How to Succeed in AP Language and Composition

Whether you're an AP veteran or a newbie, AP Language and Composition can be a daunting class. But by taking the time to study and thoroughly applying the skills taught, you can score well on your AP exam.

Addressing the Prompt

AP requires you to address the prompt. Pay close attention to the prompt and annotate what it is asking you to do. Make sure to note if the prompt provides a specific timeline for the examples when crafting your essay. Could you imagine what score you might receive if the prompt directed you to use contemporary examples and you wrote of the Ancient Romans?

Quality Verbs

Using strong verbs is a must. By replacing “shows” with a strong verb such as “exemplifies”, the quality of the essay will improve, for it demonstrates a higher level of analysis. Utilizing strong verbs will aid in your explanation of the purpose of your essay, as well as eliminate any repetitive and unneeded sentences. Strong verbs can help stop you from generalizing, too.

Study, Study, and Study Again

Along with applying the skills you have learned, it is also important to study outside of class. While Quizlet is a popular website of choice for AP Language and Composition students, there are a plethora of other excellent sites to study vocabulary. Be sure to study rhetorical devices and vocabulary terms you have not learned in class, for it better prepares you for the exam.


In addition to exercising the skills taught specifically in AP Language and Composition, it is important to use transitional words or phrases. Transitions help your essay flow, which will put more emphasis on your analysis or argument.


Finally, after all you have written, argued, and analyzed, you shouldn’t neglect your conclusion. Try not to restate your thesis or introduction, but instead bring your essay to a higher level. Whether you prefer to provide your reader with a thoughtful question or expand your topic to a larger one, your conclusion should make your audience expand their thoughts on the topic.

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