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AP Test
A Bit of History You May Want to Know
To understand the importance of writing
essays and using language to prove the
truth (RHETORIC)
Once upon a time in Ancient
Greece, there were scholars
who decided that the rules for
written and oral expression
needed to be formalized;
among these were Plato and
Aristotle. This marked the
birth of rhetoric. They
continued on this path because
they realized the importance
of understanding speech in
order to rule a vast empire
(The Princeton Review, 2008).
Ancient Greece
In Europe, during the Middle
Ages, the rules of rhetoric
became even stricter. It was
determined that to give
“proper” form to thought, one
had to follow certain rules of
 And on top of all that,
knowledge was held in secret
in monastaries, for only special
people to use.
Middle Ages
After the Middle Ages, there
was a revival in copying or
modeling the rhetoric from
Antiquity (the glorious days of
Rome, Greece and Persia).
 Everyone was striving to
live up to the brilliance of
the past.
 Let’s revisit some of these
famous Renaissance scientists,
artists inventors …
(the rebirth of
Francis Bacon-English
 Nicolaus Copernicus-Polish
 Galileo Galilei-Italian astonomer
 Johannes Gutenberg-German
 Sir Isaac Newton-English
Renaissance Giants
Andreas Vesalius-Belgian
biologist who studied the
human body (1514-1564)
 Johannes Kepler-German
 Tycho Brahe-Danish astonomer
(1546-1601) His assistant was
 Paracelsus-Swiss/Austrian
 Martin Luther-German
priest/theology professor
Renaissance Giants
Shakespeare-English playwright
Michelangelo-Italian sculptor and
And my favorite…..
 Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Italian all-purpose Renaissance
painter, sculptor, writer, inventor,
and good guy who liked to write
his secret notebooks in mirror
writing. (Bill Gates owns one of
da vinci’s notebooks).
(the rebirth of
Leonard da Vinci’s
In an era when left-handedness
was considered the devil's work
and lefties were often forced to
use their right hand, Leonardo
was an unrepentant southpaw. It
has been suggested that this
"difference" was an element of
his genius, since his detachment
allowed him to see beyond the
ordinary. He even wrote
backwards, and his writings are
easily deciphered only with a
Leonardo’s Mirror
The rest of the story as it
pertains to you and your AP
Exam can be summed up this
 For hundreds of years writers
tried to get rid of all this
formal rhetoric and invent new
forms of writing. Sometimes
writers preferred no form at
 By the second half of the 20th
century, writers had succeeded
in doing this!
The rest of the story….
An unfortunate side effect of all
this writing freedom was really
crappy writing in colleges.
Reasoned discourse all but
disappeared! Horrified
professors began to complain
that university students were
handing in disorganized, illogical
The pendulum swung the other
way. Now freshmen composition
is a requirement in every
college/university in any
accredited institution.
The formal study of grammar,
usage and rhetoric returned.
Do we need rhetoric
Really smart, proactive high school
students trying to place out of the
freshmen composition classes
began to flock to AP English Comp
The other advantage of passing the
AP test is that you save money by
not having to take that class ($500$5000).
Don’t confuse this May exam with
its sisterAP English Literature Test (280,000
students take it)
In May, about 256,000 students will
take the AP English Language and
Composition Test.
All 4 year liberal arts
colleges require a
freshmen to take
literature and
composition-this equals
ONE year of classes.
Core of Common Studies Introduction
The University Core of Common Studies is
the intellectual heart of a Marquette
education, built on our Jesuit tradition and
designed for successful life in the 21st
century. The core is composed of nine
knowledge areas essential to a welleducated person:
 rhetoric
mathematical reasoning
human nature and ethics
science and nature
individual and social behavior
literature and performing arts
diverse cultures
histories of cultures and societies
10am to 3pm OPEN HOU
that have this
ALL UW System schools:
 Parkside
 Madison
 Whitewater
 Oshvegas
 River Falls
 Platteville
 Stevens Point
 Green Bay
 Stout
 Milwaukee
Colleges that require
rhetoric or college
freshmen composition…
All out of state colleges and
South Dakota
North Dakota
New York
Florida, etc.
Colleges that require
rhetoric or freshmen
All private colleges:
 Carthage
 Ripon
 Lawrence
 Luther
 Wartburg College
 Harvard
 Yale
 Brown
 Radcliff
 Augustana
 Princeton
 Cardinal Stritch, Etc.
Colleges that require
freshmen composition
◦ There is a possibility you don’t
specifically have to take freshmen
comp (rhetoric)…
◦ But without it, how do you think you
will succeed in Independent Study
when you have to write that
freakingly huge paper and present it
to your department? Oh that’s right,
where is your MLA and APA now? And
don’t call me..I’m dead to students
who don’t listen in high school to my
◦ Am I making myself clear? Or have I
wasted a perfectly good Sunday
morning working on this powerpoint?
Colleges that prefer
you take AP
The number of students who
take the Language exam has
grown dramatically over the
past 5 years. The AP English
Literature Test and the AP
English Language and
Composition Test are similar in
format and are given on 2
different days during AP week
in May. You could schedule
yourself to take both tests.
Many students do!
 Who pays for the test if I want
to take it?
Taking the AP English
and Literature Test and
the AP English Language
and Composition Test
 Questions
Work Cited
Cracking the AP English
Language & Composition
Exam, 2008,The Princeton
Review, Inc, Random
Publishers, New York, New
Taking the AP Test