CliffsAP English Language and Composition

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Some papers are unacceptably short. The writing is poor and lacks clarity, organiza- tion, or supporting evidence. A table leader must reconfirm this score. Will there always be a list of suggested works to choose from? Sometimes there will be only a list of authors, and, on rare occasions, no list at all.

CliffsAP English Language and Composition

On the open question, is it better to write about a book on the list of suggested works or to choose one that is not on the list? Whether or not you choose a work on the list will not affect your grade. If the work you choose is not widely known, it will be read only by someone who knows the book. No reader has read all the works that are used on the open question, and a reader finding an es- say on a work he or she does not know simply passes it on to another reader who is familiar with it. The important thing is to choose an appropriate work or an appropriate character within that work.

In answering the open essay question, can I write about works in translation? Many students use works by classical authors as well as those by more modern European, African, Asian, and South American authors.

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Use the work that best fits the question. Reread the question very carefully and think about the books you do know to see if one of them is appropriate. On the open question, is it better to use an older author or a modern one?

CliffsNotes AP English Literature and Composition 3rd Edition Cliffs AP

Use the author that you know best that best fits the question. If you are in doubt about any of the works you may use on the exam, consult with your AP teacher before you take the exam. The works used on the exam should be ones that would be likely to be read in an introductory college literature class. The readers are not stuffy about the use of contemporary writers, but if you write about what is clearly light weight Danielle Steel, the Gone with the Wind sequel a popular mystery story Agatha Christie , or an ephemeral mass-market bestseller, you will not get a good score.

Unless you know no other works that suit the question, it is wiser to use a book that you studied in your AP class. If I write a really good essay using one of the books on the list but on a topic of my own rather than the question on the exam, what score will I get? A really low one. On the open question, is it better to write on a long or difficult work like Moby Dick than a short or easy work like Ethan Frome? The important thing is to answer the question. On the open question, may I write on two works when the question asks for one? The exam will be read and scored on the basis of one of the two works you write about, whichever is the better of the two.

But you will probably have written only half as much as the other exams that followed directions and wrote on only one. You can, of course, refer to other works if doing so improves your essay, but focus on one work unless the question specifically calls for a comparison. Yes, but be careful. Most of the classic and many not-so-classic novels have been made into films. Be sure what you say in your essay comes from your reading, not from the movie. The old Greer Garson movie of Pride and Prejudice changes the gorgon Lady Catherine into an ally who willingly brings Darcy and Elizabeth together, and the Hollywood Wuthering Heights ends at the halfway point in the novel.

Do the best you can. If you make it clear, the reader will give you the benefit of the doubt. There have been quite good essays written about Hamlet in which he was inadvertently called Macbeth. The readers are aware that the essays must be written quickly and are tolerant of slips of the pen. Do you have any further suggestions about answering the open essay question? Be sure to understand whether or not the exam is asking about the author, the reader, or the characters in the work. Ask yourself whether or not the question calls for a discussion of technique — that is, what the author does for specific purposes — or for a discussion of a character as if that character were alive.

How many books should I prepare for the open question on the exam? Be sure to cover several periods and several genres. More would be better. Think about reviewing some of the works you read in tenth or eleventh grade. Choose works you like. Review the works carefully.

A few years ago, a large number of students wrote on Romeo and Juliet on the open question on child-parent conflicts. But very few remembered the play well, probably because they had read it two or three years before and had not reviewed it. Is the exam equally difficult each year or are there years when it is easier or harder?

Although the Development committee that writes the exam tries to maintain the same level of difficulty, no two exams can be equally difficult or exactly alike. Each year one of the three essay questions turns out to be harder than the other two questions, but there is no pat- tern from year to year. That any exam is always hardest in the year I take it is a sad fact of human life.

Cliffs Ap English Literature & Compo 2nd Edition

Fortunately, with the AP exam, the grading is not on an absolute standard, but by comparison of all the test takers. Are the passages on the exam taken from any set time period? The multiple-choice and the essay questions are based on passages of literature written in English from the sixteenth century to the present. Passages are in modern English, that is, the English written from to the present. To do well on the exam, do I have to understand metrics?

Chances are you can get by without knowing anything at all about metrics if you can read and write well. It has been a number of years since an essay question specifically asked for comments on the sound of a poem. In the multiple-choice section, you can expect two questions, at most, about metrics, but maybe only one. Obviously, the more technical knowledge you have about prose and poetry, the better off you are, if you use this learning knowledge with care.

Essays on poetry are far more likely to say too much about metrics than too little.

In fact, prosody the art of versification is not hard to master, and if you know the terms defined beginning on page 91, you should have no trouble with metrical questions in the multiple-choice section. Other QuestionsQ. What is the difference between the AP literature and the AP language exams? It includes questions about poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction prose; the exam has one hour of multiple-choice questions and two hours of essay questions. Though a passage from a work of fiction can appear on the exam, the emphasis of the question or questions on the passage will be on language, style, and rhetoric.

The exam has three minute essays two hours and four sets of multiple-choice questions one hour. Can I take both the language and the literature exams in the same year? The exams are now given at different times, so students can take both exams in the same year if they wish to do so. Before this change in scheduling, many students took the language exam in their junior year and the literature exam in their senior year.

Unfortunately, many college cata- logs are vague about exactly what subject and unit credit each AP score will earn. Write or call the admissions office and ask for an explicit state- ment of the policy on AP credit. The Advanced Placement Course Description booklet names the colleges that give some credit for AP exams, but because the list gives no specific information and makes no dis- tinction between the language and the literature exam, it is not very useful.

Will it affect my score if I check the box to refuse to allow my exam to be used as a sample for research?


The people who select samples consult these boxes to be sure no exams are used that have not been released by the stu- dents, but the readers of the exams never notice or care about what box you check. Can I find out my scores on the multiple-choice section and what I got on each essay? The only score reported to you is the final grade of one to five, the score that is reported to the colleges. Will the college know my scores on the parts of the exam? All the colleges receive is the single score. Colleges may request the essay exam, but they will not be told what scores each essay received.

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Can I take the exam without having taken an AP course? Some schools have no designated AP English classes, and their students still do very well. And some students may do well without taking any course in an AP subject speakers of a foreign language, for example, are likely not to need a course in their native tongue. Though the English language AP exam is designed for students who have taken an AP English language class, students who have had only an AP literature class will often do well on the test.

How long does it take to receive the results of my AP exam?

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The exams taken in May are read early in June, and the results are sent to the schools in July, usually just after the fourth, that is, about eight weeks after the exam is given. How do I convert my scores on a sample test to the one-through-five scores that are sent to the colleges?