The AP Art History Course and Exam Description

AP Art History Course 

The AP Art History Course and exam are structured around ten content areas:
  • Global Prehistory
  • Ancient Mediterranean
  • Early Europe and Colonial Americas
  • Later Europe and Americas
  • Indigenous Americas
  • Africa
  • West and Central Asia
  • South, East, and Southeast Asia
  • The Pacific
  • Global Contemporary
The AP Art History Course:
  • Engages you at the same level as an introductory college art history survey course. You'll develop skills in visual, contextual, and comparative analysis.
  • Offers you freedom and flexibility to learn about art history according to your needs and interests.
  • Limits the required course content to 250 works of art — foundational exemplars of global artistic traditions within 10 content areas — to promote in-depth learning. You are also encouraged to study additional works that are important and relevant to you.
  • Includes global art content, with emphasis on diverse artistic traditions.
  • Features learning objectives that represent the disciplinary skills valued by art historians and higher education faculty. The exam is completely aligned with the course learning objectives and content, so your pathway to course and exam success is clear.

AP Art History Exam Overview

The AP Art History Exam asks students to apply art historical skills to the course content, which includes works of art from the image set and contextual knowledge from the enduring understanding and essential knowledge statements.
Using works of art studied within the course image set or works they chose to study beyond the image set, students have many opportunities to exhibit their understanding of art historical concepts. A single exam question is likely to encompass multiple learning objectives and works of art from different content areas. This underscores the exam's focus on assessing students' in-depth critical analysis of relationships among works of art, art historical concepts, and global cultures.
This exam tests students' knowledge of artists, schools, and movements; chronological periods and significant dates; ways in which artists influenced and were influenced by other artists, traditions, and movements; and the subjects, styles, and techniques of particular works of art. Students will also analyze known and unknown works of art and construct persuasive arguments based on visual and contextual evidence.

Exam Format and Time Managment

Section I
Multiple Choice — 80 Questions | 1 Hour | 50% of Exam Score
Approximately 8 sets of questions (3 to 6 questions each) based on color images
Approximately 35 individual multiple-choice questions

Section II
Free Response — 6 Questions | 2 Hours | 50% of Exam Score
Two 30-minute essay questions
Four 15-minute essay questions
Essay questions often include images of works of art as stimuli.

*Students need to learn to budget their time so they can complete all parts of the exam. Time managment is espessially critical with regard to Section II. Students often benefit from taking a practise exam under timed conditions prios to the actual administration.

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