Jump to page content Jump to navigation

College Board

AP Central

Print Page
Home > AP Courses and Exams > AP Exam Information > The AP Art History Exam

The AP Art History Exam

Exam Day 2017

Tues, May 2, 12 noon

Exam Duration

3 hours

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.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Art History student page for exam information and exam practice.

Access online score reports for your students.


Learn about late testing policies, and see all late testing dates.

Exam Format

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.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

Looking for sample multiple-choice and free-response questions? You can find them in:

The Course and Exam Description (.pdf/45.27MB), which has everything you need to know about the course and exam.

A full practice exam on AP Course Audit. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Sample Questions: AP Art History Exam (.pdf/1.89MB), which includes all the questions that were published with the original curriculum framework.

The Past Exam Questions page, which features free-response questions and scoring information for exams given before May 2016.

The Student Performance Q&A. 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 FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

And for free-response questions, along with scoring information, check out the the tables below.


2017: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

2016: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Sample Responses Q5

Sample Responses Q6

Score Distributions

Back to top