The Course

AP English Literature and Composition

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New for 2024-25: MCQs Will Have Four Answer Choices

Starting in the 2024-25 school year, AP English Literature and Composition multiple-choice questions (MCQs) will have four answer choices instead of five. This change will take effect with the 2025 exam. All resources have been updated to reflect this change.

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 and Exam Description

Course Resources

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. Teachers have the flexibility to organize the course content as they 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 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 in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section 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 AP English Literature and Composition Development Committee

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.