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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Exams will cover the full content in each course, giving students the opportunity to receive college credit and placement.

Given the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, some students may feel unsure about taking AP Exams in May. So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams. Every AP student should keep their options open by registering for the exam on time because there will still be a $40 fee for late orders.

View the latest information on testing.

AP Questions and Feedback Throughout the Year
AP practice exams and past exam questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank. Personal progress checks are also available to ensure your students build mastery of content and skills. The progress dashboard highlights progress for every student and class across units.

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Exam Overview

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

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

  • Event
    • THUR, MAY 6, 2021 NOON LOCAL

    AP Art History Exam Day

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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.

Section 1: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Exam Score

  • Approximately 40 questions in sets of 3–6 questions each based on color images of works of art.
  • Approximately 40 individual multiple-choice 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 2: Free Response

6 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Exam Score

  • Question 1: 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 citing evidence.
  • Question 2: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 will include images of works of art.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

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 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 and the exam specifications that were originally meant to take effect with the May 2020 exams. Scoring commentaries and specific scoring guidelines that explain how the rubric was applied are also provided below.

*Important: These documents may refer to the “2020 exam” or the “2020 rubric” since they were released before the coronavirus crisis caused a temporary shift to a shortened, online format for May 2020.  The first time these exam specifications will be administered is in May 2021.

2020 Free-Response Questions

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including the 2020 free-response questions, personal progress checks, the question bank, and three practice exams aligned to the current course. Please note that scoring worksheets for the practice exams use past averages, so the cut score ranges may not fully align with the 2020 exam standards.

If your students answered free-response questions on the AP Exam in 2020, you can access their responses in the Student Response Portal. Learn more about how to access 2020 FRQs and students’ exam responses.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2019 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.