The Format of the AP Exam:

 Multiple Choice: 1 hour

 You will get about 55 multiple choice questions based on a close reading of four or 5 short selections, usually from essays, speeches, memoirs, letters, etc.

 The technical vocabulary is that associated with the terminology of argument and rhetoric, rather than with literary analysis.

 The questions can be analyzed according to three types: 

*Level 1: Understanding the content

*Level 2: Understanding the style

*Level 3: Identifying the theme, tone and meaning as a


  Essays: 2 hours, 15 minutes

 You will write three essays in 2 hours, 15 minutes (about 40 minutes per essay for the first two; an additional 15 minutes is added for the synthesis essay –see below.)

 The selections you will respond to will be nonfiction.  

One essay will require you to analyze a passage for style, also referred to as “rhetorical strategies,” “methods,” or “use of language”.

 Another essay may require you to analyze the effectiveness of an argument.

The third essay is a type that was new in 2007.  This is called the “synthesis” essay.  This question asks students to use sources in support of an argument. This question will contain four to seven sources and a prompt that relates to these sources; in general, at least one of these sources will be an image (e.g. photo, cartoon, graph, etc.). Students will be asked to write essays that incorporate at least three to four of the sources into argumentative or analytical responses; the sources will be used to support the student's particular argument or position. An additional fifteen minute reading time will be added to the exam to accommodate the increased reading load.

 The essay section is worth 55% of your total score.  Each essay is scored by a different reader, but is only read once on a 9 point rubric.