Thursday, February 21st, 2019


AP Studio Art

The AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year.

Most AP Studio Art candidates prepare their portfolios through organized AP instruction. If your school does not offer an AP Studio Art program, you may work independently to complete the portfolio. It is vital that you plan far enough in advance so that you can complete the portfolio on time. See the exam calendar for information on when portfolios are due.

The AP Program offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design. The portfolios share a basic, three-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns (and methods). Each of the portfolios asks the student to demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery through the Concentration section (Section II). In the Breadth section (Section III), the student is asked to demonstrate a serious grounding in visual principles and material techniques. The Quality section (Section I) permits the student to select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.

The table below summarizes the section requirements for each of the three portfolios.

 Drawing2-D Design3-D Design
Section I: Quality Five actual drawings; maximum size is 18" x 24" Five actual works; maximum size is 18" x 24" Five works; two images of each one are submitted
Section II: Concentration 12 images; some may be details 12 images; some may be details 12 images; some may be second views
Section III: Breadth 12 works; one image of each is submitted 12 works; one image of each is submitted Eight works; two images of each are submitted

All three sections are required and carry equal weight, but students are not necessarily expected to perform at the same level in each section to receive a qualifying grade for advanced placement. The order in which the three sections are presented is in no way meant to suggest a curricular sequence. The works presented for evaluation may have been produced in art classes or on the student's own time and may cover a period of time longer than a single school year.

Keep in Mind

  • Your portfolio may include work that you have done over a single year or longer, in class or on your own.
  • If you submit work that makes use of photographs, published images, and/or other artists' works, you must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This may be demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the original work. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law to simply copy an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else.
  • Your portfolio will be evaluated by a minimum of three and a maximum of seven artist-educators. Each of the three sections is reviewed independently based on criteria for that section, and each carries equal weight.
  • You must follow the detailed specifications listed in the current Course Description and the Studio Art poster. If the guidelines are not followed, your grade report will carry a message saying that your grade is based on an incomplete or otherwise irregular portfolio.