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You may be doing some of these activities anyways for books you are assigned to read for class, and those books might be solid choices if you want to be as efficient as possible.Books you write essays about for school are also great choices to include in your four to five book stable since you will be becoming super-familiar with them for the writing you do in class anyways. The most important thing for the student choice free-response question is that the work you select needs to have “literary merit.” What does this mean?They are also all very different in style (although you’ll just have to take my word on that one unless you go look at all of them yourself), and they span a range of time periods and genres as well.
Since you won’t know what theme you’ll be asked to write about in advance, you’ll need to be prepared to write a student choice question on more than just one book.
Of the books you read for prep both in and out of class, choose four to five books that are thematically diverse to learn especially well in preparation for the exam.
In this article, I’ll break down why you need to read books to prepare, how many you should plan on reading, and what you should read—including poetry.
This might seem like kind of an obvious question—you need to read books because it’s a literature exam!
But actually, there are three specific reasons why you need to read novels, poems, and plays in preparation for the AP Lit Test.
Reading a diverse array of novels, poetry and plays from different eras and genres will help you be familiar with the language that appears in the various passages on the AP Lit exam’s multiple choice and essay sections.A lot of students wonder if there’s a specific AP English reading list of books they should be reading to succeed on the AP Literature and Composition exam.While there’s not an official College-Board AP reading list, there are books that will be more useful for you to read than others as you prepare for the exam.If you read primarily modern works, for example, you may stumble through analyzing a Shakespeare sonnet.So, having a basic familiarity level with the language of a broad variety of literary works will help keep you from floundering in confusion on test day because you’re seeing a work unlike anything you’ve ever read.For the third question on the second exam section, you’ll be asked to examine how a specific theme works in one novel or play that you choose.The College Board does provide an example list of works, but you can choose any work you like just so long as it has adequate “literary merit.” However, you need to be closely familiar with more than one work so that you can be prepared for whatever theme the College Board throws at you!You don’t necessarily need to drill down to the same degree on every text, but you should always be thinking, “Why did the author write this piece this way?” Perhaps the most critical piece in reading to prepare for the AP Lit test, however, is for the student choice free-response question.This will maximize your ability to comprehensively answer a student choice question about pretty much anything with one of the works you’ve focused on.So, I might, for example, choose: As you can see, while there is some thematic overlap in my chosen works, they also cover a broad swathe of themes.