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The AP Literature Exam is a three-hour exam that contains two sections.
The meaning of figurative language phrases can normally be determined by the phrase’s context in the passage—what is said around it? Example 1: Identifying Example 2: Interpreting These questions involve identifying why an author does what they do: from using a particular phrase to repeating certain words.
Basically, what techniques is the author using to construct the passage/poem and to what effect?
Example: These questions will ask you to describe something about a character.
You can spot them because they will refer directly to characters’ attitudes, opinions, beliefs, or relationships with other characters.
You can succeed on these questions by careful reading of the text.
You may have to go back and re-read parts to make sure you understand what the passage is saying.They don’t require you to do a lot of interpretation—you just need to know what is actually going on.You can identify these from words and phrases like “according to,” “asserting,” “mentioned,” and so on.The exam tests your ability to analyze works and excerpts of literature and cogently communicate that analysis in essay form.Read on for a breakdown of the two different sections and their question types.Example: Some questions will ask you to identify or describe something about the passage/poem as a whole: its purpose, tone, genre, etc.You can identify these by phrases like “in the passage,” and “as a whole.” To answer these questions, you need to think about the excerpt with a bird’s-eye view.Example: These questions ask you to infer something—a character or narrator’s opinion, an author’s intention, and so forth—based on what is said in the passage.It will be something that isn’t stated directly or concretely, but that you can assume based on what is stated clearly in the passage.You will, in general, not be given an author, date, or title for these works, although occasionally the title of a poem is given. The date ranges of works could fall from the 16th to the 21st century.Most works will be originally written in English, although you may occasionally see a passage in translation.