AP Literature Reading Canon

The AP Literature community for years has trusted a list of every author that has ever been offered as option on Question 3 of the Free Response Question.
This list has historically been found at https://mseffie.com/AP/APtitles.html [ Site ].

Preparing for AP Literature Open-ended Prompts (1970-2017)
In your senior year during the AP Literature test you will be given a hard essay question. This is known as the Free Response Question 3. This is an essay question that does not provide the work for you to directly reference. You will have to create a two page essay in approximately 40 minutes using only your memory of an applicable work of literature as your source material. You will indirectly be spending the majority of your high school Honors English career preparing for this.
  • The History of the Questions - AP Literature FRQ3 - Open-ended Prompts (1970-2017)

Luckily, there is history, information, strategy, and plenty of planning that has already been done to help you beat this test.

Just Information: These handouts are informational to introduce you to the full canon of AP Literature:
  • 2017 Update - AP Literature Canon Full List (7 Pages) - All 363 Works on One List.
  • 2017 Update - American Novelists - Every American Novel in the AP Literature Canon - Sorted by Time Period/Genre
  • 2017 Update - International Novelists - Every Novel in the AP Literature Canon from Outside the USA - Sorted by Country
  • 2017 Update - Playwrights - Every Play in the AP Literature Canon - Sorted by Country

Analyzed and Sorted: These handouts are designed to help you make choices of what to read for your AP Literature training this year:

  • 2017 Update - Bang For Your Buck - Top 100 Most Appearances on AP Literature Free Response Question
  • 2017 Update - Beat The Odds - Top 100 Highest Odds of Appearing on AP Literature Free Response Question. This list will not be what you expect. Most notably Toni Morrison's Beloved. It was written in 1987, which is after the AP Literature test began proctoring.There have been far fewer tests that it could have been an option on. That drives the percentage odds higher for Beloved compared to older works with more appearances.
  • 2017 Update - Lowest Lexile - Lowest 100 Lexile Levels (Has Lexile Level Measured by Lexile.com)
    Lexile.com has not measured every book on the list. Lexile Level of a few titles will vary because many published versions include huge introductions and analyses that skew the Lexile calculation.
  • 2017 Update - Popular Groupings - Top 10 Oldest Works, Top 10 Most Recent Works, Top 10 Most Appearances from 1901-1945 (Modernism), Top 10 Most Appearances from 1946-Present (Postmodernism), Top 20 Most Appearances from American Works, Top 20 Most Appearances from British Works, Top 15 Most Appearances From Plays, 15 Top Authors with the Most Works in the AP Canon.
  • 2017 Update - Word Count - AP Works Containing the Fewest Words, AP Works Containing the Most Words. Incomplete because word counts are hard to find, and even harder to find with accuracy.

Odds Calculator

  • This project attempts to create methods of sorting and analyzing this large brick of data and create additional handouts that are useful. The most useful creation is the "Beat the Odds" sheet. Given an assumption that next year's Free Response Question chooses works based on the rates chosen in the past, we can estimate the chances of that work appearing. Using those percentages, we can calculate the odds that a student's lifetime reading of the AP Canon will match with at least one option on the next test. Using the Birthday Problem method, I can tell you that as of 2017's proctoring, if a student read the top ten most frequently appearing books, there is a 99.75% chance of one of them being on Question 3 of the 2018 test. If you're nerd enough to want to try the calculator prototype with your own consumed works, use the Probability tab in the Toolset Spreadsheet below. Type in the blue areas, or click in one and use the drop down arrow. It works, but its not exactly pretty or user friendly yet.

Everything I make is for teacher and student use only and may not be sold or used in any profitmaking of any kind without my permission.  I won't be giving permission. I would love to have compliments, suggestions, constructive feedback, errors politely pointed out, and in the case of visiting teachers: links to your website with your best stuff in trade.
Mr. Jason Everhart - Natomas High School - Sacramento, California - jeverhart@natomasunified.org.