Close

09/07/2019

What is the BEST AP Prep book for AP English Language and Competition?

QUESTION
What is the BEST AP Prep book for AP English Language and Competition?
Before you reply at all, please know that English is not my strongest subject. I’m not good in multiple choice and my essays aren’t too great. I’m currently in English 10 Honors and I have an A, but the class is really easy, next year I’m going to take the AP class but I would really like to pass the AP test, and unlike this year (for the AP World History exam- I know I did HORRIBLE) I want to start to prepare for it early. At my school, I’ve heard the class is really easy and as great as that sounds, I really just want to be prepared for the AP test.
Please give me some recommendations for AP study books that REALLY worked to help you, especially if you’re not good in English. I’m not going for a 5 or maybe not even a 4, because I heard to get a high grade in the exam, you have to be naturally smart in this subject- and I’m not.
(Also please recommend a good SAT prep book because I am as well looking to take that next school year, and I REALLY wan’t a score over maybe an 1800!)
All answers are appreciated!

ANSWER
You don’t naturally have to be smart in this subject to get a high grade in AP English Language and Composition test. What you need to do is, develop some skills that require you to get a high grade in this course—and you might even get a 5! It is not as hard to get a five as it sounds. You can look up the calculation for the score here: http://appass.com/calculators/englishlanguage .

Now getting back to your question. AP English Language class requires you to write a lot. And read, too. You will have to write practice essays in class and at home for practice. You will read and analyze texts to understand the literary techniques writers use and to understand the purpose of the text. You will have to know the meaning of a good amount of literary terms (such as: parallel construction, diction, syntax etc.), how to identify the tone of a text and etc. You will also learn how to formulate an argument and support it, how to analyze the rhetorical techniques used in a text and how to synthesize an argument from different sources by writing essays.

The great thing about this course is that you don’t have to memorize anything, except literary terms and vocabulary, of course. The biggest help would be to read books! That way, you can build up your knowledge, understand how writers develop their argument and etc. You can use your knowledge for the argumentative essay and support your position. Also, you will get familiar with some words that pop up frequently during the test or books. However, you do not have to read books because your teacher will make you read books for the course, but it is a great habit to read anyway. Get familiar with the course contents and the test format and how it is graded so you will have an idea what you are aiming for.

I did not use any book to study really. I did not have any book of my own either. But I studied the Barrons AP English Language book for a week I think. I don’t have any knowledge about which books to study because I did not study a variety. It is all about practice. Just practice AP MC questions and essays. You can find them online too. You will start to see the pattern.

This is an advice my teacher gave our class: When you read a text, always ask the question ‘why?’
For example: Why did the writer write this part? What is the purpose he is trying to convey? Why did the writer use this specific word? Why does he repeat these words? Why are these sentences longer than the others?

Hope this helped, sorry for the lengthy reply. Good luck next year!