AP English Language (REA) The Best Test Prep for: 6th Edition


SEE ISBN:  978-0-7386-0787-0




REA … Real review, Real practice, Real results.


Get the college credits you deserve.



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SEE ISBN:  978-0-7386-0787-0




REA … Real review, Real practice, Real results.


Get the college credits you deserve.



Completely aligned with today’s AP exam


Are you prepared to excel on the AP exam? 

* Set up a study schedule by following our results-driven timeline

* Take the first practice test to discover what you know and what you

   should know

* Use REA's advice to ready yourself for proper study and success

Practice for real

* Create the closest experience to test-day conditions with 3 full-length practice tests

* Chart your progress with full and detailed explanations of all answers

* Boost your confidence with test-taking strategies and experienced advice

Sharpen your knowledge and skills

* The book's full subject review features coverage of all AP English Language & Composition areas, including critical writing, critical reading, literature commentaries, writing as dialogue, analysis and argument, prose, and more.

* All topics on the official exam are placed in clear focus

* Smart and friendly lessons reinforce necessary skills

* Key tutorials enhance specific abilities needed on the test

* Targeted drills increase comprehension and help organize study

Ideal for Classroom, Family, or Solo Test Preparation!

REA has provided advanced preparation for generations of advanced students who have excelled on important tests and in life. REA’s AP study guides are teacher-recommended and written by experts who have mastered the course and the test.



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738602875
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 1/15/2007
  • Series: Advanced Placement (AP) Test Preparation
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Excelling on the AP English

Language & Composition Exam


About This Book


This test-preparation guide has been written to help you learn how to do well on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language & Composition. It will help you become familiar with the requirements of the examination and give you a chance to put your mastery of the AP exam to the test with a series of specially developed practice exams. The introductory sections of the book are devoted to explaining the test, reviewing and expanding your critical reading skills, and helping you learn how to approach writing essays and answering multiple-choice questions in the ways the AP examination will expect you to be able to do successfully.

This book provides three full-length practice exams with thorough explanations of every answer to help you pinpoint your problem areas. By taking these practice exams and devoting time to going through our targeted subject review, you’ll be well prepared to succeed on the AP English Language & Composition Exam. In addition, this book includes a glossary of key literary terms with 65 entries, all fully defined.

About the Exam

The Advanced Placement Examination in English Language & Composition is geared toward the student who has studied the mechanics of writing and rhetoric at an advanced level and wishes to pursue college credit.

Take care not to confuse the AP Examination in English Language & Composition with the AP Examination in Literature & Composition. The Literature exam focuses on literature and literary criticism, while the Language exam deals with writing as a craft. This book is designed to help you prepare for the AP Examination in English Language & Composition only.

The AP English Language & Composition Exam is divided into two sections:

• Section 1 – Multiple Choice (60 minutes—accounts for 45% of total score)

Five or six reading passages, with an average of 10 questions each.

• Section 2 – Free Response (up to 120 minutes—accounts for 55% of total score)

Three essay questions.

The first section consists of five or six reading passages and sixty multiple-choice

questions, which you will have one hour to complete. Each passage will be followed

by an average of ten questions, and thereafter the passage will not be referred to again.

Do not feel pressured to remember each reading; just digest them one at a time and

move on. After reading the passage, you will have approximately one minute to answer

each question.

The second section of the AP English Language & Composition Exam consists of

three essay questions and is divided such that you will have forty minutes to write each

essay. You will not be able to go back to an essay after the allotted time has elapsed.

Note that each essay has very specific instructions, and most have a passage that you

will read critically to answer the essay question. Your essays will be scored according

to the essay structure, the clarity of your writing, and the extent to which you have

answered the question.

Scoring the Exam

The multiple-choice section of the exam is scored by machine. Your score on this part of the exam is determined simply by adding the number of correct responses and subtracting one-quarter of a point for each wrong answer. Questions left blank do not count in any way—positive or negative—toward the score. The essay section of the examination is graded by well-trained human readers to ensure consistency. Each essay is read by more than one reader, and the scores of different readers are averaged together if they should disagree. Each essay is given a final grade from 0 to 9, and the total essay score is simply the total of these three essay scores. The maximum essay score is thus always 27, and each essay contributes equally to the essay score.

The multiple-choice section generally is weighted to account for about 45% of the total composite score, and the essay section is weighted to account for the remainder of the composite score. These weighted scores are then added together to get a composite score. These scores are broken down into ranges, and AP grades of 1 through 5 for the overall exam are assigned on the basis of the composite-score ranges. The exact composite-score ranges that correspond to each AP exam grade are adjusted slightly each year in accordance with statistical information that is gathered on the examination each year in order to keep year-to-year results as comparable as possible.

The following section explains how AP grades are calculated based on the multiple- choice section scores and the essay scores. You can use this section to help get a feel for how you might do on the exam. You can undoubtedly come up with various ways to see how your grade on the overall exam might be affected if you wrote two essays well but had real problems with the third one, for instance. You can also use the section to estimate what your exam score is likely to be based on how well you do on the practice exams given later in the book. Remember that this section simply gives you a general idea of what your exam score is likely to be. The actual scaling factors and composite-score ranges that the College Board uses to calculate the actual AP grades on each test annually will be somewhat different.

Multiple-Choice Scoring:

______________ – (1/4 × _____________ ) = _______________________

Number                       Number                       Raw score

correct                         incorrect                     (rounded to nearest

whole number)

Essay Scoring:

_____________ + __________ + __________ = __________

   Question 1              Question 2      Question 3       Essay score

    (out of 9)              (out of 9)         (out of 9)        (rounded to nearest

                                                                                 whole number)

As you can see, there is a deduction for guessing on the multiple-choice section, so you are discouraged from random guessing or filling in of answers. Depending on the number of multiple-choice questions, the Essay score is multiplied by approximately 3.3 to 3.8. This is called the Weighted Essay score. (If necessary, the Multiple Choice score is also weighted.)

Each section of the test is weighted according to time allotted to that section; that is, the Multiple Choice score counts approximately 60 points, and the Weighted Essay score counts  approximately 90 points, to make a total of approximately 150 points.

The Multiple Choice score is added to the Weighted Essay score to get a composite score, which is rounded to the nearest whole number. The composite score ranges are then determined for the final AP Grade. The following table is approximate, since the composite score range varies a few points from year to year.

Composite Score Range                  AP Grade

101-150                                     5

90-100                                     4

70-89                                                 3

50-69                                                 2

0-49                                                 1

The Composite Score

To obtain your composite score, use the following method:

__________ = __________ (weighted multiple-choice score—do not round)


raw score

3.333 X __________ = _________ (weighted free-response score—do not

free-response                                  round)

raw score

Distribution of Grades

Distribution of grades varies from year to year and from testing to testing. The following table is an approximate distribution of grades for an AP English Language & Composition Examination and an approximation of the percentage of people earning the grade.

Grade                         Percent Earning Grade

Extremely well-qualified                        5                      10

Well-qualified                           4                      20

Qualified                                               3                      35

Possibly qualified                                    2                      30

No recommendation                                  1                      5

Most colleges grant students who earn a 3 or better either college credit or advanced placement. Check with your high school’s guidance office about specific requirements.

How to Use This Book

Read through the introductory material in chapters 1–5. The text in these chapters is designed to help you review what you’ve already learned, as well as expand your skills with some specific details and approaches to critical reading and writing that your English course may not have covered in as much detail. After studying the review material, it is critical that you take the three full-length practice exams included in this book and that you take them under as realistic a set of test conditions as possible.

If possible, try to find someone to score your essays for you, perhaps a friend who is also preparing for the exam. It’s much easier to be objective about someone else’s writing than your own. In the multiple-choice section, be sure to look carefully at the explanations for each question you missed. Remember, your goal in preparing for this exam is to score well on it. So, when you miss a question, don’t try to convince yourself how your answer is “better” than the book’s. Instead, try to see how the author of the question chose the answer that was given as the best choice. If you put yourself into the mindset of the people writing these sorts of questions, you’ll have an easier time answering them correctly and your scores will improve.

It is important to note that critical reading is a skill and that while memorization may suffice for the mastery of literary terminology, practice is your only means to master critical reading. Chapters 2 and 3 of this book have been designed to help you hone your critical reading and writing skills. Once you have practiced these skills, move on to Chapter 4, which coaches you for the format and time limits of the AP exam. If the test date is near, it may be a better idea for you to start with the coaching chapter and practice tests since they provide direct instruction for the exam format. Ideally, it’s best to use the six-week study schedule in the front of this book.

How to Contact the AP Program

To obtain a registration bulletin or to learn more about the Advanced Placement Examinations, contact:

The College Board Advanced Placement Program

P.O. Box 6671

Princeton, NJ 08541-6671

Phone: (609) 771-7300

Website: www.apcentral.collegeboard.com

E-mail: apexams@info.collegeboard.org

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Table of Contents


About Research & Education Association

Study Schedule


Excelling on the AP English Language &

Composition Exam

About This Book

About the Exam

Scoring the Exam

Distribution of Grades

How to Use This Book

How to Contact the AP Program


Learning About the “Other” Literature

What Is Literature?

A Brief Look at the Significance of the Essay

Strategies for Critical Reading of Prose Passages

What Critical Readers Do

Commentary on Mark Twain’s “Female Suffrage”

Commentary on Ben Franklin’s “The Handsome and

Deformed Leg

Commentary on the Excerpt from Charles Lamb’s “A Bachelor’s

Complaint of the Behaviour of Married People”



Writing About the “Other” Literature: A Critical Dialogue

Critical Writing

Writing as Dialogue

Writing for the AP Examination

Strategies for Analysis and Argument

Analytic Writing: A Critical Dialogue with Washington Irving’s

“The Voyage”

A Critical Dialogue on “Idleness an Anxious and Miserable State”

by Samuel Johnson and “An Apology for Idlers”

by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Brief Review of Argumentative Structure

Argument Outline


Preparing for and Taking the AP Exam

Format of the AP English Language &

Composition Examination

Changes Effective on the May 2007 Exam

Critical Reading of Prose Passages

Answering Multiple-Choice Questions

Answering Essay Questions

Strategies for Answering Essay Questions

Scoring Guidelines


Glossary of Literary and Rhetorical Terms



Exam 1

Answer Key

Detailed Explanations of Answers



Exam 2

Answer Key

Detailed Explanations of Answers



Exam 3

Answer Key

Detailed Explanations of Answers


Appendix A – Punctuation

Appendix B – Spelling


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