AP English Literature and Composition

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About the Exam

Important: Because of school closures due to COVID-19, we’re offering at-home testing for the 2020 AP English Literature and Composition Exam as well as free resources to help you prepare. For more details, visit the 2020 AP Coronavirus Updates AP English Literature and Composition exam page. Note that any related adjustments to 2020 AP Exams, such as length or content covered, may not be reflected on all AP Students pages.

The AP English Literature and Composition Exam will test your understanding of the literary concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to analyze texts and develop written arguments based on your interpretations.

Exam Duration
3hrs

Exam Dates

  • Wed, May 13, 2020,
    2 PM ET

    AP English Literature and Composition Exam

    May 13, 2020 is the updated date for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam.

Exam Components

55 questions 1hr 45% of Score

  • There are 5 sets of questions made up of 8–13 questions each
  • Questions include excerpts from prose fiction, drama, or poetry
    • Each excerpt is accompanied by several multiple-choice questions
  • There will be at least 2 prose fiction passages (this may include drama) and at least 2 poetry passages

3 questions 2hrs 55% of Score

In the free-response section, you’ll respond to three questions from the following categories with written answers:

  • Poetry analysis: You will read a passage of poetry and respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a poetic interpretation backed up by evidence.
  • Prose fiction analysis: You will read a passage of prose fiction (this may include drama) and respond to the prompt with a thesis that presents a literary interpretation backed up by evidence.
  • Literary argument: You will be presented with a literary concept or idea and analyze how the literary concept or idea contributes to an interpretation of a literary work. You can choose one from a list of roughly 40 works provided to you or cite another work of prose fiction or drama from your own reading to create an evidence-based argument that responds to the given topic.

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