In this lesson, our instructor Rebekah Hendershot, gives an Introduction to the AP English Literature and Composition Course. Youll learn why the AP exam exists, what to expect on the test, and how the test is scored. Rebekah also goes over how the course will work from the multiple choice sections, to the essays, to the bonus Shakespeare unit.
The AP English Literature & Composition exam is designed to test your ability to understand and interpret English literature—mostly prose and poetry.
It tests the skills you’d be expected to develop in a first-year English literature class (or any class in literature translated into English), and a 4 or a 5 on the exam is often worth as much college credit as one of those classes.
What’s on the Test?
The test is divided into two sections.
Section I – Multiple Choice (60 minutes): This section asks you about 55 multiple-choice questions about 4 or 5 poetry and prose passages (10 to 15 questions per passage).
It is worth 45 percent of your grade.
Section II– Essays (120 minutes: This section asks you to write three essays:
An analysis of poetry (40 minutes to write an essay about a poem or pair of poems provided by the test)
An analysis of prose (40 minutes to write an essay on a story, novel excerpt, or essay provided by the test)
An open essay (40 minutes to write an essay on a literary topic provided by the test, using anything you’ve already read).
How is the Test Scored?
The multiple-choice section awards points for correct answers. There is no penalty for guessing.
Each of your three essays is scored by a different essay reader (one who specializes in that kind of essay). ETS says that the reader of your open essay will be familiar with the work you choose as your subject (so an essay about Hamlet will go to a reader familiar with Hamlet).
Essays are scored from 0 to 9, with 9 being the highest score. Essay scoring is “holistic”, which means better scores go to overall better essays—clearly written essays that display good ideas, strong support, and good English mechanics (spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, etc.).
What Does All That Mean?
Basically, you want to get at least 30 questions out of 55 right on the multiple-choice section and at least 5 out of 9 points on each of the essays. That will earn you a score of 3 on the exam, which is the lowest score that generally gets any college credit.
Wait. What’s all this stuff about a 3 …?
5 – Extremely Qualified
4 – Well qualified
3 – Qualified
2 – Possibly qualified
1 – Not qualified
How This Course Will Work
Intro lesson (hi!)
Literary movements at lightspeed
Literary criticism for idiots
The prose essay
The poetry essay
The open essay
How to use Hamlet for everything
Multiple-choice walkthrough (parts 1 and 2)
Prose essay walkthrough
Poetry essay walkthrough
Open essay walkthrough
Bonus Unit: Shakespeare
Other commonly assigned plays
How This Course Will Work
That’s right—there are two!
The AP English Literature and Composition exam (the one this course is designed to prepare you for) tests your ability to understand and interpret English literature. It’s roughly equivalent to a freshman English lit class in college.
The AP English Language and Composition exam (which is covered in a different course) tests your ability to understand and write reasoned arguments—rhetoric, basically. It’s roughly equivalent to a freshman writing class in college.
Make sure you’re watching the right course, and taking the right test!
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
This book includes five full length practice exams with all questions answered and explained. It includes a review of test topics covering details test takers need to know, such as poetry,prose fiction, and drama. It also includes sample student essays with critiques of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as a detailed glossary defining 175 literary and rhetorical terms.
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New ed edition
This book is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written in an easy to read format. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.
Grammarly is the world's leading software suite for perfecting written English. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.