The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition course engages you in reading, writing, and analysis of literature. By reading selected texts, you can thoroughly understand the various ways writers use a language to evoke a meaningful literary experience and how they express themselves through writing. You’ll learn and understand the attributes to effective writing like the audience, subject, genre, purpose etc. You will be able to enhance your writing skills and understand the stages of writing better so that you can implement it on your own.
AP English Course Details
The course deals with learning about the characteristics and components that constitute effective argument as well as composition. And all this through detailed analysis, arguments, and understanding of complex texts. The course is designed to guide you in becoming a skilled reader of varied texts and also a skilled writer in the process.
The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam comprises 2 sections, namely Multiple-Choice and Free-Response.
- Multiple –Choice Section:
This is the first section which consists of close to 55 questions. The total exam time is 60 minutes. This section has a total weightage of 45% of the total test score.
- Free-Response section:
This is the second part of the exam and there are prompts that you need to answer within an essay. There are precisely 3 prompts that you have to answer. You will be given 15 minutes to read the source materials. The total exam time for this section is 120 minutes.
This section is very important as the weightage is 55% of the total test score.
Can You Expect A Change In the Exam Pattern?
No, this exam format has not changed for a long time. Nor is there any plan to change it in foreseeable future.
The Review Materials
If you’re taking this exam, you are surely on the lookout for a perfect review book preparing for it. There are many options out there, but choosing the right one is the key. The first thing you should know about the test is that it’s tough- both to prepare and to crack. Memorizing vocabulary and rhetorical strategies won’t help. Long study sessions holds the key to success and is very important for this particular test.
You should go for 2 review books at least, so you can get ample practice before the exam. We recommend you go for the Barron’s AP Language and Composition book as it is the best in the market. It is comprised of 5 detailed practice exams along with a bonus practice online test too. It also comes with Multiple Choice questions for practice and complete chapters mainly devoted to writing proper essays.
There is also a test called the Diagnostic Test which will help you assess your current position and what you need to look at to improve.
We also recommend to get an AP English Language and Composition Crash Course book for the rhetorical attributes that you need to hone for the exam. It comes with practice tests as well. It also helps to learn a few tricks on how to upgrade your essay which is very important as the Free-Response sections hold about 55% of the total test score.
Tips for Self-Study
Self-studying for this exam is a daunting task, but with the right guidance it is possible and you can prepare for it on your own.
The College Board doesn’t provide any reading list, but do recommend few authors to look forward to.
We iterate that you start preparing for at least 6 months before the exam. This is extremely important.
You should also start going through books from each of the following sections listed below and read it thoroughly. Don’t forget to analyze why the author selected certain sentences and structures and went for certain words.
You should read every single day for at least fifteen minutes or so. You should thoroughly analyze and think of what you are reading; such as: the texts, the words, the sentences etc.
Practice a lot and go over the Barron’s AP Language and Composition book and take the Diagnostic exam for assessing how you’re likely to perform in the exams.
As you get closer to the exam you should practice and read more. The multiple choice questions should top your practicing list. You should go for practice tests as much as you can so that you are ready to take the test by yourself.
We recommend that you look at Barron’s book that can be found at the link above.
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