Cracking the AP Literature Exam. Multiple Choice. It is likely that at least passage is chosen from each of the following periods:. Sixteenth or the early seventeenth century Restoration or eighteenth century Nineteenth century Twentieth century Within the Last 500 years!.
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Cracking the AP Literature Exam Multiple Choice
It is likely that at least passage is chosen from each of the following periods: • Sixteenth or the early seventeenth century • Restoration or eighteenth century • Nineteenth century • Twentieth century Within the Last 500 years!
Reading the Multiple Choice Passages • Pay attention to punctuation and rhythms of the lines or sentences. • Read as if you were reading the passage aloud to an audience emphasizing meaning and intent. • Hear the words in your head. • Pay attention to the title, author, date of publication, and footnotes. • Look for foreshadowing. • Be aware of thematic lines and details. • Pay attention to enjambment and end-stopped lines in poetry.
The Straightforward Question • The poem is an example of • The word “smooth” refers to
The question that refers you to specific lines and asks you to draw a conclusion or to interpret. • Lines 52-57 serve to
The “all . . . except” question • These require extra time because they demand you consider every possibility.
Make inferences or abstract a concept that is not directly stated in the passage • In the poem “My Last Duchess,” the reader can infer that the speaker is • Skip if you are short on time.
Roman Numerals • In the poem, “night” refers to • The death of the maiden • A pun on Sir Lancelot’s title • The end of the affair • Skip if you are short on time.
Dramatic Situation Questions • Speaker • Male or female • Where • When • Circumstances • Audience
Structure Questions • Punctuation • Repetitions • How are stanzas 1 and 2 related to stanza 3? • What word in line 20 refers back to an idea used in lines 5, 10, and 15? • Which of the following divisions of the poem best represents its structure?
Theme questions • Which of the following best sums up the meaning of stanza 2? • With which of the following is the poem centrally concerned? • The poet rejects the notion of an indifferent universe because . . . .
Images and figures of speech questions • Expect a large number of these. • Sensory objects • Similes and metaphors (What is compared?) • Pattern in the images • To which of the following does the poet compare his love? • The images in lines 3 and 8 come from what area of science? • The figure of the rope used in line 7 is used later in the poem in line . . . .
Single word questions • Diction • Which of the following words is used to suggest the poet’s dislike of winter? • The poet’s use of the word “air” in line 8 is to indicate . . . . • The poet’s delight in the garden is suggested by all of the following words EXCEPT . . .
Tone questions • These do not appear frequently. • The tone of the poem can best be described as . . . .
Literary devices questions • Rhetorical devices • Metaphor • Simile • Personification • Which of the following literary techniques is illustrated by the phrase “murmurous hum an buzz of the hive”?
Grammar questions • Look carefully at the context. • The obvious meaning of the word is usually not the one used in the poem. • May exploit double meanings • Which of the following best defines the word “glass” as it is used in line 9? • To which of the following does the word “which” in line 7 refer? • The verb “had done” may best be paraphrased as . . . .
If no choice immediately strikes you as correct, you can • Eliminate those that are obviously wrong. • Eliminate those choices that are too narrow or too broad. • Eliminate illogical choices. • Eliminate answers that are synonymous. • Eliminate answers that cancel each other out.
If two answers are close, do one or the other of the following: • Find the one that is general enough to cover all aspects of the question. • Find the one that is limited enough to be the detail the question is looking for.
If time is running out and you haven’t finished the fourth selection: • Scan the remaining questions and look for: -the shortest questions -the questions that direct you to a specific line • Look for specific detail/definition questions. • Look for self-contained/direct questions.
Poets • Shakespeare • John Donne • Philip Larkin • Emily Dickinson • Sylvia Plath • Dylan Thomas • May Swenson • Theodore Roethke • Richard Wilbur • Adrienne Rich • Edmund Spencer • W. H. Auden • W. B. Yeats • Gwendolyn Brooks • Elizabeth Bishop • Langston Hughes
Genre questions • From what kind of work is the selection taken? (fiction or nonfiction)
Narrator questions • Speaker • Attitudes toward the characters or subject • Who • Where • When • Why • audience
Subject questions • Purpose
Structure questions • Determine how each part (paragraph) advances the passage as a whole.
Style questions • Diction • Imagery • Figurative language • Syntax • Rhetoric (use of words to persuade or influence a reader)
Situation and content questions • The main subject of the passage is . . . . • The primary distinction made in the first paragraph is between . . . . • According to lines 3-7, which of the following is the chief . . . . • In the third paragraph, the author is chiefly concerned with . . . .
Meaning of words or phrases questions • As it is used in line 2, the word ---- can be best understood to mean . . . . • In line 7, the word ---- employs all of the following meanings EXCEPT . . . • The phrase ----- is best understood to mean . . . .
Diction questions • The speaker’s choice of verbs in the paragraph is to stress the . . . . • The speaker’s anger is suggested by all of the following EXCEPT . . . .
Figurative language questions • The comparison in lines 1-3 compares . . . • The analogy of the second paragraph compares . . . . • The phrase ----- is best read as a metaphor relating to . . . . • The purpose of the astronomy metaphor in line 9 is to . . . .
Structure questions • The transitions from the first to the second and the second to the third paragraph are dependent upon . . . . • The last paragraph of the passage is related to the first chiefly by . . . .
Literary techniques questions • In the third paragraph, the description of the cat on roller skates is an example of . . . . • All of the following phrases are paradoxes EXCEPT . . . . • The phrase “silent scream” is an example of . . . .
Rhetoric questions • The rhetorical purpose of lines 1-6 is to . . . • The argument of the passage can be best described as progressing from . . . . • Which of the following best describes the function of the last sentence? • The effect of shifting from the past to the present tense in the third paragraph is . . . • The happiness of the speaker is conveyed primarily by the use of . . . .
Tone questions • The tone of the passage may be described as . . . . • In discussing ------ in the second paragraph, the speaker adopts a tone of . . . .