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This subject is of the same level of difficulty as the Art History introductory course of university year one. Students will develop skills such as visualising, contextual analysis, and comparative analysis.
This subject mainly examine the candidates’ ability to explore the art works themselves through personal observation, discussion, reading and research, and to learn to evaluate art works through critical analysis.
The five-points rate is around 10%-12%, it is generally a difficult subject that has high requirements for artistic foundation.
The syllabus given by the College Board’s official website is the main scope of the exam, the multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions are all from there.
There are a total of 250 artworks, including architecture, paintings and handicrafts. The name, era, author and materials of each work need to be memorised.
Should You Take AP Art History?
Generally speaking, students who choose this subject will take into account the relevance to future professional choices. Due to the relatively low five-point rate and more professional content examined, this subject is relatively unpopular compared with other science exams. It is suggested that candidates choose this subject based on your interests and future development direction. You must be prepared to invest a certain amount of time and energy.
Section 1: Multiple Choice
80 Questions I 1 Hour I 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 I 2 Hours I 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.
Test Prep Strategy
The examination syllabus divides 250 into 10 units, and each unit is a big era. Before you start learning a new unit, you need to understand the background and characteristics of the era. Smaller units generally have the same background. Larger units like 234 will be subdivided. For example, the second unit is divided into many small units with different characteristics, such as Greek art, Roman art, and Egyptian art.
The artistic characteristics of each era need to be mastered. For example, the characteristics of Classical Greek and Hellenistic Greek are different. By saying mastering characteristics, it means that you need to be able to identify which is which with reasonings, when giving two works from different periods.
Recommended Study Guides
-Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Collection of Official Papers with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Click here to obtain the latest AP Art History Guide & Official Past-Year Papers with MCQ from ExclusiveSAT.