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Is AP Lang hard

If you’re considering taking AP English Language and Composition, chances are you’re wondering “Is AP Lang hard?” In order for a student’s AP score to count toward college credit, they need to score at least 3 out of 5 on an AP exam at the end of the year. However, some colleges (usually the top colleges) only award college credit for at least a 4 or even for just a 5.

is ap lang hard

AP Lang is not that challenging | Is AP Lang hard

Expect to write a lot of essays and to be graded on your writing. If writing is not your strong suit, then taking an easier english class at your high school is suggested instead of AP Lang.

I personally took AP Lang and the class was honestly not challenging for me. Although the workload can sometimes be quite heavy depending on the teacher, I found it easy to complete most of it since I was already a proficient writer. I finished the course with a 98 and an AP exam score of 5. You might have more trouble if essay writing is not your forte.

It all depends on the teacher and school. It is taught by four teachers at my school and two teachers at my school grade way more difficult than they should. The other two grade easy as hell. AP Lang to me was overall not difficult and you don’t need to do much homework. It is very helpful and important to be ready for college (many college classes require bomb ass essays).

Lang involves a lot of analysis and analyzing what makes a passage grammatically sophisticated. You should be able to do that and write well. If you do well on the SAT Reading section (700+) and it shouldn’t be hard for you to score a 4 or 5 in the AP Lang AP exam. One Reddit user I found got a 4 on the AP Lang AP exam despite receiving a 600 in the critical reading section of the SAT. 

is ap lang hard

AP Lang, like others, is more concerned with rhetorical analysis. It is more about how the author says something than what they actually said. Although the class may be difficult at first, your writing skills will improve. However, I would still recommend that you look over past essay prompts to prepare for the AP exam and to practice writing essays for those prompts.

Take the class! Although it might be difficult at first, it will pay off in the end. Expect writing to be a major part of your course. Almost every week, you will have to write an essay. If your teacher is serious about helping you become a better writer, they will make sure they are rigorous.

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information, which you should practice in all subjects, not just AP Lang. In AP Lang, the opportunity to practice critical thinking skills is obvious: the text you read is full of literary devices used for specific purposes. You will write essays analyzing how an author uses literary devices to further their purpose and theme.

Is AP Lang easy to self study?

AP Lang is easy to self-study for if you are already a decent writer and reader. The AP Lang exam contains multiple choice questions where you read a passage and answer questions about that passage, and also a free response section where you will write essays. The thing that you would need to self study is just what they are going to ask you to write about in your essays, but I’ll tell it to you here if you were wondering: Each of the three essays that you write will be a different type of essay. One will be a synthesis essay, the other will be argumentative, and the other will be a rhetorical analysis essay.

Is AP English Language Worth It?

We found many benefits to passing the AP English Language exam. First, the AP(r), English Language exam can help you feel confident that you can handle college’s academic rigors. You might feel more confident and be able to jump right into your first college semester.

Applying to college may offer you some additional benefits. Admissions counselors love to see transcripts from AP(r), high school courses. This shows that you care about your academics and are ready for college. Although AP(r), courses are not usually considered in college admissions, they can be a valuable asset to other factors.

The most popular benefit of the AP English Language exam is the opportunity to earn college credit. Many students graduate high school with one semester of college credit.

There are many options. You have the option to either graduate earlier or pursue a minor or double major. You can’t ignore the potential savings and flexibility offered by this option.

The chart below shows how passing the AP English Language exam can translate into college savings. Every college handles AP course credit in a different way. Before evaluating the financial savings you have, you should speak with your college.

SchoolMinimum ScoreCreditsTuition Savings
Duke University41 Course$5,404
Carnegie Mellon University59$6,786
University of Chicago5100 units towards general elective credit$5,541
George Washington University43$4,704
Northwestern University52$12,836
University of Alabama46$8,340
Texas A & M33$3,429

It would be worth it to take any of the above benefits. When you add all these benefits together, you can see that the AP English Language exam will benefit you as a student.

What is the AP Lang AP exam like | Is AP Lang hard

The AP English Language and Composition Exam is consistent in its question types and point values from year to year. This ensures that you and your students are familiar with what to expect on exam days.

Section 1: Multiple Choice

1 hour

  • Included are 5 sets of questions
    • 23-25 Questions that require students to analyze and read nonfiction texts.
    • 20-22 Writing questions asking students to “read as a writer” and to consider revising stimulus texts.

Section II – Free Response

2 hours 15 minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period

  • The following three categories are open for students to respond to:
    • Synthesis Question: Students will read 6-7 texts on a topic, including visual and quantitative sources. They will then create an argument that cites at most 3 sources to support their thesis.
    • Rhetorical Analysis: Students will be asked to read nonfiction texts and examine how the language choices of the author contribute to the text’s intended meaning and purpose.
    • Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument to respond to a topic.

Note: The standard essay structure is to have each paper contain an introduction, three body paragraphs (each with its topic sentence), and a conclusion that restates your thesis statement from paragraph 1. 


I hope this article has helped you understand what to expect from an AP Lang exam. The best way to prepare for the exam is to study regularly and make sure not just to memorize material but also to understand it through critical thinking.

You should also practice multiple-choice questions, free-response questions, and essay prompts to learn how to answer them quickly without any errors.

Lastly, I recommend making sure that your teacher covers all the topics covered on the AP Lang exam throughout the year in class, so nothing comes as a surprise on test day.

Other resources:

You can read about my post on AP Environmental Science here.

You can read about AP Environmental Science textbooks here.

You can read my post about AP Calc AB here.

You can read my post about AP Calc BC here.

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