Pre-AP English 1

Offer Pre-AP English 1 at your school.

Pre-AP English 1 focuses on reading, writing, and language skills that are relevant to students’ current work and essential for students' future to future high school and college coursework.

Texts take center stage, preparing students for close, critical reading and analytical writing. The course trains readers to observe small details in a text to arrive at a deeper understanding of the whole. It also trains writers to create complex sentences—building this foundational skill en route to sophisticated, longer-form analyses.


Areas of Focus

The Pre-AP English areas of focus are vertically aligned to the practices embedded in high school and college English courses, including AP. This gives students multiple opportunities to prioritize and strengthen key literacy skills throughout their course of study.

  • Reading closely: Students read closely and analyze a range of complex literary and informational texts.
  • Valuing evidence: Students evaluate textual evidence and incorporate it effectively in writing and speaking.
  • Noticing language choices: Students understand how writers and speakers use specific words and sentences to move the thoughts, emotions, and actions of readers and listeners.

Unit Foundations

These big ideas are integrated across all units:

  • Engaging with texts
  • Constructing texts
  • Focusing on language
  • Investigating through research
  • Entering the conversation

Course at a Glance

Pre-AP English 1 has four main units. Their key topics and recommended length are outlined here:

  • Unit 1: Telling Details (~7 weeks)
  • Unit 2: Pivotal Words and Phrases (~7 weeks)
  • Unit 3: Compelling Evidence (~7 weeks)
  • Unit 4: Powerful Openings (~7 weeks)

Instructional Resources

These resources support teachers as they design instruction for each unit, but do not constitute a full day-by-day curriculum. They are intended to be used alongside local school or district materials to address objectives of the course framework:

  • Course framework: An anchor for model lessons and assessments, the framework defines what students should know and be able to do by the end of the course. Teachers can use this as the primary document to align instruction and course content.
  • Teacher resources: Available in print and online, these include a robust set of model lessons that demonstrate how to translate the course framework, shared principles, and areas of focus into daily instruction.

Assessments for Learning

Each unit contains:

  • In-lesson formatives: short writing tasks in which students demonstrate understanding of a text or concept discussed in class (scored by teachers).
  • 2 learning checkpoints: short online assessments in which students apply learning to texts not studied in class (automated scoring and reporting).
  • 1 performance task: a written response to a text not studied in class (scored by teachers, with provided scoring guidelines).

A final exam is provided as a summative assessment that allows students to demonstrate their success with the learning objectives outlined in the course framework. This exam is optional. Pre-AP has not offered practice exams or published exam questions from prior years.

Quill Logo

Quill and College Board have partnered to provide students with meaningful practice of sentence-level writing skills. Visit the Quill Official Pre-AP English Practice page to view the resources that have been custom-built for Pre-AP English.

Wordplay Shakespeare Logo

The New Book Press and College Board have partnered to provide all Pre-AP teachers and students with access to WordPlay Shakespeare for Romeo and Juliet (Pre-AP English 1) and Macbeth (Pre-AP English 2). Visit the WordPlay Pre-AP page for more information and resources.