How to choose between AP Language and AP Literature?

Tutela choose between AP Language and AP Literature

The AP English Literature and Composition course focus on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods.
AP English Language and Composition is an introductory college-level composition course. Students cultivate their understanding of writing and rhetorical arguments through reading, analyzing, and writing texts as they explore topics like rhetorical situations, claims and evidence, reasoning and organization, and style.

Let’s talk about the exam pattern of both these exams-

English Literature
Section 1-
Multiple Choice Questions consisting of 55 questions. The duration of Section 1 is 1 hour.

  • Includes 5 sets of questions with 8–13 questions per set.
  • Each set is preceded by a passage of prose fiction, drama, or poetry of varying difficulty.
  • The multiple-choice section will always include at least 2 prose fiction passages (this may include drama) and at least 2 poetry passages.

Section 2- Free Resources consisting of 3 questions. The duration of Section 2 is 2 hours.
Students write essays that respond to 3 free-response prompts from the following categories:

  • A literary analysis of a given poem
  • A literary analysis of a given passage of prose fiction (this may include drama)
  • An analysis that examines a specific concept, issue, or element in a work of literary merit selected by the student

English LanguageSection 1- Multiple Choice Questions consisting of 45 questions. The duration of Section 1 is 1 hour.

  • Questions will be presented in 5 sets, with shorter stimulus passages.
  • 23–25 Reading questions.
  • 20–22 Writing questions.

Section 2- Free Resources consisting of 3 questions. The duration of Section 2 is 2 hours and 15 minutes. 15 minutes is the reading time given to the student.

  • 1 synthesis question.
  • 1 rhetorical analysis question.
  • 1 argument question.

What are the differences between AP Literature and AP Language?

  • AP literature focuses more on fiction, poetry, and drama from various periods and cultures. Whereas AP Language focuses more on non-fiction works from various periods.
  • Reading and writing content is different in both courses. English Literature requires good interpretation and comprehension skills.
  • AP Literature is more in-depth due to its analytical nature than AP English.
  • AP Literature is generally a more reading-intensive course whereas AP English also has a fair amount of reading, however, it’s more of a writing-intensive course.
  • AP literature requires critical thinking to analyze the texts while AP English has content that you’re somewhat familiar with so it forms a good base for you.

How do decide which AP course to take?
There are some students that are a bibliophile and then there are some who love to write. However, it’s not the only parameter to choose which course you should go for. There are certain parameters that can help you in getting out of the dilemma of choosing the English Language or English Literature.

  • Reading or Writing– First, evaluate which of the following do you like more: reading or writing. If you like reading, then go for AP Literature and if you like writing, then go for AP English. Furthermore, reading and writing are present in both courses; it’s just that both of these courses focus on different areas. One focuses on reading more and the other one on writing more.
  • Fiction or Non-Fiction– What do you like to read? See what kind of content grabs your attention:  fiction or nonfiction. In case you like to read fiction, then choose AP English Literature; otherwise, go for AP English Language.
  • Major in college– What are you planning to major in your college? If you’d like to pursue engineering, then AP Language is the best choice as it’ll have a less intensive reading which will save a lot of time that you can invest in studying Maths and Science subjects. However, if you want to major in Humanities, then AP Literature will give you a solid base.
  • Debate or Poetry– If you have experience with debates, then AP Language is for you. If you’ve got a poet inside of you, then AP Literature is for you as it requires reading and analyzing the poems.

Both AP classes will improve your reading and writing skills and offer challenging content. The only thing that sets them apart is the type of reading content they focus on. Neither course is easy or hard. You just need to evaluate your area of interest and you can perform well in it. Hence, take your time in deciding which course interests you and choose accordingly.

Read more about AP and the recommended book list for AP students.

In case you need assistance with AP Literature or AP Language fill out Tutela’s student assistance form or call us directly at +91-8826345541 for any further queries.