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Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Utilize My Time Wisely on the FRQ Section of the AP Lit Exam?

2 min readβ€’october 19, 2021


AP English LiteratureΒ πŸ“š

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πŸ“ Writing three essays in the span of two hours may seem impossible, but your ability to perform well on this section of the exam is necessary to earn a high score. Likewise, here are some tips to help you make the most out of that time and earn the best score possible:

πŸ“š Scan over each prompt Β 

βš– Take around five minutes to do so and underline your essay's goal. Understanding the prompt is the key to analyzing syntax and diction.
  • Remember, a well-written essay that does not respond to the prompt is unlikely to score any points, so read carefully.

πŸ“š Annotate

βš– As you read the poetry and prose passages, annotate them. Underline or star quotes you are thinking of embedding and write their line number for easy text citations.Β 
  • Furthermore, make note of literary devices and any shifts in tone or attitude. This saves time you would have spent scrambling to find evidence.
For more information, check out these videos:
πŸŽ₯ Watch: AP English Literature - Annotating for Understanding
πŸŽ₯ Watch: AP English Literature - Annotating for Analysis

Resources:

πŸ“š Write

βš– Don't be intimidated! Write! Your annotations can help guide you.Β 
  • Your writing should follow this pattern: claim ➑️ evidence ➑️ commentary.Β 
  • Use strong vocabulary and write a confident and assertive thesis.
  • Include an intro and conclusion for each piece.

πŸ“š Reread and edit

βš– After you have finished writing each essay, ask yourself questions like:
  • Is my writing coherent?Β 
  • Did I provide a thesis and answer the prompt fully?Β 
  • Could this paragraph work better here?

πŸ“š Practice makes perfect

βš– Remember, you are unlikely to finish three essays in two hours without prior practice.Β 
  • Start timing your writing a few months before the exam to simulate test conditions. Good pacing comes with time!
  • https://firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0/b/fiveable-92889.appspot.com/o/images%2F-SPXV4073yEwD.gif?alt=media&token=a77c5cf3-958a-4e9e-9926-b77fbef4331f

Want to Learn More?

We hope these tips helped you! Be sure to check out the AP Lit hub of resources here at Fiveable and this video reviewing the multiple-choice section as well!

Resources:

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