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What You Should Know About the AP English Literature Exam (page 3)

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

How is my composite score calculated?

The total composite score for the AP Lit test is 150. Of this score, 55 percent is the essay section; that equals 82.5 points. The multiple-choice section is 45 percent of the composite score, which equals 67.5 points. Each of your three essays is graded on a 9-point scale; therefore, each point is worth 3.055. Divide the number of multiple-choice questions by 67.5. For instance, 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 practice with this process in the two practice exams in this book.

How is my composite score turned into the grade that is reported to my college?

Keep in mind that the total composite scores needed to earn a 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 are different each year. This is determined by a committee of AP/College Board/Educational Testing Service directors, experts, and statisticians. The grading is based on items such 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 is apparent which indicates the number of points required to achieve a specifi c grade:

• 150–100 points = 5

• 99–86 = 4

• 85–67 = 3

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

What should I bring to the exam?

You should bring:

• Several pencils with erasers

• Several black pens (black ink is easier to read than other colors)

• A watch • Something to drink—water is best

• A quiet snack, like Lifesavers

• Tissues

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

You should be aware of the following:

• 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. If you’ve been following the guidelines, you won’t have to cram. But 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 phone, blog, or Twitter. Then find a quiet spot. While you’re unwinding, flip through your own notebook and review sheets. Recall some details from the full-length works you’ve prepared and think of your favorite scenes. By now, you’re bound to be ready to drift off. Pleasant dreams.

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