The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition course teaches students to write with richness and complexity in order to communicate clearly with advanced readers. The essays written in this course are to be less formulaic and more engaging to the reader. The focus is on the essay’s content and purpose as well as the intended reader. The students also need to be able to use a variety of research materials in their writing and be able to synthesize these various sources in an effective matter. Sources need to be cited in a critical manner and students must evaluate the legitimacy and purpose of the source.
Several states use Advanced Placement data for accountability purposes, and . News and World Report use data on Advanced Placement course offerings and participation to rank high schools.  However, studies of local school districts  and the United States as a whole  show that increasing AP participation does not increase the overall academic achievement or school quality at the group (., high school, racial/ethnic group, nation) level. This led one researcher to state, "Clearly, offering AP alone will not magically turn a failing school into a successful one."