What You Need to Know About the AP English Language and Composition Exam (page 3)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

How Do They Calculate My Composite Score?

You need to do a little math here: 150 is the total composite score for the AP English Language and Composition test. Fifty-five percent of this score is the essay section; that equals 82.5 points. Forty-five percent of the composite score is the multiple-choice section, which equals 67.5 points. Each of your three essays is graded on a 9-point scale; therefore, each point is worth 3.055. You would divide the number of multiple-choice questions by 67.5. For example, if there were 55 questions, each point of the raw score would be multiplied by 1.227. If you add together the raw scores of each of the two sections, you will have a composite score. We provide a little practice with this process in the two practice exams in this book.

How Is My Composite Score Turned into the Grade Reported to My College?

Remember that the total composite scores needed to earn a 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 differ each year. This is determined by a committee of AP/College Board/ETS directors, experts, and statisticians. The grading is based on such items as:

• AP distribution over the past three years

• Comparability studies

• Observations of the chief faculty consultant

• Frequency distributions of scores on each section and the essays

• Average scores on each exam section and essays

However, over the years a trend can be observed that indicates the number of points required to achieve a specifi c grade.

• 150–100 points = 5

• 99–86 = 4

• 85–67 = 3

2 and 1 fall below this range. You do not want to go there.

What Should I Bring to the Exam?

• Several pencils

• Several BLACK pens (black ink is easier on the eyes)

• A watch

• Something to drink—water is best

• A quiet snack, such as Lifesavers

• Tissues

Are There Additional Recommendations?

• Allow plenty of time to get to the test site.

• Wear comfortable clothing.

• Eat a light breakfast or lunch.

• Remind yourself that you are well-prepared and that the test is an enjoyable challenge and a chance to share your knowledge. Be proud of yourself! You worked hard all year. Now is your time to shine.

Is There Anything Special I Should Do the Night Before the Exam?

We certainly don’t advocate last-minute cramming, and, if you’ve been following the guidelines, you won’t have to. However, there may be a slight value to some last minute review. Spend the night before the exam relaxing with family or friends. Watch a movie; play a game; gab on the telephone, blog, or Twitter; and then find a quiet spot. While you’re unwinding, flip through your own notebook and review sheets. By now, you’re bound to be ready to drift off to sleep. Pleasant dreams.

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