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AP Art History is an introductory college-level art history course. Students cultivate their understanding of art history through analyzing works of art and placing them in historical context as they explore concepts like culture and cultural interactions, theories and interpretations of art, the impact of materials, processes, and techniques on art and art making, and understanding purpose and audience in art historical analysis.
AP Art History Course at a Glance
Excerpted from the AP Art History Course and Exam Description, the Course at a Glance document outlines the topics and skills covered in the AP Art History course, along with suggestions for sequencing.
AP Art History Course and Exam Description
This is the core document for this course. Unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED was updated in the summer of 2020 to include scoring guidelines for the example questions.
AP Art History CED Errata Sheet
This document details the updates made to the course and exam description (CED) in September 2019. It includes printable copies of the updated pages, which can be used as replacement sheets in your CED binder. Note: It does not include the scoring guidelines, which were added to the online CED in the summer of 2020.
AP Art History CED Scoring Guidelines
This document details how each of the sample free-response questions in the course and exam description (CED) would be scored. This information is now in the online CED but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.
AP Art History 2019 CED Scoring Rubric: Visual/Contextual Analysis
This document features general scoring criteria that apply to Free-Response Question 2: Visual/Contextual Analysis, regardless of specific question prompt. This information is now in the online CED but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.
Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on the big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students to understand representative works of art from diverse cultures, including placing these works in context and illuminating relationships among them.
The AP Art History framework is organized into 10 commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.
Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
|Unit 1: Global Prehistory, 30,000–500 BCE||~4%|
|Unit 2: Ancient Mediterranean, 3500 BCE–300 CE||~15%|
|Unit 3: Early Europe and Colonial Americas, 200–1750 CE||~21%|
|Unit 4: Later Europe and Americas, 1750–1980 CE||~21%|
|Unit 5: Indigenous Americas, 1000 BCE–1980 CE||~6%|
|Unit 6: Africa, 1100–1980 CE||~6%|
|Unit 7: West and Central Asia, 500 BCE–1980 CE||~4%|
|Unit 8: South, East, and Southeast Asia, 300 BCE–1980 CE||~8%|
|Unit 9: The Pacific, 700-1980 C.E.||~4%|
|Unit 10: Global Contemporary, 1980 C.E. to Present||~11%|
Art Historical Thinking Skills
The AP Art History framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called art historical thinking skills, that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like art historians.
Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
|1. Visual Analysis||Analyze visual elements of works of art.||15%–19%|
|2. Contextual Analysis||Analyze contextual elements of a work of art, and connect contextual and visual elements of a work of art.||28%–32%|
|3. Comparison of Works of Art||Compare two or more works of art.||11%–13%|
|4. Artistic Traditions||Analyze the relationships between a work of art and a related artistic tradition, style, and/or practice.||20%–25%|
|5. Visual Analysis of Unknown Works||Analyze visual elements of a work of art beyond the image set.||6%–8%|
|6. Attribution of Unknown Works||Attribute works of art.||6%–8%|
|7. Art Historical Interpretations||Analyze art historical interpretations.||6%–8%|
|8. Argumentation||Develop and support art historical arguments.||Not assessed in the multiple-choice section|
AP and Higher Education
Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.
This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.
Meet the Development Committee for AP Art History.