About the Exam
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.
Section 1: Multiple Choice
55 questions 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.
Section 2: Free Response
3 questions 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. In responding to Question 3, select a work of fiction that will be appropriate to the question. A general rule is to use a work that is similar in quality to those you have read in your AP class(es).