AP English Language

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Section I of the Exam—The Multiple-Choice Questions


Section I

Total Time–1 hour

Carefully read the following passages and answer the accompanying questions.

Questions 1–12 are based on the following passage from “Samuel Johnson on Pope,” which appeared in The Lives of the English Poets (1779–1781).


1. The passage is primarily a(n)

A. character sketch of Pope

B. discussion of poetic style

C. criticism of Dryden

D. model for future poets

E. opportunity for the writer to show off his own skills

2. The passage discusses a contrast among all of the following except

A. prose and poetry

B. Pope and Dryden

C. body and mind

D. poverty and wealth

E. body and soul

3. “If the flights” (35) means

A. Pope’s writing will outlast Dryden’s

B. both Pope and Dryden are equal

C. Pope is not idealistic

D. Pope is more wordy

E. Pope is not as bright as Dryden

4. The character of Pope is developed by all of the following except:

A. examples

B. comparison

C. contrast

D. satire

E. description

5. According to the passage, Pope and Dryden are

A. rivals

B. equally intelligent

C. outdated

D. equally physically attractive

E. in debt

6. From the passage, the reader may infer that Pope

A. was extravagant

B. was a man of the people

C. was jealous of Dryden

D. had a desire to be popular

E. had a bitter, satirical nature

7. The tone of the passage is

A. informal and affectionate

B. formal and objective

C. condescending and paternalistic

D. laudatory and reverent

E. critical and negative

8. Lines 20–24 indicate that Dryden was what type of writer?

A. one who labored over his thoughts

B. one who wrote only for himself

C. one who wrote only for the critics

D. one who wrote to please Pope

E. one who did not revise

9. Using the context of lines 27–29, “punctilious” means

A. precise

B. timely

C. cursory

D. scholarly

E. philosophical

10. In the context of the passage, “until he had nothing left to be forgiven” (29) means

A. Pope outraged his readers

B. Pope suffered from writer’s block

C. Pope exhausted his subject matter

D. Pope’s prose was revised to perfection

E. Pope cared about the opinions of his readers

11. “Shaven” and “leveled” in line 34 indicate that Pope’s style of writing was

A. natural

B. richly ornamented

C. highly controlled

D. mechanical

E. analytical

12. Based on a close reading of the final paragraph of the passage, the reader could infer that the author

A. looks on both writers equally

B. prefers the work of Pope

C. sees the two writers as inferior to his own writing style

D. indicates no preference

E. prefers the work of Dryden

Questions 13–23 are based on the following excerpt from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “Politics and Warfare,” which appears in The Man-Made World: Our Androcentric Culture (1911).


13. The author’s main purpose in the passage is to

A. argue for women being drafted

B. criticize colonialism

C. present a pacifist philosophy

D. criticize the male-dominated society

E. protest tariffs

14. In paragraph 2, the author maintains that men support their position on equality for women based upon which of the following approaches?

A. begging the question

B. a syllogism using a faulty premise

C. an appeal to emotion

D. circular reasoning

E. an ad hoc argument

15. Using textual clues, one can conclude that “androcentric” most probably means

A. robot-centered

B. world-centered

C. female-centered

D. self-centered

E. male-centered

16. In addition to indicating a direct quotation, the author uses quotation marks to indicate

A. the jargon of politics and warfare

B. the coining of a phrase

C. a definition

D. the author’s scholarship

E. that the author does not take responsibility for her words

17. In paragraph 4, “increasingly injurious as society progresses” is reinforced by all of the following except:

A. “ill effects already touched on” [paragraph 4]

B. “active war” [paragraph 4]

C. “weaker nations to be ‘conquered’ and ‘annexed’” [paragraph 5]

D. “illegitimate expenses of fighting” [paragraph 6]

E. “Women do not understand politics” [paragraph 8]

18. According to the author, men view the primary purpose of government to be

A. educating the people

B. solving the “mass of public problems”

C. obtaining as much power as possible

D. economics

E. health

19. The argument shifts from a discussion of warfare to a discussion of politics in the first sentence of which of the following paragraphs?

A. paragraph 4

B. paragraph 5

C. paragraph 6

D. paragraph 7

E. paragraph 9

20. The tone of the passage is best described as

A. ambivalent

B. reverent

C. condescending

D. accusatory

E. indifferent

21. The style of the passage can best be described as

A. poetic and emotional

B. editorial and analytical

C. mocking and self-serving

D. preaching and moralistic

E. authoritative and pretentious

22. To present her argument, Gilman primarily uses which of the following rhetorical strategies?

A. process

B. definition

C. cause and effect

D. narration

E. description

23. “It,” as used in paragraphs 4, 5, and 6, only refers to

A. “Fighting is to them the real business of life” [paragraph 3]

B. “evil effects” [paragraph 4]

C. “man-managed nation” [paragraph 4]

D. “preferential tariffs” [paragraph 5]

E. “spoils system” [paragraph 6]

Questions 24–33 are based on the following speech, “On the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Robert F. Kennedy.


24. The primary purpose of RFK’s speech is most probably to

A. inform the people of the event

B. praise the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr.

C. offer condolences to King’s family

D. call for calm and unity between blacks and whites

E. offer condolences to the black community at large

25. Which of the following paragraphs does not contain examples of parallel structure?

A. paragraph 3 beginning with “In this difficult …”

B. paragraph 6 beginning with “My favorite poet …”

C. paragraph 7 beginning with “What we need …”

D. paragraph 9 beginning with “We can do well …”

E. paragraph 10 beginning with “But the vast majority …”

26. Paragraph 5 contains an example of

A. understatement

B. figurative language

C. sarcasm

D. logical fallacy

E. analogous example

27. The tone of the speech can best be described as

A. elevated and conciliatory

B. angry and inflammatory

C. formal and detached

D. informal and emotional

E. accusatory and bitter

28. To keep his speech from leading to violence, RFK makes use of which of the following?

I. constantly repeating King’s name and his desire for unity between races

II. an ethical appeal based on the power of religion

III. emphasizing a common bond to show the connection between himself and his audience

A. I



D. I and III

E. I, II, and III

29. All of the following paragraphs give support to the inference that RFK expected violence to follow the assassination except:

A. paragraph 3 beginning with “In the beginning …”

B. paragraph 4 beginning with “Or we can …”

C. paragraph 6 beginning with “My favorite …”

D. paragraph 7 beginning with “What we need …”

E. paragraph 9 beginning with “We can do well …”

30. RFK most probably chose to refer to the Greeks in paragraph 11 for all of the following reasons except:

A. to impress the audience with his scholarship

B. to concisely restate the theme of the speech

C. to provide a healing thought for the people to remember

D. to elevate the level of discourse

E. to reinforce the ideals of democracy with which the Greeks are associated

31. Paragraphs 7 and 8 are constructed around which of the following rhetorical strategies?

A. analysis

B. definition

C. narration

D. process

E. cause and effect

32. The quotation given in paragraph 6 can best be restated as

A. the process of healing is inevitable

B. time heals all wounds

C. sleep numbs those in pain

D. God is the source of humankind’s grief

E. sleep is the only escape from pain

33. All of the following are effects of the repetition in paragraphs 11 and 12 except that it

A. links the speaker with the audience

B. refers to paragraph 2 and King’s dedication

C. emphasizes dedication so that the audience will remember it

D. reinforces the tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

E. elevates the occasion to one which is worthy of honor

Questions 34–44 are based on the following letter.


34. In both paragraphs 2 and 3, Einstein makes use of the dash

A. to emphasize the words set off

B. as an exception to the point immediately before it

C. to sound more scholarly and formal

D. as an informal aside to what was said previously

E. to summarize

35. The omission of a cordial opening and identification of the credentials of the writer imply all of the following except:

A. Einstein expects his name alone will identify him

B. Einstein assumes that the information he presents is compelling enough to command a response

C. Einstein believes himself too busy and important to waste time on pleasantries

D. As a scientist, Einstein was accustomed to having the facts speak for themselves

E. They’ve had previous contact

36. The purpose of the listing in paragraph 5 is to

A. secure Einstein’s role as Roosevelt’s “permanent contact”

B. suggest a plan of necessary action to ensure American security

C. increase research funding for further nuclear experimentation

D. end scientific research leading to the construction of nuclear bombs

E. send a letter of warning to Germany

37. Einstein’s attitude can best be described as

A. confrontational

B. deferential

C. cautionary

D. complacent

E. antagonistic

38. Einstein’s first paragraph suggests all of the following except:

A. FDR is not staying abreast of important scientific developments

B. Einstein is concerned about how the administration is handling the new developments in uranium research

C. Einstein is concerned that the administration may be unaware of important developments in the scientific community

D. Einstein is an authority in the use of uranium

E. FDR is familiar with the work of Fermi and Szilard

39. Which of the following best identifies Einstein’s primary mode of discourse in his letter to FDR?

A. narration

B. process

C. analysis

D. persuasion

E. exposition

40. To illustrate the gravity of the situation, Einstein uses all of the following except:

A. “call for watchfulness” [paragraph 1]

B. “it is my duty” [paragraph 1]

C. “appears almost certain” [paragraph 2]

D. “in the immediate future” [paragraph 2]

E. “obtaining the co-operation” [paragraph 5]

41. Einstein understates the urgency of developing “chain reactions” in America

A. with the repetition of the words might and may

B. by excluding a fatalistic prediction

C. by mentioning “other countries repeating America’s work”

D. with the phrase “though much less certain”

E. all of the above

42. To persuade Roosevelt to consider his recommendations, Einstein uses all of the following approaches except:

A. discussions with other members of the scientific community

B. appeals to fear

C. presentation of evidence

D. making predictions

E. offering a plan

43. In his letter, Einstein’s own assumptions are all of the following except:

A. his interpretation of the manuscript is accessible

B. his reputation as a scientist lends weight to his opinion

C. his plan can be implemented quietly

D. his urgency concerning the situation is apparent

E. Germany recognizes the urgency of the situation

44. After a careful reading of the letter, which of the following inferences is not valid?

A. Einstein understood the urgency of addressing the nuclear problem.

B. Einstein assumed FDR would react to the letter.

C. Einstein viewed the private sector as a means of circumventing a possible governmental impasse.

D. The Germans could have possibly misunderstood the significance of this scientific discovery.

E. Einstein is suspicious of German espionage.

Questions 45–56 are based on the following passage entitled “Reading an Archive,” by Allan Sekula, which appeared in Blasted Allegories, a collection of contemporary essays and short stories, published by MIT Press in 1987.



45. The first sentence (lines 1–3) does all of the following, except

A. to indicate that material appears in this essay prior to this section

B. to indicate scholarly research

C. to indicate a cause/effect relationship

D. to state the thesis of the piece

E. to establish that the essay is based on the opinion of the author

46. The word oversight in line 12 refers to

A. “pictures from a company public relations archive” (10–11)

B. “without calling attention to the bias” (11)

C. “construct a pictorial history” (9–10)

D. “coal mining in Cape Breton” (10)

E. “present interests” (12)

47. An accurate reading of footnote 7 informs the reader that the author based his material on

A. Society of the Spectacle, rev. ed. 1977

B. Society of the Spectacle, 1970

C. La société du spectacle, 1967

D. The Black and Red, 1970

E. Buchat-Chastel, 1967

48. The author directly involves the reader using which of the following linguistic devices?

A. direct address

B. exhortation

C. metaphor

D. direct quotation

E. rhetorical question

49. “initial contexts” in line 35–36 refers to

A. “our second option” (28)

B. “historical explanation” (28–29)

C. “inventory of aesthetic achievement” (30)

D. “contemporary vanguard art” (33)

E. “disinterested aesthetic perusal” (31)

50. The main concern of the passage is contained in which of the following lines?

A. “Since the 1920’s … and so on.” (4–8)

B. “The viewer … critical evaluations.” (13–14)

C. “In retrieving … geographical mobility.” (14–16)

D. “I can imagine … of the fine arts.” (37–39)

E. “The former … mechanical medium.” (46–49)

51. The most probable implication of this passage is that

A. historians are cynical

B. historians are naïve

C. readers/viewers must be aware of the bias inherent in source material

D. viewers/readers are ill equipped to make critical evaluations

E. dealing with photographs demands a combination of the mechanical and the aesthetic

52. The purpose of footnote 9 is to

A. enhance the reputation of the writer

B. cite a primary source

C. direct the reader to opposing positions

D. compare differing cultures

E. provide a historical context

53. The tone of the passage can best be described as

A. argumentative and scholarly

B. romantic and artistic

C. philosophical and didactic

D. informative and sarcastic

E. informal and playful

54. According to the author, the power of photography as historical illustration is found in the

A. historian

B. spectator

C. picture press

D. image itself

E. camera

55. The last paragraph is primarily developed using which of the following rhetorical strategies?

A. cause and effect

B. comparison and contrast

C. definition

D. description

E. narration

56. The reader may infer from the footnotes that the author is a(n)

A. photographer himself

B. journalist reporting on photography

C. fan of Leni Reifenstahl

D. established authority in this field

E. art critic