First, decode….read the passage once to get an idea of the “big picture.” If you want, circle words that seem key, or underline what you believe to be the argument(s) made by the author; however, don’t “overmark” the passage. The main idea here is do NOT read laboriously, attempting to do a rhetorical analysis as you go. Some (or a lot) of the details may escape you on this first pass, but that is OK.
Point of View
The math: 54 questions, 60 minutes, and 5-7 passages to read. You will need to a lot about 8-12 minutes per passage and its questions….so
Here is what a couple of experts recommend:
Look at your watch (or the clock) to determine how much time you have left out of whatever number of minutes you have allotted for the passage. If you have time, go after those hard questions; if not, come back to them at the end if you have time.
A couple of generalizations about the test. Question categories include:
Questions about rhetoric/rhetorical modes
Questions about meaning, purpose
Questions about main idea
Questions about organization and structure
Types of questions include:
The straightforward question
The question that refers you to specific lines and asks you to draw a conclusion or interpret
The ALL…or EXCEPT question
The question that asks you to make an inference about a concept not directly stated in the passage
The “killer” Roman numeral question
The footnote question
Big picture questions about the passage often come at the beginning or at the end of the passages; detail questions are often sandwiched in between.
For those questions that refer to specific lines, you should ALWAYS reread the lines. Read around them (sentence before and the one after); don’t rely on your memory.
Answer: Guess if you can eliminate two responses. There is math involved here, so …
Scoring is the number right – (the number wrong x .25) rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.
Skipped items do not count for or against you
“AP Test Review: English Language and Composition.” Thompson High School. Shelby County Schools. 4 May 2009. <www.shelbyed.k12.al.us/schools/ths/faculty/AP%20Test%20Review.ppt>.
Hartzell, Richard. Cracking the AP Language & Composition Exam 2009 Edition. New York: Random House, 2008.
Swovelin, Barbara V. English Language and Composition, 3rd Edition. 4