Practice Test 2 - The Princeton Review AP English Language and Composition Practice Tests and Explanations - AP English Language & composition exam

AP English Language & composition exam


The Princeton Review AP English Language and Composition Practice Tests and Explanations


Practice Test 2


Three hours are allotted for this examination: 1 hour for Section I, which consists of multiple-choice questions, and 2 hours for Section II, which consists of essay questions. Section I is printed in this examination booklet. Section II is printed in a separate booklet.


Time—1 hour

Number of questions—54

Percent of total grade—45

Section I of this examination contains 54 multiple-choice questions. Therefore, please be careful to fill in only the ovals that are preceded by numbers 1 through 54 on your answer sheet. 

General Instructions


INDICATE ALL YOUR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN SECTION I ON THE SEPARATE ANSWER SHEET. No credit will be given for anything written in this examination booklet, but you may use the booklet for notes or scratchwork. After you have decided which of the suggested answers is best, COMPLETELY fill in the corresponding oval on the answer sheet.


Chicago is a

(A)   state

(B)   city

(C)   country

(D)   continent

(E)   village

Sample Answer


Many candidates wonder whether or not to guess the answers to questions about which they are not certain. Multiple choice scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers, and no points are awarded for unanswered questions. Because points are not deducted for incorrect answers, you are encouraged to answer all multiple-choice questions. On any questions you do not know the answer to, you should eliminate as many choices as you can, and then select the best answer among the remaining choices.

Use your time effectively, working as rapidly as you can without losing accuracy. Do not spend too much time on questions that are too difficult. Go on to other questions and come back to the difficult ones later if you have time. It is not expected that everyone will be able to answer all the multiple-choice questions.

The inclusion of the passages in this examination is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board or Educational Testing Service of the content, ideas, values, or styles of the individual authors. The material has been selected from works of various historical periods by a committee of examiners who are teachers of language and literature and who have judged that the passages printed here reflect the content of a course of study for which this examination is appropriate.



Time—1 hour

Directions: This part consists of selections from prose works and questions on their content, form, and style. After reading each passage, choose the best answer to each question and completely fill in the corresponding oval on the answer sheet.

Note: Pay particular attention to the requirement of questions that contain the words NOT, LEAST, or EXCEPT.

Questions 1-11. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

1. The reader can infer from the first paragraph that some critics have

(A)   chastised Browne for his inability to reason

(B)   lauded Browne’s frequent linear explanations

(C)   complained about Browne’s lack of clarity

(D)   compared Browne with Shakespeare

(E)   compared the author of the passage with Browne

2. In context, “poesy” (line 14) most nearly means

(A)   poetry

(B)   inspiration for writing

(C)   sentimental thoughts

(D)   flowery writing

(E)   poetic dreaming

3. The meaning of the phrase magnæ virtutes nec minora vitia (lines 13-14)

(A)   can be ascertained only if one understands Latin

(B)   becomes clear at the end of the paragraph

(C)   is obvious

(D)   has been lost over the centuries

(E)   was known only to Browne

4. In the second paragraph, the author

(A)   is openly critical of Browne’s style

(B)   hints that Browne’s writing is pedantic

(C)   justifies the strength of Browne’s style

(D)   argues in favor of a reexamination of Browne’s style

(E)   suggests that Browne’s writing is too facile

5. The author modifies the strict parallelism of “it is vigorous, but rugged; it is learned, but pedantick; it is deep, but obscure; it strikes, but does not please; it commands, but does not allure; his tropes are harsh, and his combinations uncouth” (lines 16-20) to

(A)   better define his point of view

(B)   keep the reader off balance

(C)   maintain a sense of imbalance

(D)   show more respect for Browne’s accomplishments

(E)   to obfuscate his real opinions

6. According to the author, Browne lived at a time of significant

(A)   linguistic experimentation

(B)   literary conservatism

(C)   linguistic stability

(D)   metaphorical license

(E)   impoverishment of the English language

7. In lines 27-36 (“Browne, though he gave less disturbance … in the place of joints”), the author classifies Browne’s diction in a manner that proceeds from

(A)   interesting, to captivating, to intriguing

(B)   appropriate, to inappropriate, to superfluous

(C)   interesting, to intriguing, to disappointing

(D)   useful, to unhelpful, to deleterious

(E)   appropriate, to inappropriate, to intriguing

8. The author posits that Browne’s unusual diction can be tied to his desire

(A)   to mystify his readers

(B)   to develop English phraseology

(C)   to enrich the English language

(D)   to set himself apart from other authors of his time

(E)   to express exactly his unusual thoughts

9. According to the author, Browne’s style is marked by

(A)   heteroclite diction

(B)   homogeneous words

(C)   mundane vocabulary

(D)   humorous phrases

(E)   heterogeneous tropes

10. Which of the following best summarizes the passage?

(A)   an impartial reconsideration of Browne’s style

(B)   a scathing critique by a rival

(C)   a manifesto by one of Browne’s colleagues

(D)   a comparative study of Milton and Browne

(E)   a virulent polemic

11. The author’s tone in this passage is best described as

(A)   sarcastic and doctrinaire

(B)   analytical and scholarly

(C)   expository and harsh

(D)   indulgent and condescending

(E)   capricious and sentimental

Questions 12-20. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

12. The speaker in the passage above can be described best as

(A)   a family member of George Eliot

(B)   a member of the clergy

(C)   a student

(D)   a chauvinist literary critic

(E)   a professional writer

13. According to the speaker, George Eliot’s heroines are “cloistered” (line 11) because they are

(A)   in a church

(B)   essentially alone

(C)   in a monastery

(D)   imprisoned in cloisters

(E)   lost in prayer

14. In context, “the facts of human existence” (line 21)

(A)   restrict both men and women

(B)   restrict women only

(C)   are only applicable to Eliot’s heroines

(D)   pertain to any literary character

(E)   pertain to men only

15. “Save for” (line 24) most nearly means

(A)   except for

(B)   saving

(C)   safe for

(D)   guarding against

(E)   keeping in mind

16. The “differences” mentioned in line 34 pertain to Eliot’s

(A)   profession

(B)   class

(C)   upbringing

(D)   education

(E)   gender

17. According to the speaker, Eliot

(A)   enjoyed excellent health

(B)   suffered from her independence and knowledge

(C)   was prevented from attaining fame by men

(D)   was very unlike the heroines of her books

(E)   repudiated her feminine nature

18. In the sentence beginning “Thus we behold her” (lines 36-43), the speaker employs all of the following EXCEPT

(A)   apposition

(B)   hyperbole

(C)   personification

(D)   relative clauses

(E)   parallelism

19. It is reasonable to assume that the phrase “a fastidious yet hungry ambition” (lines 40-41)

(A)   is spoken by one of Eliot’s heroines

(B)   comes from one of the speaker’s literary works

(C)   is borrowed from one of Eliot’s critics

(D)   is not to be taken seriously

(E)   does not represent the speaker’s point of view

20. Generally, the style of the entire passage is best defined as

(A)   effusive and disorganized

(B)   pedantic and terse

(C)   sympathetic and concrete

(D)   abstract and metaphysical

(E)   intellectual and cynical

Questions 21-25. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

21. In general, the passage reveals a point of view that is

(A)   philanthropic and utopian

(B)   pessimistic and cynical

(C)   altruistic and elitist

(D)   quixotic and irrational

(E)   positivist and unreasonable

22. The Institution (line 27) is

(A)   a hospital

(B)   a town

(C)   an asylum

(D)   a school

(E)   a church

23. The sentence that begins “They are, therefore, correctly speaking, the most wicked and worthless …” (lines 55-61) serves to

(A)   explain a paradox

(B)   prepare an antithesis

(C)   present an analogy

(D)   resolve an inconsistency

(E)   summarize a theme

24. “They” (line 64) refers to

(A)   the poor

(B)   the wealthy

(C)   the inhabitants of Lanark

(D)   the inhabitants of neighboring areas

(E)   all of the above

25. The speaker appears most interested in

(A)   establishing mercantile and financial establishments

(B)   creating more employment and cultural opportunities

(C)   abolishing socioeconomic and cultural differences

(D)   discussing social conduct and poverty

(E)   imparting knowledge and moral values

Questions 26-32. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

26. The speaker was a problem because

(A)   of his ambition

(B)   he was involved in schoolyard fights

(C)   he was contemptuous of his peers

(D)   of his race

(E)   of his upbringing

27. In this passage, the anecdote of the visiting-cards serves as

(A)   an epiphany for the speaker

(B)   a moment of triumph for the speaker

(C)   a revelation for the reader

(D)   a turning point for the school

(E)   a chance for redemption for the speaker

28. After presenting the incident of the visiting-cards, the speaker controls the rest of the passage by employing

(A)   repeated appeals to authority

(B)   a series of euphemisms

(C)   a series of analogies

(D)   two extended metaphors

(E)   self-deprecating humor

29. The “sons of night” (line 38) are

(A)   evil young men

(B)   African American boys

(C)   sons of evil parents

(D)   lost souls

(E)   prisoners

30. One can infer from the passage all of the following EXCEPT that

(A)   the speaker considered himself inferior to his white peers

(B)   the speaker considered himself superior to his African American peers

(C)   the other African American boys treated their white peers with deference

(D)   the speaker was superior to his white peers in many ways

(E)   the speaker felt isolated from both white and African American peers

31. The speaker’s contempt wanes and is replaced by

(A)   a commitment to become a famous professional

(B)   a pledge to beat his peers in athletic contests

(C)   a helpless rage against society

(D)   a spirit of revenge

(E)   actions that eventually lead him to prison

32. The tone of this passage can NOT be described as

(A)   self-aware

(B)   decisive

(C)   fervent

(D)   reflective

(E)   laudatory

Questions 33-39. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

33. In this passage the speaker’s purpose is to

(A)   analyze the causes of slavery

(B)   argue in favor of states’ rights

(C)   criticize individual states

(D)   describe the advantages of a federal government

(E)   argue in favor of slavery

34. Which of the following best describes the tone of the passage?

(A)   mock enthusiasm

(B)   righteous indignation

(C)   well-reasoned polemic

(D)   objective rationalization

(E)   ironic detachment

35. In the first two sentences (lines 1-9), the speaker grounds his central idea on which of the following rhetorical strategies?

(A)   inductive reasoning

(B)   deductive reasoning

(C)   description

(D)   classification

(E)   appeal to ignorance

36. The most significant rhetorical shift in the passage begins with

(A)   “So with the State of New York.” (lines 32-33)

(B)   “Now, my friends …” (line 42)

(C)   “Why should Illinois be at war with Missouri …” (line 48)

(D)   “Under that principle …” (line 69)

(E)   “I believe that this new doctrine …” (line 78)

37. The speaker substantiates his central idea with

(A)   clever anecdotes

(B)   innovative symbols

(C)   unusual paradoxes

(D)   extended metaphors

(E)   appeal to authority

38. From the passage, it appears that the speaker’s personal view is that African Americans should be

(A)   slaves and should not be allowed to hold property

(B)   should not be slaves and should be allowed to vote

(C)   should not be free but should be allowed to hold some property

(D)   should be free but not allowed to vote

(E)   should be allowed to hold property and to vote

39. In the final lines of the passage, the speaker attempts to win over his audience by

(A)   inspiring confidence

(B)   shifting blame

(C)   instilling fear

(D)   reconciling differences

(E)   overstating a problem

Questions 40-46. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

40. The author relies principally on which rhetorical strategy?

(A)   appeal to authority

(B)   classification

(C)   description

(D)   induction

(E)   analogy

41. According to the author, a merchant is

(A)   not motivated primarily by the prospect of making a profit

(B)   more devoted to material gain than a clergyman

(C)   less focused on making money than is a physician

(D)   essentially different from a manufacturer

(E)   wholly dedicated to material gain

42. In line 7, “adjunct” most nearly means

(A)   accompaniment

(B)   evil

(C)   adjustment

(D)   bonus

(E)   addition

43. “Agency” (line 23) is directly related semantically to

(A)   “business” (line 25)

(B)   “merchant” (line 24)

(C)   “master” (line 25)

(D)   “commodity” (line 23)

(E)   “duty” (line 29)

44. The author uses “hands” (line 24)

(A)   as a synecdoche

(B)   to reinforce the manual aspect of most labor of his time

(C)   to attenuate the repetition of the word “men”

(D)   as a concrete image

(E)   all of the above

45. The “two functions” in line 34 are

(A)   earning high profits and pacifying the workers

(B)   manufacturing a good, cheap product and providing for workers

(C)   exploiting the workers and maximizing profits

(D)   manufacturing good products and making good profits

(E)   dealing with unions and keeping profits high

46. Most likely, the author would

(A)   support Marxism

(B)   neither like nor dislike socialism

(C)   support capitalism

(D)   support anticlerical groups

(E)   dislike the medical profession

Questions 47-50. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

47. This passage is most notable for its

(A)   meticulous classification

(B)   unusual point of view

(C)   precise description

(D)   resourceful analogies

(E)   lyrical prose

48. Most likely, the passage is extracted from

(A)   an entry in a scientific journal

(B)   a nineteenth-century novel

(C)   a book on tourism

(D)   a letter from a poet

(E)   a book on volcanoes

49. In context, one can infer that tuff is

(A)   an alternate spelling for tough

(B)   a kind of sand

(C)   made up principally of grass

(D)   volcanic rock

(E)   dense and resistant

50. In this passage, the speaker is most notably impressed by

(A)   the flora on the islands

(B)   the force of the Pacific Ocean

(C)   the fragments of granite

(D)   the symmetrical craters on the islands

(E)   the topography of the smaller islands

Questions 51-54. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.

51. The author of this passage is most likely

(A)   a poet

(B)   a novelist

(C)   an art critic

(D)   a journalist

(E)   an actor

52. The author relies principally on which of the following to substantiate his thesis?

(A)   a faulty analogy

(B)   process analysis

(C)   deductive reasoning

(D)   an accumulation of facts

(E)   illustration by example

53. “… when Art surrenders her imaginative medium she surrenders everything” (lines 54-55) is in the form of

(A)   a maxim

(B)   a chiasmus

(C)   an antithesis

(D)   an understatement

(E)   an analogy

54. Above all else, the author reveres

(A)   beauty

(B)   life

(C)   Shakespeare

(D)   Caesar

(E)   English drama



Time—2 hours

Number of questions—3

Percent of total grade—55

Each question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.

Question 1 Synthesis Essay……………suggested time—40 minutes

Question 2 Essay……………suggested time—40 minutes

Question 3 Essay……………suggested time—40 minutes

(Additional 15 minutes for reading sources at the beginning of Section II)

Section II of this examination requires answers in essay form. To help you use your time well, the coordinator will announce the time at which each question should be completed. If you finish any question before time is announced, you may go on to the following question. If you finish the examination in less than the time allotted, you may go back and work on any essay question you want.

Each essay will be judged on its clarity and effectiveness in dealing with the requirements of the topic assigned and on the quality of the writing. After completing each question, you should check your essay for accuracy of punctuation, spelling, and diction; you are advised, however, not to attempt many longer corrections. Remember that quality is far more important than quantity.

Write your essays with a pen, preferably in black or dark blue ink. Be sure to write CLEARLY and LEGIBLY. Cross out any errors you make.

The questions for Section II are printed in the green insert. You are encouraged to use the green insert to make notes and to plan your essays, but be sure to write your answers in the pink booklet. Number each answer as the question is numbered in the examination. Do not skip lines. Begin each answer on a new page in the pink booklet.



Total Time—2 hours

Question 1

(Suggested reading time—15 minutes.)

(Suggested writing time—40 minutes.)

This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize information from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that authoritative leadership is more effective than collaborative leadership.

Make sure that your argument is central; use the sources to illustrate and support your reasoning. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from, whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.

AssignmentBasing your answer on the information below, write an essay addressing this prompt: Countries define effective leadership in different ways. Some focus on fear and power, while others point to respect and propriety.

You may refer to the sources by their titles (Source A, Source B, etc.) or by the descriptions in parentheses.

Source A      (Patton)

Source B      (Machiavelli)

Source C      (Plato)

Source D      (Confucius)

Source E      (David)

Source F      (Hobbes)

Source A

George S. Patton was one of the most highly regarded generals in World War II

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

Source B

Niccolo Macchiavelli, The Prince

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with … that prince who, relying entirely on [the] promises [of his subjects], has neglected other precautions, is ruined;…men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women … But when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed to its duties.

Source C

Plato, The Republic (translated by Benjamin Jowett)

I said: Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one (and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside) cities will never have rest from their evils—nor will the human race, as I believe—and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day. Such was the thought, my dear Glaucon, which I would fain have uttered if it had not seemed too extravagant; for to be convinced that in no other State can there be happiness private or public is indeed a hard thing.

Source D

Confucius, The Analects (translated by James Legge, with alterationis for clarity)

13. The Master said, “If a prince can govern his kingdom with tolerance and propriety, what difficulty will he have? If he cannot govern it with that tolerance, how can there be propriety?”

18. The Master said, “In serving his parents, a son may remonstrate with them, but gently; when he sees that they do not incline to follow his advice, he shows an increased degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose; and should they punish him, he does not allow himself to murmur.”

26. Ziyu said, “In serving a prince, frequent remonstrances lead to disgrace. Between friends, frequent reproofs make the friendship distant.”

Source E

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

This painting shows Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor, crossing the Alps to invade Italy. The name at the lower left refers to Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who led elephants over the Alps, posing the most serious threat the Roman Empire ever faced.

Source F

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, as updated to modern English

The only way to erect such a Common Power [as can] make [the people] secure … is to confer all their power and strength upon one man … that may reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will: which is as much as to say, to appoint one man … to represent them all. And every person to own, and acknowledge himself to be author of, whatever this Man shall do, or cause to be done, in those things which concern the common peace and safety; and therein to submit their wills, every one, to that Man’s will, and their judgments, to that Man’s judgment. This is more than consent … it is a covenant of every man with every man … as if every man should say to every man, “I authorize and give up my right of governing myself to this Man … on the condition that you give up your right to him, and authorize all his actions in like manner.”…For by this authority, given him by every particular man in the common-wealth, he hath the use of so much power and strength conferred on him, that by terror thereof, he is enabled to form the wills of them all, to peace at home, and mutual aid against their enemies abroad.

Question 2

(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

The passage below is excerpted from one of Mark Twain’s most famous essays, “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses.” At the time Twain wrote his essay, Cooper’s novels were generally well liked and respected. Read the entire passage carefully. Then write an essay analyzing the rhetorical strategies that Twain uses to convey his attitude.

Question 3

(Suggested time—40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

Read and think carefully about the following quotation. Then write an essay in which you refute, support, or qualify Voltaire’s claim. Make sure to use appropriate evidence from literary, historical, or personal sources to develop your argument.

It is dangerous to be right in matters about which the established authorities are wrong.—Voltaire