AP English Literature Review Books

The AP Literature & Composition Exam is comprised of multiple choice questions and several free response questions that will test your ability to perform literary analysis on prose and verse texts.  Your skills of reading and comprehension are important for this test but understanding the context and making connections throughout the books or prose that you read are even more important.  The multiple-choice question section for the AP Lit exam makes up 45% of your total exam score and is comprised of 55 questions – you will have 1 hour to complete this section.  The second section of the AP Literature exam is comprised of 3 free response questions that make up 55% of the total exam score.  The AP Lit free response questions have a time limit of 2 hours. The AP Lit test is difficult and requires a lot of reading – if you are good at memorizing, your memorization skills won’t really come into play, whereas your comprehension skills are more important.  Taking practice tests are a must as the format of the AP Lang test is different for most people and of course, you must have read the books and understand their content thoroughly.

2018 AP English Literature and Composition Exam Date: May 9, 2018

3 Study Tips from students that scored a 5 on the AP English Literature and Composition test

Annotate your AP English literature passages from this year’s list of books to read for AP English – annotating your passages will help you repeat the material and ensure that you are interacting with the texts.  You should paraphrase the content as best as possible and create scenarios for the questions to be asked.  Cornell notes are a suggested way to annotate your AP Language book list correctly, it will help you study for the exam more efficiently.

Learn to compose an effective and concise essay – knowing the content is one thing, but ultimately you are being scored on your ability to share that knowledge in an effective way.  Scoring a 5 on AP Lang requires the student to select a piece of work that is appropriate, explain that work in a strong way, and show some control over college level composition strategies. Ultimately your choice of books from the List of books for AP English Literature to write about in the AP Language exam will strongly determine your ability to score a 5.

Employ college level composition strategies – Once you have selected a strong text to use in your AP English Literature exam, choosing how to perform composition is important.  The AP Board expects students to rise to a college level with these 5 ways of composition:  Logically organize your thoughts, demonstrate generalization and be able to show detail, be able to use rhetorical strategies, and control the tone and voice, be able to expand your vocabulary effectively, and write with varied sentence structure.

Best AP English Literature Textbook

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors is a great book to use for studying for the AP Lit test. It’s one of the best books to read for AP English and it will teach you how to interpret different passages and texts and analyze them correctly. When you receive your List of books for AP English Literature ensure that they are property read and annotated so that you can use a study book like this one in its fullest extent.

Best AP Lit Review Book

Cracking the AP English Literature & Composition Exam is one of the most well-respected AP Lit Review books on the market and each year receives an update version. There are 2 full length practice tests in this book and they will help you plan your exam taking strategy and provides you some background on the topics that you are reading. Many of the multiple choice tests provided are different than in other text books, we found more value in this one.

Best AP Literature Test Prep Book

Barron's AP English Literature and Composition, 7th Edition: with Bonus Online Tests (Barron's Ap English Literature and Composition) is a wonderful book to use in studying for the AP Lit exam. We like this book because it provides several different strategies on taking the test successfully, while helping you figure out how to pace yourself on this AP test.

AP Study Books Review
Review Date
Reviewed Book
Norton Anthology of English Literature 9th Edition
Author Rating