“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell
Part I: Multiple Choice Section There will be 4-5 passages to read and 55 multiple-choice questions to answer. You will have 60 minutes on this part of the exam. Multiple choice section is 45% of total score. Scores on this section are based on the number correct; points are not deducted for incorrect answers (so answer all the questions, even if you have to guess!).
You will have a 10-minute break between Part I and Part II. Part II: Free Response Section You will be given a 15-minute reading period, then 120 minutes to write three essays (need to budget about 40 minutes each). This section represents 55% of your total score.
The three types of essays in the free response section are: Rhetorical analysis Argumentative Synthesis
Rhetorical analysis essay You will have to read a short passage and explain how the author uses various rhetorical techniques to create a desired effect on the reader.
Argumentative essay You will be given a small amount of background on a topic and be asked to make and support a claim about that topic.
Synthesis essay You will be given 7-8 sources of information of varying types concerning a particular topic; you need to create an argument using at least 3 of those sources for information and support.
The multiple choice section is scored by computer. The essays are scored by College Board readers in early June. A formula is used to combine multiple choice and essay scores into one total score. Scores are reported to students and designated colleges in July.
To get college credit, you must earn a score of at least ‘3’ on the exam. Note: different colleges have different AP credit policies; check with your target colleges to verify their policy on AP credit. SCOREQUALIFICATION 5Extremely well-qualified 4Well-qualified 3Qualified 2Possibly qualified 1No recommendation
When we learn how to estimate your score, you will see that you can earn less than 55% of the total available points and still get a ‘3’!
In order to pass the AP Language exam, you need to be able to: Read closely and with a high level of comprehension (and quickly!) while formulating a response at the same time. Identify why and how an author does what he/she does, based on a knowledge of rhetoric. Make a claim and support it effectively with evidence from your knowledge, reading, and personal experience. Make/support a claim citing a variety of sources. Write clearly, logically, and quickly, using correct and sophisticated MUGS.
What we do in class is only a fraction of what you need to do to prepare. Your determination and hard work is what will make the difference. My role is to be your “coach.” Gabby Douglas - Floor - 2012 Visa Championships - Sr. Women - Day 2 - YouTube
Pick up an AP Language exam prep guide. Start using the prep guide to prepare several months before the exam to supplement what we do in-class. (Great idea for a Christmas gift!) Recommended: AP Language Crash Course, by Dawn Hogue 5 Steps to a 5 (AP Language), by Murphy & Rankin CliffsNotes AP Language and Composition, by Barbara Swovelin Cracking the AP English Language & Composition Exam (Princeton Review),
Read and write every day! Reading and writing are skills that can be improved with practice. Focus on nonfiction (esp. short): Journalism (newspapers) Essays and magazine articles Books on a variety of subjects: history, science, politics, art, memoirs, speeches, etc. Websites, blogs Practice summarizing, analyzing the rhetorical devices you find in writing; respond with your own thoughts.
Radio: Start listening to NPR (KPCC 89.3 FM in L.A. – streams online) Recommended TV shows: Frontline (PBS) PBS Newshour History Detectives (PBS) Nature (PBS) Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park (FOX, Comedy Central) The Daily Show, The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) Recommended Films: Too many to name; focus on documentaries (check out Netflix)
Recommended websites and blogs: Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com)www.latimes.com New York Times (www.nytimes.com)www.nytimes.com Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com)www.huffingtonpost.com The Daily Beast (www.thedailybeast.com)www.thedailybeast.com NPR (http://www.npr.org)http://www.npr.org Slate (www.slate.com)www.slate.com Salon (www.salon.com)www.salon.com Mother Jones (www.motherjones.com)www.motherjones.com Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com)www.csmonitor.com The Onion (www.theonion.com)www.theonion.com