Tackling the AP English Language and Composition Essays: Part 3

Posted by Tess M. on 4/21/21 12:00 PM

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I covered the basics of the three AP Lang Essays (Synthesis, Rhetoric, and Argument), how to generally approach them, and the six steps of writing a successful essay on test day, focusing on the Rhetoric Essay. Now, we’ll look at the Synthesis and Argument Essays: how they differ from the Rhetoric Essay and how to apply the “six steps” to succeeding on them. 

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Tags: English, AP exams

Tackling the AP English Language and Composition Essays: Part 2

Posted by Tess M. on 4/9/21 12:00 PM

Welcome back! In Part 1 of this series, we covered some basic information about the AP Lang essays, as well as the first two major components of the process, “Organizing Your Time” and “Reading and Annotating.” In Part 2, we’ll look at the final four components.

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Tags: English, AP exams

Tackling the AP English Language and Composition Essays: Part 1

Posted by Tess M. on 4/7/21 12:30 PM

More than any other test, the AP English Language and Composition Exam is dominated by essays. Three timed essays—the Synthesis Essay, Rhetoric Essay, and Argument Essay—will take up most of your time on the exam, and count for more than fifty percent of your score. In this three-part guide, I’ll walk you through the process of writing timed essays in the style of the AP Lang Exam. In Parts One and Two, I’ll give you some general tips on writing these essays, focusing primarily on the Rhetoric Essay (which is the most unique). In Part Three, I’ll apply what I’ve said to the other two essays, the Synthesis and Argument Essay (which are more similar to one another). These tips should also help you with timed writing exams in general. 

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Tags: English, AP exams

Implications of the Electoral College for democratic equality

Posted by Gabrielle M. on 2/22/21 12:00 PM

In my previous posts, I’ve described the rules of the Electoral College, the origins of these rules, and some limitations that EC rules present for universal democratic rights. I talked briefly about the worry that the EC disadvantages non-swing state voters and voters in urban areas. Critics also charge, more broadly, that the EC rules disadvantage Democrats relative to Republicans because Democrats are concentrated in urban areas. The two most recent instances where the popular vote winner lost the election – 2000 when Bush narrowly defeated Gore, and 2016 when Hillary Clinton lost the election despite winning the popular vote by 3 million votes – supports this assertion. 

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Tags: history, AP exams, political science

The origins of the Electoral College

Posted by Gabrielle M. on 2/19/21 12:00 PM

Today, we’re taking a step back to examine the history of the Electoral College. Why do we have it, what is the logic behind its design, and what does this mean for our understanding of political representation in the US? 

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Tags: history, AP exams, political science

The limitations of the Electoral College

Posted by Gabrielle M. on 2/17/21 12:00 PM

In my previous post I provided a quick explainer of the Electoral College (EC from here onward). In the wake of the 2020 election, the system was once again in the spotlight and, as is the case nearly every election cycle, subject of ample criticism. In this post, I will highlight the primary critiques of the EC and the implications of these limitations for democratic rights.

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Tags: history, AP exams, political science

How to think like an AP Rater/Reader on the AP English Language “Synthesis” Free Response Question 1

Posted by Cassandra M. on 10/7/20 9:28 AM

As someone who tutors AP English Language and Composition (lovingly referred to as AP Lang) and as someone who struggled with timed writing herself, I know how daunting a task it can be to score a 5. Luckily for you, I’ve also served as an AP Rater/Reader and can offer some additional insight into what we are told to look for while scoring a student Free Response Question 1 Synthesis essay on the AP Lang exam.

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Tags: study skills, test anxiety, English, expository writing, AP exams

AP Bio Exam Question Breakdown : Biotechnology Tools

Posted by Sandra on 2/6/17 6:43 PM

The AP Biology exam for 2017 is set for the morning of Monday May 8th. So it’s that time of the year again to begin reviewing past concepts and doing practice exams.

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Tags: biology, AP exams

Question Breakdown: How to Solve a 6 Grid-In Question on the AP Biology Exam

Posted by Sandra on 11/2/16 6:00 PM

On the AP Bio exam, there will be 6 grid-in questions that will require you to do some math. Yes, math. These questions will require you to do some simple calculations and thus you are only allowed a four-function calculator to do addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. That being said I’ll breakdown an example grid-in question to familiarize students with the type of questions they may be asked.

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Tags: biology, AP exams

Question Breakdown: Real AP Biology Exam Solutions

Posted by Sandra on 9/21/16 7:30 PM

The AP Biology Exam date has been set for Monday, May 8, 2017. Beginning at 8 am that morning, everything you learned over the course of the year will be tested with 63 multiple choice, 6 grid-in and 8 free response questions. Although the AP exam seems far off, it’s a good idea to master the basics now and set a good foundation off which to build future knowledge. That being said Question 4 on the 2016 AP exam is a good starting point.

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Tags: biology, AP exams