AP RESEARCHThe Exam

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Important Updates

Teacher Scoring of Performance Tasks
Starting in the 2017-18 school year, AP Research teachers will no longer score the Academic Paper. Students’ written work will be scored at the AP Reading.

Teachers will continue to score the Presentation and Oral Defense.

2017-18 Rubrics
The rubric for the Academic Paper is currently being revised and will be available by August 1. The Presentation and Oral Defense rubric is not changing for 2018.

Online Scoring Training
All AP Research teachers will be required to complete and pass online scoring training for the Presentation and Oral Defense only. Training will be available in December 2017.

Note: The following information and resources are for AP Research teachers at participating schools. In order to offer AP Research, schools must apply through the AP Program to participate in AP Capstone™, and they must first offer AP Seminar. In addition, teachers attend mandatory training. For more information, visit the AP Capstone section of Advances in AP.

  • Event
    • Mon, Apr 30, 2018

    AP Research Academic Paper Submission Deadline

    • 11:59 p.m.

Assessment Overview

In AP Research, students are assessed on the academic paper and presentation and oral defense of research. The academic paper is 4,000 to 5,000 words, and the presentation and defense take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Assessment Format

Academic Paper

Teachers must carefully plan a calendar that provides time for the performance task to be completed, scored, and uploaded by April 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

  • Introduces and contextualizes the research question and initial student assumptions and/or hypotheses
  • Reviews previous work in the field to synthesize information and a range of perspectives related to the research question (e.g., Literature Review)
  • Identifies the gap in the current field of knowledge to be addressed
  • Explains and provides justification for the chosen method, process, or approach
  • Presents the findings, evidence, results, or product
  • Interprets the significance of the findings, results, or product; explores connections to original research question
  • Discusses the implications and limitations of the research or creative work
  • Reflects on the process and how this project could impact the field
  • Discusses possible next steps and/or future directions
  • Provides a complete list of sources cited and consulted in the appropriate disciplinary style

Presentation and Oral Defense

  • All students will develop a 15 to 20-minute presentation (using appropriate media) and deliver it to an oral defense panel. Students may choose any appropriate format for their presentation, as long as the presentation reflects the depth of their research. Prior to the presentation, students whose academic paper was accompanied by an additional piece of scholarly work (e.g., performance, exhibit, product) will arrange for the teacher and panelists to view the scholarly work.
  • The defense will include three to four questions from a panel consisting of the AP Research teacher and two additional panel members (chosen at the discretion of the AP Research teacher).

The AP Research Course and Exam Description (.pdf/1010KB) includes complete information about the performance tasks.

Assessment Questions and Scoring Information

For scoring information from prior administrations, check out the table below.

Assessment Resources