Varsity Tutors always has a different AP English Literature Question of the Day ready at your disposal! If you’re just looking to get a quick review into your busy day, our AP English Literature Question of the Day is the perfect option. Answer enough of our AP English Literature Question of the Day problems and you’ll be ready to ace the next test. Check out what today’s AP English Literature Question of the Day is below.

Question of the Day: AP English Literature

Passage adapted from Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad

I left in a French steamer, and she called in every blamed port they have out there, for, as far as I could see, the sole purpose of landing soldiers and custom-house officers. I watched the coast. Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma. There it is before you-- smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid, or savage, and always mute with an air of whispering, Come and find out. This one was almost featureless, as if still in the making, with an aspect of monotonous grimness. The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf, ran straight, like a ruled line, far, far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist. The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam. Here and there grayish-whitish specks showed up clustered inside the white surf, with a flag flying above them perhaps. Settlements some centuries old, and still no bigger than pinheads on the untouched expanse of their background. We pounded along, stopped, landed soldiers; went on, landed custom-house clerks to levy toll in what looked like a God-forsaken wilderness, with a tin shed and a flagpole lost in it; landed more soldiers--to take care of the custom-house clerks, presumably. Some, I heard, got drowned in the surf; but whether they did or not, nobody seemed particularly to care. They were just flung out there, and on we went. Every day the coast looked the same, as though we had not moved; but we passed various places--trading places--with names like Gran' Bassam, Little Popo; names that seemed to belong to some sordid farce acted in front of a sinister back-cloth. The idleness of a passenger, my isolation amongst all these men with whom I had no point of contact, the oily and languid sea, the uniform somberness of the coast, seemed to keep me away from the truth of things, within the toil of a mournful and senseless delusion. The voice of the surf heard now and then was a positive pleasure, like the speech of a brother. It was something natural, that had its reason, that had a meaning. Now and then a boat from the shore gave one a momentary contact with reality. It was paddled by black fellows. You could see from afar the white of their eyeballs glistening. They shouted, sang; their bodies streamed with perspiration; they had faces like grotesque masks--these chaps; but they had bone, muscle, a wild vitality, an intense energy of movement, that was as natural and true as the surf along their coast. They wanted no excuse for being there. They were a great comfort to look at. For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away. Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long six-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech--and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives--he called them enemies!--hidden out of sight somewhere.

"We gave her her letters (I heard the men in that lonely ship were dying of fever at the rate of three a day) and went on. We called at some more places with farcical names, where the merry dance of death and trade goes on in a still and earthy atmosphere as of an overheated catacomb; all along the formless coast bordered by dangerous surf, as if Nature herself had tried to ward off intruders; in and out of rivers, streams of death in life, whose banks were rotting into mud, whose waters, thickened into slime, invaded the contorted mangroves that seemed to writhe at us in the extremity of an impotent despair. Nowhere did we stop long enough to get a particularized impression, but the general sense of vague and oppressive wonder grew upon me. It was like a weary pilgrimage amongst hints for nightmares.

In the context of the passage, the reader can infer that the underlined word "ensign" is ____________.

a flag

the shells being fired by the French

the sailors on the ship

an officer on the ship

the mood of the men on the ship

The study of English Literature can be a time-consuming task, simply because in order to truly grasp the concepts of it, you sometimes have to read lengthy passages. Because of this, it can be difficult to find resources that are truly effective when it comes to the study of English literature. However, one study tool that you may find to be helpful is the AP English Literature Question of the Day, one of Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools. Through the practice you get using the Question of the Day, plus the information and tools it provides, you can work to improve your English literature skills on a daily basis. Whether you need English tutoring in TampaEnglish tutoring in Denver, or English tutoring in Seattle, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.

The AP English Literature Question of the Day allows you to study one concept each day. The Question of the Day provides a passage to read, along with a multiple-choice AP English Literature sample question that pertains to the passage. The questions vary in difficulty, so on any given day, you may receive a question that will test you at a different level. The question will typically relate to a passage from a written work. The types of material that is covered by the Question of the Day will be similar to those that are on the actual AP English Literature test. This may allow you to become more comfortable with the style, content, and type of questions that will be asked. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free AP English Literature Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an AP English Literature tutor.

Once you have answered the Question of the Day, you will see a number of statistics that will evaluate your performance and compare your answer to that of other students studying for the AP English Literature exam. One such statistic is the amount of time it took you to answer your question as opposed to how long it took other test-takers. By knowing how your speed compares to that of others, you may be able to learn to manage your time more efficiently. Another statistic you may find valuable is the percentage of users who answered the question correctly. By knowing specific information about how many others are answering a question correctly, you can help to prepare yourself better by knowing what you need to work on. Finally, the AP English Literature sample questions’ answers also provide explanations and links to relevant concepts. This provides you with insight into the answer, and allows you to further improve your skills by giving additional review opportunities. In addition to the AP English Literature Question of the Day and AP English Literature tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our AP English Literature Flashcards.

When it comes to AP English Literature, your success will rely on being able to fully grasp the intricacies of the English language. You will also have to have an understanding of what the authors of great works of literature were trying to convey in their writing. With the help of Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools, like the Question of the Day, you will get a daily reminder of what you need to know in order to succeed on your upcoming exam. The Question of the Day is a perfect way to work some AP English Literature review into every day.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors