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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information

Updated April 8 Students can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare them for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

AP Art History Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

The paper and the digital versions of the AP Art History Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections and covering the full scope of course content, giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Art History only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Art History Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Art History student page for exam information.

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Art History students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has a shortened multiple-choice section (17 questions, 15 minutes–approximately the same time per question as the full exam), a shortened break of 5 minutes, and a full-length free-response section (6 questions, 2 hours).
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–5 multiple-choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question.

We strongly advise students to take at least one of the two practice options, and recommend all students take the Digital Practice. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. Students can access their answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override student answers from Digital Practice. Teachers can also access digital practice from the teacher dashboard, available beginning April 22.

Taking the Digital Exam

In addition to differences in the order and type of questions as noted below, students should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that they’ll encounter—in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • As a reminder:
    • Students will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses
    • Students cannot go back to questions they’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead. 
  • Unlike on the paper and pencil exam, individual parts of free-response questions 2-6 will be shown as an ordered list. Students will answer all the parts of each free-response question in a single text box, and should answer in essay form as they would on the paper and pencil exam. Students will see examples of the question format and answering interface when they answer digital practice questions in the app.
  • Exam directions and section-specific directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. Students will see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so. Teachers and students can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

More information about taking digital exams is available in the Digital Testing Guide.

Digital Exam Readiness Dashboard

Beginning April 22, AP teachers and AP coordinators will have access to a new digital exam readiness dashboard.Teachers and coordinators will access the dashboard from their personalized AP login page (after signing in through AP Central or through myap.collegeboard.org). The dashboard can be used to monitor students’ progress in taking the steps necessary before and on exam day to enable them to take a digital exam. See details in the “Preparing for Digital AP Exams” section of the AP Digital Testing Guide.

Exam Date

  • Event
    • FRI, MAY 6, 2022, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Art History Exam

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Exam Format

The AP Art History Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Note on 2021 exams: Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Art History Exam will be full length, containing the typical multiple-choice and free-response sections, and cover the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Art History only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Section I: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Exam Score

  • Questions on the 2021 exam will appear both as
    • sets of 2–3 questions, with each set based on color images of works of art.
    • individual questions, some of which are based on color images of works of art.
  • The multiple-choice section includes images of works of art both in and beyond the image set.

Section II: Free Response

6 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Exam Score

Note: On the digital exam, due to exam security requirements, identifying information (such as the name of the work and the artist) may not be provided for works of art given in the question. Also, students will not be asked to provide identifying information for works of art in free-response questions.

Note: On the digital exams, free-response questions will be presented in a slightly different order, as indicated below.

  • Question 1 (paper and pencil exams) / Question 2 (digital exams): Comparison is a long essay question that assesses students’ ability to compare a work of their choice with a provided work from the image set and articulate a claim explaining the significance of the similarities and differences between those works, citing evidence to support their claim.
  • Question 2 (paper and pencil exams) / Question 1 (digital exams): Visual/Contextual Analysis is a long essay question that assesses students’ ability to analyze visual and contextual features of a work of art from the image set (image not provided) and respond to the prompt with an art historically defensible claim supported by evidence.
  • Question 3: Visual Analysis is a short essay question that assesses students’ ability to analyze visual elements of a work of art beyond the image set (image provided) and connect it to an artistic tradition, style, or practice.  Note: On the digital exam, Question 3 may be shown in a list of either 3 or 4 parts, but is always worth 5 points.
  • Question 4: Contextual Analysis is a short essay question that assesses students’ ability to analyze contextual elements of a work of art from the image set and explain how context can influence artistic decisions or affect the meaning of a work of art.
  • Question 5: Attribution is a short essay question that assesses students’ ability to attribute a work of art beyond the image set (image provided) and justify their assertion by providing specific visual evidence.
  • Question 6: Continuity and Change is a short essay question that assesses students’ ability to analyze the relationships between a work of art from the image set and a related artistic tradition, style, and/or practice.
  • Questions 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (paper and pencil exams) / Questions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (digital exams) will include images of works of art.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2021: Free-Response Questions
Questions

Free-Response Questions

Additional Scoring Information for 2020-21

The student samples below are from a pilot that we conducted in 2018. Students in the pilot were responding to Free-Response Question 2 (Long Visual/Contextual Analysis Essay) from the 2016 exam administration.

The samples were re-scored using a rubric aligned with the AP Art History Course and Exam Description released in 2019. Scoring commentaries and specific scoring guidelines that explain how the rubric was applied are also provided below.