Unique among the Advanced Placement
programs, AP Studio Art has neither a standard course
nor written exam
. Instead, student
s submit two distinct portfolio
s for consideration: a general portfolio and a drawing
portfolio. The program's development committee provides guideline
s for the submission of a portfolio, keeping the level of work at first-year college
level. The course designed by the school
should address three points: a sense of quality
in work, concentration
on a particular visual
interest, and the need for breadth of experience
The program is intended for motivated students with a serious interest in art who have already completed some previous training. AP Studio Art courses commonly include homework and projects outside the classroom, including visits to museums and galleries.
Both portfolios are scored on a scale of one through six in three sections - quality, concentration, and breadth. A quality rating of "six" is given when pieces show obvious evidence of thinking, demonstrate the artist's confidence, show purposeful composition, and meet other quality criteria. The concentration rating of "six" is for pieces that engage the viewer, carry out an evocative theme, take risks, and whose technical aspects are strong. In the general portfolio, breadth is broken into three subsections: color/design, sculpture/3-D design, and drawing. Each subsection earns a "six" rating
if the artist has shown exemplary work and demonstrated the ability to think outside the box while presenting a quality piece. The drawing portfolio does not break up the breadth rating, but for a "six" rating requires flexibility of thinking, use of a variety of materials, and evidence of experimentation and ambition, among other criteria.