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Important Updates

Support for Students and Schools Impacted by Coronavirus
In response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering at-home testing for 2020 AP Exams. Note that any related adjustments to 2020 AP Exams, such as length or content covered, may not be reflected on all AP Central pages. Visit Taking the Exams for the latest exam information.

New Secure Practice Exam
The international 2019 AP English Literature and Composition Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit site and in the AP Classroom question bank. The free-response questions for this exam have been modified to align with this year’s exam specifications. The exam is accompanied by scoring guidelines that align with this year’s exam specifications. While the accompanying scoring worksheet accounts for the changes to the 2020 exam, the cut score ranges may not fully align with the 2020 exam standards.

You continue to have access to the international 2018 and 2017 exams. Their free-response questions and scoring guidelines have also been modified to align with the 2020 exam. Similarly, scoring worksheets have been updated to account for the 2020 exam changes. All are available as secure practice exams on the AP Course Audit site and as individual secure questions in the question bank. 

As a reminder, these exams are most appropriate for student practice late in the school year, as the exam date approaches.

Get Real-Time Feedback from Personal Progress Checks
Personal progress checks in AP Classroom are a great way to ensure your students are continuing to build mastery of content and skills. The real-time results can help you and your students prioritize additional practice before the AP Exam.

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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 available on this page.

Updates to CED, Rubrics, and Scoring Guidelines
The AP English Literature 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.

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 Literature 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, 2 PM ET

    AP English Literature and Composition Exam Day

    •  

Exam Format

The AP English Literature and Composition Exam will continue to have consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day. There will also be a consistent range of difficulty in the reading passages across all versions of the exam from year to year. The free-response questions will be scored using analytic rubrics, rather than the current holistic rubrics.

Section 1: Multiple Choice

55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Includes 5 sets of questions with 8–13 questions per set.
  • Each set is preceded by a passage of prose fiction, drama, or poetry of varying difficulty.
  • The multiple-choice section will always include at least 2 prose fiction passages (this may include drama) and at least 2 poetry passages.

 Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 2 Hours | 55% of Exam Score

  • Students write essays that respond to 3 free-response prompts from the following categories:
    • A literary analysis of a given poem
    • A literary analysis of a given passage of prose fiction (this may include drama) 
    • An analysis that examines a specific concept, issue, or element in a work of literary merit selected by the student

 

Scoring Information for 2019-20

The free-response question sample packets below are aligned with the AP English Literature 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.