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AP English Lang or Lit?

ElDoughBoyElDoughBoy 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
I'm currently a junior right now enrolled in Honors American Lit. I'm currently picking my classes for next year and I'm debating whether to take either AP English Lang or Lit next year.I'm planning to take 2-3 other APs along with AP English. What's exactly the difference b/t the two. Which class is generally easier/requires less schoolwork. Which one have higher AP Exam scores on average. I would like to know other people's experiences taking either/both classes and the AP Exams on either/both.
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Replies to: AP English Lang or Lit?

  • fleeingdaysfleeingdays 16 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Take lit if you enjoy storytelling and the broader thematic aspects of literature. Take lang if you enjoy the language itself and the nitty-gritty things that make up English, like structure/syntax etc.
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  • UMD2021&2023UMD2021&2023 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Agree with fleeingdays. Also, both exams have a low percentage of students scoring 5s on the test.

    Are you hoping to get college credit if you do well on the exam? My daughter took AP Lit, got a 5 on the exam, but didn't get credit for it in college. If she had taken AP lang and gotten a 5 on that test, she would have gotten the college credit. She didn't know this until after the fact so it might be something to consider if you know some of the colleges you are applying to next year.

    Good luck!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80178 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Some colleges give better credit and advanced placement for English language, while others give better credit and advanced placement for English literature. You may want to check some of the colleges you are most likely to attend.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1885 replies31 threads Senior Member
    My observation has been that Lang give you skills that will more useful in college and through life - word choice/usage, essay structure, ethos/pathos/logos, etc. Lang is for those who just love reading and literature in general - story structure, thematic interpretation, etc.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8737 replies82 threads Senior Member
    My D’s school only gave credit for AP language. It was also the tougher of the two in her HS in terms of workload.

    Your best bet is to talk to students in your own school to hear about their experiences with the teachers.
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  • h8annahh8annah 208 replies25 threads Junior Member
    It depends on your high school, but at my school both AP Lang and Lit are considered "harder." IMO, I definitely suceeded and was more interested in Lang than Lit. Both are extremely writing intensive and many colleges don't accept credit for both. As a person that likes writing over reading and has a more strucuted brain, Lang was probably my favorite English class throughout high school. Looking at the AP score distributions below, AP Lit seems to be a slightly harder course. Based on my experiences, here's a comparison:

    AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE
    5s: 9.9%, 4s: 18.2%, 3s: 26.2% Overall passing: 54.3%
    Focuses more on the structure of writing and the aspects of the English language
    3 main essay topics: Rhetorical Analysis, Argumentative, and Synthesis; there aren't any outside materials you really need to look at when preparing for the AP Exam but knowing different rhetorical devices is important
    MC section is sort of formatted like the SAT reading, mostly questions on different forms of rhetoric
    A lot of the class is reading something, understanding the author's perspective, and explaining how they argue their point

    AP ENGLISH LITERATURE
    5s: 6.2%, 4s: 15.7%, 3s: 27.8% Overall passing: 49.7%
    MC is analyzing literature and is also very similar to the SAT
    Very reading intensive course--you will examine different pieces of literature and analyze them
    One of the AP Exam essays requires you to use one of the books you read to answer a prompt; outside reading is very important

    Both classes will make you a better writer, though I feel Lang allows you to practice that the most. Lang consists more of shorter, non-fiction/argumentative texts whereas Lit involves reading literature.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11781 replies31 threads Senior Member
    My D took AP lit in high school and received credit for literature requirement of general education classes at her university.

    She took Freshman English composition at a local college through dual enrollment, and got credit for that as well.
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