MCQ Strategies

Practicing AP Lang MCQ

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze a text through specific strategies such as identifying pattern and shift or specific rhetorical devices.


Do Now: Quiz on rhetorical terms

Mini Lesson on identifying patterns and shift.

  • identifying patterns and shift in Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech.
  • using Cornell Notes to gather important details, making claims and providing deeper analysis
  • close reading of a passage
  • Review MCQ stems

Independent Practice

Based on today’s review, what study plan should I make to accommodate what I don’t know, one area at a time.

Homework: Prepare  2 MCQ based on the passage given.


Objectives: Students will gain in-depth understanding of types of questions embedded in MCQ by examining a specific passage and discussing the MC in a small group.

Do Now: From you experience of doing the MC, what’s one of the most challenging questions? Identity the question and explain why you did wrong and what you have learned from the question that will help you avoid the same mistake when encountering the similar type of question. Share in a pair.

Mini Lesson: Review

  1. The MC questions center on form and content.  You are expected to understand meaning, draw inferences, and understand how an author develops his or her ideas.
  2. Types of Questions
  • Factual: Words refer to, allusions, antecedents, pronoun references
  • Technical: Sentence structure, style, grammatical purpose, dominant technique, imagery, point-of-view, organization of passage, narrative progress of passage, conflict, irony, function of…
  • Analytical: rhetorical strategy, shift in development, rhetorical stance, style, metaphor, contrast, comparison, cause/effect, argument, description, narration, specific-general, general-specific, how something is characterized, imagery, passage is primarily concerned with, function of…
  • Inferential: effect of diction, tone, inferences, effect of description, effect of last paragraph, effect on reader, narrator’s attitude, image suggests, effect of detail, author implies, author most concerned with, symbol
  • Categories: Use this to Make Sample Questions

the main idea/theme/attitude

  1. The author would most likely agree with which of the following?
  2. The narrator’s/writer’s/speaker’s attitude can be described as
  3. The author would most/least likely agree that
  4. The writer has presented all of the following ideas except
  5. We can infer that the author values the quality of
  6. The attitude of the narrator helps the writer create a mood of
  7. In context, lines “..” most likely refer to

the author’s meaning and purpose (Why did the writer…)

  1. “…” can best be defined as
  2. The purpose of lines “…” can best be interpreted as
  3. The writer clarifies “…” by
  4. The writer emphasizes “..” in order to
  5. By saying “..” the author intends for us to understand that
  6. By “..” the author most likely means
  7. The purpose of the sentence/paragraph/passage can be summarized as
  8. The passage can be interpreted as meaning all of the following except

the language of rhetoric (syntax, diction, figurative language, tone, etc.)

  1. A shift in point of view is demonstrated by
  2. The repetitive syntax of lines “…” serves to
  3. “..” can best be said to represent
  4. The second sentence is unified by the writer’s use of ….. rhetorical device?
  5. The word “…” is the antecedent for
  6. The style of the passage can best be characterized as
  7. The author employs “…” sentence structure to establish
  8. The tone of the passage changes when the writer

the speaker or narrator

the attitude (of the narrator or author)

word choice and selection of details (connotation)

sentence structure (syntax)

rhetorical reasoning


general conclusions

organization and structure (is there contrast, deduction, spatial description, etc.)

  1. The shift from “…” to “….” Is seen by the author’s use of…
  2. In presenting the author’s point, the passage utilizes all of the following except
  3. The speaker has included “…” in her argument in order to…
  4. The type of argument employed by the author is most similar to which of the following?
  5. The can be said to move from “….” To “….”
  6. The “…” paragraph can be said to be … in relation to …
  7. The structure of this passage is primarily one of ….
  8. rhetorical modes (narration, description, argumentation, etc.)
  9. All of the following modes can be found within the passage except

The rhetorical mode that best describes this passage is

  1. The author uses cause and effect in order to
  2. Which of the following best describes the author’s method of presenting the information
  3. The author combines retrospection with which other rhetorical mode within this passage?

documentation and citation

  1. Which of the following is an accurate reading of footnote…
  2. The purpose of footnote… is to inform the reader that the quotation in line
  3. Taken as a whole, the footnotes suggest that…
  4. From reading footnote…, the reader can infer that…

Student Independent Practice

In a group of 3 or 4, read and discuss the assigned passage from the practice test (A). Discuss the questions- content and format. Draw a conclusion on what you consider as the best way to comprehend the question as quickly as possible and respond to it correctly at the same time. Be prepares to share your insight with the class.

Exit Slip: What did I learn from today’s group sharing, which will help me do better in MCQ?

Homework: Bring in your completed synthesis essay based on Practice A to share in the class tomorrow.


Day 2 

Objectives: Students will gain insight about AP Lang  MCQ  through asking questions and sharing strategies in a  small group and class setting.

Do now: What’s a mixed metaphor? periodic sentence? loose sentence? relative clause? a single compound sentence? a simple grammatical subject? what does it mean when the book title is missing in a footnote? How is a book cited? an article? What’s an overstatement? understatement?

Mini Lesson

  1. Syntax-periodic sentence

A periodic sentence is a sentence which has been deliberately structured to place the main point at the end. Therefore, a period sentence will have its main clause or predicate as the last part.

Usually, a periodic sentence will be a busy sentence. Often, the very last word in the sentence will be the point the writer wants to emphasize.

Periodic sentences are mostly used to emphasize or to create suspense. Periodic sentences can also be more persuasive than normal sentences as they allow a writer to put all the reasoning or evidence up front before making the final point.

Here are some examples of periodic sentences:

    • Despite the blinding snow, the freezing temperatures, and the heightened threat of attack from polar bears, the team continued.
        (This example has the main

independent clause

at the end. The main clause is shaded.)

  • The winner of best city, with a mile-long modern shopping mall, cycle paths hugging every road, and a network of canals, is Milton Keynes.
      (This example has the predicate at the end. The predicate is shaded)
    • With two raw blisters and now unable to carry my pack due to two broken ribs and broken collar bone, I stared at my dead phone pleadingly.

(This example has the main clause (shaded) at the end. It ends not only with the idea the writer wanted to emphasize, but also with the very word (in bold) the writer wanted to emphasize.)

    • When I was shopping in the town yesterday, I saw Mike.
    • Because she knows the filing system, has more experience than the rest of the team, and can get into work at a moment’s notice, Sarah will be charge next week.

(This is an example of putting the reasoning up front before stating the main idea (shaded). This is an attempt at being persuasive.)

    Cumulative (Loose) Sentences

In a sentence, there are two locations that add emphasis to an idea: the beginning and the end.

2. Cumulative sentences complete the main idea at the beginning of the sentence, as in the following example:

Education has no equal in opening minds, instilling values, and creating opportunities.

Notice that the main idea or independent clause

An independent clause, also called a main clause, is a group of related words that makes a complete statement. Every sentence has at least one independent clause.

The following sentence is an independent clause:

Many people of all ages enjoy soccer.

Education has no equal” occurs at the beginning of this sentence. Then other ideas are added.

Here are additional examples of cumulative sentences:

Aruba is a vacationer’s paradise with its pristine beaches, sun-drenched days, and glorious breathtaking sunsets.The hotel has greatly expanded its customer base through the addition of a fitness spa, extensive advertising, and weekend specials.

3. A relative clause—also called an adjective or adjectival clause—will meet three requirements.

  • First, it will contain a subject and verb.
  • Next, it will begin with a relative pronoun [who, whom, whose,that, or which] or a relative adverb [when, where, or why].
  • Finally, it will function as an adjective, answering the questions What kind? How many? or Which one?

The relative clause will follow one of these two patterns:

Relative Pronoun or Adverb + Subject + Verb

Relative Pronoun as Subject + Verb

Here are some examples:

Which Francine did not accept

Which = relative pronoun; Francine = subject; did accept = verb [not, an adverb, is not officially part of the verb].

Where George found Amazing Spider-Man #96 in fair condition

Where = relative adverb; George = subject; found = verb.

That dangled from the one clean bathroom towel

That = relative pronoun functioning as subject; dangled = verb

4. single, compound and complex sentence

5. About subject

Independent Practice