Emily Xie
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Academic Blog

Academic Blog

AP English Literature and Composition

If you think you are a decent writer and "like"/can tolerate the reading part of the SAT, then the AP English Literature and Composition test is for you! (with a few exceptions which I will discuss in a moment).

The bulk of the test is the essays. You are given two hours to craft three essays, not too bad? think again. Remember, this is an English Lit and Comp test. This means that you have to spell correctly, use big words, and use them well; don't forget about grammar too. The first two involve analyzing a work that is given; the first will be a poem and the second will be a passage from a book or something like that. The last one is a general prompt, and you are to write about it using a work of literary merit. This means you can't use Doctor Seuss or Twilight. Keep this in mind as you are picking books to read, because the more books you have under your belt, the better you will be on the essay.
Next, practice your timing on the multiple choice! Most people read pretty slowly especially when they need to answer questions on the readings, but you can't afford to this on the Lit and Comp test! You need to make sure you read and answer questions as quickly as possible, but not if that will sacrifice your score. You should also make sure you have a general idea of poetic and literary terms, because they will sometimes show up on the test.
Moving on to review! Do not get the Princeton Review book. It doesn't give you any information at all. Again, do not get the Princeton Review book. I used the REA Crash Course to AP Lit and Comp and a Five Steps to a Five, 500 Questions to Know Before Test Day. I thought they were both very helpful, especially the 500 practice questions (never ever underestimate the power of practice), and I would assume that the REA AP Lit and Comp book would be too, but I've never used it. If you have any feedback let me know!
Besides that, it's really up to your writing skills to get you a good score, but if you are a confident writer, you should be just fine.