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Important Updates

AP English Literature and Composition Updates and New Resources for 2019-20
To help more students prepare for—and succeed on—the AP English Literature and Composition Exam, we’ve clarified the course’s focus starting with the 2019-20 school year and are introducing new resources for your classroom. We’ve also moved exam registration to the fall, a best practice that improves students’ chances of earning college credit and placement.

Download the new course and exam description (CED)

Scoring Guidelines and Rubrics
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.

New AP Resources
AP Classroom is now available. Designed with AP educators, it helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access AP unit guides with aligned resources, topic questions, personal progress checks, the progress dashboard, and your question bank.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Course Overview

AP English Literature and Composition is an introductory college-level literary analysis course. Students cultivate their understanding of literature through reading and analyzing texts as they explore concepts like character, setting, structure, perspective, figurative language, and literary analysis in the context of literary works.

Course Content

The course content is organized into units that have been arranged in a logical sequence. This sequence has been developed through feedback from educators as well as analysis of high school and college courses and textbooks. The units in AP English Literature and Composition scaffold skills and knowledge through three genre-based, recurring units. This course framework provides a description of what students should know and be able to do to qualify for college credit or placement.

The AP English Literature and Composition curriculum is made up of nine units. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

 Units  Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Units 1, 4, and 7: Short Fiction  42%–49%
 Units 2, 5, and 8: Poetry  36%–45%
 Units 3, 6, and 9: Longer Fiction or Drama  15%–18%

 

Course Skills

The updated AP English Literature and Composition framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to read texts critically.

 Skill Categories  Exam Weighting (Multiple- Choice Section)
 Explain the function of character.  16%–20%
 Explain the function of setting.  3%–6%
 Explain the function of plot and structure.  16%–20%
 Explain the function of the narrator or speaker.  21%–26%
 Explain the function of word choice, imagery, and symbols.  10%–13%
 Explain the function of comparison.  10%–13%
 Develop textually substantiated arguments about interpretations of a part or all of a text.  10%–13%

 

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the Development Committee for AP English Literature and Composition.