With the 2016 AP English Language and Composition exam approaching on Wednesday, May 11, it’s time to make sure that you’re familiar with all aspects of the exam.
With the 2016 AP English Language and Composition exam approaching on Wednesday, May 11, it’s time to make sure that you’re familiar with all aspects of the exam.In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of the test, do a deeper dive on each of the sections, discuss how the exam is scored, offer some strategies for studying, and finally wrap up with some essential exam day tips.You will have about 40 minutes to write each essay, but no one will prompt you to move from essay to essay—you can structure the 120 minutes as you wish.
Example: These questions ask about overall elements of the passage or the author, such as the author’s attitude on the issue discussed, the purpose of the passage, the passage’s overarching style, the audience for the passage, and so on.
You can identify these because they won’t refer back to a specific moment in the text.
Which interpretation offered in the answers does the passage most support?
You can identify questions like these from words like “best supported,” ‘“implies,” “suggests,” “inferred,” and so on.
The AP Language and Composition exam tests your rhetorical skills.
Essentially, how do authors construct effective arguments in their writing? How can you use those tools to craft effective writing yourself? The exam has two parts: the first section is an hour-long, 52-55 question multiple-choice section that asks you questions on the rhetorical construction and techniques of a series of nonfiction passages. It starts with a 15-minute reading period, and then you’ll have 120 minutes to write three analytical essays: one synthesizing several provided texts to create an argument, one analyzing a nonfiction passage for its rhetorical construction, and one creating an original argument in response to a prompt.
For these questions, you’ll need to think of the passage from a “bird’s-eye view” and consider what all of the small details together are combining to say.
Example: Some questions will ask you to describe the relationship between two parts of the text, whether they are paragraphs or specific lines.
“This passage is excerpted from a collection of essays on boating” or “This passage is excerpted from an essay written in 19th-century Haiti.” You will be asked somewhere from 10-15 questions per passage.
There are, in general, eight question types you can expect to encounter on the multiple-choice section of the exam.