Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP English Literature and Composition Course and Exam Description (CED).
Encourage your students to visit the AP English Literature and Composition student page for exam information.
The AP English Literature and Composition Exam has 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 previous holistic rubrics.
Section I: 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 II: 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 selected by the student. In responding to Question 3, students should 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 they have read in their AP class(es).
Exam Questions and Scoring Information
2023: Free-Response Questions
Samples and Commentaries