Published on Nov. 6,2019

Curriculum Change

AP Art has changed to make it easier for students.


By Rafael Duran

Among the students, there is a shared sentiment that beginning their College Board project, drawings consisting of a connecting theme which are called “Focus”, early is beneficial to the quality of their work and especially for their stress. For senior Otoniel Burgos, it is beneficial for time management since in addition to having his classes he also works.

“It’s obviously less stressful ‘cause we have the time to come up with an idea rather than ‘Here’s a certain amount of time to come up with something and just make it happen.’ Also being able to manage my own [time] since I’m a student worker, [so] it is much better,” Burgos said.

AP Art Curriculum


  • 10 Focus

  • 10 Breadth

  • 15 pictures made of a mixture

  • 5 drawings sent to College Board


  • 15 Focus

  • 15 pictures of the drawings

  • 5 drawings sent to College Board

AHS alumnus Taliilagi Agatupu also took AP art. The class for her was fun, but creating art with the deadlines was extremely hard.

"Time was a problem for me because I was rushing to just [get my artworks done] instead of putting time and effort to make it look like how I want it to. [S]ome of the deadlines seemed like it was going to be impossible,” Agatupu said.  

AP art teacher Trenton Smith believes students who have a theme for their project will have a far easier time. He also states that students in AP art will no longer experiment with new mediums and it is expected that the students will already know what mediums they will use.  

“I think it is going to benefit students who have a [a ‘focus’ idea]. If students already know what they like and what inspires them, they are probably going to get more out of it.  [Last year, the College Board] required you to show all the things you know... painting, drawing, charcoal, watercolor... all these different techniques. We had to prove to them you could use them,” Smith said.

For students who are not sure on whether they want to take the AP tests, they can show their skills in a different way. Senior Michael Nava has been working creating the artwork for his comic instead of the work for the College Board.

“I haven’t been doing [my artworks], I’ve been doing on my comic, Smith is cool with me doing that," Nava said.

Although Burgos and Nava are working on different aspects of art, they both have expectations for takeaways of the class.

Burgos expects to be developing more artistic skills and to just enjoy the rest of his year in the class.

“[I look forward to] pick[ing] up a couple more skills for the drawings, [but] other than that, not really. I’m already enjoying [the class] more than enough,” Burgos said. •

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