AP English Literature and Composition: The Exam, AP Central – The College Board


Important Updates

New Exam for Classroom Use

A secure 2017 AP English Literature and Composition Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

New Sample Student Responses and Scoring Commentary

You can now explore several new resources on the AP Course Audit website:

  • Sample student responses and scoring commentary for the secure 2016 AP English Literature and Composition Exam previously posted on the AP Course Audit site
  • Two sets of student essays from the open-ended free-response question on the 2016 AP English Literature Exam—one focusing on The Great Gatsby and the other on unusual student-selected texts

To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Previously Secure Exam Now Publicly Available

The 2012 AP English Literature Exam that was previously available only through your AP Course Audit account is now available below. This means you can now use the questions from this older exam without restriction.

  • Wed, May 9, 2018

AP English Literature and Composition Exam Day 2018

  • 8 a.m. | 3 hrs

Exam Overview

The AP English Literature and Composition Exam uses multiple-choice questions and free-response prompts to test students’ skills in literary analysis of prose and verse texts.

The multiple choice section tests critical reading skills. Students read several passages and answer questions about the content, form, and style of each.

The free-response section tests students’ ability to analyze and interpret literary texts by composing clear and effective essays.

Encourage your students to visit the AP English Literature and Composition student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

Multiple Choice—55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score

  • Includes excerpts from drama, verse, or prose fiction
  • Each excerpt is accompanied by several multiple-choice questions

Section II

Free Response—3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours | 55% of Exam Score

  • Students write essays that respond to three free-response prompts from the following categories:
  • A literary analysis of a given poem
  • A literary analysis of a given passage of prose fiction (this may include drama)
  • An analysis that examines a specific concept, issue, or element in a work of literary merit selected by the student

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

2017: Free-Response Questions

2016: Free-Response Questions

2015: Free-Response Questions

2014: Free-Response Questions

2013: Free-Response Questions

2012: Free-Response Questions

2011: Free-Response Questions

2011: Form B

2010: Free-Response Questions

2010: Form B

2009: Free-Response Questions

2009: Form B

2008: Free-Response Questions

2008: Form B

2007: Free-Response Questions

2007: Form B

2006: Free-Response Questions

2006: Form B

2005: Free-Response Questions

2005: Form B

2004: Free-Response Questions

2004: Form B

2003: Free-Response Questions

2003: Form B

2002: Free-Response Questions

2002: Form B

2001: Free-Response Questions

2000: Free-Response Questions

1999: Free-Response Questions

Exam Resources

AP English Literature and Composition Course Description—2014

This is the core document for this course. It clearly lays out the course content and describes the exam and AP Program in general.

  • PDF
  • 2.21 MB
  • Secure Exams for Classroom Use

    Two sets of student essays

    AP English Literature Exam from 2012

    Previously available as a secure resource only through your AP Course Audit account. Since this exam is now publicly available, you can use the questions without restriction.

    • PDF
    • 2.04 MB
    • Previously Released Exams

      The 1987 Released Exam and the 1999 Released Exam are two resources you can use with your students throughout the year. Note: Some information in these Released Exams may not reflect the current course and exam.

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