AP English Language and Composition Multiple Choice Tips Our Test Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in the AM See www.collegeboard.com for Exam dates for other courses. What to notice when first opening the test… Length of the selections Time periods or writing styles Number of questions asked A quick glance at the types of questions These notices will get your mind in gear for the task at hand. What to expect Follow sophisticated syntax Respond to diction Be comfortable with upper-level vocabulary Be familiar with rhetorical terminology Make inferences Be sensitive to irony and tone And more to expect… Recognize components of organization and style Be familiar with modes of discourse (narrative, description, argument, analysis) And rhetorical strategies Recognize how information contained in citations contributes to the author’s purpose But… Do NOT let the subject matter of a passage throw you! Strong analytical skills will work on any passage Timing Always maintain an awareness of time The test naturally breaks down into 15 minute sections if there are only 4 passages. You can take more or less time on a passage, but know when to move on The test DOES NOT get more difficult as it progresses – so answer as much as you can One question per minute is a good pace. UNDERLINE, CIRCLE, and ANNOTATE the TEXT Don’t just read with your eyes-- read with your senses of sight, sound and touch Read closely, paying attention to Punctuation, syntax, diction pacing and organization Read as if you were reading the passage aloud to an audience, emphasizing meaning and intent Hear those words in your head (as silly as it may be) Using your pencil as a pointer, underscore the line as you are reading it aloud because it forces you to slow down and really notice the text. This is helpful when you have to refer to the text. Also look for… Use all of the information given to you about the passage, such as the author, date of publication and footnotes. Be aware of organizational and rhetorical devices and techniques Be aware of thematic lines and be sensitive to details that will obviously be material for multiple-choice questions. A good reading rate is ½ minutes per page of normal text. Types of questions Straightforward question – passage is an example of… the pronoun it refers to… References to specific lines/paragraphs – draw a conclusion or to interpret All… EXCEPT questions – take more time More types of questions Make an inference or to abstract a concept not directed stated in the passage The reader can infer that the speaker is…. The Footnote question -for research citations and so on… Roman Numeral questions --- wow! – take more time and might be skipped, if they cause you problems… BUT ¼ a point is taken off for each incorrect answer 0 points taken off if you skip it! Kinds of questions Center on form and content Assessing your understanding of the meaning of the passage As well as your ability to draw inferences and perceive implications. Do you understand HOW an author develops his or her ideas? Four types Factual Technical Analytical Inferential See chart - but DON’T Memorize it, just be aware of it these words/phrases. Specific Testing techniques Process of Elimination Substitution/Fill in the blank – Rephrase the question and fill in answer choices until something clicks Using Context Anticipation – while reading passage, look for key phrases/lines/words/ideas that could have questions with them Intuition/Educated Guess – trust your gut! If time is running out… Scan the remaining questions and look for Shortest questions and/or The questions that point you to a line/paragraph Look for specific detail/definition questions Look for self-contained questions This example … is an example of… TRY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION! Scoring the M.C. Number right – (number wrong X 0.25) = raw score rounded up or down to nearest whole number Example: 55 questions total 40 – (15 X 0.25) = 35 – 3.75 = 36.25 = 36 M.C. = 45 % of your total combined with your essay score. Then it’s all manipulated to fit an AP scale Scoring the Essays Each essay is scored out of 9 – for a total of 27 points Essay section is 55% of total score Each point is awarded a value of 3.055 Formula: (essay #1 points x 3.055) + (essay #2 points x 3.055) + (essay #3 points x 3.055) = Essay raw score Composite Score 150 is the total composite score 55% is essay = 82.5 points 45% is M.C. questions = 67.5 points Divide # of total M.C. Questions by 67.5 If 55 questions, each point of the raw score is multiplied by 1.227. Add together the raw scores of each of the two sections 54321 What composite score is needed for these score levels changes each year Determined by AP/CollegeBoard/ETS directors, experts, statisticians, etc. Grading is based on AP distribution over last 3 years Comparability studies Observations of Chief Faculty Consultant Frequency distributions of scores on each section and the essays Average scores on each exam section and esasys Trends over last three years… 150-100 points = 5 99-86 = 4 85-67 = 3 2 and 1 are not passing score levels. Something to think about… Usually getting higher than 60% is pretty good/passing for the Multiple Choice portion – just keep practicing to get this percentage higher as you move through the year. Good essays can help “save” average multiple choice scores. But. poor M.C. scores can really bring down good essays. Train your brain for more sophisticated writing styles and vocabulary by reading more non-fiction like newspaper editorials, articles in NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, etc. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!