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Unit 3

3.4 Selected Works

3 min readoctober 28, 2020

Sherry Ross


AP Art & Design 🎨

Bookmarked 491 • 17 resources
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What Are the Selected Works (SW)?

The SW part of the test is exactly what the name implies..... it consists of five works selected by YOU to be scored. These works should be your very best pieces. They will be sent to Salt Lake City to be physically seen by the AP Art and Design readers. This is considered the highlight of the reading, with getting to actually see the AMAZING work you created in front of us, not on a computer screen. ❤️ Readers are always so excited to know they are "walking" (and scoring) the rows of beautiful work.

How Do I Select My Selected Works?

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Simply, you want to send your BEST works. If you are having a hard time selecting, ask someone to help. Put your ten best works on the table and have friends and family help select. You can run a poll on Facebook or Instagram. This lets people see your work AND helps you decide! 😃 The top five pieces with the highest number of votes go into the portfolio. This ensures that the strongest works are submitted and not just your favorite pieces. Kids struggle with this year after year.
Don't submit a piece just because you like it, because it was your "first watercolor", or it reminds you of summer or an old friend. The reader won't know why you sent that picture and will grade it only on aesthetic considerations.
Pro-tip: Avoid sentimentality and only send your BEST work. Having others weigh-in can be helpful.

What Are the Rules about Selected Works?

There are several rules to keep in mind about your SW.
  • Size—The size of your work cannot be larger than 20" x 30" or smaller than 8" x 10". Works smaller than 8" x 10" must be mounted onto an appropriately sized surface. Works MUST fit inside the portfolio provided by the College Board (CB).
  • Canvases—You are not supposed to send in canvases because the CB cannot guarantee their safety during shipping. You can attempt to send them, but it's a risk! If your canvas arrives damaged, it will be placed on the table and graded just as it is. Canvas boards are a better bet... play it safe! 😉
  • Books—If you want to send a sketchbook or an altered book, you need to be aware that it will be placed on the table, and whatever page it opens to will be the one shown and scored. A better idea would be to send an altered book with only one spread or to have it clipped so that only that page will open. You can also remove the page and send it directly, or photograph it and send in a high-resolution print. Keep these constraints in mind, and consider planning to use something else.

How Much Do my SWs Count for Toward my Score?

Your SW will count for 40% of your overall score. The five works are graded holistically (meaning as one unit), and you will be given that score. If you want to understand more about how your work is scored, check out the rubric breakdown guide.

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