Since the SAT changed last year, I’ve been trying to find ways to keep my old SAT materials relevant, and I’m happy to announce that the original version of The Critical Reader may yet live on.
After doing some research, I’ve discovered that the multiple-choice reading portion of the AP English Language and Composition exam is almost identical to Critical Reading on the old SAT. It actually tests fewer concepts, but the concepts it does test are approached in virtually identical ways.
Although the AP test does include some passages that are more challenging than those on the old SAT, the overall level and content (minus the hard science passages) are essentially the same.
Given that the test are so similar, the amount of work on my end is a good deal more limited than it would be otherwise. I think it’ll probably be too much to incorporate the essays for this year’s test on May 11th (although if anyone is willing to offer samples up, I’m more than happy to consider them); however, I am planning to make a draft version covering the reading section available sometime in the next few weeks so that people can have a good month to use it before the test. It will probably be in the range of 200 pages and should be quite comprehensive.
If you’d be interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll let you know details when they become available.
In the meantime, if you’re studying for AP Comp and looking around for good practice passages, I would actually recommend using the old (2009) version of the SAT Official Guide. I think it’s probably the closest you’ll get to the real test.
And if you do happen to have the original version of The Critical Reader lying around and want to use it for AP Comp, you should focus on the following chapters: Literal Comprehension, Tone and Attitude, Function, Rhetorical Strategy, and Inferences.
Also, FYI, the “opinion” essay is basically the same as the old SAT essay. If you want to go beyond what’s covered in most AP Comp books, I’d suggesting checking out Tom Clements’s How to Write a Killer SAT Essay (it looks like it’s basically free on Kindle), Laura Wilson’s Write the SAT Essay Right, or the PWN the SAT Essay Guide.