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The Literature Subject Test gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths in reading and interpreting literary texts from a variety of historical periods and genres. Taking the test also gives you the opportunity to showcase your interests and enhance your college application.

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Important Notes

Offered in August, October, November, December, May, and June.

Test Basics

Scoring, Timing, Number of Questions

Points Minutes Questions
200-800 60 ~60 (Multiple Choice)

Getting Ready for the Test

Additional Things to Know

There are six to eight sets of questions on the test, each based on a different literary text.

Each selection is followed by a date (usually of first publication). Questions don’t ask about the historical background of the content, but you may find the date helpful when orienting yourself to the selection.

Each set of questions addresses some features of the literary selection that may be distinctive or even unique. For example, if a poem presents a complex reading task, the set may also include some questions that focus on the meaning of specific words or lines in order to measure your ability to read and understand the poem accurately.

Please note that this test reflects what is commonly taught in high school. Due to differences in high school classes, it’s likely that most students will find questions on topics they’re not familiar with. This is nothing to worry about. You do not have to get every question correct to receive the highest score (800) for the test. Many students do well despite not having studied every topic covered.

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