5 Steps to a 5: AP English 2017 (2016)


Develop Strategies for Success

CHAPTER 4 Section I of the Exam—The Multiple-Choice Questions

CHAPTER 5 Introduction to the Analysis Essay

CHAPTER 6 Introduction to the Argumentative Essay

CHAPTER 7 Introduction to the Synthesis Essay


Section I of the Exam—The Multiple-Choice Questions


Summary: Become comfortable with the multiple-choice section of the exam. If you know what to expect, you can prepare.


Key Ideas

Image Prepare yourself for the multiple-choice section of the exam.

Image Review the types of multiple-choice questions asked on the exam.

Image Learn strategies for approaching the multiple-choice questions.

Image Score yourself by checking the answer key and explanations for the multiple-choice section of the Diagnostic/Master exam.

Introduction to the Multiple-Choice Section of the Exam

Multiple choice? Multiple guess? Multiple anxiety? It’s been our experience that the day after the exam finds students bemoaning the difficulties and uncertainties of Section I of the AP English Language and Composition exam.

“It’s unfair.”

“I didn’t understand a word of the third reading.”

“Was that in English?”

“Did you get four Ds in a row for the last reading?”

“I just closed my eyes and pointed.”

Is it really possible to avoid these and other exam woes? We hope that by following along with us in this chapter, you will begin to feel a bit more familiar with the world of multiple-choice questions and, thereby, become a little more comfortable with the multiple-choice section of the exam.

What Is It About the Multiple-Choice Questions That Causes Such Anxiety?

Basically, a multiple-choice literature question is a flawed method of gauging understanding. Why? Because, by its very nature, a multiple-choice question forces you to play a cat-and-mouse game with the test maker, who demands that you concentrate on items that are incorrect before you can choose what is correct. We know, however, that complex literary works have a richness that allows for ambiguity. In the exam mode, you are expected to match someone else’s reading of a work with your choice of answers. This is what often causes the student to feel that the multiple-choice section is unfair. And, perhaps, to a degree, it is. But, get with the program! It’s a necessary evil. So, our advice to you is to accept the difficulties and limitations of Section I and to move on.

This said, it’s wise to develop a strategy for success. Once again, practice is the key to this success.

You’ve answered all types of multiple-choice questions during your career as a student. The test-taking skills you have learned in your social studies, math, and science classes may also apply to this specific situation.

“You know, when my teacher required us to make up multiple-choice questions that came from the AP prompts we wrote essays on, I really became more confident about how to answer these types of questions on the exam.”
—Samantha T., AP student

A word in defense of the test makers is in order here. The test is designed to allow you to shine, NOT to be humiliated. To that end, the people who design the multiple-choice questions take their job seriously and take pride in their product. You will not find “cutesy” questions, and they will not play games with you. What they will do is present several valid options in response to a challenging and appropriate question. These questions are designed to separate the knowledgeable, perceptive, and thoughtful reader from the superficial and impulsive one.

What Should I Expect in Section I?

For this first section of the AP English Language and Composition exam, you are allotted 1 hour to answer between 45 and 60 objective questions on four to five prose passages. The selections may come from works of fiction or nonfiction and be from different time periods, of different styles, and of different purposes. In other words, you will not find two essays by Thoreau in the multiple-choice section of the same test.

At least one of the readings will contain some type of citation, attribution, footnote, and so on. You will be expected to be able to determine HOW this citation, etc., is employed by the author to further his purpose. You will NOT be asked about specific formats such as MLA or APA.

These are NOT easy readings. They are representative of the college-level work you have been doing throughout the year. You will be expected to:


• follow sophisticated syntax;

• respond to diction;

• be comfortable with upper-level vocabulary;

• be familiar with rhetorical terminology;

• make inferences;

• be sensitive to irony and tone;

• recognize components of organization and style;

• be familiar with modes of discourse and rhetorical strategies; and

• recognize how information contained in citations contributes to the author’s purpose.

THE GOOD NEWS IS … the selection is self-contained. If it is about the Irish Potato Famine, you will NOT be at a disadvantage if you know nothing about Irish history. Frequently, there will be biblical references in a selection. This is especially true of works from an earlier time period. You are expected to be aware of basic allusions to biblical and mythological works often found in literary texts, but the passage will never require you to have any particular religious background.

DO NOT LET THE SUBJECT MATTER OF A PASSAGE THROW YOU. Strong analytical skills will work on any passage.

How Should I Begin to Work with Section I?

Take no more than a minute and thumb through the exam, looking for the following:

• The length of the selections

• The time periods or writing styles, if you can recognize them

• The number of questions asked

• A quick idea of the type of questions

This brief skimming of the test will put your mind into gear, because you will be aware of what is expected of you.

How Should I Proceed Through This Section of the Exam?

Timing is important. Always maintain an awareness of the time. Wear a watch. (Some students like to put it directly in front of them on the desk.) Remember, this is not your first encounter with the multiple-choice section of the test. You’ve probably been practicing timed exams in class; in addition, this book provides you with three timed experiences. We’re sure you will notice improvements as you progress through the timed practice activities.

“Even though it’s time-consuming, I find it invaluable to take class time to accurately simulate exam conditions.”
—Cynthia N., AP teacher

Although the test naturally breaks into 15-minute sections, you may take less or more time on a particular passage, but know when to move on. The test DOES NOT become more difficult as it progresses; therefore, you will want to give yourself the opportunity to answer each set of questions.

Work at a pace of about one question per minute. Every question is worth the same number of points, so don’t get bogged down on those that involve multiple tasks. Don’t panic if a question is beyond you. Remember, it will probably be beyond a great number of the other students taking the exam. There has to be a bar that determines the 5’s and 4’s for this exam. Just do your best.

Reading the text carefully is a must. Begin at the beginning and work your way through.

Most people read just with their eyes. We want you to slow down and to read with your senses of sight, sound, and touch.


• Underline, circle, and annotate the text.

• Read closely, paying attention to punctuation, syntax, diction, pacing, and organization.

• Read as if you were reading the passage aloud to an audience, emphasizing meaning and intent.

• As corny as it may seem, hear those words in your head.

• This technique may seem childish, but it works. Using your finger as a pointer, underscore the line as you are reading it aloud in your head. This forces you to slow down and to really notice the text. This will be helpful when you have to refer to the passage.

• Use all of the information given to you about the passage, such as title, author, date of publication, and footnotes.

• Be aware of organizational and rhetorical devices and techniques.

• Be aware of thematic lines and be sensitive to details that will obviously be material for multiple-choice questions.

• Quickly skim the questions, ignoring the choices. This will give you an idea as to what is expected of you as a reader of the given text.


You can practice these techniques anytime. Take any work and read it aloud. Time yourself. A good rate is about 1½ minutes per page.

Types of Multiple-Choice Questions

Is the Structure the Same for All of the Multiple-Choice Questions?

No. There are several basic patterns that the AP test makers employ. These include:

1. The straightforward question .

• The passage is an example of

C. a contrast/comparison essay

• The pronoun “it” refers to

B. his gait

2. The question that refers you to specific lines and asks you to draw a conclusion or interpret .

• Lines 52–57 serve to

A. reinforce the author’s thesis

3. The ALL … EXCEPT question requires more time, because it demands that you consider every possibility.

• The AP English Language and Composition exam is all of the following except

A. It is given in May of each year.

B. It is open to high school seniors.

C. It is published in the New York Times .

D. It is used as a qualifier for college credit.

E. It is a 3-hour test.

4. The question that asks you to make an inference or to abstract a concept not directly stated in the passage .

• In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the reader can infer that the speaker is

E. religious

5. Here is the killer question. It even uses Roman numerals! This question is problematic and time consuming. You can be certain that each exam will have a couple of these questions lurking within it.

• In the passage, “night” refers to

I. the death of the young woman

II. a pun on Sir William’s title

III. the end of the affair

A. I only

B. I and II

C. I and III

D. II and III

E. I, II, and III

This is the type of question to skip if it causes you problems and/or you are short on time.

6. The footnote question: This is the question that requires you to abstract, interpret, or apply information contained in footnotes attached to passages.

• The purpose of the footnote is to

A. cite a primary source

B. verify the writer’s assertions

C. direct the reader to other sources

D. cite a secondary source

E. provide the writer’s additional commentary

What Kinds of Questions Should I Expect on the Exam?

The multiple-choice questions center on form and content. Naturally, the test makers are assessing your understanding of the meaning of the selection as well as your ability to draw inferences and perceive implications based on the given work. They also want to know if you understand HOW an author develops his or her ideas.


The questions, therefore, will be factual , technical , analytical , and inferential . The brief chart below illustrates the types of key words/phrases in these four categories you can expect to encounter.

Note: DO NOT MEMORIZE THESE TABLES. Likewise, do not panic if a word or phrase is not familiar to you. You may or may not encounter any or all of these words or phrases on any given exam. You can, however, count on meeting up with many of these in our practice exams in this book.



A WORD ABOUT JARGON: Jargon refers to words unique to a specific subject. A common language is important for communication, and there must be agreement on the basic meanings of terms. Although it is important to know the universal language of a subject, it is also important that you NOT limit the scope of your thinking to a brief definition. All of the terms used in the above chart are categorized only for easy reference. They also work in many other contexts. In other words, THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

Scoring the Multiple-Choice Section

How Does the Scoring of the Multiple-Choice Section Work?

The College Board has implemented a new scoring process for the multiple-choice section of the AP English Language and Composition exam. No longer are points deducted for incorrect responses, so there is no longer a penalty for guessing incorrectly. Multiple-choice scores are based solely on the number of questions answered correctly. Therefore, it is to your advantage to answer ALL of the multiple-choice questions. Your chances of guessing the correct answer improve if you skillfully apply the process of elimination to narrow the choices.

Strategies for Answering the Multiple-Choice Questions

As observed earlier, you’ve been answering multiple-choice questions most of your academic life, and you’ve probably figured out ways to deal with them. There may, however, be some points you have not considered that will be helpful for this particular exam.

General Guidelines

• Work in order. We like this approach for several reasons:

— It’s clear.

— You will not lose your place on the scan sheet.

— There may be a logic to working sequentially which will help you to answer previous questions. BUT, this is your call. If you are more comfortable moving around the exam, do so.

• Write on the exam booklet. Mark it up. Make it yours. Interact with the test.

• Do not spend too much time on any one question.

• Do not be misled by the length or appearance of a selection. There is no correlation between this and the difficulty of the questions.

• Don’t fight the question or the passage. You may know other information about the subject of the text or a question. It’s irrelevant. Work within the given context.

• Consider all the choices in a given question. This will guard against your jumping to a false conclusion. It helps you to slow down and to look closely at each possibility. You may find that your first choice was not the best or most appropriate one.

• Maintain an open mind as you answer subsequent questions in a series. Sometimes a later question will contradict an answer to a previous one. Reconsider both. Likewise, even the phrasing of a question may point to an answer in a previous question.

• Remember that all parts of an answer must be correct.

• When in doubt, go back to the text.

“One of my biggest challenges in preparing for the exam was to learn not to jump to conclusions when I was doing the multiple-choice questions.”
—Samantha S., AP student

Specific Techniques


Process of Elimination —This is the primary tool, except for direct knowledge of the answer.

1. Read the five choices.

2. If no choice immediately strikes you as correct, you can

— eliminate any which are obviously wrong;

— eliminate those choices which are too narrow or too broad;

— eliminate illogical choices;

— eliminate answers which are synonymous;

— eliminate answers which cancel each other out.

3. If two answers are close,

— find the one general enough to contain all aspects of the question


— find the one limited enough to be the detail the question is seeking.

Substitution/Fill In the Blank

1. Rephrase the question, leaving a blank where the answer should go.

2. Use each of the choices to fill in the blank until you find the one that is the best fit.

Using Context

1. Use this technique when the question directs you to specific lines, words, or phrases.

2. Locate the given word, phrase, or sentence and read the sentence before and after the section of the text to which the question refers. Often this provides the information or clues you need to make your choice.


As you read the passage for the first time, mark any details and ideas that you would ask a question about. You may second-guess the test makers this way.

Intuition/The Educated Guess

You have a wealth of skills and knowledge in your language and composition subconscious. A question or a choice may trigger a “remembrance of things past.” This can be the basis for your educated guess. Have the confidence to use the educated guess as a valid technique. Trust your own resources.


A Survival Plan

If time is running out and you haven’t finished the last selection,

1. Scan the remaining questions and look for:

— the shortest questions; and/or

— the questions that point you to a line.

These two types of questions are relatively easy to work with and to verify.

2. Look for specific detail/definition questions.

3. Look for self-contained questions.
“The jail sentence was a bitter winter for his plan” is an example of C. an analogy.

You did not have to go to the passage to answer this question.

Some Thoughts About Guessing


You can’t be hurt by making educated guesses based on a careful reading of the selection. Be smart. Understand that you need to come to this exam well prepared. You must have a foundation of knowledge and skills. You cannot guess through the entire exam and expect to do well.

This is not Lotto. This book is not about how to “beat the exam.” We want to maximize the skills you already have. There is an inherent integrity in this exam and your participation in it. With this in mind, when there is no other direction open to you, it is perfectly fine to make an educated guess.

Is There Anything Special I Should Know About Preparing for the Multiple-Choice Questions?

After you have finished with the Diagnostic/Master exam, you will be familiar with the format and types of questions asked on the AP English Language and Composition exam. However, just practicing answering multiple-choice questions on specific works will not give you a complete understanding of this questioning process. We suggest the following to hone your multiple-choice skills with prose multiple-choice questions.


• Choose a challenging passage from a full-length prose work or a self-contained essay, plus choose another that contains documentation/citations. (Take a close look at your science and social studies texts for examples.)

• Read the selection a couple of times and create several multiple-choice questions about specific sections of the selection.

— Make certain the section is self-contained and complex.

— Choose a speech, a philosophical passage, an essay, an editorial, a letter, a preface or epilogue, a significant passage from a chapter, or a news article.

• Refer to the chart given earlier in this chapter for suggested language and type.

• Administer your miniquiz to a classmate, study group, or class.

• Evaluate your results.

• Repeat this process through several different works during your preparation for the exam. The selections can certainly come from those you are studying in class.

• Create a variety of question types.

Here’s What Should Happen as a Result of Your Using This Process

• Your expectation level for the selections in the actual test will be more realistic.

• You will become familiar with the language of multiple-choice questions.

• Your understanding of the process of choosing answers will be heightened.

• Questions you write that you find less than satisfactory will trigger your analytical skills as you attempt to figure out “what went wrong.”

• Your understanding of terminology will become more accurate.

• BONUS: If you continue to do this work throughout your preparation for the AP exam, you will have created a mental storehouse of literary and analytical information. So, when you are presented with an analytical or argumentative essay in Section II, you will have an extra resource at your disposal.


You might want to utilize this process throughout the year with selections studied in and out of class and keep track of your progress. See the Bibliography at the back of this book.

The Time Is at Hand

It is now your turn to try the Diagnostic/Master exam, Section I.

Do this section in ONE sitting. Time yourself!

Be honest with yourself when you score your answers.

Note: If the 1 hour passes before you have a chance to finish all of the questions, stop where you are and score what you have done up to this point. Afterward, complete the remaining parts of the section, but do not count it as part of your score.

When you have completed all of the multiple-choice questions in this diagnostic exam, carefully look at the explanations of the answers. Spend time here and assess which types of questions are giving you trouble. Use this book to learn from your mistakes.


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I —— did —— did not finish all the questions in the allotted 1 hour.

I had —— correct answers. I had —— incorrect answers. I left —— blank.

I have carefully reviewed the explanations of the answers, and I think I need to work on the following types of 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

 B. II


 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.

Albert Einstein

Old Grove Road

Nassau Point

Peconic, New York

August 2, 1939

F. D. Roosevelt,

President of the United States,

White House

Washington, D.C.



a) to approach Government Departments, keep them informed of the further development and put forward recommendations for Government action;

b) giving particular attention to the problem of securing a supply of uranium ore for the United States;

c) to speed up the experimental work, which is at present being carried on within the limits of the budgets of University laboratories, by providing funds, if such funds be required, through his contacts with private persons who are willing to make contributions for this cause, and perhaps also by obtaining the co-operation of industrial laboratories which have the necessary equipment.

I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizacker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.

Yours very truly,

Albert Einstein

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

Explanations of Answers to the Multiple-Choice Questions

Explanations to the Samuel Johnson Essay

1. A. Although references to poetic style and to Dryden are contained in the passage, they are included to illuminate the character of Pope.

2. E. No references to body versus soul are in the passage. We do find references to both the prose and the poetry of Pope and Dryden. We are told of Pope’s monetary concerns, and we can infer the contrast between Pope’s broken body and healthy mind.

3. A. This is a fairly straightforward interpretation of a figurative line. The idea of “long on the wing” naturally leads the reader to think of endurance.

4. D. A careful reading of this passage allows you to locate each of the devices, except satire.

5. B. Lines 20–21 clearly state that the two men were equally gifted.

6. E. Lines 9 and 10 tell the reader that Pope’s humor was condescending. Lines 14–15 allude to his use of ridicule, and the reader may infer that these characteristics were carried over into Pope’s writing.

7. B. The author never interjects his own feelings, and the diction and syntax remain on a scholarly, elevated level.

8. E. Carefully read lines 23 and 24 and you will see a direct correlation between those lines and choice E.

9. A. This is strictly a vocabulary question. You should be able to use the context clues of “minute” and “diligent” to lead you to choose A.

10. D. If you go to lines 25–29, you will see that Pope demanded perfection of himself and his writing. This characteristic is further extended with the clause in line 29.

11. C. Both words indicate a practiced, continuous, and extreme control of the work at hand. Even the “velvet of the lawn” indicates a tightness, a smoothness, and a richness of form and content.

12. B. If it were a contest, Pope would be declared the winner by Johnson. A close reading of both the structure and the content of the paragraph leads the reader to Pope. When discussing Dryden and Pope, Pope has the last work. This allows Pope to linger in the reader’s mind. “Frequent” with Dryden and “perpetual” with Pope is another indication of Samuel Johnson’s preference.

Explanations to the Gilman Essay

13. D. Although Gilman touches upon each of the choices in the passage, A, B, C, and E are details used to support her argument that a man-managed nation is an imperfect culture.

14. B. The question requires the student to be familiar with methods of logical reasoning and logical fallacies. Gilman presents the syllogism men use to deny women the right to vote:

Those who fight may vote.

Women do not fight.

Therefore, women may not vote.

“Those” is understood to be men. The first premise is incorrect, as is the second premise. This being the case, the conclusion is invalid.

15. E. This question depends upon both vocabulary and careful reading. Paragraph 8 points to a philosophy that desires to exclude women from politics. Therefore, any political involvement must be male-centered.

16. A. Most readers expect quotations to be used to indicate a direct quotation or specific titles of works. However, there are other uses for these bits of punctuation. One is to set off specific words or phrases used by others in a given context. Here, Gilman is making direct reference to the words employed by society’s male leadership.

17. E. Because the argument of the passage is to criticize the aggressive nature of politics in a male-managed society and to point out the results of combining politics and warfare, the question demands details that support the idea of aggression being detrimental to society. The only choice that does not reflect this idea is E.

18. C. Look carefully at the second paragraph to see the ranking Gilman sets up as the male-centered priorities. The only one ranked over the others is fighting and the ability to kill. Therefore, the only appropriate choice is C.

19. C. Syntactically, the phrase, “Similarly in politics” is an indicator that a comparison is being drawn between what came before and what comes after. No other phrase does this.

20. D. Because this is an argumentative selection, the author is expected to take a position on an issue. Because of this, the choices of “ambivalent” and “indifferent” are immediately eliminated. Keeping in mind the diction of the piece, you can see that “reverent” and “condescending” are also inappropriate.

21. B. Remember, all parts of your answer must be correct. The only choice that presents two correct descriptions of the style is B.

22. C. If you read the passage carefully, you cannot avoid the cause-and-effect sequencing throughout the excerpt. Look at paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 6, and the last. Remember that an author can use many different techniques in the same work, but only one will be predominant, and that strategy is what reinforces the author’s purpose.

23. A. It is interesting to look at the singular use of this pronoun. In every instance, “it” refers to “fighting,” while reinforcing the author’s relentless focus on the essential problem.

Explanation of the Answers to the RFK Speech

24. D. Although RFK tells the audience of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and although he briefly asks the audience to pray for King’s family, condolences are NOT the focus of the speech. No real listing or praise of King’s accomplishments is given. Throughout his speech, Kennedy continually stresses the need for unity, wisdom, and compassion.

25. B. Every AP Comp student must be familiar with parallel structure and must be able to recognize it in writing. A close examination of paragraph 6 will reveal that no repetition of structure and/or diction is present.

26. E. RFK’s comparison of his similar situation with regard to the assassination of his brother, John F. Kennedy, is the framework for this paragraph. No other choice is present.

27. A. Keeping in mind that both parts of the answer must be supported in the text, A is the only appropriate choice. All other choices are either unsupported or contradictory to the purpose of the speech.

28. E. This is a question that is helped by your close attention to the previous questions. In them you will see that ALL of the choices were referred to.

29. C. The paragraph is only concerned with the words of Aeschylus that are centered on the results of loss. The other paragraphs realistically acknowledge the violent history of this nation.

30. A. It is obvious that RFK does NOT want to separate himself from his audience. The hope is to take the emotions of his audience and to lift them out of the realm of emotional, violent responses and to provide an avenue for peaceful and positive outlets for their grief.

31. E. If you are familiar with rhetorical strategies, this question would be an easy one for you. The word “so” in the first line of paragraph 8 is your obvious indicator of cause and effect.

32. A. At first glance, this quotation seems quite obvious. However, careful consideration of its meaning is rather more difficult. Although each of the other choices contains words or an idea that is a single part of the quotation, none other than A takes into consideration sleep, time, pain, wisdom, and God.

33. D. There is nothing in the last two paragraphs that indicates that the purpose is to pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Therefore, D is the appropriate choice.

Explanations to the Questions Related to the Einstein Letter

34. D. This question requires your knowing the uses of the dash and your ability to recognize how it is actually used in a given text. Here, you should see that Einstein is making a statement that could have also been set off with commas or parentheses. It is a more informal device.

35. C. This is a rather obvious answer to a question that many would be tempted to “over-read.” Don’t try to make things more complicated. You should also be aware of the conventions of the letter form.

36. B. This is a process of elimination question. Checking for evidence to support each of the choices eliminates A, C, D, and E. Those who would point to C must look again at both paragraphs 6 and 7. Here, it becomes obvious that paragraph 6 does not contain any reference to funding. Remember, all parts of the answer must be supported by the text.

37. C. This is a diction and tone question. If you look carefully at Einstein’s choice of words and phrases in paragraphs 3 and 6 and his selection of supporting details, you can only conclude correctly that he is being cautionary.

38. A. The very fact that Einstein does not include any introductory information about Fermi or Szilard indicates that FDR is cognizant of current scientific endeavors. Moreover, there is no evidence of neglect on the part of the President. Therefore, A is your correct choice.

39. D. An AP Comp student needs to be familiar with the modes of discourse and must be able to recognize them. This question asks the reader to note the persuasive nature of Einstein’s letter. There is no storytelling, no directions, and no exposition or analysis.

40. E. If you know the meaning of gravity as used in this selection, you are led to look for words that are indicative of a seriousness of purpose. This is also a question that can be answered without necessarily returning to the text. A, B, C, and D contain a common urgency and a seriousness lacking in choice E.

41. E. Understatement, which Einstein uses because of his unwillingness to become an alarmist, is shown by his use of qualifying words and phrases rather than direct statements. Each of the choices provides room for Presidential ambivalence.

42. A. Einstein appeals to fear (paragraph 3), presents evidence (paragraph 4, line 1), makes predictions (paragraph 2), and offers a plan [paragraph 5, (a), (b), and (c)]. However, he does NOT discuss anything with members of the scientific community in this letter.

43. D. Assumptions are tricky questions to work with because they demand your own thoughts and conclusions from the piece. Read each choice carefully, making certain that nothing in a choice is contradictory or invalid. In this question, choice D is the only assumption NOT supported by the text. (Note: Information contained in previous questions could have been helpful in selecting your answer.)

44. D. Inferences are NOT the same as assumptions. To infer is to reach a conclusion based on facts or observations. To assume is to take something for granted, although it is not proved. In other words, if I see you carrying an opened, wet umbrella and wearing a wet raincoat, I can infer that it is rainy outside. I could assume that you are a person who listens to the weather forecasts. For this question involving an inference, the reader cannot find proof in the letter to support the conclusion that the Germans may have misunderstood the significance of the scientific discovery.

Explanations of the Photography Passage

45. D. This selection is not totally focused on the subject of history being spectacle. The ellipsis indicates that material preceded this given piece. The use of footnote 7 is indicative of previous research. The word this establishes the relationship between cause and effect. The word suggests and the phrase “takes on the characteristics of spectacle” are indications of opinion.

46. B. This is a close-reading question in which the student MUST be able to recognize antecedents.

47. A. A close reading of the footnote will reveal that the last edition was 1977. The date would not be listed if the earlier version had been used.

48. E. Each of the rhetorical questions (lines 1–12 and 28–29) asks for the reader’s input.

49. B. The “initial context” is that photographs are, by their very nature, historical.

50. E. These several lines present to the reader the double-edged debate. Is photography only objective or only subjective, or is it a combination of the two?

51. E. Choices A, B, C, and D are all directly stated by the author in the passage.

52. C. This footnote directs the reader to other sources that present differing opinions on the subject of “visual history.”

53. A. Every point, including the footnotes, supports the author’s position, which is clearly stated in this excerpt.

54. E. The evidence for this response is found in lines 21–22: “. . . machine establishes the truth. . . .”

55. B. If you look closely at the paragraph, you will see multiple indications of comparison and contrast: both , first path , and second path , former , and latter .

56. D. Footnotes 8, 9, and 10 indicate the breadth of knowledge and confidence of the author. This is obvious from his sources and his recommendations to the reader.

Introduction to Chapters 5, 6, and 7

The essay part of the AP Language and Composition exam emphasizes three major skills:

• Analysis

• Argument

• Synthesis

The analysis prompt asks the student to analyze the author’s purpose and how he achieves it. The argument prompt requires the student to take a position on an issue and develop it with appropriate evidence. The synthesis prompt directs the student to carefully read several sources related to a specific topic and to cite at least three of these sources to support his argument or analysis.

Because of the need to carefully read the prompt related to a given subject for the synthesis essay, Section II has an additional 15 minutes.

You will be able to read all three of the essay questions during this 15-minute period.

But, you will NOT be permitted to open and write in the actual test booklet. Once the close reading time has elapsed, you will be directed to open the test booklet and begin to write your three essays.

The heading of Section II looks something like this:

Section II

Number of questions—3

Percent of total grade—55

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

You will have a total of 2 hours to write, which you may divide any way you choose. Because each essay carries the same weight, do NOT spend an inappropriate amount of time on any one question.

Chapters 5 , 6 , and 7 of this book introduce you to each of the three essay types.