Student Author(s)

Allyson Hoffman

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Courtney Werner

Document Type


Event Date



College students are typically expected to take a first-year composition (FYC) course within their first year of college. However, while still in high school, many students have the ability to waive the college requirement and earn credit for the course if they receive passing scores on the Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition exam. As the number of students testing out of FYC courses increases, FYC courses and their corresponding AP exams should be explored for content comparability. The speaker discusses the results from a case study of high school AP English Literature and Composition courses and two- and four-year college FYC courses in Western Michigan. The extreme differences in course goals and writing assignments between the high schools’ and colleges’ courses suggest that AP English Literature and Composition courses are not equivalent to FYC courses. Therefore, students who pass the AP English Literature and Composition exam should not receive credit or exemption from FYC courses. Instead, the speaker offers alternative actions colleges can take based on passing AP exam scores.


This project was supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts & Humanities at Hope College.