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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
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.

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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.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • THUR, MAY 6, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Art History Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, MAY 19, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Art History Exam—Administration 2

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, JUNE 2, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Art History Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

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

  • 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 II: Free Response

6 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Exam Score

Note: On the digital exam, due to requirements for exam security, works of art will not be identified. Also, students will not be asked to provide identifying information for works of art that are provided as stimuli in free-response questions.

  • 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 (Last Year's) Free-Response Questions

Last year's free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser. Since the 2020 exams had to be designed for highly unusual circumstances, these questions were updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

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