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⛔ Before you look at the answers, make sure you gave this practice quiz a try so you can assess your understanding of the concepts covered in the unit on Poetry. Click here for the practice questions: AP English Lit Poetry I Multiple Choice Questions.
Facts about the test: The AP English Lit exam has 55 multiple-choice questions and you will be given 1 hour to complete the section. That means it should take you around 10 minutes to complete 9 questions.
The following questions were not written by CollegeBoard and although they cover information outlined in the AP English Literature and Composition Course and Exam Description the formatting on the exam may be different.
1. Which is an example of a connotation?
A. All the descriptions of where different characters are standing in a room
B. The description of a dark setting feeling unsettling
C. A description of a character's physical features
D. Any definition of the word
✅ Answer: Connotation refers to the emotional or cultural associations that a word or phrase carries, beyond its literal definition. In this case, the word "dark" literally means without light, but it also carries negative connotations of fear, danger, and mystery, which makes the setting feel unsettling.
2. Which is a meaningful shift?
A. The speaker asking philosophical questions, then suddenly answering them
B. A line break where the tone stays the same
C. One character speaking and another responding
D. A series of colorful words, followed by a series of character descriptions
✅ Answer: This shift in poetry is called an epiphany or volta, where the poem takes a sudden turn or shift in direction. This shift can come in many forms, such as a change in tone, theme, or speaker's perspective, but the key feature is that it reveals a new insight or understanding of the subject matter of the poem.
3. What is the mood?
A. The overall feeling the author's POV brings to an excerpt
B. How a character feels in a given scene
C. How the reader reacts to a piece
D. The overall feeling of a work or excerpt
✅ Answer: The mood refers to the emotional atmosphere or tone that is created by a literary work or excerpt. It is the feeling or vibe that a reader gets when they read a particular piece of writing.
4. What is tone?
A. Two characters in conflict
B. The overall feeling of a work or excerpt
C. A character reacting harshly
D. The overall feeling the author's POV brings to an excerpt
✅ Answer: Tone is the writer's attitude or perspective towards the subject matter, and it can be conveyed through the choice of words, sentence structure, and other literary devices.
5. What is an apostrophe?
A. Three words beginning with the same letter
B. The speaker addressing an inanimate object
C. A piece of punctuation
D. Three rhyming lines
✅ Answer: In poetry, an apostrophe is a figure of speech where the poet addresses an inanimate object or an absent person, as if it were present and able to respond. It is a literary device that allows the poet to add emotion and depth to their work by imbuing non-human or non-living things with human qualities and characteristics.
6. What is a blank verse?
A. Unrhymed iambic pentameter
B. Poetry without rhyme or meter
C. The difference between a poem and a novel
D. A poem that rhymes in the final two lines
✅ Answer: Blank verse is a type of poetry that follows a specific meter called iambic pentameter, which means that each line consists of five pairs of syllables, where the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed. The lines do not have a regular rhyme scheme, hence the term "blank." This form of verse was popularized by William Shakespeare in his plays, and it remains a common form of poetry in English literature.
7. What is foot?
A. How many lines rhyme in a poem
B. The specific line length of a poem
C. A combination of stressed and unstressed syllables
D. A poem with three stanzas
✅ Answer: Definition emphasizing meter
8. What is hyperbole?
A. An extended metaphor throughout a poem
B. Exaggeration within a poem
C. A sudden realization in a poem
D. A change from the start to the end of a poem
✅ Answer: Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. It is often used to make a point, create humor, or express strong emotions.
9. What is ambiguity?
A. A dynamic character in work
B. Two stanzas that mirror one another
C. Something left unknown to the reader
D. When a word has two possible meanings
✅ Answer: Ambiguity refers to a situation in which a word, phrase, sentence, or even an entire passage has more than one possible meaning, making it difficult for the reader or listener to determine the intended meaning. This can be due to the use of words that have multiple definitions, or the use of syntax that is unclear or open to interpretation.
10. What is free verse?
A. Poetry with one word per line
B. Poetry without rhyme or meter
C. Poetry with rhymed pentameter
D. Unrhymed iambic pentameter
✅ Answer: Free verse is a form of poetry that doesn't have a regular rhyme or meter pattern. Unlike traditional poetry which follows a strict rhyme and meter scheme, free verse doesn't follow any set pattern.
11. What is pastoral?
A. A poem without much spacing, deliberately, between lines
B. An ode to industrialism
C. A religious poem
D. A poem celebrating nature and simplicity
✅ Answer: The term "pastoral" is often used to describe literature or poetry that focuses on rural life, landscapes, and the simple joys of nature. Pastoral poetry often portrays idealized images of nature and the pastoral lifestyle, emphasizing the beauty and tranquility of rural settings. In contrast to urban or industrial themes, pastoral poetry celebrates the natural world, often depicting shepherds, farmers, and others. Pastoral poetry also tends to emphasize the joys of simplicity and the rejection of materialism.
12. Which is an example of a motif?
A. The lesson learned in a poem
B. Different uses of the color red throughout a poem
C. The central purpose of a work
D. The dangers of tradition
✅ Answer: Difference between theme, moral, and motif. A motif is a recurring element or pattern in a work of literature that contributes to its overall theme or meaning. It can be an object, symbol, color, or any other literary device that is repeated throughout the text. In this question, option B is an example of a motif because it refers to the repeated use of the color red throughout a poem. The color red may symbolize different things each time it appears, but its repetition creates a pattern that contributes to the overall meaning of the poem.
13. What is inversion?
A. In poetry, a deliberate change in word order
B. Use of an em-dash to cause a pause
C. Words offset in a single line
D. When a sentence runs across two lines
✅ Answer: Inversion is a literary technique commonly used in poetry where the normal word order of a sentence is deliberately altered for poetic effect. This means that the subject, verb, and object of a sentence may appear in a different order than they would in regular speech or prose. For example, instead of saying "I love you," a poet may write "You, I love." Inversion can also be used in prose to create a more formal or dramatic effect. It is important to note that while inversion may change the word order of a sentence, it should not change the intended meaning.
14. What is style?
A. The pace of a poem
B. The feeling of a poem
C. All the distinctive features in a poem
D. The rhyme scheme in a poem
✅ Answer: In literature, style refers to the unique way in which an author expresses their thoughts and ideas through language. It encompasses all the distinctive features of a written work, including the use of literary devices, word choice, sentence structure, and overall tone.
15. What is euphony?
A. A soft sound followed by a hard sound
B. A jumble of words to create dissonance
C. When a line has all hard consonant sounds
D. A series of words written to develop a pleasing sound
✅ Answer: Euphony is a literary device that refers to the use of pleasant and harmonious sounds in poetry or prose. It involves the use of words that have pleasing sounds when spoken or read aloud, such as words with soft vowels, smooth consonants, and gentle rhythms. Euphony is often used to create a sense of beauty and musicality in literature and can be contrasted with cacophony, which is the use of harsh or discordant sounds.
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