Skip Nav

How to Approach AP English Language Free-Response Questions

AP English Language Course Study Tips

❶A major thing you can do to prepare for the AP Lang and Comp exam is to read nonfiction— particularly nonfiction that argues a position , whether explicitly like an op-ed or implicitly like many memoirs and personal essays. Can you comprehensively support your position with evidence?

Career Areas

Essential Course Resources
Course Overview
Medium-High Score (6-7)

The reader assigns a score based on the essay's merits as a whole, on what the essay does well; the readers don't simply count errors. Although each essay topic has its own scoring rubric or guide based on that topic's specific information, a general scoring guide for rhetorical analysis and argumentation essays follows.

Notice that, on the whole, essay-scoring guides encompass four essential points; AP readers want your essay to be 1 on topic, 2 well organized, 3 thoroughly developed, and 4 correct in mechanics and sophisticated in style. High-scoring essays thoroughly address all the tasks of the essay prompt in well-organized responses.

The writing demonstrates stylistic sophistication and control over the elements of effective writing, although it is not necessarily faultless. Overall, high-scoring essays present thoroughly developed, intelligent ideas; sound and logical organization; strong evidence; and articulate diction. Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate significant understanding of the passage, its intent, and the rhetorical strategies the author employs.

Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct a compelling argument, observing the author's underlying assumptions, addressing multiple authors in the synthesis essay and discussing many sides of the issues with appropriate evidence.

Medium-scoring essays complete the tasks of the essay topic well - they show some insight but usually with less precision and clarity than high-scoring essays.

There may be lapses in correct diction or sophisticated language, but the essay is generally well written. Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate sufficient examination of the author's point and the rhetorical strategies he uses to enhance the central idea. Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct an adequate argument, understand the author's point, and discuss its implications with suitable evidence.

The synthesis argument will address at least three of the sources. Essays that earn a medium score complete the essay task, but with no special insights; the analysis lacks depth and merely states the obvious. Enhance your own writing skills and understand better each stage of the writing process as you develop expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions.

See this conversation starter for more questions to ask. Already have an account? Don't have an account? Don't show me this message again. Chart an AP course to a college major or career area. Mechanics AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based AP Physics 2: AP Exams are in May, but there are other dates to keep in mind. Preparing for the Exam. In the third essay, you will be presented with an issue and asked to write a persuasive essay taking a position on the issue.

As on other APs, your raw score will be converted to a scaled score of This exam has a relatively low 5 rate. In terms of how the raw score is obtained, the multiple-choice section is similar to other AP multiple-choice sections: For each free-response question, you will be given a score from , based on a rubric. The rubrics all assess, in general, 3 major things: How well you responded to the prompt: Did you completely and fully address all of the tasks presented in the prompt, without misunderstanding any of them?

How convincing and well-supported your argument was: Do you take a clear position that is not overly basic, simplistic, or obvious? Can you comprehensively support your position with evidence? Is your evidence well-chosen and well-explained? Do you tie everything back to your main argument?

Have you thought through the implications of your stated position? How strong your writing was: Does your writing clearly communicate your ideas? Are your sentences not just grammatically correct, but sophisticated? Do you have a consistent style and a strong vocabulary? Is your paper well-organized and logically arranged? Each rubric broadly assesses these three factors. However, each task is also different in nature, so the rubrics do have some differences. Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for the score of 8 and, in addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in development, or impressive in their control of language.

Essays earning a score of 8 effectively address the task in the prompt. They develop their argument by effectively synthesizing at least three of the sources. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and convincing.

The prose demonstrates a consistent ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing but is not necessarily flawless. You thoroughly responded to the prompt, successfully using and citing at least three of the sources to support your argument. You supported your argument in a persuasive way.

Your writing is competent, although there may be some minor errors. Essays earning a score of 7 meet the criteria for the score of 6 but provide more complete explanation, more thorough development, or a more mature prose style. Essays earning a score of 6 adequately address the task in the prompt. They develop their argument by adequately synthesizing at least three of the sources. The evidence and explanations used are appropriate and sufficient. The language may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear.

You responded to the prompt in a reasonable way. You used and cited at least 3 of the sources in creating your argument. You supported your argument in a reasonably persuasive way, although not as compellingly as an 8 essay. Your writing is generally understandable. Essays earning a score of 5 address the task in the prompt. They develop their argument by synthesizing at least three sources, but how they use and explain sources is somewhat uneven, inconsistent, or limited.

You did respond to the prompt. You used and cited at least 3 of the sources in creating your argument, but you did not use all of them particularly effectively.

The connection between the documents and your argument is underdeveloped. Your writing is mostly understandable but may have errors. Essays earning a score of 4 inadequately address the task in the prompt.

They develop their argument by synthesizing at least two sources, but the evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient, or unconvincing. You did not adequately respond to the prompt. You used and cited at least two sources, but you did not effectively link them to your argument. Your essay may summarize sources instead of truly taking a position, or you may have misread the sources.

Your writing is not consistently clear. Essays earning a score of 3 meet the criteria for the score of 4 but demonstrate less success in addressing the task. They are less perceptive in their understanding of the sources, or their explanation or examples may be particularly limited or simplistic.

The essays may show less maturity in their control of writing. Your essay did not adequately respond to the prompt. Your interpretation of the sources is incorrect or your argument is overly simplistic.

Your writing is overly basic or unclear. Essays earning a score of demonstrate little success in addressing the task in the prompt. They may merely allude to knowledge gained from reading the sources rather than cite the sources themselves. These essays may misread the sources, fail to develop a position, or substitute a simpler task by merely summarizing or categorizing the sources or by merely responding to the prompt tangentially with unrelated, inaccurate, or inappropriate explanation.

Essays that score 2 often demonstrate consistent weaknesses in writing, such as grammatical problems, a lack of development or organization, or a lack of control. You barely addressed the prompt. You may not cite any sources directly, misunderstand the sources, never take a position, or write things that are not relevant to the prompt.

Writing is very weak, including grammatical issues. Essays earning a score of 1 meet the criteria for the score of 2 but are undeveloped, especially simplistic in their explanation, weak in their control of writing, or do not allude to or cite even one source. Your writing barely addressed the prompt. Explanations are extremely simple, writing is incredibly weak, or sources are not used or cited at all. Indicates an off-topic response, one that merely repeats the prompt, an entirely crossed-out response, a drawing, or a response in a language other than English.

Essays earning a score of 9 meet the criteria for the score of 8 and, in addition, are especially sophisticated in their argument, thorough in their development, or impressive in their control of language.

You achieved everything an 8 essay did, but the quality of either your argument or your writing is exceptional. They develop their analysis with evidence and explanations that are appropriate and convincing, referring to the passage explicitly or implicitly. You successfully and persuasively analyzed the rhetoric of the excerpt in a way that is strongly supported by specific examples in the text.

Your writing is versatile and strong. You achieved everything a 6 essay did, but your argument was either better explained or supported or your writing was of a higher caliber.

They develop their analysis with evidence and explanations that are appropriate and sufficient, referring to the passage explicitly or implicitly. The essay may contain lapses in diction or syntax, but generally the prose is clear. You successfully analyzed the rhetoric of the excerpt, using appropriate references to the text. Your writing was generally understandable.

The evidence or explanations used may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. You analyzed the rhetoric of the excerpt, although evidence from the passage may have been poorly used or deployed. These essays may misunderstand the passage, misrepresent the strategies the author uses, or may analyze these strategies insufficiently.

The evidence or explanations used may be inappropriate, insufficient, or unconvincing. You did not analyze the rhetoric in the passage in a reasonable way.

Exam Format

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

AP English Language and Composition Course Description— This is the core document for this course. It clearly lays out the course content and describes the exam and AP Program in general.

Privacy FAQs

The AP English Language and Composition Free Response The free response section has a minute reading period. After that time, you will have minutes to write three essays .

About Our Ads

AP English Language and Composition is a course in the study of rhetoric ap language and composition essay help taken in high school. Cracking the AP English Language & Composition Exam, Edition: Explore timing and format for the AP English Language and Composition Exam, and review sample questions, scoring guidelines, and sample student responses This ap language and composition essay. AP English Language and Composition Course Description (PDF) (Opens in new window) Writing is central to the AP English courses and exams. Both courses have two goals: to provide you with opportunities to become skilled, mature, critical readers, and to help you to develop into practiced, logical, clear, and honest writers.

Cookie Info

AP English Language and Composition: The Exam | AP Central – The College Board In other words, and to address the essay's greater importance in your conclusion. Of course, you should also keep in mind that and conclusion is not absolutely necessary in order to receive a high score. The Ultimate List of AP English Language Tips March 15, , pm The AP Language and Composition exam tests your ability to not only read content, but also to analyze what you have read and draw conclusions to present in an argument.