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Important: Because of school closures due to COVID-19, we’ve made changes to the 2020 AP Research assessment. Get the details at the 2020 AP Coronavirus Updates AP Research assessment page. Note that these changes to the 2020 assessment may not be reflected on all AP Students pages.
There is no end-of-course written exam for AP Research. Instead, you’ll be assessed on performance tasks you complete that are based on your yearlong research project: an academic paper (which you’ll submit online for scoring through the AP Digital Portfolio), a presentation, and an oral defense of your research. These components all contribute to your final AP score on a scale of 1–5.
75% of Score
The academic paper should be 4,000–5,000 words long. You’ll be evaluated on the content, structure, format, and conclusions of the paper as well as your ability to properly and accurately cite sources.
25% of Score
The culminating event of the AP Research course will be a presentation of your research question, research methodology, and findings, including an oral defense that addresses a set of questions about your research inquiry. The presentation and defense take 15–20 minutes. You will also be required to answer 3–4 questions from a panel of trained evaluators and your AP Research teacher.
Teacher Scored Components
Your in-class presentation and oral defense is scored by your AP Research teacher.
Here’s how we make sure that scoring by AP Research teachers is standardized:
College Board Scored Components
After you submit your academic paper online through the AP Digital Portfolio, it is scored by trained, experienced educators called AP readers.
2019 AP Research Performance Task Scoring Guidelines
Review the scoring guidelines for the two performance tasks: the academic paper and the presentation and oral defense.
AP Research Performance Task Sample and Scoring Information Archive
Includes student samples of the academic paper as well as scoring guidelines for both performance tasks for the 2018 assessment and earlier.