Only a few more days!
To begin with…
Do NOT panic. You can and will do just fine
on the A.P. Exam.
You will begin with the multiple choice
section. Once that time has elapsed, you
will then move into the free-response
Your goal on the multiple choice section is to do
1. Determine how many questions you need to
answer (at least HALF of the total number of
2. Determine which passages (if any) you will be
skipping. If you are a slow reader, or if you
find a passage that looks VERY difficult, then
3. Remember – 65% correct is a VERY high
score on this section. Shoot for that rate!
Multiple Choice…less yukky.
Do NOT randomly guess on the multiple
choice – it will do horrible things to your
Watch your time! Do not depend on the
cafeteria and/or the proctor to tell you
when you have 10 minutes left. Bring a
watch with you and monitor yourself.
Free Response Questions
You will be given fifteen (15) minutes to read
all of the three prompts as well as the
source documentation for the synthesis
essay. You may brainstorm during this
time, but you may not begin writing your
essays until the proctor gives you the
signal to begin.
The first prompt that you will get is the synthesis essay.
Things to remember:
1. The synthesis essay is an argumentative essay with
sources thrown in.
2. You can use “I” and “you” on this essay.
3. You MUST use no less than three separate sources in
4. You MUST integrate the sources into your writing
(don’t just stick them into your essay – do they prove
your point? Are they a counterpoint? What do you
wish to prove by including them in your essay?)
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
This may or may not be the second prompt. Either way, things that you
1. Do NOT use “I” or “you” in this essay. Instead use “the reader” or
“one” (as in “the reader is asked to believe the claim that….” or
“one feels included in the author’s private world…”)
2. The prompt asks you to do two things. Identify those two things,
and be sure that you address BOTH of them in your essay
3. Don’t FREAK if you can’t remember if they are using epistrophe,
anaphora, or synecdoche. If you see symbolism used, call it that.
If you see repetition used, call it that. They are more impressed
with how you answer both parts of the prompt rather than your
command of rhetorical terminology.
Rhetorical Analysis Hints
You can find the following in ANY passage:
1. Appeals (ethos – credibility of author; pathos –
sympathies of the reader; logos – logic of the
2. Tone (surprising; angry; melancholy; satirical; awed;
controversial; condescending; carefree)
3. Diction (elevated – using many technical or high-level
words; common/vernacular – appealing to the regular
person; unusual) – why did the author choose those
4. Syntax (how the sentences are put together); does the
author use long, elaborate sentences or short, choppy
ones? Does the author break the piece up into
separate paragraphs to signal separate ideas?
This may be your second or third prompt. What
you should remember:
1. You may use “I” or “you” in this essay.
2. Your point of view has validity as long as you
provide evidence for it. Calling an idea or
theory ridiculous will only work if you can prove
to the readers WHY it is ridiculous.
3. Write as though you are engaging the readers
in a serious discussion of your point of view.
Essays on the Whole
Once again, let your watch be your guide.
You have approximately 40 minutes for
each essay, so be careful of your time.
The proctor may or may not tell you when
the 40-minute marks are hit, so consult
your watch. If you find that you have
spare time, go over each essay and check
your diction (“stuff,” “good,” “nice,” “bad,”
You should be in the at your testing location
no later than 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
We will be offer breakfast starting at 7:00.
Bring a #2 pencil with a good eraser for the
multiple choice, and a blue/black ballpoint
pen for the essays.