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Important Updates

2017-18 AP Research Rubrics
The revised rubric for the Academic Paper (.pdf/98.4KB) is now available. Please note: The Presentation and Oral Defense rubric has not changed for 2017-18.

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 in the AP Digital Portfolio.

Online Scoring Training
All AP Research teachers are required to complete and pass online scoring training for the Presentation and Oral Defense only. Training is available now on AcademicMerit. AP Research teachers should reference the email that was sent on December 12, 2017 for further details.

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

AP Research Through-Course Performance Task — 100% of AP Research Score


Scoring Method


Academic Paper (4,000 to 5,000 words)

College Board scored


Presentation and Oral Defense (15 to 20 minutes total for both the presentation and the three or four questions from a panel of three evaluators that follows).

Teacher scored


Revised Rubric for 2017-18

Download the revised Academic Paper rubric (.pdf/98.4KB). 

Unchanged Rubrics for 2017-18

The Presentation and Oral Defense rubric has not changed for 2017-18.

Assessment Questions and Scoring Information

Looking for sample Academic Papers? You can find them in the tables below. Also check out:

The AP Research Course and Exam Description (.pdf/1010KB), which has everything you need to know about the course and performance task. Note: the Course and Exam Description does not reflect the 2017-18 changes to the teacher scoring model.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the Academic Paper, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

2017: Through-Course and End-of-Course Assessments
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Academic Paper


Scoring Guidelines - Academic Paper

Scoring Guidelines - Presentation

Chief Reader Report

Scoring Statistics

Note: The Scoring Guidelines in this table were used for scoring the 2017 assessment. The revised Academic Paper rubric for the 2017-18 school year is available below in the Assessment Resources section.

High scoring samples

Sample A

Sample B

Sample C

Sample D

Medium scoring samples

Sample E

Sample F

Sample G

Sample H

Low scoring samples

Sample I

Sample J

Sample K

Sample L

Scoring Distributions

2016: Through-Course and End-of-Course Assessments
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Academic Paper


Scoring Guidelines

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

High scoring samples

Sample C (topic: History/Humanities)

Sample G (topic: Social Science)

Sample I (topic: Arts/Humanities)

Sample K (topic: STEM)

Medium scoring samples

Sample E (topic: History/Humanities)

Sample B (topic: Arts/Humanities)

Sample A (topic: Social Science)

Sample H (topic: STEM)

Low scoring samples

Sample J (topic: History/Humanities)

Sample F (topic: Arts/Humanities)

Sample D (topic: STEM/Social Science)

Score Distributions

Assessment Resources