AP® English Literature & Composition: Changes for 2020 | The Princeton Review


AP English Literature and Composition
Changes for 2020 Overview by The Princeton Review So, you’re gearing up for the AP Lit exam. Congrats on challenging yourself academically. Of course, as everyone knows, rule #1 of AP
English Lit is make sure you don’t confuse the exam with AP English Language and Composition. After all, they are quite similar. However, while AP Lang teaches you how to
deconstruct arguments and rhetorical strategies in works of non-fiction, AP Lit — the exam
we’re talking about now — is focused on analyzing fiction, poetry, and the use of
literary devices. And it’s 15 minutes shorter. Yup, the AP English Lit exam clocks in at
a mildly tolerable three hours. A “mildly tolerable three hours”? What is this, a review of the film THE IRISHMAN? Yes, three hours. Longer than your favorite episode of GAME
OF THRONES, but just as exciting. Indeed. Three. Whole. Hours. The same length as the finale of THE BACHELOR,
but with less crying (we hope). Anyway, like any standardized test worth its
proverbial salt, it’s divided into sections — specifically multiple choice and free
response. The multiple-choice section constitutes the
first hour of the test and 45% of your score. Here you’ll encounter 5 sets of questions
that each correspond to a preceding passage of prose fiction, poetry, or drama. The passages will vary in terms of their difficulty. Each subsequent set will have anywhere between
8 and 13 questions, and the entire multiple choice section combined will have 55 questions
total. Don’t worry — 55 questions is totally
manageable. It’s that 56th question that always put
you over the edge. Moving on… By process of elimination (coincidentally
a great test-taking strategy), the next section is the free response — and 55% of your score. Here you’ll have two hours to tackle 3 prompts:
a literary analysis of a poem or poems graciously provided by the College Board, a literary
analysis of a passage of prose fiction, once again kindly provided by the College Board,
and an analysis that examines an element, a concept, or an issue in a work of literary
merit. In a surprising plot twist, you actually get
to choose the work on this last one. Don’t let the power go to your head. While the content of this section remains
the same as in previous testing years, it’s important to know that the way these responses
are scored is changing. Starting in 2020, students will be evaluated
based upon an analytic rubric rather than a holistic rubric. Sounds great, right? I mean, analytical rubrics are so hot right
now, and holistic rubrics are so last year. But what do these rubric types actually mean? Essays used to be graded on a holistic scale
that went from 0 to 9. The new analytic rubric narrows the point
system; it now ranges only from 0 to 6. Though you might feel like this leaves you
with less room for error, the new rubric clearly lays out how test takers can earn those 6
points. It’s almost like the College Board actually
wants you to succeed. The first point is earned by demonstrating
that you can construct a clear and defensible thesis. Pretty simple and straightforward. Next, you’ll be assessed for evidence and
commentary, which is worth up to 4 points. You’ll earn a minimum of 2 if you present
some relevant evidence and explain how some of it relates to your argument. Better yet, you’ll get all 4 points if you
provide evidence to bolster each of your claims, consistently demonstrate how they support
your reasoning, and show how multiple literary devices illuminate the meaning of the passage. The last potential point is based on “sophistication.” Sure, that sounds a little ambiguous — and
maybe even a little bit snobby — but what it boils down to is basically: Were you able
to develop a complex literary argument? You can do this by placing the passage within
a broader context, providing an alternative interpretation, or exploring the tensions
found within it. Wow — there’s so much clarity here. Now you know exactly what to expect and how
to prepare. And not to drop a humblebrag on you, but we’re
pretty confident that this video has gotten you excited to kick your test prep into high
gear. Assuming that’s the case, you’ll definitely
want to pick up our AP English Literature and Composition guidebook. It offers a comprehensive content review and
a couple of practice tests to help get you on the road to that coveted 5! Basically, it’s a party in book form. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel
so you can stay up-to-date on how all the AP exams are changing. Hear it here first!

3 Replies to “AP® English Literature & Composition: Changes for 2020 | The Princeton Review

  1. Which AP exams are you taking? Each week, we'll be publishing new videos about changes to the AP exams for 2020. Subscribe to our channel to get all the latest updates!

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