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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 Long Fiction. Click here for the practice questions: AP English Lit Long Fiction 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) What is a connotation?
(A) A change in mood based on the narrator's want to misdirect the reader
(B) An opposition character to add contrast
(C) Feelings or connections associated with a word
(D) The dictionary definition of a sensory word
: A connotation refers to the emotional or cultural associations that a word carries, beyond its literal definition or denotation. Connotations can be positive, negative, or neutral, and can vary depending on context, cultural background, and personal experiences. An example is that red = blood.
(2) What is denotation?
(A) Feelings evoked in a reader, usually negative
(B) Fictionalized footnotes meant to give the appearance of a nonfiction work
(C) The direct indication of what a word means
(D) Words thought by a character, but not said outright
✅ Answer: Denotation is the direct indication of what a word means, without any subjective or emotional interpretation. It is the most basic, objective, and literal meaning of a word, and it is essential for effective communication in both written and spoken language. An example is that red is actually blood.
(3) What is a theme?
(A) A character's typical clothing pattern
(B) A palate of colorful words employed by the author
(C) The main subject of the novel
(D) The statement of an author's viewpoint, applicable to many texts
✅ Answer: A theme refers to the underlying message, idea, or meaning that the author conveys in a literary work. It is not the same as the plot, which refers to the sequence of events that occur in the story. Instead, the theme is the central topic or subject that the author explores through the plot, characters, setting, and other literary elements.
(4) What is a motif?
(A) A common set of images or actions that repeat throughout a text
(B) Descriptions of different Victorian rooms
(C) Generalities about an ancillary character
(D) What a character desires in any given scene
✅ Answer: A motif is a recurring element or theme in a literary work that helps to develop or reinforce the work's main ideas or messages. It is often a symbol, image, or action that appears multiple times throughout the text and contributes to the work's overall meaning.
(5) What is slang?
(A) Casual, informal language signaling humor or familiarity
(B) Improper language
(D) Strictly joking language
✅ Answer: Slang refers to casual, informal language that is often used in specific social groups or among friends. This language is usually marked by a playful tone, and it can signal humor or familiarity. Slang words can be considered "low-level" colloquialisms, meaning they are not formal or academic in nature. However, they can also demonstrate a high level of familiarity and cultural understanding among certain social groups. For example, the use of phrases like "old sport" may seem like an outdated or improper way of addressing someone, but within certain communities, it can be a way of showing a shared cultural reference.
(6) Which is an example of figurative language?
(A) "He smiled a lot, showing small even teeth with a friendly gap in the middle." (The Bluest Eye)
(B) "I once sacrificed my life to keep my parents' promise. This means nothing to you, because to you promises mean nothing. A daughter can promise to come to dinner, but if she has a headache, if she has a traffic jam, if she wants to watch a favorite movie on TV, she no longer has a promise." (The Joy Luck Club)
✅ Answer: Figurative language is the use of words or phrases that go beyond their literal meaning to create a more vivid or expressive image in the reader's mind. In the example given, the author uses sensory details to describe the scent of a child's hair, which is an example of figurative language because it creates a sensory image in the reader's mind that goes beyond the literal description of the scene. The rest of the answer choices are character descriptions.
(7) Which is an example of physical characterization?
✅ Answer: Physical characterization refers to describing a character's physical appearance, including their height, weight, hair color, body shape, and other physical features. Option (B) Doting, (C) Loving, and (D) Sharp are not examples of physical characterization. Doting and Loving are traits that describe a character's personality or behavior, while Sharp is a trait that could describe a character's wit, intelligence, or physical attributes, but in this case, it lacks context and is not specific enough to be considered a physical characteristic.
(8) Which is an example of emotional characterization?
✅ Answer: "Aggressive" is the best example of emotional characterization, as it describes emotional motivation.
(9) Which is an example of psychological characterization?
✅ Answer: Psychological characterization refers to the techniques used to reveal a character's inner thoughts, emotions, and personality traits. This is often done through the character's actions, dialogue, and interactions with others. The other answer choices are physical characteristics.
(10) Which is a trope?
(A) Cars out-pacing one another
(B) Ducks on a frozen pond
(C) Flowers in spring
(D) Ubiquitous technology in a dystopia
✅ Answer: A trope is a common or overused theme or device in storytelling, often used to create a specific effect or evoke a particular emotion. The other answer choices are symbols, but Option (D) fits the definition of a trope as it refers to a common theme in dystopian stories - the idea of technology being omnipresent and controlling in a society, often leading to negative consequences for the characters.
(11) What can be inferred from this setting description:
"At such times, in each of the countless thatched huts of Umuofia, children sat around their mother's cooking fire telling stories, or with their father in his obi warming themselves from a log fire, roasting and eating maize. It was a brief resting period between the exacting and arduous planting season and the equally exacting but light-hearted month of harvests." (Things Fall Apart)
(A) Children often disregarded as part of the community
(B) Community participation in both the hard work of planting and the joy of yielding crops
(C) Exclusion of other families
(D) Only the women in the tribe handle food
✅ Answer: The description shows that during a brief resting period between the planting season and harvest time, children sat around their mother's cooking fire telling stories and with their fathers in their obi warming themselves from a log fire, roasting and eating maize. This implies that the community is involved in both the arduous planting season and the lighter harvest month. All others are inaccurate or too general.
(12) What can be inferred from this narration:
"Younger than both Frieda and Pecola, I had not yet arrived at the turning point in the development of my psyche which would allow me to love her. What I felt at that time was unsullied hatred. But before that I had felt stranger, more frightening thing than hatred for all theShirley Temples of the world." (The Bluest Eye)
(A) The narrator has resentment towards Shirley Temple as a child, but now has the benefit of hindsight
(B) The narrator hates television programming
(C) The narrator is the eldest
(D) The narrator resents her sisters
✅ Answer: The narrator explains that when she was younger than both Frieda and Pecola, she felt unsullied hatred towards them, but before that, she had felt a stranger and more frightening thing than hatred towards all the Shirley Temples of the world. This implies that the narrator had a strong negative feeling towards Shirley Temple as a child, but she now understands that it was not justified and has the benefit of hindsight. The other options are not supported by the given passage.
(13) Define analysis.
(A) Claims arguing the importance of a given piece of evidence
(B) Complex descriptions of important character traits
(C) Describing notable symbolism
(D) Summarizing important plot points
✅ Answer: The wrong answers all point to recitation.
(14) What is foil (in literature)?
(A) One character who emphasizes the traits in another character, through contrast or similarity
(B) Sandwich packaging popularized at the turn of the century
(C) Stopping a crime from being committed
(D) Two characters who rely on each other regularly
✅ Answer: In literature, a foil is a character who is used to highlight or emphasize certain traits of another character, often through contrast or similarity. The purpose of using a foil is to make the characteristics of one character more noticeable to the reader, by providing a comparison with another character who has opposing or similar traits.
(15) What can be said of the Auntie Ying's motivation:
"'Did you know Lena move to Woodside?' asks Auntie Ying with obvious pride, looking down at the tiles, talking to no one in particular. She quickly erases her smile and tries for some modesty. 'Of course, it's not best house in neighborhood, not million-dollar house, not yet. But it's good investment. Better than paying rent. Better than somebody putting you under their thumb to rub you out.'" (The Joy Luck Club)
(A) A mix of pride and humility, with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility
(B) Only money is important to her
(C) She often brags about her successes
(D) She resents her niece's success
✅ Answer: Auntie Ying is shown to display a sense of pride when she talks about her niece Lena moving to Woodside. She feels proud of Lena's achievement and quickly tries to show some modesty by erasing her smile. Additionally, she highlights the financial benefits of owning a home rather than renting, showing a sense of fiscal responsibility. There is no indication that Auntie Ying's motivation is solely focused on money or that she frequently brags about her own success. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that Auntie Ying resents her niece's success.
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