The Literature Subject Test measures how well you have learned to read and interpret literature. There are six to eight sets of questions on the test, each based on a different literary text. The examination usually contains about 60 multiple-choice questions.
Questions ask you to demonstrate how well you understand the following literary concepts:
- meaning, including theme, argument and specific connotations of words
- form, including genre, structure and organization
- tone, including diction, syntax and emphasis
- figurative language, including imagery
- narrative voice
The best way to prepare for the test is through close critical reading of English and American literature from a variety of historical periods and in a variety of genres. The more skilled you become at understanding and analyzing literary texts, the better prepared you will be.
There is no reading list for the Literature test. It doesn't cover specific facts or background information about particular books or writers. If you have practiced your interpretive skills thoroughly and can apply them to a number of different types of literary works, you are ready to take the test.