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How Hard is AP English Lit?

member2008member2008 Posts: 287Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2010 in AP Tests Preparation
How hard is the AP Lit exam really? I've heard some say it's a killer cause you can't really study for it, others say you can use a prep book and get a 5 pretty easily? For most exams there's the "I did no studying and took it cold and still got a 4/5" case, does that hold for this one as well? Any success/failure stories?
Post edited by member2008 on
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Replies to: How Hard is AP English Lit?

  • cAnIHAZsumPIEcAnIHAZsumPIE Posts: 152- Junior Member
    AP Lit is ridiculous. Im taking the test thsi year....basically, you need to be able to analyze huge ass stories in like 10 minutes and answer 25 questions per passage/poem they give you...and thats just for the mc part..


    the timed wirte is also very hard..you need to have very good writing skillz
  • zaboda42zaboda42 Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    I don't know about AP Lit but for AP Lang, the MC questions are very hard and subjective. If you really can't narrow it down to two choices, do not guess. The writing for the exams i don't think are that hard to score well on; know the basic format and what the reader's are looking for. Also, i would pick up a prep book and memorize some lit terms. Taking lang thing year; 5 hopeful!
  • OrualOrual Posts: 65Registered User Junior Member
    Last year I took AP Lang and then decided to take the AP Lit test, too. I got a 5 on lang and a 4 on lit. I didn't study all that much, but being in AP Lang definitely helped. The questions are a similar format--fairly subjective, it's true--though I thought the lit questions were easier than the lang. If you're in or have taken AP Lang, self-studying for AP Lit is not a stretch, and if you are well read and actually like literature, you should be fine. However, if you haven't taken an AP English course and don't read much on your own, I wouldn't recommend trying to self-study. You can't memorize the material for this test--they're testing your writing and analytic skills. If you feel you're a strong writer, though, and have a strong understanding of literature, go for it.
  • hookem168hookem168 Posts: 3,206- Senior Member
    For me, AP Eng Lit was a cakewalk, the easiest test I had taken in recent memory (5).
    I "self-studied" it, but that really just meant that I read a bunch of books. I didn't ever look at a practice test or a study guide.

    If you love literature, you'll actually enjoy taking the test :D
  • xiaohyoleexiaohyolee Posts: 158Registered User Junior Member
    i havent taken the ap lit, just practice tests. but i find the multiple choice and the essays where they give you an unseen (or rarely seen) poem and passage EXTREMELY hard... i just simply don't understand those unseen stuff.... its not even about analyzing it. i have no idea what they're talking about most of the time....

    i'm taking it this may and i feel like i'm gonna get a 2 or something.

    does anyone have any tips on how to overcome my problem?????
  • qxtclxrqxtclxr Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    xiaohyolee: Depending on what it is you're analyzing, there are a few things you can do. For example, if it's poetry, I've found it extremely helpful to read it (quietly) aloud, and also to read it properly (ie, pause only at a semicolon, colon, or period). Read slowly and write notes on anything that occurs to you as you are reading. Much of the same applies for the short passages. Don't just read; think while you are reading. Some people find it helpful to read the questions before reading, but I'd advise against it because it's just too time consuming. I can't think of much else at the moment, but you should ask your teacher for more advice.

    As for Lit being a difficult exam, I've heard differing accounts, also. One of my friends who took it last year absolutely hated the class and found it to be the most difficult class he had (he's a math-science kid who took AP Calc BC and Physics BC as a junior and passed with a 5), but there were also kids who passed with a 5 without any studying. I think that it is possible to study for the exam, but a majority of how well you do on the exam depends on what you've done throughout the year (I guess it applies to any AP exam, hehe), and what kind of analytical and comprehensive skills you've gained. That's a bit more difficult to study for, though, I suppose.

    Good luck to you all. :)
  • member2008member2008 Posts: 287Registered User Junior Member
    OK, so the test is in three days and I still really dont know what to expect. I've gotten a 5 on a practice tests but I feel like I got two easy essay questions (one of which fit perfectly with Beloved, which we read this year).
    Same question as the title of the thread, how hard is the test REALLY?
    Maybe people who took it last year could tell us whether to relax or freak out, and give us some tips??
  • Senior0991Senior0991 Posts: 2,377Registered User Senior Member
    I took practice AP Language tests and Lit tests, and I thought the lit MC was much harder. I remember getting like five questions wrong (out of 50-60) on the language, but about 3/8 of the questions wrong on the lit. I really hate the lit questions. Some of the answers are complete crap, for lack of a better word, and are hardly, if at all, better than the other answers. A lot of the time, I think of a perfect answer in my head before I look at the choices, and none of the options match what I'd consider should be the best answer. Very subjective, and very annoying. Cone of meaning, people!
  • JteHJteH Posts: 861Registered User Member
    Bump!! I've been doing poorly on practice tests too. I just can't analyze everything and see all the invisible "crap".
  • member2008member2008 Posts: 287Registered User Junior Member
    bump (10 char)
  • mk150890mk150890 Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    Hey, I am taking the exam tomorrow and have not done any studying. I took Lang last year and got a 5. I am an English/History guy and I absolutely love writing. Also, this year, I have kept a A+ average in Lit all throughout the year. Despite what I have just said, I think the Lit exam will be no joke. The multiple choice questions are certainly challenging and, as many have said already, subjective, in some cases. The best advice I can give any of you, including myself since I am taking it at 8 am tomorrow, is to "get with the timing" and always keep in mind, while taking the exam, that you do not have to get every single question right to get a 4 or a 5. If you excel in writing, just let it flow and you will be successful. This strategy worked for me last year. I hope it works for most of you. Good luck tomorrow!
  • chronicfuture12chronicfuture12 Posts: 1,538- Member
    Does anyone know how it compares to AP Lang? I got a 5 on that and was fairly confident I got at the most 1-2 incorrect on MC, and all 8-9s on the essays. However, I have been consistently scoring 7-8s on AP Lit essays and have not really seen any multiple choice questions yet. So, how do they compare?
  • mk150890mk150890 Posts: 118Registered User Junior Member
    I would say that the Literature multiple choice questions seem easier than the Lang ones since the list of vocabulary one has to memorize is not as extensive. The words that will be on the Lit MC will be ones you have discussed in class (if you had a good teacher who was engaging, etc.) and the essays will be mostly based on analyzing passages/poems, as you already seem to know. All in all, do not stress about Lit if you got a 5 on Lang last year (I am certainly not stressing because the college I am going to only accepts 1 English exemption credit-Lang for me). Good luck.
  • blueduckyblueducky Posts: 1,705Registered User Senior Member
    I am still stressing about the MC part of the lit exam, even with a 5 on Lang last year. iono, the poems and those dense passages are pretty difficult imo.
  • DesoanDesoan Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    @mk150890 ... literature multiple choice questions aren't close to being about the terminology. most of the are analytical and it is much more difficult than being able to identify a certain literary device. lit > lang by far in difficulty.
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