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AP Lit Exam: What Themes or Works Should I Focus On?

Hey guys, with the AP Lit exam coming up I’m a bit worried about the books and themes I should be focusing on. Which literary works are essentials, and what types of themes or analysis should I be sure to have down? Any advice on structuring my essays would be a godsend right now.

8 months ago

Hi there! I understand that the AP Lit exam can be daunting, but with some focused study, you'll be able to tackle it confidently. The College Board does not mandate specific works, but it's wise to be familiar with a range from different periods and genres — think Shakespeare, a 19th-century novel like 'Pride and Prejudice', and more contemporary works such as Toni Morrison's 'Beloved'. For themes, make sure you can discuss concepts like identity, love, death, and the individual vs. society, as they frequently appear.

When it comes to essay structure, use the PEEL method (Point, Evidence, Explain, Link) to keep your paragraphs focused and cohesive. Start with your main point, provide evidence (quotes or summaries), explain how this evidence supports your argument, and link it back to the question. Practice makes perfect, so try outlining essays with different works and themes, and if possible, write full essays under timed conditions to simulate the exam environment. Lastly, the College Board’s Course Description details the skills and knowledge tested, and resources like CollegeVine offer practice questions and guidance. Keep refining your critical reading and literary analysis, and good luck!

8 months ago

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