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Important Updates

New Samples and Scoring Commentary
Student samples from the 2018 and 2019 exams that have been re-scored using the rubrics that took effect in fall 2019, along with specific scoring guidelines and commentaries that explain the assigned scores, are now available on this page.

Rubric Webinars in October and November
Visit the professional development page to learn more about webinars that’ll help you get to know the new AP English rubrics.

Updates to CED, Rubrics, and Scoring Guidelines
The AP English Language and Composition CED has been updated, along with the rubrics and CED sample question scoring guidelines. Please refer to the errata sheet for details about the specific updates that were made.

A simplified rubric document (without decision rules and scoring notes) is also now available, featuring a single-page rubric for each question.

Accessing Practice Materials
We’ve introduced a suite of new resources and a daily support tool called AP Classroom for teachers and students to use throughout the year. Designed and tested in collaboration with AP teachers, these resources include unit guides that cover the content and skills assessed on the exam, personal progress checks, and a dashboard to highlight strengths and opportunities for growth.

Create personalized practice with a library of multiple-choice and free-response AP questions you can assign to students online or on paper using the question bank in AP Classroom. Learn more about the new resources.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP English Language and Composition Course and Exam Description (CED). Scoring guidelines for each of the sample free-response questions in the CED are also available, along with scoring rubrics that apply to the free-response questions, regardless of specific question prompts. A simplified rubric document (without decision rules and scoring notes) is also now available, featuring a single-page rubric for each question.

The CED, scoring guidelines, and rubrics documents were updated in September 2019. Please see this errata sheet for details about the specific updates that were made.

  • Event
    • Wed, May 13, 2020

    AP English Language and Composition Exam Day

    • 8 a.m. | 3 hrs 15 mins

Exam Format

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, the AP English Language and Composition Exam will have question types and point values that will remain stable and consistent from year to year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Exam Updates
2019 Exam Starting with the 2020 Exam

Section I: Multiple Choice

52–55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Questions focus exclusively on rhetorical analysis and are presented in 4 sets built around lengthy stimulus passages.
  • The distribution of different question types varies.

Section I: Multiple Choice

45 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Questions will be presented in 5 sets, with shorter stimulus passages.
  • 23–25 Reading questions
  • 20–22 Writing questions

 

Section II: Free Response

3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours 15 Minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 55% of Exam Score

  • 1 synthesis question
  • 1 rhetorical analysis question
  • 1 argument question

The free-response questions are scored using holistic rubrics.

Section II: Free Response

3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours 15 Minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 55% of Exam Score

  • 1 synthesis question
  • 1 rhetorical analysis question
  • 1 argument question

The free-response questions will now be scored using analytic rubrics.

Exam Tasks and Content

Section 1: Multiple Choice

  • Includes 5 sets of questions.
    • 23–25 Reading questions that ask students to read and analyze nonfiction texts.
    • 20–22 Writing questions, a new type of question, that ask students to “read like a writer” and consider revisions to stimulus texts.

Section 2: Free Response

  • Students write essays that respond to 3 free-response prompts from the following categories.
    • Synthesis Question: After reading 6–7 texts about a topic (including visual and quantitative sources), students will compose an argument that combines and cites at least 3 of the sources to support their thesis.
    • Rhetorical Analysis: Students will read a nonfiction text and analyze how the writer’s language choices contribute to the intended meaning and purpose of the text.
    • Argument: Students will create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.

Scoring Information for 2019-20

The free-response question sample packets below are aligned with the AP English Language and Composition Course and Exam Description. Please note that the CED was updated in September 2019; complete details can be found in the errata sheet.

These samples are actual student responses from the 2018 and 2019 exams, re-scored using the rubrics. Scoring commentaries and specific scoring guidelines that explain how the rubrics were applied are also provided below. 

  Samples Commentaries Scoring Guidelines

Questions originally from the 2018 exam

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Scoring Guidelines

Questions originally from the 2019 exam

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Scoring Guidelines

Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2019 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.