AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITIONThe Exam

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Important Updates

New Exam for Classroom Use
A secure 2017 AP English Literature and Composition Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

New Sample Student Responses and Scoring Commentary
You can now explore several new resources on the AP Course Audit website:

  • Sample student responses and scoring commentary for the secure 2016 AP English Literature and Composition Exam previously posted on the AP Course Audit site
  • Two sets of student essays from the open-ended free-response question on the 2016 AP English Literature Exam—one focusing on The Great Gatsby and the other on unusual student-selected texts

To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Previously Secure Exam Now Publicly Available
The 2012 AP English Literature Exam that was previously available only through your AP Course Audit account is now available below. This means you can now use the questions from this older exam without restriction.

  • Event
    • Wed, May 9, 2018

    AP English Literature and Composition Exam Day 2018

    • 8 a.m. | 3 hrs

Exam Overview

The AP English Literature and Composition Exam uses multiple-choice questions and free-response prompts to test students' skills in literary analysis of prose and verse texts.

The multiple choice section tests critical reading skills. Students read several passages and answer questions about the content, form, and style of each.

The free-response section tests students' ability to analyze and interpret literary texts by composing clear and effective essays.

Encourage your students to visit the AP English Literature and Composition student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

Section I

Multiple Choice—55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Includes excerpts from drama, verse, or prose fiction
  • Each excerpt is accompanied by several multiple-choice questions

Section II

Free Response—3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours | 55% of Exam Score

  • Students write essays that respond to three 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

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

 
2011: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2010: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2009: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2008: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2007: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2006: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

 
2005: Form B
Questions Scoring Samples Grade Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Commentary

Sample Responses

 

Exam Resources