The AP Literature Exam, in Plain English

As departing seniors in Dr. Elfie Israel's AP English Literature class, our final assignment has been to create a website -- a source where fellow students can find help and advice regarding this challenging course. Most of us have taken AP English for two years at Nova High School with Dr. Israel. It has been a very difficult, very fulfilling, endeavor, and now that we can look back on it and marvel at what we have learned, we'd like to share our knowledge and experience. Our goal is to provide proven strategies for success on the AP exam. On this page, among many other things, are links to AP essay questions and multiple-choice questions, test-taking tips, and themes of various literary works.

Section 1: Why Take AP English?

First of all, you need a reason to take the exam. Most prestigious colleges offer considerable credit for taking either exam. Keeping in mind the high cost of college courses, one three-hour exam may save you several thousand dollars. You may even achieve sophomore standing with enough credit of this type.

Click here to view the exact scores for some of the more competitive universities.

For more information, visit the College Board website.

Section 2: Helpful Hints

Everyone entering an AP class for the first time feels a little intimidated. In order to make this experience a little more comfortable, here are some tips from the graduating AP English class.

Section 3: Rhetorical Strategies

If you have already taken the AP English Language and Composition exam, you know the importance of rhetorical strategies, and how prevalent they are on the exam. A list of these strategies is available to you here for your use.

Section 4: Literaure Review

William Shakespeare
In order to succeed on the AP English exam, you must have a considerable grasp of literary pieces. In order to help you review some of the books you are reading or may have already read, here are some shrinklits. Shrinklits are rhyming couplets that summarize a novel or story and help reveal some of the major themes.

Section 5: Allusions

Often, authors that are used on the AP exam use various allusions and references in their pieces. When this occurs, you must understand the allusion enough to be able to refer to it in your essays. In order to help you review for one of the most common types of allusions, here are summaries of some of the more famous Bible stories.

Section 6: The Socratic Method of Teaching and Learning

The Socratic Seminar is a method of teaching that stresses the importance of free-thinking dicussion, where all opinions and ideas are welcomed. The moderator of the seminar is the one who asks the questions, but never intervenes in the conversation. For a more in-depth description of what a Socratic Semnar is, please click here.

Section 7: Summer Reading Recommendations

-(Don't forget to start early!!)

For those of you who feel you need additional reading of literature to complete your preperation for the exam, there are a number of suggested summer readings and related questions that our English teacher recommended to us. Here is the letter she sent home to us outlining the plan for the readings, and the list of prior open-literature questions.

Section 8: Links to Additional Review Pages

This page is by no means a complete explanation of all aspects of the AP English exam. If you have need for further review before going on to our practice exam (below), there are several other pages that you can visit. Here are just a few:

The Online Satire Newspaper
A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices
Literary Terms
Rhetorical Figures
Rhetoric and Composition
Literary Terms
Literature & Literary Figures
On-Line Literary Resources
Nova's Latin Club
Strunk & White's The Elements of Style

Section 9: Practice Test

Well, you've made it to the test! Now you're ready to try to answer some real AP practice essay and multiple-choice questions that we have compiled. Good luck!

Essay Questions
Multiple-Choice Questions

The 1997-98 AP English Classes

3rd Hour

5th Hour