing a poetry passage, one analyzing a prose passage, and one analyzing a work chosen by the student.

Essays are scored on a rubric from Raw scores are converted to a score from On test day, be sure to really look closely at all of the passages and closely interact with them by marking the text in a way that makes sense to you. This will help on multiple-choice questions and the free-response essays. Be sure also to outline your essays before you write them!

If you're taking other AP exams this year, you may be interested in our other AP resources: Observations of the Chief Reader: Read each prompt of each question very carefully. Think about the implications of the question, begin thinking about how you will organize your response, and focus on what is asked. Often, students are asked to select a play or a novel to answer a particular question. Make sure they know that the work they have selected should be appropriate to the question asked.

See to it that students have a fair range of readings that they feel familiar with, ones with which they can test the implications of the question and make the decision of the appropriateness of the work to the question asked. Without this flexibility they may force an answer that will come across as canned to the AP Reader.

Remind students to enter into the text itself, to supply concrete illustrations that substantiate the points they are making. Have them take command of what they are writing with authority by means of direct quotation of pertinent information from the text, always writing into the question and never away from it. Help them to keep their point of view consistent, to select appropriate material for supporting evidence, and to write in a focused and succinct manner.

Remind your students that films are not works of literature and cannot be used to provide the kind of literary analysis required on the exam. Advise your students that, when starting an essay, they should avoid engaging in a mechanical repetition of the prompt and then supplying a list of literary devices. Instead, get them to think of ways to integrate the language of literature with the content of that literature, making connections that are meaningful and telling, engaging in analysis that leads to the synthesis of new ideas.

Pressure them into using higher levels of critical thinking; have them go beyond the obvious and search for a more penetrating relationship of ideas. Make them see connections that they missed on their first reading of the text.

What AP Readers long to see: It hurts to give a low score to someone who misread the prompt but wrote a good essay. While readers try to reward students or what they do well, the student must answer the prompt. Build your opening response artistically.

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The AP Literature exam is a three-hour exam: It includes one question, hour-long multiple-choice section based on four-five prose and poetry passages, and a two hour free-response section with three essays—one analyzing a poetry passage, one analyzing a prose passage, and one analyzing a work chosen by the student.

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Over the course of the last three years, I have tried this with 9th graders and with students in both AP Literature and AP Language. I have also shared this with some of my Writing Project colleagues, many of whom have also found the process to be beneficial. Sep 04,  · We offer a wide variety of writing services including essays, research papers, term papers, thesis among many others. We have a lot of experience in the academic writing industry. We were once.

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Tips from an AP reader; Suggest Readings; Practice! How are the English Literature exams scored? The multiple choice section is machine scored. Students receive one point for each correct answer and are penalized a quarter point for each incorrect response. § Use clear transitions that help the reader follow the flow of your essay. Keep. The Ultimate List of AP English Literature Tips The AP English Literature and Composition exam is designed to test your ability to think critically and analyze literary excerpts. The test is three hours long and consists of a multiple-choice portion (worth 45% of your grade) and an essay portion (worth 55% of your grade).