Congratulations, you are now members of a very special club of bold and brave students who are looking to grow and explore the boundaries of your artistic process! You have officially dove into the deep end of the pool. You are kind of a big deal. Woot Woot!
Some of you may be new to the Advanced Placement world. Others may have taken AP courses in other subjects which are designed very differently than AP Studio Art.
At first glance, you may look at your syllabus, website links and class resources and feel very overwhelmed. I know, it’s a lot to take in.
I am here to demystify the process and help you gain confidence. Hang in there, your mentor is here for you!
What is AP Art & Design?
The AP Studio Art course is an advanced artmaking course that demonstrates to a college admissions office that you have participated in the most challenging curriculum available. AP courses provide students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both, while in high school.
Although each high school will offer a slightly different course flow and style, the scope of the AP course is derived from a curriculum developed by the College Board. (Basically, highly qualified art teachers have conducted tons of research on college-level art classes to develop a framework where high school art teachers can deliver a course that meets the needs of the college-level standards).
AP Studio Art is an advanced-level art class where students are expected to perform at a high level in the following ways:
- Students will explore a wide variety of styles and media
- Students will experiment with new ideas and new ways of approaching creative problems
- Students will interpret works of art and design and communicate ideas in verbal and written format
- Students will conduct an in-depth exploration of a single topic, media or artistic style
- Students will showcase MASTERY through three skill categories* –
- Inquiry & Investigation
- Making Through Practice, Experimentation, and Revision
- Communication and Reflection
*The three skills listed above are further broken down into 15 sub-skills that further investigate the artistic process and mastery of AP Course Skills. For an additional investigation of these skills, refer to page 12 of the AP Art & Design Course and Exam Description
At the end of the AP Studio Art Course, students will submit a complete portfolio to The College Board. This portfolio will be evaluated by a panel of non-partial evaluators who are college faculty or expert AP teachers, and a grade ranging from 1-5 will be assigned. The scoring range reflects the students’ achievement in an equivalent college course.
* Note- most colleges and universities have their own policies for college placement and credit allocation. However, many award credit or advanced placement for AP scores of 3 or higher. Please contact your admissions office to learn more about their policies. Or click here to research more.
Like I said before, AP Studio Art can seem a bit overwhelming. I do not want to bog you down with too many details so you go running for the hills. While I have highlighted some of the most important information, I highly recommend that you review the 2019 AP Art and Design Course and Exam Descriptions.
What are the Portfolio Requirements?
The AP Art & Design Portfolio exam requirements have changed this year, so make sure you listen up!
Whether you are submitting for 2D Design, Drawing or 3D Design, your portfolio exam contains two sections:
- Selected Works – worth 40% of your grade
- 2D & Drawing – 5 physical works or high-quality reproductions of physical works that each demonstrate synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas using [2D design or drawing] skills
- 3D Design – 10 digital images consisting of two views each of five works that demonstrate synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas using [3D design] skills
- Sustained Investigation – worth 60% of your grade
- 2D, 3D & Drawing – 15 digital images of works of art and process documentation that demonstrate sustained investigation through practice, experimentation, and revision
Both portfolio sections will require students to submit a written explanation of their work based on the prompts given by the College Board. These prompts are available through the AP Slideroom website which will be given to you by your instructor during the course of the school year.
Not so hard, right?!?
Trust the process and return back to this site throughout the term for more insight on portfolio preparation. I’ve got your back!
It is very important for you to remember that AP Art & Design is a marathon, not a sprint. Students will need to develop, practice, and apply the three skills in a variety of ways, over a sustained period of time to achieve the best results.
Yup, that’s right… all good things take time…
Make sure to revisit the AP resources and check back in with your mentor over the course of the term. I am here to help you along with your AP journey!