Thursday, May 8, 2014

AP Eng Lang Exam Reminders

Final preparation ideas
Review strategies (below)
Review rhetorical analysis vocabulary (here).
Review previous essay of your own or from previous exams (here).
Review previous multiple choice sessions you've completed.
Calculate good day/bad day scores (link below).
Visualize yourself practicing strategies and effectively completing each part of the exam.
Rest. Eat. Pack a snack, favorite pencils, and favorite pens. Get to school on time. Conquer the exam.

In C-block we didn't have enough time to calculate "good day" and "bad day" scores. I was going to post a formula but instead here's the link that Everest and Cody found to AP Pass. Look back over your work. Let's say on your AP multiple choice packets you got 28, 32, and 36 correct. Let's say that on your Consumerism and Commodification essay you got a 5, on rhetorical analysis essays you got as low as a 4 and as high as a 7, and on your most recent argument essay you got a six. Put the low numbers into AP pass. AP pass calculates a 3. Put the high numbers in AP pass calculates a 4. Remember these scores are approximate, but they'll likely help alleviate some stress and give you something to aim for.

Tips for Maximizing your Score on the Multiple Choice Section

Test-Taking Strategies
·         Remember that you have approximately one minute to spend per question. Monitor your progress and stay on pace.
·         Choose the best answer! Sometimes several options are mostly correct or debatable; sometimes none of the options are completely satisfying. Examine all the choices. Read carefully If any part of a choice is not accurate eliminate the choice. Then choose the best of the remaining options.
·         Understand that you need to get approximately half of the multiple-choice questions correct to have possibility of a 3 or better. (60% correct puts you in good shape for a 3 or better.)
·         The questions are of a varied level of difficulty, and they are mixed together—not in order of complexity. Don’t dwell too long on difficult questions. Move to other questions which in some cases will help you answer the move difficult ones.
·         Tackle the easier questions first. Skip any questions that befuddle you, mark them in the margin, return to them after answering the other questions in the section, eliminate as many obviously wrong answers as possible, and make a choice before starting the next reading.
·         Be careful bubbling your answer sheet. Be especially cognizant of skipped numbers and erase changed answers completely.

Reading Strategies
·         Many students benefit from reading the questions (but not the choices) first. You’ll be a more effective reader if you are reading with purpose.
·         Read footnotes and any additional information. Take advantage of all the help the test preparers have given you.
·         After you’ve read the questions and the passage, annotate the reading passage. A blank passage won’t help you to analyze the necessary elements in detail.

·         Analyze your answering and guessing techniques. Reflect on how effective you are when you change answers and when you guess from narrowed-down choices.
·         Reflect on what strategies have been most effective during the practice exams.

Adapted by Mr. Cook from Lisa Boyd, Salem High School (GA)


AP English Language Exam Writing Reminders
concept by Elizabeth Johnson Tsang, adapted for AP EngLang by Mr. James Cook

Read the synthesis prompt before reading the synthesis sources. Annotate the sources with the prompt in mind.

Remember the heart of the synthesis essay (Question 1) is the ability to use multiple sources (at least three) to develop your own response to the prompt.

Underline the key directions words in the question: what exactly are you to do and how are you to do it. (If the question says “such rhetorical elements as tone, etc.” then you may choose. If it says “tone,” then you must discuss tone.)

Remember the heart of rhetorical analysis (usually Question 2) is “what is the argument and how does the author use rhetorical strategies and techniques to achieve that purpose?” Use may use SOAPSTone to annotate. The mnemonic device will help you think of elements to analyze and help you avoid merely summarizing and paraphrasing.

Remember the heart of the argument essay (usually Question 3) is stating your position and using well-organized reasoning and evidence to support and develop that position.

Jot down a plan! Don’t start writing until:
·        you have something to say (bold, insightful assertion)
·        you know how you’re going to develop your assertion with specific support

Write the synthesis essay first but you can do the other two essays in any order.

Be bold and insightful in the introduction.
  • The intro must contain a clear statement of your main insight.
  • If necessary, leave a space of several lines, then go back and fill with a clear statement of your main insight or a precise word for that insight. (Some of you are better able to write a strong thesis statement after writing the body paragraphs of a rhetorical analysis. Know yourself.)

Q2 organization. (1) Break the reading into sections. Analyze section by section, beginning to end. (2) Create a body paragraph for each strategy. Make sure you capture a sense of the passage as a whole.

Remember that the AP Exam is asking students to recognize and create rhetorical complexity and nuance.

Q1 and Q2. Don’t describe or summarize unless you analyze.
(Don’t describe a technique or summarize a passage unless you analyze how it contributes to your main insight about the meaning.)

Q1 and Q2. The AP rubrics prefer direct quotations to paraphrase. If possible weave the quotations into your sentences.
  • Avoid leaving quotations dangling on their own.
  • If possible cite the line number of the quotations.
  • Remember for Q2: “quote like this” (line 12). & for Q1: “quote like this” (Source A).  (Notice the period after the parenthetical citation.) Or if you embed the citation in your writing: in line 12 the speaker says “quote like this.” (The period goes inside the last quotation mark if you’re citing the line within the text instead of within parentheses.

The conclusion is of lesser importance if you have a strong, insightful introduction and have developed supporting evidence from the poem. But if you have time to offer a strong, insightful, unifying conclusion then do it that indicates the significance of the point you have made; leave the reader with a good impression. [Avoid repeating the introduction. For closure, ask yourself “so what?” – “what’s the big idea I’m asserting in this essay and why does it matter? – and conclude something.]

Try to write to the third page.

Understand the holistic grading rubric:
·        Does the student’s response show an understanding of the prompt’s purpose?
o       Q1 Did the student synthesize at least three sources into a well-developed response to the prompt?
o       Q2 Did the student develop an understanding of how the rhetorical techniques and features contribute to the argument in the passage?
o       Q3 Did the student understand the issue presented in the prompt and develop a well-organized argument on the issue using convincing support?
  • Did the student answer (all the parts of) the question asked?
  • How well-written and well-organized is the essay?

Miscellaneous Reminders

Put the titles of shorter pieces, like poems, speeches, articles, political cartoons, chapter titles, and essays within quotation marks: “A Modest Proposal,” “Old Father, Old Artificer,” “”On Seeing England for the First Time,” etc. Underline the title of longer works like novels, plays, documentaries, book-length memoirs, book-length arguments: Nickel and Dimed, All Souls, Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, Grendel, The Merchants of Cool, etc.

Errors: strike out neatly with one lime line.

Write with a black (or dark blue) pen.

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