The AP Literature exam may seem daunting at first, however, if you look into some tips and the basic structure of the exam to help you understand how test makers think, you'll be able to tackle even the most challenging questions.
The AP Literature exam consists of two parts: a 1-hour long multiple choice section and a 2-hour long essay section. The multiple choice section consists of 55 multiple choice questions, while the essay portion has 3 free response questions.
The multiple choice exam questions will include and be based off of both prose and poetry excerpts. The test doesn't require that you have prior knowledge or information on these passages, however, knowing a few basic things about different pieces of literature from different times will certainly aid you on the exam.
You absolutely should have prior knowledge of literary terminology like syntax, connotation, diction, and others. Annotating each passage will aid you greatly on the AP exam.
AP Lit Exam:
Make sure you include the title and the author in your essay. Most of the time these will be mentioned in the prompt.
Essay Prompt Trait 1
You can practice writing theses before the test! There are a couple of thesis templates you can use, but beware--not all pieces will require one type of thesis.
Essay Prompt Tip 2
All essay prompts include a key task. Make sure you answer this!
Essay Prompt Trait 2
Even if the theme isn't directly mentioned in the essay prompt, you are always required to reference/talk about the theme in your essay.
Essay Prompt Tip 1
Plot: The plot has a lot of moving pieces, but is crucial to understanding the story.
Conflict: There is always some conflict in a narrative. Identifying this will help you figure out the theme.
A universal thematic idea such as love or destruction is always present and usually ties into the theme.
Make sure you check that you've included things such as these in your essay.
Approach It Like a Puzzle
If you go into a passage thinking you won't understand it or it won't make any sense, you'll likely have a harder time comprehending it.
By adding personal bias into a piece you're writing, it may convolute the actual analysis. Of course, you can provide an opinion, but harsh biases lead to some downfalls.
Don't doubt your ability to write a good essay; this class will teach you tips. Apply them!
Read actively within the text; ask questions to yourself and form opinions about the story or the plot.
Note Thematic Ideas
By recognizing if things such as love, cruelty, or betrayal are present in the text, it will bring you closer to finding the theme.
Tackle the passage you find the easiest first. Leave time for the harder ones.
DO's & DONT's
When it comes to reading on the AP Exam, there are some absolute things that will either aid you or hinder you.
Multiple Choice Strategies
By reading the q's before the passage, you'll know what to look for.
Read the Questions Beforehand
Answering the easiest questions first leaves more time for the harder ones.
Easier Goes First
Rereading never hurts-- unless you're low on time. Reread if you can, it will aid you when answering questions.
What may appear as challenging questions can be broken down.