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Advanced Placement (AP)


If you're planning to take the AP English Literature and Composition exam, you'll need to get familiar with what to expect on the test. Whether the 2023 test date of Wednesday, May 3, is near or far, I'm here to help you get serious about preparing for the exam.

In this guide, I'll go over the test's format and question types, how it's graded, best practices for preparation, and test-day tips. You'll be on your way to AP English Lit success in no time!

AP English Literature: Exam Format and Question Types

The AP Literature Exam is a three-hour exam that contains two sections in this order:

  • An hour-long, 55-question multiple-choice section
  • A two-hour, three-question free-response section

The exam tests your ability to analyze works and excerpts of literature and cogently communicate that analysis in essay form.

Read on for a breakdown of the two different sections and their question types.

Section I: Multiple Choice

The multiple-choice section, or Section I of the AP Literature exam, is 60 minutes long and has 55 questions. It counts for 45% of your overall exam grade .

You can expect to see five excerpts of prose and poetry. You will always get at least two prose passages (fiction or drama) and two poetry passages. In general, you will not be given the author, date, or title for these works, though occasionally the title of a poem will be given. Unusual words are also sometimes defined for you.

The date ranges of these works could fall from the 16th to the 21st century. Most works will be originally written in English, but you might occasionally see a passage in translation.

There are, generally speaking, eight kinds of questions you can expect to see on the AP English Literature and Composition exam. I'll break each of them down here and give you tips on how to identify and approach them.


"Pretty flowers carried by ladies" is not one of the question types.

The 8 Multiple-Choice Question Types on the AP Literature Exam

Without further delay, here are the eight question types you can expect to see on the AP Lit exam. All questions are taken from the sample questions on the AP Course and Exam Description .

#1: Reading Comprehension

These questions test your ability to understand what the passage is saying on a pretty basic level . They don't require you to do a lot of interpretation—you just need to know what's going on.

You can identify this question type from words and phrases such as "according to," "mentioned," "asserting," and so on. You'll succeed on these questions as long as you carefully read the text . Note that you might have to go back and reread parts to make sure you understand what the passage is saying.


#2: Inference

These questions ask you to infer something—a character or narrator's opinion, an author's intention, etc.—based on what is said in the passage . It will be something that isn't stated directly or concretely but that you can assume based on what's clearly written in the passage. You can identify these questions from words such as "infer" and "imply."

The key to these questions is to not get tripped up by the fact that you are making an inference—there will be a best answer, and it will be the choice that is best supported by what is actually found in the passage .

In many ways, inference questions are like second-level reading comprehension questions: you need to know not just what a passage says, but also what it means.


#3: Identifying and Interpreting Figurative Language

These are questions for which you have to either identify what word or phrase is figurative language or provide the meaning of a figurative phrase . You can identify these as they will either explicitly mention figurative language (or a figurative device, such as a simile or metaphor ) or include a figurative phrase in the question itself.

The meaning of figurative phrases can normally be determined by that phrase's context in the passage—what is said around it? What is the phrase referring to?

Example 1: Identifying


Example 2: Interpreting


#4: Literary Technique

These questions involve identifying why an author does what they do , from using a particular phrase to repeating certain words. Basically, what techniques is the author using to construct the passage/poem, and to what effect?

You can identify these questions by words/phrases such as "serves chiefly to," "effect," "evoke," and "in order to." A good way to approach these questions is to ask yourself: so what? Why did the author use these particular words or this particular structure?


#5: Character Analysis

These questions ask you to describe something about a character . You can spot them because they will refer directly to characters' attitudes, opinions, beliefs, or relationships with other characters .

This is, in many ways, a special kind of inference question , since you are inferring the broader personality of the character based on the evidence in a passage. Also, these crop up much more commonly for prose passages than they do for poetry ones.


#6: Overall Passage Questions

Some questions ask you to identify or describe something about the passage or poem as a whole : its purpose, tone, genre, etc. You can identify these by phrases such as "in the passage" and "as a whole."

To answer these questions, you need to think about the excerpt with a bird's-eye view . What is the overall picture created by all the tiny details?


#7: Structure

Some AP Lit questions will ask you about specific structural elements of the passage: a shift in tone, a digression, the specific form of a poem, etc . Often these questions will specify a part of the passage/poem and ask you to identify what that part is accomplishing.

Being able to identify and understand the significance of any shifts —structural, tonal, in genre, and so on—will be of key importance for these questions.


#8: Grammar/Nuts & Bolts

Very occasionally you will be asked a specific grammar question , such as what word an adjective is modifying. I'd also include in this category super-specific questions such as those that ask about the meter of a poem (e.g., iambic pentameter).

These questions are less about literary artistry and more about the fairly dry technique involved in having a fluent command of the English language .


That covers the eight question types on the multiple-choice section. Now, let's take a look at the free-response section of the AP Literature exam.


Keep track of the nuts and bolts of grammar.

Section II: Free Response

The AP Literature Free Response section is two hours long and involves three free-response essay questions , so you'll have about 40 minutes per essay. That's not a lot of time considering this section of the test counts for 55% of your overall exam grade !

Note, though, that no one will prompt you to move from essay to essay, so you can theoretically divide up the time however you want. Just be sure to leave enough time for each essay! Skipping an essay, or running out of time so you have to rush through one, can really impact your final test score.

The first two essays are literary analysis essays of specific passages, with one poem and one prose excerpt. The final essay is an analysis of a given theme in a work selected by you , the student.

Essays 1 & 2: Literary Passage Analysis

For the first two essays, you'll be presented with an excerpt and directed to analyze the excerpt for a given theme, device, or development . One of the passages will be poetry, and one will be prose. You will be provided with the author of the work, the approximate date, and some orienting information (i.e., the plot context of an excerpt from a novel).

Below are some sample questions from the 2022 Free Response Questions .


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Essay 3: Thematic Analysis

For the third and final essay, you'll be asked to discuss a particular theme in a work that you select . You will be provided with a list of notable works that address the given theme below the prompt, but you can also choose to discuss any "work of literary merit."

So while you do have the power to choose which work you wish to write an essay about , the key words here are "literary merit." That means no genre fiction! Stick to safe bets like authors in the list on pages 10-11 of the old 2014 AP Lit Course Description .

(I know, I know—lots of genre fiction works do have literary merit and Shakespeare actually began as low culture, and so on and so forth. Indeed, you might find academic designations of "literary merit" elitist and problematic, but the time to rage against the literary establishment is not your AP Lit test! Save it for a really, really good college admissions essay instead .)

Here's a sample question from 2022:


As you can see, the list of works provided spans many time periods and countries : there are ancient Greek plays ( Antigone ), modern literary works (such as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale ), Shakespeare plays ( The Tempest ), 19th-century English plays ( The Importance of Being Earnest ), etc. So you have a lot to work with!

Also note that you can choose a work of "comparable literary merit." That means you can select a work not on this list as long as it's as difficult and meaningful as the example titles you've been given. So for example, Jane Eyre or East of Eden would be great choices, but Twilight or The Hunger Games would not.

Our advice? If you're not sure what a work of "comparable literary merit" is, stick to the titles on the provided list .


You might even see something by this guy.

How Is the AP Literature Test Graded?

The multiple-choice section of the exam comprises 45% of your total exam score; the three essays, or free-response section, comprise the other 55%. Each essay, then, is worth about 18% of your grade.

As on other AP exams, your raw score will be converted to a score from 1-5 . You don't have to get every point possible to get a 5 by any means. In 2022, 16.9% of students received 5s on the AP English Literature test, the 14th highest 5 score out of the 38 different AP exams.

So, how do you calculate your raw scores?

Multiple-Choice Scoring

For the multiple-choice section, you receive 1 point for each question you answer correctly . There's no guessing penalty, so you should answer every question—but guess only after you're able to eliminate any answer you know is wrong to up your chances of choosing the right one.

Free-Response Scoring

Scoring for multiple choice is pretty straightforward; however, essay scoring is a little more complicated.

Each of your essays will receive a score from 0 to 6 based on the College Board rubric , which also includes question-specific rubrics. All the rubrics are very similar, with only minor differences between them.

Each essay rubric has three elements you'll be graded on:

  • Thesis (0-1 points)
  • Evidence and Commentary (0-4 points)
  • Sophistication (0-1 points)

We'll be looking at the current rubric for the AP Lit exam , which was released in September 2019, and what every score means for each of the three elements above:

To get a high-scoring essay in the 5-6 point range, you'll need to not only come up with an original and intriguing argument that you thoroughly support with textual evidence, but you’ll also need to stay focused, organized, and clear. And all in just 40 minutes per essay!

If getting a high score on this section sounds like a tall order, that's because it is.


Practice makes perfect!

Skill-Building for Success on the AP Literature Exam

There are several things you can do to hone your skills and best prepare for the AP Lit exam.

Read Some Books, Maybe More Than Once

One of the most important steps you can take to prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam is to read a lot and read well . You'll be reading a wide variety of notable literary works in your AP English Literature course, but additional reading will help you further develop your analytical reading skills .

I suggest checking out this list of notable authors in the 2014 AP Lit Course Description (pages 10-11).

In addition to reading broadly, you'll want to become especially familiar with the details of four to five books with different themes so you'll be prepared to write a strong student-choice essay. You should know the plot, themes, characters, and structural details of these books inside and out.

See my AP English Literature Reading List for more guidance.

Read (and Interpret) Poetry

One thing students might not do very much on their own time but that will help a lot with AP Lit exam prep is to read poetry. Try to read poems from a lot of eras and authors to get familiar with the language.

We know that poetry can be intimidating. That's why we've put together a bunch of guides to help you crack the poetry code (so to speak). You can learn more about poetic devices —like imagery and i ambic pentameter —in our comprehensive guide. Then you can see those analytical skills in action in our expert analysis of " Do not go gentle into that good night " by Dylan Thomas.

When you think you have a grip on basic comprehension, you can then move on to close reading (see below).

Hone Your Close Reading and Analysis Skills

Your AP class will likely focus heavily on close reading and analysis of prose and poetry, but extra practice won't hurt you. Close reading is the ability to identify which techniques the author is using and why. You'll need to be able to do this both to gather evidence for original arguments on the free-response questions and to answer analytical multiple-choice questions.

Here are some helpful close reading resources for prose :

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center's guide to close reading
  • Harvard College Writing Center's close reading guide
  • Purdue OWL's article on steering clear of close reading "pitfalls"

And here are some for poetry :

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison's poetry-reading guide
  • This guide to reading poetry at (complete with two poetry close readings)
  • Our own expert analyses of famous poems, such as " Ozymandias ", and the 10 famous sonnets you should know

Learn Literary and Poetic Devices

You'll want to be familiar with literary terms so that any test questions that ask about them will make sense to you. Again, you'll probably learn most of these in class, but it doesn't hurt to brush up on them.

Here are some comprehensive lists of literary terms with definitions :

  • The 31 Literary Devices You Must Know
  • The 20 Poetic Devices You Must Know
  • The 9 Literary Elements You'll Find In Every Story
  • What Is Imagery?
  • Understanding Assonance
  • What Is Iambic Pentameter in Poetry?
  • Simile vs Metaphor: The 1 Big Difference
  • 10 Personification Examples in Poetry, Literature, and More

Practice Writing Essays

The majority of your grade on the AP English Lit exam comes from essays, so it's critical that you practice your timed essay-writing skills . You of course should use the College Board's released free-response questions to practice writing complete timed essays of each type, but you can also practice quickly outlining thorough essays that are well supported with textual evidence.

Take Practice Tests

Taking practice tests is a great way to prepare for the exam. It will help you get familiar with the exam format and overall experience . You can get sample questions from the Course and Exam Description , the College Board website , and our guide to AP English Lit practice test resources .

Be aware that the released exams don't have complete slates of free-response questions, so you might need to supplement these with released free-response questions .

Since there are three complete released exams, you can take one toward the beginning of your prep time to get familiar with the exam and set a benchmark, and one toward the end to make sure the experience is fresh in your mind and to check your progress.


Don't wander like a lonely cloud through your AP Lit prep.

AP Literature: 6 Critical Test-Day Tips

Before we wrap up, here are my six top tips for AP Lit test day:

  • #1: On the multiple-choice section, it's to your advantage to answer every question. If you eliminate all the answers you know are wrong before guessing, you'll raise your chances of guessing the correct one.
  • #2: Don't rely on your memory of the passage when answering multiple-choice questions (or when writing essays, for that matter). Look back at the passage!
  • #3: 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.
  • #4: This was mentioned above, but it's critical that you know four to five books well for the student-choice essay . You'll want to know all the characters, the plot, the themes, and any major devices or motifs the author uses throughout.
  • #5: Be sure to plan out your essays! Organization and focus are critical for high-scoring AP Literature essays. An outline will take you a few minutes, but it will help your writing process go much faster.
  • #6: Manage your time on essays closely. One strategy is to start with the essay you think will be the easiest to write. This way you'll be able to get through it while thinking about the other two essays.


And don't forget to eat breakfast! Apron optional.

AP Literature Exam: Key Takeaways

The AP Literature exam is a three-hour test that includes an hour-long multiple-choice section based on five prose and poetry passages and with 55 questions, 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 you, the student.

The multiple-choice section is worth 45% of your total score , and the free-response section is worth 55% . The three essays are each scored on a rubric of 0-6, and raw scores are converted to a final scaled score from 1 to 5.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the exam:

  • Read books and be particularly familiar with four to five works for the student-choice essays
  • Read poetry
  • Work on your close reading and analysis skills
  • Learn common literary devices
  • Practice writing essays
  • Take practice tests!

On test day, be sure to really look closely at all the passages and really interact with them by marking the text in a way that makes sense to you. This will help on both multiple-choice questions and the free-response essays. You should also outline your essays before you write them.

With all this in mind, you're well on your way to AP Lit success!

What's Next?

If you're taking other AP exams this year, you might be interested in our other AP resources: from the Ultimate Guide to the US History Exam , to the Ultimate AP Chemistry Study Guide , to the Best AP Psychology Study Guide , we have tons of articles on AP courses and exams for you !

Looking for practice exams? Here are some tips on how to find the best AP practice tests . We've also got comprehensive lists of practice tests for AP Psychology , AP Biology , AP Chemistry , and AP US History .

Deciding which APs to take? Take a look through the complete list of AP courses and tests , read our analysis of which AP classes are the hardest and easiest , and learn how many AP classes you should take .

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How Can I Be Prepared for the AP English Literature FRQs?

5 min read • october 18, 2021

Samantha Himegarner

Samantha Himegarner

Hey-o! Welcome back to the most lit 🔥 subject out there! Today we will be talking about the meat of the AP exam: the essays. The Free Response Questions (or FRQs) consist of 3 full-length essays in which you will be given 2 hours to complete (roughly 40 minutes per essay). This section counts for 55% of your overall score, so it is pretty important. Let’s look at a full breakdown of how these essays work and how you can do your best on them!

Three Full-Length Essays

Remember, the full title of this course is AP English Literature and Composition . The exam wants to test your ability both to read/understand literature, but also how effectively you’re able to analyze and write about it. These essays gauge just that.

One essay requires you to read a poem and discuss the use of language, development of themes, tone, literary devices, or any other way the author could have deliberately authored a work.

The prose essay functions the same way, with the only exception being that you would read a passage of prose instead of poetry (duh).

The last essay is the “literary argument” essay. The exam will provide an open-ended prompt, and you will answer using any work that you’ve read (this can be a novel or a play) to develop and discuss the idea presented in the prompt.

Similarities & Differences

The poetry and prose essays are very similar in concept, with their only difference being the kind of literature as a stimulus. Therefore, these essays may resemble each other a little bit, maybe not in content, but in formatting and argument.

The literary argument essay uses the same rubric (more on that later!), so there will be some similarities in that essay as well. In the poetry and prose essays, you can directly cite the text to use within your argument. This becomes more difficult within the literary argument essay because you will not have your chosen text next to you and available for reference, so citations will be along the lines of discussing certain events within a plot.

How to Write Your Essays

The best way to start your essay is simply to start it. Using a fancy hook, tagline, or attention-getter is great if you can think of one, but you should not waste your time on this. It is more important to begin your intro and establish a line of reasoning. It is a good idea to include a thesis statement within your introduction as well.

A strong thesis statement alone will earn you a point, according to the rubric, and while this thesis statement does not have to be in a specific place in the essay, it makes the most sense to place it within your introduction.

The goal would be to discuss three ideas throughout the essay:

  • three separate devices used by the author to answer the prompt
  • three different examples from the text to support the literary argument prompt

Using only two can yield a high-scoring essay, but sometimes it is better to use three if possible to add more complexity throughout. Being able to discuss how these three devices/ideas connect is a great way to earn the complexity point.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing! Image courtesy of Giphy

You can organize the essay in whatever way works best for you. Some people like to write a body paragraph for each point they make. Others prefer to combine talking points within a body paragraph, depending on how many they include. The organization of the essay does not matter as much as long as there is a system.

Readers do not want to see a brain dump of information; writing a well-organized essay that follows one line of reasoning will fare a lot better for you and your score. You should end the essay with a conclusion, although that is not a requirement to score well, so don’t freak out if you run out of time.

FRQ Rubrics

Readers will grade each of your essays separately using the same rubric. This rubric is simple to follow, comprised of 6 points (making the entire essay section worth merely 18 points).

It is pretty easy to remember how the rubric works. Just remember 1-4-1!

Just keep it up there in that big ol' brain of yours! Image courtesy of Giphy

Students will earn one point just for including a defensible thesis. The thesis does not have to be in the introduction paragraph; most students just find that this works best organizationally to introduce the main topics and then to dive into more detail.

You can write your thesis anywhere within the paper. Some students will even find themselves writing a thesis within their conclusion.

Evidence & Commentary

There are four possible points within this category. To earn all four points in this category, readers are looking for specific evidence to support the thesis presented, as well as consistent commentary and the inclusion of multiple literary devices/techniques discussed throughout the essay.

However, don’t feel overwhelmed if that criterion feels like a lot to incorporate simultaneously; these points are not all-or-nothing. Maybe one of your body paragraphs is not as strong compared to the previous one. This will not cost all of your evidence and commentary points, but maybe your reader would award you 3 points instead of 4. It is possible to score anywhere within the range of 0-4 points here.


Incorporating complexity throughout your essay can earn you one extra point for sophistication. There are a few different ways you can accomplish this, but remember that there is no real gauge for this, so it is entirely up to the reader to decide whether or not to award this point to your essay. Here’s what the College Board’s rubric has to say about the complexity point:

  • Identifying and exploring complexities or tensions within the passage.
  • Illuminating the student's interpretation by the situation it within a broader context.
  • Accounting for an alternative interpretation of the passage.
  • Employing a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

Again, these guidelines are not objective, which makes it a little more difficult to purposefully aim for. It is never a bad idea to think about sophistication while writing, but students should actively attempt to earn the other 5 points, as the complexity point is more likely to come naturally.

You can see the full, outlined rubric for each essay here: AP Lit Essay Rubric

The best way to get better at writing essays is to practice doing it. After doing it enough, you’ll find a rhythm to it, and develop your method of organization. You should also utilize the help of your teacher and/or peers, and ask them to give you feedback on practice essays. This will give you a better idea of how you can improve so you can write three incredible essays when it comes to test day!


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How to Write the AP Lit Poetry Essay

What’s covered:.

  • How to Write the AP Literature Poetry Essay
  • Tips for Writing The AP Lit Poetry Essay

To strengthen your AP Literature Poetry Essay essay, make sure you prepare ahead of time by knowing how the test is structured, and how to prepare. In this post, we’ll cover the structure of the test and show you how you can write a great AP Literature Poetry Essay.

What is the AP Lit Poetry Essay? 

The AP Literature exam has two sections. Section I contains 55 multiple choice questions, with 1 hour time allotted. This includes at least two prose fiction passages and two poetry passages. 

Section II, on the other hand, is a free response section. Here, students write essays to 3 prompts. These prompts include a literary analysis of a poem, prose fiction, or in a work selected by the student. Because the AP Literature Exam is structured in a specific, predictable manner, it’s helpful to prepare yourself for the types of questions you’ll encounter on test day. 

The Poetry Essay counts for one-third of the total essay section score, so it’s important to know how to approach this section. You’ll want to plan for about 40 minutes on this question, which is plenty of time to read and dissect the prompt, read and markup the poem, write a brief outline, and write a concise, well-thought out essay with a compelling analysis. 

Tips for Writing the AP Lit Poetry Essay

1. focus on the process.

Writing is a process, and so is literary analysis. Think less about finding the right answer, or uncovering the correct meaning of the poem (there isn’t one, most of the time). Read the prompt over at least twice, asking yourself carefully what you need to look for as you read. Then, read the poem three times. Once, to get an overall sense of the poem. Second, start to get at nuance; circle anything that’s recurring, underline important language and diction , and note important images or metaphors. In your annotations, you want to think about figurative language , and poetic structure and form . Third, pay attention to subtle shifts in the poem: does the form break, is there an interruption of some sort? When analyzing poetry, it’s important to get a sense of the big picture first, and then zoom in on the details. 

2. Craft a Compelling Thesis

No matter the prompt, you will always need to respond with a substantive thesis. A meaty thesis contains complexity rather than broad generalizations , and points to specifics in the poem.

By examining the colloquial language in Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem, “We Real Cool”, we can see the tension of choosing to be “cool”. This raises important ideas about education, structure, and routine, and the consequences of living to be “real cool”.

Notice how the thesis provides a roadmap of what is to follow in the essay , and identifies key ideas that the essay will explore. It is specific, and not vague. The thesis provides a bigger picture of the text, while zooming in the colloquial language the speaker uses. 

A good thesis points out the why as much as the what . Notice how in the above example, the thesis discusses language in the poem as it connects to a bigger message about the poem. For example, it’s not enough to discuss Emily Dickinson’s enjambment and hyphens. A good thesis will make a compelling argument about why those infamous Dickinson hyphens are so widely questioned and examined. Perhaps a good thesis might suggest that this unique literary device is more about self-examination and the lapse in our own judgement. 

3. Use Textual Evidence 

To support your thesis, always use textual evidence . When you are creating an outline, choose a handful of lines in the poem that will help illuminate your argument. Make sure each claim in your essay is followed by textual evidence, either in the form of a paraphrase, or direct quote . Then, explain exactly how the textual evidence supports your argument . Using this structure will help keep you on track as you write, so that your argument follows a clear narrative that a reader will be able to follow. 

Your essay will need to contain both description of the poem, and analysis . Remember that your job isn’t to describe or paraphrase every aspect of the poem. You also need lots of rich analysis, so be sure to balance your writing by moving from explicit description to deeper analysis. 

4. Strong Organization and Grammar

A great essay for the AP Literature Exam will contain an introduction with a thesis (not necessarily always the last sentence of the paragraph), body paragraphs that contain clear topic sentences, and a conclusion . Be sure to spend time thinking about your organization before you write the paper. Once you start writing, you only want to think about content. It’s helpful to write a quick outline before writing your essay. 

There’s nothing worse than a strong argument with awkward sentences, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Make sure to proofread your work before submitting it. Carefully edit your work, paying attention to any run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, commas, and spelling. You’d be surprised how many mistakes you’ll catch just by rereading your work. 

Common Mistakes on the AP Literature Poetry Essay 

It can be helpful to know what not to do when it comes time to prepare for the AP Literature Poetry Essay. Here are some common mistakes students make on the AP Literature Poetry Essay:

1. Thesis is not arguable and is too general 

Your thesis should be arguable, and indicate the central ideas you will discuss in your essay. Read the prompt carefully and craft your thesis in light of what the prompt asks you to do. If the prompt mentions specific literary devices, find a way to tie those into your thesis. In your thesis, you want to connect to the meaning of the poem itself and what you feel the poet intended when using those particular literary devices.

2. Using vague, general statements rather than focusing on analysis of the poem

Always stay close to the text when writing the AP Literature Poetry Essay. Remember that your job is not to paraphrase but to analyze. Keep explicit descriptions of the poem concise, and spend the majority of your time writing strong analysis backed up by textual evidence.

3. Not using transitions to connect between paragraphs

Make sure it’s not jarring to the reader when you switch to a new idea in a new paragraph. Use transitions and strong topic sentences to seamlessly blend your ideas together into a cohesive essay that flows well and is easy to follow. 

4. Textual evidence is lacking or not fully explained 

Always include quotes from the text and reference specifics whenever you can. Introduce your quote briefly, and then explain how the quote connects back to the topic sentence after. Think about why the quotes connect back to the poet’s central ideas. 

5. Not writing an outline

Of course, to write a fully developed essay you’ll need to spend a few minutes planning out your essay. Write a quick outline with a thesis, paragraph topics and a list of quotes that support your central ideas before getting started.

To improve your writing, take a look at these essay samples from the College Board, with scoring guidelines and commentary. 

How Will AP Scores Affect My College Chances?

While you can self-report AP scores, they don’t really affect your admissions chances . Schools are more interested in how you performed in the actual class, as your grades impact your GPA. To understand how your GPA impacts your college chances, use our free chancing engine . We’ll let you know your personal chance of acceptance at over 1500 schools, plus give you tips for improving your profile.

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how to write ap lit frq 1

how to write ap lit frq 1

Teaching Students to Master the AP® Lit FRQ

  • September 6, 2023
  • AP Literature , Writing

We all want our students to do well on the AP® exams.  And helping them to do well on the AP® Lit essay also known as the AP® Lit FRQ is paramount to that achievement.

As an AP® teacher for almost 20 years, I feel like the AP® literature essay is an area where we as teachers can see the most growth throughout the school year.  If we target skills like writing a complex thesis along with really helping students to understand the anatomy of the prompt, they can truly get better.  And when they get better, they score higher on the rubric.

how to write ap lit frq 1

What is the Anatomy of the AP® Lit Essay Prompts?

The Anatomy of the Prompt is just like the anatomy of the body which consists of structure and internal workings.  We teach students to understand the anatomy of the AP® Lit Essay  by helping them to understand what to expect with each essay question.

Why you should directly teach the AP® Lit FRQ

Each of the AP® Lit FRQs has a predictable structure.  This is even more true since the College Board came out with their stable prompt wording in 2019.  So the more we can help our students understand about how each FRQ is structured, the better they will be able to respond.

What students need to know about the AP® Lit FRQ

Students need to know three distinct parts of the AP® Lit FRQs. Once they do, they can use them to their advantage in their writing.

The first is the background sentence.   Whether it is the AP® Lit poetry prompt, the AP® Lit prose prompt or the AP® Lit literary argument, all the essays will give a sentence of context.  In the poetry essay and the prose essay, this will be a sentence that includes the title, author and date along with the briefest of summaries.  For the literary argument it will be the topic or theme of the prompt. This often comes in the form of a quotation.

The second is the task.   Students need to be able to identify what exactly the AP® Lit FRQs are actually telling them to do.  The prompt always asks them to analyze. Students need to be prepared to do true analysis as opposed to merely summarizing the text.

Finally, students need to understand the concept of complexity and the meaning of the work as a whole.   Both are challenging ideas. As a result, we need to explicitly teach them.

Setting students up for success with the anatomy of the prompt for the AP Lit FRQs.

How do I set my students up for success on the AP® Lit Essay?

I teach them the Anatomy of the Prompt .  I use anchor charts that outline what they can expect with each AP® Lit Essay Prompt.  The anchor charts point out what they can glean from the background sentence and how it might be useful.  Additionally, we dive deep into the idea of complexity and focus on concepts that are complex.  Finally we focus on how they can address the meaning of the work as a whole.

What’s next?

If you are looking for more on writing for the AP® Lit FRQs, you might want to start with the thesis.  The thesis will be the foundation of getting your students to write about the complexity of the text.  You can read more about that here.

Additional Resource

Mastering the AP® Lit Thesis

What is Good Writing?  A College Professor Weighs In (A Better Way to Teach)

5 Proven Methods for Developing Ideas in Writing (An ELA Experience)

8 Things to Know for the AP® Literature Exam (Much Ado About Teaching)

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The Anatomy of the Prompt Bundle :  Ready to use anchor charts and practice passages.

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I help AP Literature and High School English teachers create engaging classrooms so that students will be prepared college and beyond.

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AP® English Literature

The best ap® english literature review guide for 2023.

  • The Albert Team
  • Last Updated On: April 7, 2023

The Best AP® English Literature Review Guide

Scoring a 5 on the AP® English Literature and Composition exam is no easy task. In 2019, for example, only 6.2% of students earned a 5 on the test. While this statistic may be discouraging at first glance, it does indicate that a perfect score is possible for those willing to do extra preparation and practice. In 2022, nearly 17% of test-takers earned a 5 – a big improvement!

It may take some hard work, but it’s possible to ace this exam! We’re here to help.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll unpack the exam’s basic format, analyze the common structures and shapes of AP® Literature questions, provide useful tips and strategies for scoring a 5, and offer a variety of helpful additional resources and study tools.

Let’s get to it!

What We Review

How is the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam formatted? 

The AP® English Literature and Composition exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice and free-response. 

The multiple-choice section is broken into five chunks equipped with 8-13 questions each, totaling 55 questions. You will be asked to analyze excerpts from diverse literary texts, including prose fiction, drama, or poetry. Moreover, there will always be at least 2 prose fiction passages and 2 poems in this section of the exam. The fifth text can be either. 

The multiple-choice section has a time limit of 1 hour, and it counts as 45% of your overall exam score. 

Section 2 of the exam, often informally called the “essay section,” contains 3 free-response prompts which demand literary analysis of a given poem, a passage of prose fiction, or an excerpt from a play. 

The first two prompts will provide a passage or a poem requiring analysis, while the third and final prompt will ask you to engage with a concept, issue, or element in a literary work that you are expected to have encountered during the school year. A list of appropriate works is provided for the third prompt. 

You have 2 hours to complete Section 2, which comprises 55% of your final exam score.

Return to the Table of Contents

How Long is the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam?

The AP® English Literature and Composition exam is 3 hours long. Students will have 1 hour to complete the multiple-choice section (55 questions) and 2 hours to complete the free-response section (3 questions). 

Since you must answer 55 questions in 60 minutes on the multiple-choice portion of the exam, you should pace yourself at about 1 minute per question and about 12 minutes per passage. 

Likewise, since the free response section is timed at 120 minutes, you should aim to complete each essay in 40 minutes or under.

Time yourself when you practice, and don’t get caught up trying to answer a question that you totally do not know the answer to. Don’t rush through the test, but don’t take too much time.

How Many Questions Does the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam Have? 

Section i: multiple-choice.

  • 5 passages, 55 questions total: 8-13 questions per passage
  • Passages include 2 Prose, 2 Poems, and 1 of either

Section II: Free-Response

  • 1 literary analysis of a given poem
  • 1 literary analysis of a given passage of prose fiction
  • 1 literary argument

What Topics are Covered on the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam? 

Perhaps the best way to begin thinking about the topics covered on the exam is through a holistic approach. Overall, the test assesses the six big ideas covered within the AP® English Literature and Composition course itself: 

  • Figurative Language
  • Literary Argumentation

These components comprise the whole exam, and you will be tested specifically on material from these broad concepts. 

Now, let’s return to its formatting. Remember, the exam is divided into multiple choice and free response, each carrying its own set of demands and topics.

Section I: Multiple Choice

Since the AP® English Literature and Composition exam is a skills-based test, there’s no way to know what specific passages or topics might appear on the official exam. Rather, CollegeBoard uses a variety of excerpts from literary texts, including prose, poetry, and drama. 

The passages often range from the 16th to the 21st century, and the authors and literary works change yearly. So it is imperative that you sharpen your critical reading skills and hone your ability to engage with the forms, styles, and content of a diverse range of literature. 

However, we have some good news. We do know how the multiple choice section is organized and weighted. It is divided into three broad units: short fiction, poetry, and longer fiction or drama, with each unit carrying its own weighted percentage. The chart below outlines this weighting:

Moreover, the multiple choice portion of the exam can be further broken down into 7 assessed skills:

Remember, the multiple-choice section will include five sets of 8 to 13 questions per set, so be prepared to encounter many if not all of these skill sets per passage. But it is safe to say that you should review certain skill categories more thoroughly than others on account of how frequently they appear on the exam. 

Below we’ve compiled a descending list of priorities for you to consider. 

  • Skill Category 4 : Explain the function of the narrator or speaker
  • Skill Category 1 : Explain the function of character
  • Skill Category 3 : Explain the function of plot and structure
  • Skill Category 5 : Explain the function of word choice, imagery, and symbols
  • Skill Category 7 : Develop textually substantiated arguments about interpretations of part or all of a text
  • Skill Category 6 : Explain the function of comparison
  • Skill Category 2 . Explain the function of setting

Section 4, “Explain the function of the narrator or speaker,” should be studied the most since it holds a substantial amount of weight in determining your score. Skill category 2, as you see above, accounts for a small percentage of the exam so we recommend you don’t spend hours upon hours brushing up on the function of the setting. Don’t blow it off, though!

Section II: Free Response

Like the multiple choice section, the free response portion is also skills-based. We cannot predict what specific passages or poems will make it onto the test, but we do know the type(s) of essays you will be required to write:

  • 1 Poetry Analysis: After reading a poem of 100 to 300 words, you will respond to a prompt based on the poem with a well-developed essay. Your essay, of course, must offer a defensible interpretation, make adequate use of textual evidence, engage critically with cited evidence, and use appropriate grammar and punctuation when communicating its argument. These requirements are present throughout all three free-response essays. 
  • 1 Prose Fiction Analysis: This part of the free response section will provide a passage of prose fiction (500 to 700 words) and, like the poetry analysis, ask you to respond to a prompt through writing a well-developed essay. Your argument must adhere to the rigor and clarity outlined above in the poetry analysis description.
  • 1 Literary Argument Essay: Here, you will be given an open-ended topic and be asked to write an evidence-based argumentative essay in response to the topic. There will be a quote or small passage to read, a corresponding prompt, and an extensive list of literary works you may use when developing your argument. While you do not have to use a work from this list, you must select a work of literary merit. Avoid choosing fantasy novels or works designed more for pure entertainment. It needs to be a work of “deep” literature.

What Do the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam Questions Look Like?

Multiple choice examples:.

The Course and Exam Description (CED) for AP® Lit provides 10 practice questions that address prose fiction and 9 practice questions that address poetry.

Below, we’ll look at examples of each question type and cover the skills and essential knowledge they address. First, we will examine the multiple-choice questions involving prose fiction:

how to write ap lit frq 1

Skill: 5.B Explain the function of specific words and phrases in a text.

MCQ - Prose - AP® Lit Multiple Choice Examples

Essential Knowledge: FIG-1.M Descriptive words, such as adjectives and adverbs, qualify or modify the things they describe and affect readers’ interaction with the text.

Skill: 4.C Identify and describe details, diction, or syntax in a text that reveal a narrator’s or speaker’s perspective.

Essential Knowledge: NAR-1.R Information included and/or not included in a text conveys the perspective of characters, narrators, and/or speakers.

MCQ - AP® Lit Multiple Choice Examples

Skill: 3.C Explain the function of structure in a text.

Essential Knowledge: STR-1.F A text’s structure affects readers’ reactions and expectations by presenting the relationships among the ideas of the text via their relative positions and their placement within the text as a whole

Now that we’ve taken a look at samples of multiple-choice questions involving prose fiction, let’s turn our attention toward questions that address poetry. 

Poetry - AP® Lit Multiple Choice Examples

Skill 7.B: Develop a thesis statement that conveys a defensible claim about an interpretation of literature and that may establish a line of reasoning. 

Essential Knowledge: LAN-1.D A thesis statement expresses an interpretation of a literary text, and requires a defense, through use of textual evidence and a line of reasoning, both of which are explained in an essay through commentary.

PMCQ - AP® Lit Multiple Choice Examples

Skill 4.C: Identify and describe details, diction, or syntax in a text that reveal a narrator’s or speaker’s perspective.

Essential Knowledge: NAR-1.X Multiple, and even contrasting, perspectives can occur within a single text and contribute to the complexity of the text.

PMCQ - AP® Lit Multiple Choice Examples

Skill: 5.D Identify and explain the function of an image or imagery.

Essential Knowledge: FIG-1.O Descriptive words, such as adjectives and adverbs, contribute to sensory imagery.

As you see, these questions force you to engage with literature more critically and technically. CollegeBoard’s main objective is to shape you into a budding literary critic capable of producing college-level work, so they consistently ask questions that look like those above. 

To develop your skills to a level that would be acceptable by a university, then, the test-makers over at CollegeBoard often craft questions involving analysis of literary devices, character perspective, figurative language, and more. The individual skills assessed by these questions are designed to take your thinking to a much higher level.

Free Response Examples: 

The Course and Exam Description (CED) for AP® Lit also provides samples of free response questions. Let’s begin by taking a look at a sample of a poetry-based free response prompt.

Poetry Analysis

AP® Literature - Poetry Analysis Directions

Skills: 4.C, 7.A, 7.B, 7.C, 7.D, 7.E

Note how the prompt is somewhat vague and open-ended. While it does ask you to hone in on a specific topic within the poem—aging—through discussion of the writer’s use of poetic elements and techniques, it also does not specify which of those elements and techniques should be discussed:

  • Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Emerson uses poetic elements and techniques to convey the speaker’s complex perspective on aging.

So, it is imperative that you come to this exam with a deep and clear understanding of literary devices and motifs such as parallelism, imagery, irony, etc.

If you struggle with literary and rhetorical terms, check out our guide on essential AP® Literature Rhetorical Terms !

In a bit, we’ll provide some additional resources to help you build your knowledge of these literary tools.

Prose Fiction Analysis

AP® Literature - Prose Fiction Analysis Directions

Skills: 1.A, 7.A, 7.B, 7.C, 7.D, 7.E

The prompt requires you to read the excerpt and construct a well-developed literary analysis in response. Like the poetry prompt, note how this prompt is somewhat vague and open-ended. Again, it points you in a direction but leaves it up to you on how you’re going to get there:

  • Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Kincaid uses literary elements and techniques  to portray the complexity of the narrator’s new situation.

Therefore, it is imperative that you come to the test prepared with knowledge of literary elements and techniques.

Literary Argument 

AP® Literature - Literary Argument Directions

Skills: 1.E, 2.C, 7.A, 7.B, 7.C, 7.D, 7.E

Unlike the other two essays, this prompt contains neither a prose excerpt nor a poem. Rather, it provides a brief quote and then asks you to expand on its central concept and, in our case, the notion of home. 

It then provides a list of works that would suit your analysis. You are to select one work from the list or choose another work of literary merit and analyze it in the context of the prompt. Again, note how much of the analysis is up to you. The prompt points you in a direction and then leaves you on your own to select how you’re going to get there. 

Therefore, it is imperative that you have not only a solid understanding of literary terms and concepts but also a diverse and deep history of reading. We will direct you toward some additional resources that will strengthen your knowledge below but start by consulting our Ultimate AP® English Literature Reading List to get started!

And if you’re not an avid reader, do not fret! You can guarantee the AP® English Literature and Composition course itself will cover at least one of the books on the list. You will likely be familiar with at least 2-3 of the texts just from taking the course. And if all else fails, you may select your own work of literary merit to discuss!

Free Response Rubric Breakdowns

In previous years, the AP® Lit essays were scored using holistic rubrics on a scale of 0-9. However, after the 2019 exam, the evaluation changed to a new analytic rubric which runs on a scale of 0-6. 

Switching to an analytic rubric from a holistic one can be difficult, especially if you’ve already taken another AP® English class or prepared using the holistic version. But, unlike the holistic rubric, the analytic model tells you exactly what to include in your essay to earn maximum points. 

Consider the new analytic rubric a How-To Guide, designed to earn you a 6 on each essay. And, unlike the AP® Lang exam, all three AP® Lit essays are graded essentially through the same rubric.

Below, we’ll spend some time breaking down the elements of the new rubric. First, let’s take a look at the Thesis row.

Row A: Thesis (0-1 Points)

Rubric - Thesis AP® Lit

A well-developed thesis statement is crucial to making your overall argument effective and convincing. Unsurprisingly, the Thesis row on the rubric is essentially all or nothing; you either earn the point or you don’t.

Let’s break down the wording on the rubric to further understand the significance of the thesis point.

It’s important to note what the rubric warns against: 

  • No thesis at all
  • The thesis only restates the prompt
  • The thesis merely summarizes 
  • The thesis does not respond to the prompt 

Doing any of these will miss the mark, and a weak thesis often leads to a weak essay. Rather, the rubric emphasizes that you: 

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible interpretation of the poem, prose passage, or selected work.

Easier said than done, we know. But notice the key phrase, “defensible interpretation.” The basis of your argument, the rubric insists, is entirely up to you as long as you adequately defend and your point. This means you must be ready to dig into the text, cite textual evidence, and analyze your findings sophisticatedly and persuasively. Your thesis, then, must contain a claim. 

If thesis statements are particularly troubling to you, we recommend tuning into CollegeBoard’s official online workshop . It’s helpful, really. 

Below are two examples of thesis statements from the 2019 exam:

  • This thesis statement thoroughly considers both the positive and negative consequences of idealism and explains how this portrayal illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole.
  • This thesis statement fails to identify a character and confusingly identifies the government’s repressive efforts as presenting a “fabricated view of an Ideal world.” It ultimately makes no claim and overly generalizes.

Row B: Evidence and Commentary (0-4 Points)

Rubric - Evidence and Commentary - AP® Lit

Think of evidence and commentary as the meat of your essay. This is where you will really dig into your argument, cite the text, and make specific claims and arguments.

As mentioned, this portion of the rubric works on a scale of 0-4:

As you see, earning all four points requires direct and specific textual citation and thorough, deep analysis throughout your entire essay. Cite evidence that fits your main argument, do not simply cite for the sake of citation. Always avoid paraphrasing (except on the third free-response question where paraphrasing is acceptable). Do not simply cite text and then give a basic summary. Dig deep and analyze. 

If you struggle with analyzing evidence and developing commentary, check out one of our many practice models ! 

Row C Sophistication (0-1 Points)

Rubric - Sophistication - AP® Lit

Similar to the Thesis row, the Sophistication evaluation is also all or nothing — you either earn the point or you don’t. 

However, earning the sophistication point is not as cut and dry as earning the thesis point. You can’t really pinpoint or locate sophistication in the way you can a thesis statement. If it’s there, it’s everywhere; if not, it’s nowhere. 

So to unpack this complex idea, let’s return to the rubric. 

The rubric states that essays that earn the point “demonstrate sophistication of thought and/or develop a complex literary argument.” 

To be more precise, this means that your essay does these four things: 

  • Identifies and explores complexities or tensions within the poem, prose passage, or selected work. 
  • Situates your overall interpretation within a broader, more universal context. 
  • Accounts for alternative interpretations of the poem, prose passage, or selected work. 
  • Employs a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

Conversely, then, you will not earn the point if your essay:

  • Contains sweeping generalizations
  • Only hints at other positions or interpretations
  • Uses overly complex sentences or language that doesn’t add anything to the argument

Above all, sophistication cannot be reduced to a checkbox. You can’t really add it here or there. It must pervade the entire essay for you to earn the point. It’s a difficult task, but it can be done with a little practice and perseverance. 

For additional tips on writing well-developed analyses, check out our guide on how to tackle prose passages !

What Can You Bring to the AP® English Literature and Composition Exam?

If you’re taking the  digital  exam, you must use a laptop computer (Mac, Windows, or school-managed Chromebook). Because the full-length digital AP® Exams require typewritten free responses, the exams can’t be taken on smartphones. For more details,  here is the full digital AP® exam specifications  from College Board.

If you’re traveling to a testing location to take an in-person exam, make sure to arrive early. If you’re testing digitally from home, be sure all of your digital login details are confirmed beforehand.

Given the sheer importance and seriousness surrounding AP® exams, the College Board has imposed very strict rules and regulations regarding what you can and cannot bring into your testing room (if you’re testing in-person at a school). Not adhering to these rules can lead to score invalidation and even room-wide exam cancellation, so it’s important to know what you can and cannot bring with you on testing day!

What You Should Bring to Your AP® English Literature Exam

If you’re taking the paper AP® English Literature exam in-person at school, you should bring:

  • At least 2 sharpened No. 2 pencils for completing the multiple choice section
  • At least 2 pens with black or blue ink only. These are used to complete certain areas of your exam booklet covers and to write your free-response questions. CollegeBoard is very clear that pens should be black or blue ink only, so do not show up with your favorite neon gel pen!
  • You are allowed to wear a watch as long as it does not have internet access, does not beep or make any other noise, and does not have an alarm. It should be a standard analog or digital watch, nothing fancy!
  • If you do not attend the school where you are taking an exam, you must bring a government issued or school issued photo ID.
  • If you receive any testing accommodations , be sure that you bring your College Board SSD Accommodations Letter.

What You Should NOT Bring to Your AP® English Literature Exam

If you’re taking the paper AP® English Literature exam in-person at school, you should NOT bring:

  • Electronic devices. Phones, smartwatches, tablets, and/or any other electronic devices are expressly prohibited both in the exam room and break areas. Seriously, do not bring these into the testing room. You could invalidate the entire room’s scores.
  • Books, dictionaries, highlighters, or notes 
  • Mechanical pencils, colored pencils, or pens that do not have black/blue ink. Sometimes the lead used in mechanical pencils cannot be read when run through the scantron reader, so it is best to just avoid them altogether. 
  • Your own scratch paper
  • Reference guides
  • Watches that beep or have alarms
  • Food or drink

This list is not exhaustive. Be sure to double-check with your teacher or testing site to make sure that you are not bringing any additional prohibited items.

How to Study for AP® English Literature and Composition: 7 Steps

Start with a diagnostic test to see where you stand. Ask your teacher if they can assign you one of our full-length practice tests as a starting point. Your multiple choice will be graded for you, and you can self-score your free response essays using the College Board’s scoring guidelines. If you would prefer to take a pencil and paper test, Princeton Review or Barron’s are two reputable places to start. Be sure to record your score.

Once you’ve completed and scored your diagnostic test, it’s time to analyze the results and create a study plan. 

  • If you used Albert, you’ll notice that each question is labeled with the skill that it assesses. If any skills stand out as something you’re consistently getting wrong, those concepts should be a big part of your study plan. 
  • If you used Princeton Review, Barron’s, or another paper test, do your best to sort your incorrect answers into the skill buckets from Albert’s AP® English Literature and Composition Standards Practice .

The tables below sort each set of skills into groups based on their Enduring Understandings and Big Ideas.

Big Idea: Character 

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: Characters in literature allow readers to study and explore a range of values, beliefs, assumptions, biases, and cultural norms represented by those characters.

Big Idea: Setting

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: Setting and the details associated with it not only depict a time and place, but also convey values associated with that setting.

Big Idea: Structure

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: The arrangement of the parts and sections of a text, the relationship of the parts to each other, and the sequence in which the text reveals information are all structural choices made by a writer that contribute to the reader’s interpretation of a text.

Big Idea: Narration

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: A narrator’s or speaker’s perspective controls the details and emphases that affect how readers experience and interpret a text.

Big Idea: Figurative Language

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: Comparisons, representations, and associations shift meaning from the literal to the figurative and invite readers to interpret a text.

Big Idea: Literary Argumentation 

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: Readers establish and communicate their interpretations of literature through arguments supported by textual evidence.

Once your list of practice questions is complete, check out our Ultimate List AP® English Literature Tips for some pointers.

Now that you’ve developed a study plan for the multiple choice section, it’s time to tackle the FRQs. You should have self-scored your essays using CollegeBoard’s scoring guidelines . If you notice that there is one particular prompt you struggled with, use Albert’s AP® Lit FRQ Approach Guide to help hone your skills!

Check out Albert’s AP® Lit FRQ prompts for more practice!

If you didn’t struggle with a particular prompt as much as you did a particular part of the rubric, try to figure out what went wrong. Does your thesis restate the prompt instead of proposing your own position? Did you generalize too much? Did you remember to provide evidence but forget to augment it with commentary and analysis? Maybe your word choice wasn’t varied enough to earn the sophistication point.

Whatever element you struggled with, have a look at our comprehensive page dedicated to AP® Lit for some expert advice!

Once you’ve developed an effective study plan using the links and practice above, and you’ve identified the skills which need more practice, it’s time to set your plan in motion. Check and mark your calendar. How many days, weeks, or months do you have until your exam? Pace your studying according to this time-frame. Pro-tip: If you only have a few weeks or days to go, prioritize the skills that you scored the lowest on. 

About halfway through your study schedule, plan to take a second practice test to check your progress. You can either have your teacher assign another full-length Albert practice test or use one of the additional practice tests included in whatever AP® English Literature and Composition review book you purchased. Use these results to inform the rest of your study schedule. Are there skills that you improved on or scored lower on this time? Adjust accordingly, and use our tips in the next section to guide you.

AP® English Literature and Composition Review: 15 Must Know Study Tips

5 AP® English Literature and Composition Study Tips for Home

1.  read as much as possible..

And read widely. Read everything from epic poetry and Victorian novels to New Yorker articles and album reviews to Buzzfeed-style listicles. Read a combination of high and lowbrow texts to make your knowledge more worldly and syncretic.

Make a schedule for personal reading time and stick to it. Reading widely, of course, has incalculable benefits that will not only help you score a 5 on the test but also strengthen your academic performance across the board. 

Reading will help you develop a more impressive vocabulary and a better understanding of varied sentence structure and syntax. The more you read, the better equipped you will be to score a 5 on this exam.

2. Become familiar with the Western Canon.

The Western canon, often referred to simply as “The Canon,” is the body of high-culture literature, music, philosophy, and works of art that is highly valued in the West, i.e., the poems, prose passages, and drama selections that you will mostly see on the AP® Lit exam. 

The canon contains the “classics,” so to speak, and it includes everything from Homer to Junot Diaz. Cultivating a basic understanding of these texts and their authors will not only familiarize you with the history and development of the English tradition but also strengthen your understanding of the so-called “conversation of literature,” the innumerable and complex ways that authors and their works speak to each other and interact. We recommend reading at least the first chapter of Harold Bloom’s book on the subject to get a basic understanding. 

We also insist that you familiarize yourself with the various problems that the perseverance of such a canon produces. During the 80s and 90s, a canon war of sorts took place among English departments, with progressives aiming to dismantle the canon on the grounds that it neglects many African-American, female, queer, and impoverished writers in favor of spotlighting “dead white males.” 

This friction between advocates and opponents of the canon is extremely important to the history and status quo of literary criticism, and understanding this battle will deeply enrich your understanding of literature and increase your chances of scoring a 5 on the exam.

3. Read Thomas Foster’s How To Read Literature Like a Professor .

This book is a lively and entertaining introduction to the tools frequently used in literary criticism, including symbolism, theme, context, irony, and more. It is an excellent way to begin thinking deeply about literature, and it offers clear examples of close-reading.

It also discusses a wide variety of works that will help familiarize you with the canon. It’s very accessible too. Buy it, read it, mark it up, and keep it by your side throughout class. It’s a great tool. 

4. Make flashcards.

You will need to have a strong understanding of different literary devices, authors, works, and rhetorical techniques, and you don’t want to waste time scrambling for definitions on the day of the exam. 

Make yourself some flashcards with the most common literary devices, authors, works, and rhetorical techniques, and carve out at least 30 minutes per day to review. If you’d prefer to use an online resource, make some flashcards over at Quizlet ! 

5. Form study groups!

The beauty of reading literature is that it often produces different and conflicting responses in people, so discussing literature with your friends is a good way to explore new and diverse perspectives. 

What you bring to a text, for instance, may be completely different from what your friend or peer brings. Discussion is a great way to comprehend and investigate difficult works. And it’s also pretty fun!

5 AP® English Literature and Composition Multiple Choice Study Tips

1. practice, practice..

Practice answering multiple choice questions as often as you can. AP® English Literature and Composition multiple choice questions will address either fiction, poetry, or drama, and they will ask you to identify and analyze various literary devices, techniques, and motifs. So study these very devices. If you find yourself totally stuck, consult our guide on how to tackle the multiple choice section . 

2. Sharpen your close-reading skills.

The true key to acing the multiple choice section of this exam is staying engaged with the passages provided to you and actively reading. That means staying alert through the passages, marking them up, and engaging with them directly, not passively skimming them.

Find a method of active reading that works best for you. Some like to mark up the passage extensively, while others prefer to just read the passage twice and take notes here and there. Select which method works for you and go with it. However, do not just choose the easy or lazy way out. You’ll regret it later when you receive your scores. 

3. Look over the questions before reading the passage.

This is often a semi-controversial piece of advice because it doesn’t work for all readers. But it can be helpful if you’re someone who gets easily distracted when reading old prose passages or difficult poetry! 

If you find your mind wandering when reading AP® Lit passages, glancing at the questions beforehand can give your brain a purpose to focus on and a point of entry into the passage. It’s always easiest to begin searching when you know what you’re looking for.

4. Use process of elimination.

Often, an AP® Lit multiple choice question will have one or two answer choices that can be crossed off pretty quickly. So try and narrow your choices down to two possible answers, and then choose the best one. 

If this strategy isn’t working on a particularly difficult question or it seems to hold you up longer than you’d like, it’s perfectly okay to circle it, skip it, and come back to it at the end. Do not get hung up on eliminating choices. Rather, use this strategy to make your reading more efficient and quicker. 

5. It doesn’t hurt to guess.

Obviously, while guessing on every single question isn’t a good strategy and will lead to a 1 on the exam, an educated guess on particularly difficult questions that you truly don’t know how to answer can help. You are scored only on the number of correct answers you give, not the number of questions you answer, so it makes sense to guess on questions that you seriously have no idea how to answer.  

5 AP® English Literature and Composition FRQ Study Tips

1. practice your writing skills by answering questions from collegeboard’s archive of past exam questions or explore our free response practice modules ..

Typically, the same skills are assessed from year to year, so practicing with released exams is a great way to brush up on your analysis skills, and our review practice allows you to pinpoint skills you may need help with.

2. Explore and use the rubric!

The best part about the updated AP® English Literature and Composition revised rubrics and scoring guidelines is that it’s very clear to discern which elements are needed to earn full credit for your essay. Granted, it can be tough to include each element—especially that tricky sophistication section—but the rubric’s outline offers a clear and concise portrait of the perfect essay .

Be sure to construct your thesis statement into a clear and definable interpretation. Provide specific evidence and compelling commentary that supports your thesis. If you check these boxes, then you will have a much greater chance of developing a clear and defensible interpretation. 

3. Pay attention to the task verbs employed in your free response prompts .

Task verbs are verbs that essentially indicate what it is you should do in your free response. The three common task verbs include: 

  • Analyze: Examine methodically and in detail the structure of the topic of the question for purposes of interpretation and explanation.
  • Choose: Select a literary work from among provided choices.
  • Read: Look at or view printed directions and provided passages.

4. Have a solid understanding of literary devices.

Most of the FRQ’s require you to not only specifically identify a passage’s array of literary and rhetorical devices but also analyze and unpack how those devices construct mood, meaning, tone, and more. Study up, read the aforementioned Foster book , and take a look at our list of 15 Essential Rhetorical Terms to Know For AP® English Literature . 

5. Fine-tune your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is arguably the most important sentence in your essay. It informs the reader of your central argument and summarizes your interpretation, and it sets the tone for the rest of your essay. It is imperative that you master the tricky art of the thesis statement before taking your exam. 

Many university writing centers offer online education on thesis statements that can prove extremely beneficial. Consult UNC Chapel Hill’s thesis statement handout for extra help!

The AP® English Literature and Composition Exam: 5 Test Day Tips to Remember

Be sure you put at least something in your stomach before taking the exam, even if it might be in knots from nerves. You don’t need to eat a deluxe breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits, etc. (unless that’s your routine), but you do need to eat at least something . Your brain and your body need the energy. If you’re hungry during the exam, it might be harder for you to focus, leading to a lower score or an incomplete exam.

2. Make sure you know the location of your testing site before taking the test.

You do not want to be scrambling and running around the school trying to find your testing room on the day of the exam. Know your room number and know how to get there. There’s truly nothing worse than running around your school trying to find a room when a hugely-important test is underway. 

If you’re getting a ride from a parent or friend, be sure they know the address beforehand. If you’re taking public transit, check the schedule. If you are taking your exam at your own school, don’t get too comfortable. Be sure you know the room number! This is something small but impactful that you can do to reduce your stress the morning of your exam.

3. Prepare everything you need the night before.

Waking up and scrambling to choose an outfit, find pencils, or make breakfast will just stress you out and put you in a negative headspace. Plan your outfit the night before to reduce stress and have an easy breakfast ready to go.

Being prepared saves time and cuts back unnecessary stress. 

And wear something comfortable. You don’t want to be adjusting your outfit throughout the test. It’ll just be distracting. 

4. Bring mints or gum with you.

The rules say that you can’t have food or drink in the testing room, but mints and/or gum are usually allowed unless it’s against your testing site’s own rules. If you find yourself getting distracted, pop a mint or a stick of gum in your mouth! This can help to keep you more awake and focused.

5. Remember to breathe and just relax.

Seriously, just breathe. If you’ve followed the rest of the tips in this post, listened to your teacher, read up on your literary devices, and done your homework, then you’re well-prepared for this exam. Trust yourself. Know that you have done all you can do to prepare and don’t cram the morning of the exam. Last-minute studying helps no one, and it often just leads to stress!

AP® English Literature and Composition Review Notes and Practice Test Resources

Ap® collegeboard’s official youtube channel.

This YouTube channel provides tons of tips, advice, and strategies for tackling the AP® English Literature and Composition exam. It offers online seminars and classes on a diverse range of Lit-related topics such as plot structure, unpacking symbolism, and crafting strong commentary. The best thing about it is that real-life teachers lead the classes, so they feel very personalized.

If you’re a more visual learner who thrives on video content, then this channel is perfect for you!

How-to Guide for Literary Analysis Essays

SPARKNOTES GUIDE - AP® Lit Review Notes and Practice Test Resources

While we 100% do not condone using Sparknotes textual summaries to get your way through AP® English Literature, we do recommend taking a look at some of their guides and workshops and using them as supplementary resources. This how-to guide offers a 7-step method of approaching literary analysis that might help you get the ball rolling if you’re totally stuck.

This guide is perfect for anyone needing to brush up on their writing skills or anyone needing to find a solid step-by-step approach to writing the free response questions.

AP® English Literature Jeopardy Game

AP® LIT JEOPARDY - AP® Lit Review Notes and Practice Test Resources

This online Jeopardy game is not only tons of fun but also super helpful in developing your memory and strengthening your understanding of basic literary elements and devices. It contains categories involving poetry terms, general Lit, syntax, style, and figurative language. It’s a great way to review basic terms for the exam, and you can play with up to ten people through its make-your-team feature.  

This is a perfect review for anyone looking to quickly review literary terms in a fun way.

Ms. Effie’s Lifesavers

Effie - AP® Lit Review Notes and Practice Test Resources

If you’re a seasoned AP® English teacher, Ms. Effie (Sandra Effinger) probably needs no introduction! Ms. Effie’s Lifesavers website has helped many AP® Lang and AP® Lit teachers plan effective and thoroughly aligned lessons and assignments. Sandra was an AP® Reader for many years, so she knows her stuff. She has tons of free content on her page, as well as a Dropbox full of AP® English goodies for anyone who makes a donation via her PayPal. You’ll find resources for both AP® Language and AP® Literature here. 

Ms. Effie’s webpage is perfect for all students. Really, it has material that would benefit those looking for quick reviews, deeper analysis of free response questions, or help with multiple choice questions.

Summary: The Best AP® English Literature and Composition Review Guide

Remember, the structure of the AP® Lang exam is as follows:

Because AP® English Literature and Composition is a skills-based course, there’s no way to know what specific passages, poems, authors, or concepts might make it onto the official exam. But, we do know exactly which skills will be assessed with which passages, so it’s best to center your studying around brushing up on those skills!

Use the provided charts to help you understand which skills you should focus on, and use Albert’s AP® English Literature and Composition Course Guide to brush up on your understanding of each skill and its corresponding essential knowledge.

Start with a diagnostic test, either on Albert or with a pencil and paper test via Princeton Review or Barron’s . Once you’ve completed and scored your diagnostic, follow our 7 steps on how to create an AP® English Literature and Composition study plan. 

And remember: start reading now! The more you read, the more equipped you will be to ace this exam. Review the Western Canon, study your literary terms, and begin critically engaging with writers!

Practice answering multiple choice questions on Albert and free-response questions from The College Board’s archive of past exam questions. 

If you’ve followed the rest of the tips in this post, listened to your teacher, and done your homework, you’re well-prepared for this exam. Trust that you have done all you can do to prepare and don’t cram the morning of. Last-minute studying helps no one!

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The 2022 AP® Lit FRQ Questions Were Just Released: Now what?

Part 1 of 4

Written by Heather Garcia

In this four-part article, Michelle Lindsey and I will walk you through why the released FRQ questions for AP Lit are so valuable for classroom instruction, and we will explore each of the three released essays in a separate article. Our hope is that you will be able to use this four-part series as you begin thinking about planning for your AP Lit course for next year.

Looking for helpful AP English Literature resources? Check out our Summer Writing Workshops and our AP Teacher Courses .


Why are we excited? AP Lit teachers impatiently wait for the release of the essay questions that our students were asked to respond to on the AP Lit exam, and thankfully College Board doesn’t make us wait but a few days. This is good news because as soon as those prompts are released, we can discuss them with our students, and our students can discuss them with us. It creates a celebratory atmosphere in the room as the year quickly spirals to an end once the exam is over. If you haven’t seen the prompts yet, you can find them here .

Why are these past Free Response Questions valuable?

  • They provide us a glimpse into the mind of College Board so we can prepare appropriately for the exam each year.
  • When we use these past questions in our lesson plans, they help students familiarize themselves with College Board’s style of questioning, which creates comfort heading into the test in May.
  • They expose students to a broad spectrum of literary excerpts and poems that they may not have read otherwise.
  • It gives classes a common reading experience and reference points throughout the year so students can say “Hey, this poem is like the one about the Juggler from College Board”, and then a conversation can ensue.
  • College Board will eventually release a sample high, mid, and low scoring essay for us to use in our classrooms with our students, which allows students to apply the rubric and determine what College Board is looking for from students.

How can I incorporate them into my course next year?

  • Use the released prompts as weekly practice: You can rotate prompts out week by week or coordinate them to the units you are teaching according to the Course Exam Description provided by College Board.
  • Model your own prompts after College Board’s: If you want to use the content you were planning to teach anyway, say a particular poem that you love or an excerpt from a novel or play you are already reading, you can use the 2022 prompts as models as you create your own College Board-like prompts.
  • Incorporate them after each novel or play you read: The released Literary Argument prompts (question 3) can be used as discussion prompts, journal prompts, or timed essay prompts for novels or plays that you are already reading in class.
  • Encourage students to analyze the released student samples: Since College Board releases a high, mid, and low scoring essay for each essay prompt, those are great examples to offer students. Students can “peer score” them on the rubric or they can analyze them with partners to determine what works and what might need improvement to raise the score.

While this is not an exhaustive list of the ways you can use College Board’s released prompts, it is a place to get started, especially if you haven’t been using these released prompts in the past.

Keep reading for more on each released question!

2022 AP Lit FRQ 1: “Shaving” by Richard Blanco

Part 2 of 4

Written by Michelle Lindsey

Here is the order of confidence my student feel about their essays: Question 3 takes the lead, Question 1 is a close second, and then Question 2 might be miles and miles and miles away from both of them. To ease some of my anxiety, my students convinced me they did a solid job on this Question 1 prompt. They said they went through our writing process, annotated the poem, planned their essay, and dazzled the College Board.

I always tell my kids to read the poem first to gain some context about what it’s about. This poem, luckily, was pretty transparent. It’s about a guy thinking about the act of shaving, then thinking about when he’s actually shaving, and linking it all to his late father. It was accessible, which we all appreciate. What my students struggled to find was the complexity , which is unfortunate considering it’s worded right there in the prompt- therefore, it has to be there somewhere.

Here is the prompt for Question 1:

The Prompt : In Richard Blanco’s poem “Shaving”, published in 1998, the speaker writes about the act of shaving. Read the poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Blanco uses literary elements and techniques to develop the speaker’s complex associations with the ritual of shaving.

I asked my students if they broke down the prompt into questions, and they promised they did. If they actually did the work, their questions may have looked like this:

  • What are the associations with the ritual of shaving?
  • What is complex about those associations?
  • How do we know? (can be answered in their body paragraphs)
  • Why do we care? (something I make them add to encourage them to talk about the theme as a common reading)

Once they have the questions isolated, they can begin to hunt down the information they need within the poem.

In stanza 1, our author compares the growth of his beard to silent, misty, blurry things . He uses a simile to compare the growth of his beard to the ocean steam and spiderwebs in the mornings. We can see this. We can visualize the foggy clouds lifting off water or the puffy, yet obscure spiderwebs that cling to wet grass in the mornings. We don’t see these things forming, the formation is silent much like the rose replenishing itself with water from the vase. These are soft similes comparing the mystery of stubble growth to the passing of his father, which ironically came up quite suddenly within the poem and apparently it crept up on the author in real life too.

Looking at the two ideas paired together, the mysterious growth of beard hair, which is symbolic of manhood, and his father’s life passing them by, readers can begin to see the association between the act of shaving and something our narrator missed out on with his father.

Stanza 2 shifts to when he is actually shaving. So, now we have manhood and our narrator navigating something he was never shown how to do. He catches glimpses of his father literally and figuratively with the memory of the father shaving and his “legacy of black whispers” on his own face. This stanza doesn’t have the soft imagery as the first one. The diction is harsher with words like “masquerade”, “blade”, “dead pieces”, and “black seeds”. Readers gain a little more insight into the emotion behind the poem in stanza 2 and the idea that the association between shaving and his father might not be a pleasant one as we learn the father “never taught me how to shave.”

Stanza 3 has a bit of an epiphany but not an entirely happy one as he talks about how quickly everything can vanish. One morning he wakes up with a beard that, however long it took to form, can be easily erased with the swipe of his blade. Obviously, this connects with the unpredicted passing of his father.

Once my students navigate their way through the poem, they’re supposed to go back and answer those questions they formed from the prompt:

  • What are the associations with the ritual of shaving? A: Our narrator associates the ritual of shaving with the passing of time and life (and his father).
  • What is complex about those associations? A: Although he begins the poem in a calm manner, it is evident that our narrator (or author) still has unresolved grief he is still managing.
  • How do we know? A: Stanza one has the calm similes and imagery- yet slight undertones of the unknown and stanzas 2 and 3 have the tone shift (but I would save these ideas for my body paragraphs).
  • Why do we care? A: We care because life is a cycle, like shaving, life grows and is then cut off and more life grows after that.

Here is what my thesis might look like:

Blanco associates the ritual of shaving with the passing of time and life. He recognizes there is a beauty in the growing of life, symbolized by the beard, but also grief towards that life-ending in order to remind readers that life itself is cyclic.

I would follow up my introduction with a paragraph about stanza 1 and the calm atmosphere and then my next body paragraph would be about the grief evidenced in stanzas 2 and 3. I would probably only have two body paragraphs because I let the answers to the questions from the prompt drive my essays.

This isn’t perfect. After these questions were released, I also heard about ten different interpretations from my kiddos. I embrace their diverse thinking and as long as they can write their ideas with conviction and solid evidence, they’ll be ok.

The 2022 AP Lit FRQ 2: Examining Linda Hogan’s People of the Whale

Part 3 of 4

Those few days between students testing and when the AP Literature FRQ questions are released seem infinite. I can’t be the only one checking the website obsessively just hoping they will drop those little gems a bit early – right? (Right?)

Now that they are public, they are open to scrutiny, and for question two, there was a lot to analyze.

For context, or for those of you who haven’t read the prompt yet, here is what College Board was asking the students for question two, the Prose Analysis Essay in 2022.  

The following excerpt is from Linda Hogan’s novel People of the Whale, published in 2008. In this passage, the narrator described two events that occur in a community: an infant’s birth shortly followed by an octopus’s walking out of the sea. Read the passage carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how the author uses literary elements and techniques to develop a complex characterization of the community. In your response you should do the following: ● Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible interpretation. ● Select and use evidence to support your line of reasoning. ● Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning. ● Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

After looking at this prompt, there is a lot to unpack before moving into analyzing the passage.

Here are the questions I know I need to answer as I read the passage, based on the above prompt:

  • How would I define this community and how it is characterized?
  • Why or how is it complex?
  • What literary elements or techniques are being employed to create this characterization?

These questions can lead to a rough outline of the essay to write, but first, we need to really examine the excerpt provided from People of the Whale . Students may choose to do this in chunks, taking one paragraph at a time and really examining it through the lens of the questions above. Or, they may read the passage as a whole first to get an overall gist of what the excerpt is about and then go back and look deeper at each of the paragraphs.

Regardless of the approach they take, this excerpt is one of the longer ones that College Board has put out in recent years, and there is a lot of depth within the excerpt to pull from as students write.

After reading through the Prose Analysis Essay Excerpt , we can answer the questions above. This is how I would respond to them, but keep in mind, that students may respond differently, as might you. That is okay. That, in fact, is to be celebrated because the readers from College Board do not expect (or desire) to read essays that are carbon copies of one another.

Here is how I would approach these questions:

  • This community is closely connected and ruled by a combination of fear, superstition, and religion that clouds their perceptions of reality as they treat the octopus as a deity that consumed and enriches their lives despite their poverty.
  • The complexity arises because the people of the town do not all respond the same way to the octopus residing in the cave- causing tension and unrest amongst the community and many ultimately ended up worshiping the octopus out of fear or devotion. 
  • Characterization of the community occurs through the use of mounting tension within the narrative, through the use of personification of the octopus, and through the various reactions of the townsfolk (selection of detail).

My thesis statement for this prompt might look like this:

This community is characterized primarily by its reaction to the octopus, which they treat as a deity to both pray to and fear, emphasizing their desperation and also their faith in forces beyond themselves.

In the chart below you will see the lines that I would pull for evidence if I were writing this essay and how I would connect them to my thesis.

There are SO many ways to approach this excerpt, and hopefully, students were able to take the time to explore them as they were writing their essays, but even if time didn’t permit them to explore the passage as thoroughly as they might have hoped, there is no doubt that this Prose Analysis Essay question is rich in detail and provided many opportunities for interpretation and analysis.

2022 AP Lit FRQ 3: Accepting or Rejecting Hierarchical Structure

Part 4 of 4

With AP Literature testing finally over and the College Board finally releasing the Free Response Questions, it’s time to talk about Question 3.

Fortunately for my kids, we had a class discussion recapping the novels we read throughout the year. We read Homegoing , The Nightingale , Clap When You Land, Twelfth Night, and then the kids had group novels they read. Some groups chose Fahrenheit 451, A Thousand White Women, and The Great Alone. Throughout the discussion, we recapped themes, major characters and their complexities, and powerful quotes. We ended by talking about common themes all the novels shared and we just so happen to talk about how all our novels challenge societal norms, political power, etc. So, it was perfect. But I know we got lucky with that prompt and not everyone was in our boat.

Of course, once the test was released, upon student request, I dissected the Question 3 prompt, and how I would have tackled this prompt.

The Prompt: Many works of literature feature characters who accept or reject a hierarchical structure. This hierarchy may be social, economic, political, or familial, or it may apply to some other kind of structure. Either from your own reading or from the list below, choose a work of fiction in which a character responds to a hierarchy in some significant way. Then, in a well written essay, analyze how that character’s response to the hierarchy contributes to an interpretation of the work as a whole period do not merely summarize the plot.

Let’s start by breaking down this prompt into the sub-questions nested within:

  • What is the hierarchy within the novel?
  • Which character has a response to it?
  • How does that character respond?
  • What is the interpretation of the work as a whole?
  • What makes that response significant regarding that interpretation?

There are various ways this prompt can be broken down, but these seem like the main gist of the prompt.  I love this prompt, by the way.

Before students can begin answering these questions, they may have needed to look at the context the College Board gave them about the types of hierarchies in order to decide which novel to choose.

I provided some examples of the different hierarchies in the chart below. This is not an exhaustive list, but it certainly can be a good starting point if you plan on using this prompt next year as practice. I also explored these ideas with my favorite novel from this year.

After determining how these hierarchies exist within some of our novels, we could use these ideas to answer the questions nested within the prompt. Again, The Nightingale was my favorite novel of the year so I will use that one.

  • What is the hierarchy within the novel? A: Familial hierarchy and political hierarchy play the largest roles. I would mention both hierarchies to bring in some complexity
  • Which character has a response to it? A: Although both sisters respond to both hierarchies, Isabelle would be my focus because she feels she is at the very bottom of both hierarchies and has the largest character arch.
  • How does that character respond? A: She responds with rebellion, anger, and recklessness
  • What is the interpretation of the work as a whole? A: The entire novel focuses on fighting against injustice- in all different forms.
  • What makes that response significant regarding that interpretation? A: Isabelle is sick of feeling inferior to her sister and feeling disposable by the Nazis, so she decides to do something about it. She shows readers that a single person can truly make a big difference.

My thesis would look something like this: Isabelle fights desperately to get out of the bottom of the familial hierarchy with her sister and the political one with the Nazi regime. Her rebellion against the injustice she faces and sees others facing is lifesaving, and life-changing, despite both hierarchies telling her she is invaluable and could never make a difference.

I would then spend a body paragraph defending how Vianne made her feel like a burden and an outcast within her own family. I would include all sorts of specific examples of moments when Vianne causes Isabelle to feel invaluable. I would then argue how her rebellion saved her own life, not in a literal way, but in an emotional sense as she gained self-worth. That drive to prove her worth and ability to make a difference would lead me to the next paragraph.

My next body paragraph would focus on the political hierarchy and how the Nazis constantly made her, and the people in her community, feel disposable and worthless. There are numerous examples of this as well that I would include. I would then link that disposable feeling to her rebellion and all the airmen she saved as she took on the persona of “The Nightingale”, truly making a massive difference in the lives of not only the airmen and their families, but causing some serious turmoil within the Nazi regime.

Is this essay perfect? Probably not. But this essay is accessible and when I showed this essay structure to my students after their exam (and after it was legal), they weren’t afraid that their essays were too far from the mark. They felt confident they were on the right track. And, when I show this essay idea to my class next year, they won’t be intimidated by the tasks within the prompt.

And there you have it. The breakdown of every free-response question on the 2022 AP English Literature Exam. We hope this was helpful.

Heather Garcia

Heather Garcia is an English teacher at Charlotte High School, Florida, where she teaches AP ® English Literature and AP ® English Language. She is a professional development leader in her district, running annual new-teacher trainings and is now the Curriculum and Instructional Specialist for her district for grades 6-12. After 16 years of hands-on experience, Heather has developed a series of strategies to help her students navigate challenging texts. Her favorite book is the Steinbeck classic, East of Eden .

Michelle Lindsey

Michelle Lindsey has been a high school teacher in Florida for nine years, and currently teaches AP® Capstone as well as literature and writing courses.

how to write ap lit frq 1

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This Website is offered and available to users who are 13 years of age or older, and reside in the United States or any of its territories or possessions. Any user under the age of 18 must (a) review the Terms of Use with a parent or legal guardian to ensure the parent or legal guardian acknowledges and agrees to these Terms of Use, and (b) not access the Website if his or her parent or legal guardian does not agree to these Terms of Use. By using this Website, you represent and warrant that you meet all of the foregoing eligibility requirements. If you do not meet all of these requirements, you must not access or use the Website.

Changes to the Terms of Use

We may revise and update these Terms of Use from time to time in our sole discretion. All changes are effective immediately when we post them, and apply to all access to and use of the Website thereafter.

These Terms of Use are an integral part of the Website Terms of Use that apply generally to the use of our Website. Your continued use of the Website following the posting of revised Terms of Use means that you accept and agree to the changes. You are expected to check this page each time you access this Website so you are aware of any changes, as they are binding on you.

Accessing the Website and Account Security

We reserve the right to withdraw or amend this Website, and any service or material we provide on the Website, in our sole discretion without notice. We will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the Website is unavailable at any time or for any period. From time to time, we may restrict access to some parts of the Website, or the entire Website, to users, including registered users.

You are responsible for (i) making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to the Website, and (ii) ensuring that all persons who access the Website through your internet connection are aware of these Terms of Use and comply with them.

To access the Website or some of the resources it offers, you may be asked to provide certain registration details or other information. It is a condition of your use of the Website that all the information you provide on the Website is correct, current, and complete. You agree that all information you provide to register with this Website or otherwise, including but not limited to through the use of any interactive features on the Website, is governed by our Marco Learning Privacy Policy , and you consent to all actions we take with respect to your information consistent with our Privacy Policy.

If you choose, or are provided with, a user name, password, or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential, and you must not disclose it to any other person or entity. You also acknowledge that your account is personal to you and agree not to provide any other person with access to this Website or portions of it using your user name, password, or other security information. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized access to or use of your user name or password or any other breach of security. You also agree to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. You should use particular caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information.

We have the right to disable any user name, password, or other identifier, whether chosen by you or provided by us, at any time in our sole discretion for any or no reason, including if, in our opinion, you have violated any provision of these Terms of Use.

Intellectual Property Rights

The Website and its entire contents, features, and functionality (including but not limited to all information, software, text, displays, images, graphics, video, other visuals, and audio, and the design, selection, and arrangement thereof) are owned by the Company, its licensors, or other providers of such material and are protected by United States and international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws. Your use of the Website does not grant to you ownership of any content, software, code, date or materials you may access on the Website.

These Terms of Use permit you to use the Website for your personal, non-commercial use only. You must not reproduce, distribute, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, republish, download, store, or transmit any of the material on our Website, except as follows:

  • Your computer may temporarily store copies of such materials in RAM incidental to your accessing and viewing those materials.
  • You may store files that are automatically cached by your Web browser for display enhancement purposes.
  • You may print or download one copy of a reasonable number of pages of the Website for your own personal, non-commercial use and not for further reproduction, publication, or distribution.
  • If we provide desktop, mobile, or other applications for download, you may download a single copy to your computer or mobile device solely for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you agree to be bound by our end user license agreement for such applications.
  • If we provide social media features with certain content, you may take such actions as are enabled by such features.

You must not:

  • Modify copies of any materials from this site.
  • Use any illustrations, photographs, video or audio sequences, or any graphics separately from the accompanying text.
  • Delete or alter any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights notices from copies of materials from this site.

You must not access or use for any commercial purposes any part of the Website or any services or materials available through the Website.

If you wish to make any use of material on the Website other than that set out in this section, please contact us

If you print, copy, modify, download, or otherwise use or provide any other person with access to any part of the Website in breach of the Terms of Use, your right to use the Website will stop immediately and you must, at our option, return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made. No right, title, or interest in or to the Website or any content on the Website is transferred to you, and all rights not expressly granted are reserved by the Company. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms of Use is a breach of these Terms of Use and may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws.

Trademarks, logos, service marks, trade names, and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans are trademarks of the Company or its affiliates or licensors (collectively, the “ Trademarks ”). You must not use such Trademarks without the prior written permission of the Company. All other names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans on this Website are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Prohibited Uses

You may use the Website only for lawful purposes and in accordance with these Terms of Use. You agree not to use the Website:

  • In any way that violates any applicable federal, state, local, or international law or regulation (including, without limitation, any laws regarding the export of data or software to and from the US or other countries).
  • For the purpose of exploiting, harming, or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personally identifiable information, or otherwise.
  • To send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use, or re-use any material that does not comply with the Content Standards set out in these Terms of Use.
  • To transmit, or procure the sending of, any advertising or promotional material, including any “junk mail”, “chain letter”, “spam”, or any other similar solicitation.
  • To impersonate or attempt to impersonate the Company, a Company employee, another user, or any other person or entity (including, without limitation, by using email addresses or screen names associated with any of the foregoing).
  • To engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Website, or which, as determined by us, may harm the Company or users of the Website or expose them to liability.

Additionally, you agree not to:

  • Use the Website in any manner that could disable, overburden, damage, or impair the site or interfere with any other party’s use of the Website, including their ability to engage in real time activities through the Website.
  • Use any robot, spider, or other automatic device, process, or means to access the Website for any purpose, including monitoring or copying any of the material on the Website.
  • Use any manual process to monitor or copy any of the material on the Website or for any other unauthorized purpose without our prior written consent.
  • Use any device, software, or routine that interferes with the proper working of the Website.
  • Introduce any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, or other material that is malicious or technologically harmful.
  • Attempt to gain unauthorized access to, interfere with, damage, or disrupt any parts of the Website, the server on which the Website is stored, or any server, computer, or database connected to the Website.
  • Attack the Website via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of-service attack.
  • Otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Website.

If you use, or assist another person in using the Website in any unauthorized way, you agree that you will pay us an additional $50 per hour for any time we spend to investigate and correct such use, plus any third party costs of investigation we incur (with a minimum $300 charge). You agree that we may charge any credit card number provided for your account for such amounts. You further agree that you will not dispute such a charge and that we retain the right to collect any additional actual costs.

User Contributions

The Website may contain message boards, chat rooms, personal web pages or profiles, forums, bulletin boards, and other interactive features (collectively, “ Interactive Services “) that allow users to post, submit, publish, display, or transmit to other users or other persons (hereinafter, “ post “) content or materials (collectively, “ User Contributions “) on or through the Website.

All User Contributions must comply with the Content Standards set out in these Terms of Use.

Any User Contribution you post to the site will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary. By providing any User Contribution on the Website, you grant us and our affiliates and service providers, and each of their and our respective licensees, successors, and assigns the right to use, reproduce, modify, perform, display, distribute, and otherwise disclose to third parties any such material for any purpose.

You represent and warrant that:

  • You own or control all rights in and to the User Contributions and have the right to grant the license granted above to us and our affiliates and service providers, and each of their and our respective licensees, successors, and assigns.
  • All of your User Contributions do and will comply with these Terms of Use.

You understand and acknowledge that you are responsible for any User Contributions you submit or contribute, and you, not the Company, have full responsibility for such content, including its legality, reliability, accuracy, and appropriateness.

For any academic source materials such as textbooks and workbooks which you submit to us in connection with our online tutoring services, you represent and warrant that you are entitled to upload such materials under the “fair use” doctrine of copyright law. In addition, if you request that our system display a representation of a page or problem from a textbook or workbook, you represent and warrant that you are in proper legal possession of such textbook or workbook and that your instruction to our system to display a page or problem from your textbook or workbook is made for the sole purpose of facilitating your tutoring session, as “fair use” under copyright law.

You agree that we may record all or any part of any live online classes and tutoring sessions (including voice chat communications) for quality control and other purposes. You agree that we own all transcripts and recordings of such sessions and that these Terms of Use will be deemed an irrevocable assignment of rights in all such transcripts and recordings to us.

We are not responsible or liable to any third party for the content or accuracy of any User Contributions posted by you or any other user of the Website.

Monitoring and Enforcement: Termination

We have the right to:

  • Remove or refuse to post any User Contributions for any or no reason in our sole discretion.
  • Take any action with respect to any User Contribution that we deem necessary or appropriate in our sole discretion, including if we believe that such User Contribution violates the Terms of Use, including the Content Standards, infringes any intellectual property right or other right of any person or entity, threatens the personal safety of users of the Website or the public, or could create liability for the Company.
  • Disclose your identity or other information about you to any third party who claims that material posted by you violates their rights, including their intellectual property rights or their right to privacy.
  • Take appropriate legal action, including without limitation, referral to law enforcement, for any illegal or unauthorized use of the Website.
  • Terminate or suspend your access to all or part of the Website for any or no reason, including without limitation, any violation of these Terms of Use.

Without limiting the foregoing, we have the right to cooperate fully with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing us to disclose the identity or other information of anyone posting any materials on or through the Website. YOU WAIVE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE COMPANY AND ITS AFFILIATES, LICENSEES, AND SERVICE PROVIDERS FROM ANY CLAIMS RESULTING FROM ANY ACTION TAKEN BY ANY OF THE FOREGOING PARTIES DURING, OR TAKEN AS A CONSEQUENCE OF, INVESTIGATIONS BY EITHER SUCH PARTIES OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES.

However, we do not undertake to review material before it is posted on the Website, and cannot ensure prompt removal of objectionable material after it has been posted. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any action or inaction regarding transmissions, communications, or content provided by any user or third party. We have no liability or responsibility to anyone for performance or nonperformance of the activities described in this section.

Content Standards

These content standards apply to any and all User Contributions and use of Interactive Services. User Contributions must in their entirety comply with all applicable federal, state, local, and international laws and regulations. Without limiting the foregoing, User Contributions must not:

  • Contain any material that is defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, offensive, harassing, violent, hateful, inflammatory, or otherwise objectionable.
  • Promote sexually explicit or pornographic material, violence, or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
  • Infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other intellectual property or other rights of any other person.
  • Violate the legal rights (including the rights of publicity and privacy) of others or contain any material that could give rise to any civil or criminal liability under applicable laws or regulations or that otherwise may be in conflict with these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy .
  • Be likely to deceive any person.
  • Promote any illegal activity, or advocate, promote, or assist any unlawful act.
  • Cause annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety or be likely to upset, embarrass, alarm, or annoy any other person.
  • Impersonate any person, or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person or organization.
  • Involve commercial activities or sales, such as contests, sweepstakes, and other sales promotions, barter, or advertising.
  • Give the impression that they emanate from or are endorsed by us or any other person or entity, if this is not the case.

(collectively, the “ Content Standards ”)

Copyright Infringement

If you believe that any User Contributions violate your copyright, please contact us  and provide the following information:

  • An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
  • A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  • A description of where the material you claim is infringing is located on the website (and such description must reasonably sufficient to enable us to find the alleged infringing material);
  • Your address, telephone number and email address;
  • A written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  • A statement by you, made under the penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.

We may terminate the accounts of any infringers.

Reliance on Information Posted

From time to time, we may make third party opinions, advice, statements, offers, or other third party information or content available on the Website or from tutors under tutoring services (collectively, “Third Party Content”). All Third Party Content is the responsibility of the respective authors thereof and should not necessarily be relied upon. Such third party authors are solely responsible for such content. WE DO NOT (I) GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR USEFULNESS OF ANY THIRD PARTY CONTENT ON THE SITE OR ANY VERIFICATION SERVICES DONE ON OUR TUTORS OR INSTRUCTORS, OR (II) ADOPT, ENDORSE OR ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY OPINION, ADVICE, OR STATEMENT MADE BY ANY TUTOR OR INSTRUCTOR OR ANY PARTY THAT APPEARS ON THE WEBSITE. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL WE BE RESPONSBILE OR LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM YOUR RELIANCE ON INFORMATION OR OTHER CONENT POSTED ON OR AVAILBLE FROM THE WEBSITE.

Changes to the Website

We may update the content on this Website from time to time, but its content is not necessarily complete or up-to-date. Any of the material on the Website may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material.

Information About You and Your Visits to the Website

All information we collect on this Website is subject to our Privacy Policy . By using the Website, you consent to all actions taken by us with respect to your information in compliance with the Privacy Policy.

Online Purchases and Other Terms and Conditions

All purchases through our site or other transactions for the sale of services and information formed through the Website or resulting from visits made by you are governed by our Terms of Sale, which are hereby incorporated into these Terms of Use.

Additional terms and conditions may also apply to specific portions, services, or features of the Website. All such additional terms and conditions are hereby incorporated by this reference into these Terms of Use.

Linking to the Website and Social Media Features

You may link to our homepage, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval, or endorsement on our part without our express written consent.

This Website may provide certain social media features that enable you to:

  • Link from your own or certain third-party websites to certain content on this Website.
  • Send emails or other communications with certain content, or links to certain content, on this Website.
  • Cause limited portions of content on this Website to be displayed or appear to be displayed on your own or certain third-party websites.

You may use these features solely as they are provided by us, and solely with respect to the content they are displayed with and otherwise in accordance with any additional terms and conditions we provide with respect to such features. Subject to the foregoing, you must not:

  • Establish a link from any website that is not owned by you.
  • Cause the Website or portions of it to be displayed on, or appear to be displayed by, any other site, for example, framing, deep linking, or in-line linking.
  • Link to any part of the Website other than the homepage.
  • Otherwise take any action with respect to the materials on this Website that is inconsistent with any other provision of these Terms of Use.

The website from which you are linking, or on which you make certain content accessible, must comply in all respects with the Content Standards set out in these Terms of Use.

You agree to cooperate with us in causing any unauthorized framing or linking immediately to stop. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice.

We may disable all or any social media features and any links at any time without notice in our discretion.

Links from the Website

If the Website contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties (“ Linked Sites ”), these links are provided for your convenience only. This includes links contained in advertisements, including banner advertisements and sponsored links. You acknowledge and agree that we have no control over the contents, products, services, advertising or other materials which may be provided by or through those Linked sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites linked to this Website, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such websites.

You agree that if you include a link from any other website to the Website, such link will open in a new browser window and will link to the full version of an HTML formatted page of this Website. You are not permitted to link directly to any image hosted on the Website or our products or services, such as using an “in-line” linking method to cause the image hosted by us to be displayed on another website. You agree not to download or use images hosted on this Website or another website, for any purpose, including, without limitation, posting such images on another website. You agree not to link from any other website to this Website in any manner such that the Website, or any page of the Website, is “framed,” surrounded or obfuscated by any third party content, materials or branding. We reserve all of our rights under the law to insist that any link to the Website be discontinued, and to revoke your right to link to the Website from any other website at any time upon written notice to you.

Geographic Restrictions

The owner of the Website is based in the state of New Jersey in the United States. We provide this Website for use only by persons located in the United States. We make no claims that the Website or any of its content is accessible or appropriate outside of the United States. Access to the Website may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If you access the Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.

Disclaimer of Warranties

You understand that we cannot and do not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from the internet or the Website will be free of viruses or other destructive code. You are responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy your particular requirements for anti-virus protection and accuracy of data input and output, and for maintaining a means external to our site for any reconstruction of any lost data. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW, WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY A DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE ATTACK, VIRUSES, OR OTHER TECHNOLOGICALLY HARMFUL MATERIAL THAT MAY INFECT YOUR COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, DATA, OR OTHER PROPRIETARY MATERIAL DUE TO YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE OR TO YOUR DOWNLOADING OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON IT, OR ON ANY WEBSITE LINKED TO IT.




Limitation on Liability




You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Company, its affiliates, licensors, and service providers, and its and their respective officers, directors, employees, contractors, agents, licensors, suppliers, successors, and assigns from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, judgments, awards, losses, costs, expenses, or fees (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to your violation of these Terms of Use or your use of the Website, including, but not limited to, your User Contributions, any use of the Website’s content, services, and products other than as expressly authorized in these Terms of Use or your use of any information obtained from the Website.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

All matters relating to the Website and these Terms of Use and any dispute or claim arising therefrom or related thereto (in each case, including non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of New Jersey without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule (whether of the State of New Jersey or any other jurisdiction).

Any legal suit, action, or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms of Use or the Website shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of New Jersey in each case located in the County of Monmouth although we retain the right to bring any suit, action, or proceeding against you for breach of these Terms of Use in your country of residence or any other relevant country. You waive any and all objections to the exercise of jurisdiction over you by such courts and to venue in such courts. You may not under any circumstances commence or maintain against us any class action, class arbitration, or other representative action or proceeding.


By using this Website, you agree, at Company’s sole discretion, that it may require you to submit any disputes arising from the use of these Terms of Use or the Website, including disputes arising from or concerning their interpretation, violation, invalidity, non-performance, or termination, to final and binding arbitration under the Rules of Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association applying New Jersey law. In doing so, YOU GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO GO TO COURT to assert or defend any claims between you and us. YOU ALSO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION OR OTHER CLASS PROCEEDING. Your rights may be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR, NOT A JUDGE OR JURY. You are entitled to a fair hearing before the arbitrator. The arbitrator can grant any relief that a court can, but you should note that arbitration proceedings are usually simpler and more streamlined than trials and other judicial proceedings. Decisions by the arbitrator are enforceable in court and may be overturned by a court only for very limited reasons.

Any proceeding to enforce this arbitration provision, including any proceeding to confirm, modify, or vacate an arbitration award, may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction. In the event that this arbitration provision is for any reason held to be unenforceable, any litigation against Company must be commenced only in the federal or state courts located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. You hereby irrevocably consent to the jurisdiction of those courts for such purposes.

Limitation on Time to File Claims


Waiver and Severability

No waiver by the Company of any term or condition set out in these Terms of Use shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or a waiver of any other term or condition, and any failure of the Company to assert a right or provision under these Terms of Use shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

If any provision of these Terms of Use is held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Use will continue in full force and effect.

Entire Agreement

The Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Sale constitute the sole and entire agreement between you and Marco Learning LLC regarding the Website and supersede all prior and contemporaneous understandings, agreements, representations, and warranties, both written and oral, regarding the Website.

Communications and Miscellaneous

If you provide us your email address, you agree and consent to receive email messages from us. These emails may be transaction or relationship communications relating to the products or services we offer, such as administrative notices and service announcements or changes, or emails containing commercial offers, promotions or special offers from us.

Your Comments and Concerns

This website is operated by Marco Learning LLC, a New Jersey limited liability company with an address of 113 Monmouth Road, Suite 1, Wrightstown, New Jersey 08562.

Please contact us   for all other feedback, comments, requests for technical support, and other communications relating to the Website.

AP LIT frq 1

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how to write ap lit frq 1

AP Lit ® FRQ 1 and 2 Complex Thesis Statements

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AP Lit ® FRQ 1 and 2 Arguable Thesis Statements

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AP Literature FRQ1 : AP Lit Poetry Analysis Essay | Assignment, Models, & Rubric

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AP Lit FRQ1 & 2 Literary Analysis Essay Workshop & Graphic Organizer

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AP Lit FRQ 1 Poetry Essay Graphic Organizers 25 Prompt Analysis

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The Awakening Chopin Novel Study Gender Lens Original FRQ 1 & 3 Prompts AP Lit

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AP Lit FRQ 1 Poetry Analysis The Landlady, A Story, Plants, The Myth of Music...

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AP Lit Poetry Analysis & FRQ 1 Prompt "Bedecked"

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AP Lit FRQ # 1 Poetry Stations Exam Prep

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AP Lit FRQ1 & 2 Literary Analysis Essay Graphic Organizer

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AP Lit FRQ1 & 2 Literary Analysis Essay Workshop

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Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit

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Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit

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The Great Gatsby FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit Open-Ended Response

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To Kill a Mockingbird FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit Open-Ended Response

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AP Lit Pic Dorian Gray FRQ 3 Analysis, Characterization, Quiz, Essay, Activies

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Lord of the Flies FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit Open-Ended Response

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Sophocles's Oedipus Rex FRQ #3 Essay Prompts for AP Lit Open-Ended Response

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"The Lamb" & "The Tyger" AP English Lit FRQ Essay + Google Slide Bundle

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"Young Goodman Brown" FRQ #2 Essay Prompts for AP Lit Prose Passage Analysis

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Comparing Blake's The Lamb and The Tyger: AP English Lit FRQ Essay

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FRQ 2 AP Lit Bell Ringers

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End-of-Chapter Review WS ( FRQ -style) for Light & Periodicity in AP Chemistry

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  1. AP Lit. FRQ 1: 2023 (Set 1 “Autumn” by Alice Cary) Writing Workshop

    how to write ap lit frq 1

  2. AP Lit® FRQ 1 and 2 Arguable Thesis Statements by Let's Get Literature

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  3. Teaching Students How to Organize Essay for FRQ 1 & 2 on the AP Lit. Exam

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  4. AP Lit FRQ #1 Poetry Stations Exam Prep by TeachTripp

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  1. AP English Literature and Composition Past Exam Questions

    Download free-response questions from past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring distributions. If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333 or by email at [email protected].

  2. Expert's Guide to the AP Literature Exam

    Advanced Placement (AP) If you're planning to take the AP English Literature and Composition exam, you'll need to get familiar with what to expect on the test. Whether the 2023 test date of Wednesday, May 3, is near or far, I'm here to help you get serious about preparing for the exam.

  3. How to Approach AP® English Literature Free-Response Questions

    For the AP® English Literature Free-response section you are required to write three essays. They may be argumentative, analytical or expository depending on instructions. This section tests your ability to read and interpret various literary works, as well as your ability to communicate your ideas in a stylized, coherent response.

  4. PDF AP English Literature and Composition

    Question 1: Poetry Analysis 6 points In Richard Blanco's poem "Shaving," published in 1998, the speaker writes about the act of shaving. Read the poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Blanco uses literary elements and techniques to develop the speaker's complex associations with the ritual of shaving.

  5. PDF AP English Literature and Composition

    Question 1: Rachel M. Harper, "The Myth of Music" The score should reflect the quality of the essay as a whole — its content, style, and mechanics. Reward the students for what they do well. The score for an exceptionally well-written essay may be raised by 1 point above the otherwise appropriate score.

  6. How Can I Be Prepared for the AP English Literature FRQs?

    Hey-o! Welcome back to the most lit 🔥 subject out there! Today we will be talking about the meat of the AP exam: the essays. The Free Response Questions (or FRQs) consist of 3 full-length essays in which you will be given 2 hours to complete (roughly 40 minutes per essay).

  7. How to Ace the AP Lit Poetry Essay

    In this video, I'll show you how to write the AP English Literature poetry essay (Q1) step by step using the actual 2018 prompt. Watch me annotate the poem given, identify literary devices,...

  8. PDF AP English Literature and Composition 2022 Free-Response Questions

    AP English Literature and Composition 2022 Free-Response Questions Author: ETS Subject: Free-Response Questions from the 2022 AP English Literature and Composition Exam Keywords: English Literature and Composition; Free-Response Questions; 2022; exam resources; exam information; teaching resources; exam practice Created Date: 10/19/2021 1:40:00 PM

  9. PDF AP English Literature and Composition 2019 Free-Response Questions

    2019 AP ® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS . GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE. -3-Question 2 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.) Carefully read the following excerpt from William Dean Howells' novel . The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885). Then, in

  10. PDF AP English Literature and Composition Question 1: Poetry Analysis (2019

    The first line is 7 words followed by a colon, then the next line is 6 words followed by a semicolon. The poem continues with many more short and direct compositions that reflect a formulaic way of thinking - like the landlady's - rather than the more open-ended nature of long sentences and ideas with many clauses and little punctuation.

  11. PDF AP English Literature and Composition

    Read the poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze how Cary uses literary elements and techniques to convey the speaker's complex response to the changing seasons. In your response you should do the following: Respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a defensible interpretation.

  12. PDF AP English Literature and Composition Free-Response Questions Scoring

    AP English Literature Scoring Rubric, Free-Response Question 1-3 | SG 1 Scoring Rubric for Question 1: Poetry Analysis 6 points Reporting Category Scoring Criteria Row A Thesis (0-1 points) 7.B 0 points For any of the following: • There is no defensible thesis. • The intended thesis only restates the prompt.

  13. How to Write the AP Lit Poetry Essay

    Craft a Compelling Thesis No matter the prompt, you will always need to respond with a substantive thesis. A meaty thesis contains complexity rather than broad generalizations, and points to specifics in the poem. By examining the colloquial language in Gwendolyn Brooks's poem, "We Real Cool", we can see the tension of choosing to be "cool".

  14. Teaching Students to Master the AP® Lit FRQ

    Both are challenging ideas. As a result, we need to explicitly teach them. How do I set my students up for success on the AP® Lit Essay? I teach them the Anatomy of the Prompt . I use anchor charts that outline what they can expect with each AP® Lit Essay Prompt.

  15. The Ultimate List of AP® English Literature Tips

    2. Read Thomas Foster's How To Read Literature Like a Professor Foster's book offers an accessible and entertaining gateway into the complex and often confusing world of literary criticism. Chapters include explanations and reviews of subjects like symbolism, theme, irony, context, and more.

  16. FRQ #1 Practice

    Overview Traditionally, the first free-response question is a poetry question. In this assignment, students will answer the 2018 prompt on Olive Senior's poem "Plants." Resource: AP FREE-RESPONSE RUBRIC Procedure Need a review on Timm Frietas' Command and Conquer strategy? Click here. Directions

  17. How to Get a 9 on Poetry Analysis FRQ in AP® English Literature

    The Albert Team Last Updated On: March 1, 2022 Are you taking the AP® English Literature and Composition exam? If you're taking the course or self-studying, you know the exam is going to be tough. Of course, you want to do your best and score a five on the exam.

  18. The Best AP® English Literature Review Guide for 2023

    These requirements are present throughout all three free-response essays. 1 Prose Fiction Analysis: This part of the free response section will provide a passage of prose fiction (500 to 700 words) and, like the poetry analysis, ask you to respond to a prompt through writing a well-developed essay. Your argument must adhere to the rigor and ...

  19. PDF AP English Literature and Composition 2015 Free-Response Questions

    Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim. You may select a work from the list below or another work of equal literary merit.

  20. PDF AP® English Literature and Composition 2010 Free-Response Questions Form B

    AP® English Literature and Composition 2010 Free-Response Questions Form B The College Board The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities and other

  21. The 2022 AP® Lit FRQ Questions Were Just Released: Now what?

    2022 AP Lit FRQ 1: "Shaving" by Richard Blanco Part 2 of 4 Written by Michelle Lindsey Here is the order of confidence my student feel about their essays: Question 3 takes the lead, Question 1 is a close second, and then Question 2 might be miles and miles and miles away from both of them.

  22. Ap Lit Frq 1 Teaching Resources

    Overview: Prepare students for the AP Literature Free Response Questions 1 & 2 with a detailed writing workshop tackling all parts of the essay. This can be used for AP Literature essay preparation, as well as any classic literary analysis essay.Help students get visually organized to write a literary analysis essay, or the AP Free Response ...

  23. PDF AP English Literature and Composition 2019 Free-Response Questions

    2019 AP ® ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS . GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE. -3-Question 2 (Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.) Carefully read the following excerpt from William Dean Howells' novel . The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885). Then, in