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Course Updates

AP Art History has been updated for the 2019-20 school year to make things clearer for you and your students.

Course and exam information is now more clearly presented in an updated course and exam description (CED).

The updated CED organizes the course into commonly taught units.

  • The updated CED organizes AP Art History into 10 units, 1 for each of the 10 content areas in the current CED.
  • By organizing the course content and skills into units, we’re able to give you and your students free formative assessments—personal progress checks—that you can assign throughout the year to measure student progress.
  • We want to respect your time and expertise by providing a road map you can modify and adapt to your local priorities and preferences. You can choose to follow this suggestion for how content can be sequenced and paced. As always, you’ll have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

The updated CED defines skills and more specific learning objectives for students.

  • The course framework now outlines specific skills that AP Art History students should practice throughout the year, such as describing visual elements and explaining how a work of art demonstrates continuity or change within an artistic tradition.
  • New learning objectives are included in the framework so that it’s clearer what students should be able to do.
  • In the framework, each learning objective is now clearly tied to specific enduring understandings and essential knowledge statements. With this kind of specificity, you and your students will know how course content and skills will be assessed on the AP Exam.
  • Throughout the CED, you’ll find thoughtful suggestions for pairing course content with skills.

Exam Updates

Although there will be some updates to the course, there will be no updates to the structure of the AP Art History Exam. The weighting, timing, and number of questions in each section aren't changing.

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, there will be some changes to the free-response section:

  • Question 1: The tasks for the first long essay question (comparison) will now be more clearly defined for students.
  • Question 2: The second long essay question (visual and contextual analysis) will now be scored using a stable analytic rubric, and tasks will be much more tightly defined for students.
  • Questions 3-6: Each of the 4 short essay questions will now have a clearly defined, specific focus that remains consistent every year:
    • Question 3: visual analysis
    • Question 4: contextual analysis
    • Question 5: attribution
    • Question 6: continuity and change

Key Dates for AP Art History Teachers

  • 2019 AP Summer Institutes begin. Updated AP Art History workshop materials will be available to provide context on the CED, unit guides, and other new resources.
  • 2019 CED binders are available. You can preorder your free copy now using the 2019-20 AP Course and Exam Description Preorder Form.
  • August 1: The AP Classroom system resources—including unit guides, personal progress checks, progress dashboard, and question bank—become available, along with interactive tutorials on how to make the most of these resources with your students.
    • Completing a simple digital activation process will give you immediate access to the system and ensure your students can register for the exams by the new fall deadlines.*
    • If you’re teaching a new AP Art History course in 2019-20, you’ll need to have your AP Course Audit form approved by your administrator before you can access the system.*
  • Mid-August: 1-day workshops begin.
  • Your school’s AP coordinator will set up your class sections in the system. If your coordinator chooses not to create class sections, you can create your own.
  • Familiarize yourself with the system and start exploring the resources.
  • As you create your sequencing and pacing calendars, use the Course at a Glance and unit guides in the CED to inform your decisions. These can also help you determine how to fit the personal progress checks into your instruction so you and your students can receive timely instructional feedback.
  • Access the AP question bank to see what questions are available for you to assign to your students for instructional and assessment purposes throughout the year.
  • Before classes start, log in to the system to get join codes for each of your class sections.*
  • Post the join code for your class section on the board or distribute it to your students. Tell students to log in and join you class section before the next class.*
  • October 4: Preferred deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams.
  • November 15: Deadline for your AP coordinator to order 2020 AP Exams. 
  • Use your progress dashboard to see where students are demonstrating strength and where they have opportunities for further growth.
  • January 31, 2020: Deadline, if applicable, to submit your AP Art History Course Audit form and have it approved by your administrator for 2019-20 AP Course Audit authorization.*
  • Before March: If your course started after November 15, 2019, make sure that all your students have joined your AP Classroom section and are following your AP coordinator’s directions about registering for AP Exams.*
  • March 13, 2020: Deadline for your AP coordinator to place exam orders for students in courses that started after November 15, 2019.*
  • Use the AP question bank and feedback on the progress dashboard to help students prepare for their AP Exams.
  • May 2020: AP Exam administration.

* = required action