Advanced Placement

The difference between AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition

Do you enjoy reading and writing? If so, you may be thinking of signing up for an Advanced Placement® course and exam in English. But maybe you’re wondering which AP English course is right for you—AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition? Keep reading to learn more about the similarities and differences between these two AP courses.

 

AP English Language and Composition

In the AP English Language and Composition course, you will develop critical-reading and writing skills through analyzing nonfiction works and crafting evidence-based arguments.

 

To learn more about the skills gained and topics explored in this course, visit the AP English Language and Composition Course page.

 

To learn more about the structure of the exam, visit the AP English Language and Composition exam page.

 

AP English Literature and Composition

In the AP English Literature and Composition course, you will evaluate fiction and other works from various periods and cultures. Skills that are learned in this course focus on the interpretation of literary works and the ability to articulate your thoughts in writing. You will engage with all kinds of fictional texts, such as short stories, poetry, plays, and novels.

 

To learn more about the skills gained and the topics explored in this course visit the AP Literature and Composition Course page.

 

To learn more about the structure of the exam, visit the AP Literature and Composition Exam page.
 

Which course better serves your needs?

The main difference between the two courses is the types of texts you will explore.

 

AP English Language focuses more on analyzing non-fiction works, such as news articles, essays, speeches, memoirs, and more. In this course, you'll develop skills that will help you explain an idea, argue a point, or persuade a reader that a particular viewpoint is correct. AP English Language is equivalent to an introductory, college-level literary analysis course.

 

AP English Literature focuses more on analyzing works of fiction, such as poetry, short stories, novels, or plays. In this course, you'll develop skills that focus mainly on close reading; with these skills you will dissect literary works and write analyses of them. AP English Literature is equivalent to an introductory, college-level literature course.

 

To learn more about other AP courses and materials, visit https://apstudents.collegeboard.org.