Early in the term, make friends with the handbook: it can answer most of your questions about planning, drafting, revising, and editing an essay.Open your handbook to the section titled "How to Use This Book." Find out how to locate information by using menus and checklists (usually printed on the inside covers) along with the book's index and table of contents.
To formulate a top-level AP English essay, some preparation is required in addition to your AP English class.
Remember that you will be working under a time constraint of 2 hours for 3 essays (the College Board calls them "free response").
Nearly 3,000 colleges and universities allow students to earn course credit by taking a test through the College-Level Examination Program.
The CLEP College Composition test includes two typed essay questions that students have a total of 70 minutes to answer, along with 50 multiple-choice questions that they have 50 minutes to answer.
The first essay prompt asks you to draw on your own experience and knowledge to comment on a topic or statement, such as, “There are no challenges so difficult, no goals so impossible, as the ones we set for ourselves.” You have 30 minutes to type your response.
Pay particular attention to command words such as “agree or disagree,” “summarize,” “discuss” and “support,” which tell you what elements to include in your essay.Make sure to provide in-text citations when you mention ideas from the passages.For both essays, you’ll use your writing time most efficiently by taking a few minutes to outline your thoughts before you start typing.Also find the glossary of usage and the guides to documentation (both are usually near the back).After you have spent 10 to 15 minutes learning how to find information in the handbook, you're ready to put the book to use—not only when you're editing your work but also when you're trying to focus a topic, organize a paragraph, or revise an essay.You can maximize your performance on the essay questions by understanding what graders are looking for and, of course, by practicing as much as you’re able.The two essay questions have different formats and focuses, so make sure you understand what the questions are asking you to do before you start writing.Instructors of freshman composition expect you to arrive in their classes with some understanding of basic English grammar and usage.However, if your high school English classes focused more on reading literature than on composing essays, your memory of sentence parts may be a bit hazy.Odds are good that you already know how to compose a five-paragraph essay: introduction, three body paragraphs, conclusion.In fact, you probably composed one or two of these short essays as part of the admissions process at your college or university. Building on familiar principles (regarding thesis statements and topic sentences, for example), you will have opportunities to compose longer essays using a variety of organizational methods.